Telling our friends and family that we were RVing to Newfoundland over the summer led to many sideways looks and pulling up of maps. This large island on the eastern side of Canada isn’t a destination many people have been to or even think of visiting. (Although they should, especially our fellow RVers). Even the locals asked us what made us choose Newfoundland for our big RV adventure. But, if you know us at all, the fact that it is so off-the-radar only fueled our interest.
The muskets had been fired, and the Captain shouted my orders. I was about to fire a cannon. I lifted the stick, and touched the lit end to the paper that would ignite the culminating blast of the show. As I held my breath, a giant boom rocked my entire body and smoke filled the air. This was not how I thought I’d be spending my day. But visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg was not like any other historic site we had been to. And the smile that crept across my face was evidence that I was happily surprised.
As we made our way to Newfoundland through the other Atlantic Canadian provinces, we were told repeatedly how nice the people of Newfoundland are. It started with the border guard in New Brunswick telling us that if we got into any trouble up on the island, “you’ll probably have five people stop to help you and each one will invite you over for supper.”
And as we traveled through Nova Scotia, one extremely nice woman (who was humming along to a Christian song in her lavender soap shop), told me quite confidently that Newfies would make all the nice people we had met in Nova Scotia “look like axe murderers.” Well then.
So, in addition to the beautiful trails, unique wildlife and cool weather we were looking forward to, now Newfoundland had another wonder to experience: The friendliest people in the world (or at least North America).
Until you’ve seen a humpback whale in the wild, you have no idea how the overwhelming contrast of its power and gentleness will affect you. And once you’ve experienced that, it is hard not to fall in love with these majestic creatures. No one understands this more than Jeannine, the extremely knowledgeable guide for Molly Bawn’s whale & puffin tour in Newfoundland.
We had fallen in love with Newfoundland long before we ever set foot on its soil. And, the abundance of gorgeous hiking trails and unique activities in Gros Morne National Park played a large role in luring us to the island. With its lush mountains, vast ocean, and deep fjords, this is a nature-lover’s paradise. Once you’ve experienced it, you will always feel its pull on your heart.
We thought a week would be plenty of time to enjoy all – or at least most of – the wonders of this vast national park. But we now know we only touched the surface of what makes this UNESCO World Heritage Site so special. It would take months or more to explore it all. But here are our top picks – for fellow travelers who are short on time. Just don’t be surprised if you feel that same desire to come back often (especially if you get “screeched in”).