Top 10 Things to do in St. John's, Canada

August 28, 2017 Darwin Bolte

Looking out over the city of St. John's, you may be reminded of a mini San Francisco (minus the cable cars). St. John's provides the ideal balance between nature and nightlife, from the East Coast Trail and its stunning scenery to the colorful entertainment district along George Street. Although it's the largest city in Newfoundland, the vibe is still very small-town. You'll feel welcome in the City of Legends!
Restaurants in St. John's

1. Signal Hill

Signal Hill Road, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1A 1B2, Canada +1 709-772-5367
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Signal Hill

A hill overlooking St. John's Harbor which has been given "National Historic Site" status.

Reviewed By iloveCanadaEh - Puslinch, Canada

Pick a sunny calm day and enjoy the site and magnificent views. Otherwise bring a heavy jacket and hold on tightly to your children. It get very windy. Definitely worth the visit.

2. Cape Spear Lighthouse

Blackhead Rd, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A0A 1J0, Canada +1 709-772-5367
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cape Spear Lighthouse

Reviewed By Patti K - Caledon, Canada

Cape Spear is North Americas most easterly spot. During the month of July is peak season for Whales. You can sit on the shoreline at Cape Spear and see so many whales breaching its amazing. Its original Lighthouse began in 1836. The Cape Spear area was initially inhabited by the Beothuck Indians who went extinct in Newfoundland. The location even housed bunkers for the soldiers in World War 2. They are building a new ocean viewing platform & improving the facility hopefully the next time I’m back they will have it finished. I have included some pictures on the proposed look in my photos. You will see great views of the east Atlantic Ocean. If you get there early enough, you can see the first sunrise in North America. They have a nice gift shop there, you can also tour the first lighthouse & will give you guidance on what each room is for. A very historical field Trip. Starting Jan 1, 2018, Youth: Persons 6 to 17 years of age can get in for free.

3. East Coast Trail

Highway #10, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada +1 709-738-4453
Excellent
81%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 392 reviews

East Coast Trail

Explore 26 Wilderness paths along North America's easternmost coastline. The East Coast Trail unites genuine Wilderness hiking with richly historic communities from Portugal Cove, to Cape St. Francis, to Cappahayden. There are over 300 kilometers of developed trail to explore. The paths of the East Coast Trail take you past towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords, and a natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. Experience abandoned settlements, Lighthouses, ecological reserves, seabird colonies, whales, icebergs, the world's southernmost caribou herd, historic sites, a 50-metre suspension bridge, two active archaeological dig sites, and many more attractions.

Reviewed By MC0959 - Toronto, Canada

All of the trails that we tackled were very enjoyable. The planking and steps, in certain areas did make the hikes more enjoyable. We walking in running shoes, so appreciated the areas where we walked on wire covered planks instead of muck. The coastline is...MoreHello there, Thank you for your kind review and words. We are so glad to hear you enjoyed our trail. Those board walks definitely come in handy after rain, or other wet weather conditions. Come back again anytime. Best Regards,

4. North Head Trail

Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 4E8, Canada +1 709-737-1077
Excellent
88%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 78 reviews

North Head Trail

An exhilarating hike featuring rugged coastal beauty, striking views, and historic sites. This challenging trail built by Parks Canada descends 500 ft and includes a narrow coastal path along the Narrows. Caution: This trail is not maintained by the Grand Concourse Authority. Steep cliffs and hazardous sections are common throughout and caution should be exercised at all times.

Reviewed By Krazy_Kanuks - Cambridge, Ontario

Starting at the visitor center, we decided to do the hike downhill as suggested when we were told there is nearly 1000 steps going from bottom to top, and that suits us just fine, although it does look daunting at the start. Really cool costal scenery, also saw the cruise ship come in making the harbor almost look small. Only comment is it is not a 1.7km trail it is really closer to 3.5 KM by the time you finish the north head trail and walk through the battery up a quite of few more stairs to get back to your car at the visitor center.
But who doesn't need the exercise of a good hike!

5. The Rooms

9 Bonaventure Ave | St. John's, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 3Y9, Canada +1 709-757-8000
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

The Rooms

The Rooms is a place for all of us: for those who live here and those who want to experience it fully. Part sanctuary, part showcase, part classroom and part playground, it’s both a destination and a journey. This is a gathering place, a creative space and a cultural centre as distinct and unique as Newfoundland and Labrador. It is our place to come together, to create meaningful and memorable experiences. It is our place to share the best of who we are.

Reviewed By mossyme - Vancouver

A wonderful surprise finding The Rooms. A worthwhile museum (Newfoundland and military) , in the same building as a significant art gallery. Impressed by, especially, the contemporary representation. It was Nice to go back and forth between the two. I wish more cities presented their culture this way. A good experience!

6. Bowring Park

306 Waterford Bridge Rd, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1E 4J8, Canada
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 229 reviews

Bowring Park

Reviewed By tom h - Brasilia, DF

We have been here several times recently and done good hikes and seen a wonderful variety of well presented flowering plants, open green spaces and long walks (the one along the south side of the park is the most interesting and natural). All of that combined with more formal Gardens, memorials, ponds for aquatic birds, tennis, in door and out door swimming. all of this is quite exceptional for a city with a smallish population and a challenging natural climate. Well worth the visit in good or less clement weather. I particularly like the WW I memorial to the NL regiment, the setting is just right and the Caribou is in a perfect setting, very moving.

7. Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

200 Military Rd, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 2E8, Canada +1 709-754-2170
Excellent
64%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 297 reviews

Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Museum featuring historical and artistic artifacts pertaining to the Roman Catholic Church.

Reviewed By HotelierJohn - Ontario, Canada

The Roman Catholic Church played a huge role in the settlement and development of Newfoundland. Not all of the history is commendable (not by a long shot), but don't lose sight of the essential role of Christianity in our civilization.

8. Terry Fox Monument

1 Water St, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 1A1, Canada
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 248 reviews

Terry Fox Monument

Reviewed By Paul D - St. John's, Canada

This is the starting point where the legendary Canadian icon Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope in 1980. With one leg having been amputated, Terry embarked on an east to west cross-Canada “marathon a day” run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Well worth a visit.

9. Cabot Tower

Signal Hill Road, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1A 1B2, Canada
Excellent
60%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 319 reviews

Cabot Tower

A tower built at the highest point of Signal Hill, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Reviewed By Hello T

This tower is sadly only open during June to September ie seasonal opening times so you cannot go inside the tower during these times. However the walks and views from the tower are stunning. You can see far into the Atlantic, ideal place to be when the iceberg and the whales pass by St. John's. As you are quiet high you can also see St. John's Harbour town, Amherst Fort and lighthouse, Quidi Vidi village, Johnson Geo Centre and the Soldiers Barracks with guns.
Once up the hill you can take several walks. One is called the lady's lookout the highest view point and romantically named for ladies watching the ships returning to St. John's.

10. Jellybean Row Houses

Kimberly Row, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 186 reviews

Jellybean Row Houses

Reviewed By ANGELINA G - Ballito, South Africa

Never mind if St. John's is foggy, dull, chilly, and somber, if you walk past these houses, I'm sure you'll feel a whole lot better! These colorful jellybean houses are all over town, so just crisscross up and down the steep streets. Amazing and crazy color combinations, with house walls and doors in different bright colors, but always with the white trim around the doors and windows. You would think that these combinations don't go together, but somehow they do! So characteristic for St. John's, an absolute joy to see!

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