Towering icebergs, hundreds of humpback whales, a burgeoning food and drink scene: whatever you’re looking for from your next short-haul trip, make sure St. John’s, NL is on your radar. The vibrant city, which sits on Canada’s most eastern edge, is a wild world of epic scenery and colourful encounters. Here are five reasons for a visit.
1. It’s closer than you think
You don’t have to pay a fortune (or fly for hours) to reach a part of the world that’s insanely different to what we’re familiar with at home. You can fly from Toronto in just three hours, or reach St. John’s in just five hours direct from London. Imagine, a trip to Canada in less time than dinner and a movie.
2. It’s home to innovative cuisine, delicious local dishes, great bars and amazing festivals
Head to St. John’s and you won’t just find some of the most exciting restaurants in Canada, you’ll find high-end eateries that cook up tasty dishes from some of the country’s freshest and most distinctive local ingredients, from moose burgers to seared scallops, salt cod to bakeapples.
And it’s not just the food – make your way to any of the city’s bustling bars or lively festivals and you’re likely to find regional twists on classic drinks, from deliciously crisp craft lagers to iceberg-infused rums, vodkas and gins. Watch you don’t spill your drink, though, because the music culture throughout the city is huge, too. With live shows on downtown George Street most nights, and festivals in July and August, you’re sure to get your knees up.
3. Explore the endless coastline
There’s nothing quite like an injection of fresh sea air to rejuvenate the body and mind, and you can experience the very best of the great outdoors a stroll from your hotel in St. John’s.
So, try hiking along the footpaths of the East Coast Trail, taking in dramatic Atlantic views from vast, ancient cliffs. Or, if you fancy hitting the water, there’s no better way to explore the caves, bays and beaches than by sea kayak, or on a boat trip from the city’s harbour.
Get five nights in St. John's from £685pp
Travel with Canadian Affair and experience St. John's from just £685pp including return flights from London Gatwick with WestJet and five nights at the Fairfield Inn & Suites. To find out more and to book visit destinationstjohns.com/canada
4. Hold hands with a local
No matter where you travel it’s always best to let the locals take you to the nooks and crannies of a special place. Let local Chef Lori take you out foraging for seaweeds, mussels, scallops, and mushrooms and boil them up on a beach for a truly special taste of place.
Shutter bug? Let local photographer Maurice take you to the must-visit highlights to capture the glory hour light on the most iconic landscapes of St. John’s. A keen birdwatcher? Jared is so good at what he does, Costa Rica and Honduras invite him to conduct tours. How about if yogi and foodie Christa guides you on a taste of the city in her favourite places to dine? You will hear tales from locals who call this place home.
5. Natural wonders
The region is home to the world’s largest concentration of humpback whales, some of the largest and most accessible seabird colonies in North America, and is on the migratory path of ancient mammoth icebergs.
With 22 species of whales during the summer months it is a safe bet you might encounter a whale feeding and frolicking with its young ones. To be a close but safe distance from the spectacular white and blue iceberg is a moving experience. To hear it hiss and crackle and see the rivers of turquoise water pool is a wonder. And, the birds just make you smile. To watch a puffin skim the water with its round belly is a joy. Can holiday snaps get much better than this?
For more information visit destinationstjohns.com