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1. Fishing for Success

Jig for cod with fourth- generation fisherman Leo Hearn in Petty Harbour. At the inshore fishing grounds, drop a line from your rowboat-size dory, sound your lure off the ocean floor, then haul up your catch, hand over hand. Pay attention as Hearn points out the landmarks that guided fishermen before fish-finders. Back on dry land, you’ll clean and salt your cod, then warm up with a cup of real fisherman’s stew.

2. Ecotours Zodiac Adventures

Wildlife crowds the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve when the sardine-like capelin roll in to spawn each summer. Some 260,000 puffin pairs summer here (they mate for life, aw) with auks, murres and gulls. Captain Tyler can take you close in his 12-seat Zodiac, steering the craft into Gull Island’s dramatic sea caves. Go this month to see fin whales, humpbacks or, if you’re lucky, a pod of orcas or dolphins.


Photo: Sébastien Dubois-Didcock

3. Chinched

Squid, a.k.a. calamari, is bait fish in Newfoundland, so it’s all the more alluring here marinated in gochujang and charbroiled to a perfect texture. Chef-owners Shaun Hussey and Michelle LeBlanc source all they can from the province, from heritage pigs for the house-cured charcuterie to the Rock’s renowned root vegetables. Try the buttered charred carrots, served with crunchy farro, chickpea vinaigrette and a refreshing dollop of crema.

4. Alt Hotel St. John’s

Stirred from your sleep by a morning foghorn, just tap the bedside button to roll up the blackout shades in your harbour-view king room and survey the scene. The 148-room hotel overlooks spectacular St. John’s Harbour and the Narrows, with ocean-going ships unloading a few metres below you and the fishing fleet returning to port across the way. The waterside setting streamlined the assembly of the Groupe Germain’s first prefab hotel, delivered by boat in 92 finished modules before its opening last fall. Downtown is at your doorstep, and one of the country’s best tables, Raymonds, is right next door.

5. Fred’s Records

Fred’s modest shopfront conceals a sprawling sonotheque with resounding wood floors that make their own tune as you creak and thump your way along the stacks of records. Hand-drawn signs call out Newfoundland, In Performance and Staff Picks sections, the latter chosen by the local musicians and artists who work there. Look for hard-to-find vinyl from homegrown artists like Mark Bragg or The Once.


3 spots to fuel you on the go

Last stop before walking the Cabot Tower Trail up Signal Hill: The Battery Café is a great bet for barista-brewed coffee, takeout smoked sal-mon sandwiches and bottles from Quidi Vidi Brewing.


Call ahead to Rocket Bakery and Fresh Food and have your roast-chicken sandwich prepped to go, or stop in to refuel after your twack around downtown St. John’s.


The Watershed Coffee Shop offers a wharf-side seat in bustling Petty Harbour. Grab a power-packed hemp and pumpkin-seed cookie before hiking the East Coast Trail, right out back.

24A Main Rd., Petty Harbour, 709-747-0500