Start your adventure in Quidi Vidi, a St. John’s neighbourhood with a distinctly village-like atmosphere. A historic fishing area, Quidi Vidi is filled with spectacular scenery and many different species of plants and animals.
Find the East Coast Trail and walk in the direction of Signal Hill. On the way, you’ll pass the rough coastline and crashing waves that make Newfoundland and Labrador famous. Pause by Quidi Vidi Battery, Cuckhold’s Cove and North Head Trail Lookout for ideal photo opportunities.
Leave the Trail briefly to visit Signal Hill National Historic Site. One of St. John’s most popular attractions, this area commemorates the town’s groundbreaking communications history. This site was where Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal, and was crucial to the harbour defences of St. John’s from the 17th century right up until the Second World War.
If you’re visiting in summer, stay for the Signal Hill Tattoo (no inking required!), a popular and award-winning ceremony that celebrates Newfoundland’s historic music and pageantry that thrills audiences with a rousing band performance. Drumsticks whir as a series of drum calls—commands to men—are made. This is followed by a series of precise military manoeuvres, featuring impressive musket, mortar and cannon fire.
Hikers with a penchant for history should continue their adventure with a visit to the Queen’s Battery Barracks. Those fascinated by Newfoundland and Labrador’s striking rock formations should check out Johnson GEO Centre, a geological interpretation centre, filled with family-friendly galleries featuring provincial geology exhibits, oil and gas exploration, natural resources, space exploration, and the Titanic disaster.
As darkness starts to fall over St. John’s, walk back to Quidi Vidi and have some beers with the locals! Mallard Cottage is the beating heart of this neighbourhood, and is a firm favourite for drinks and live music. This bar, an Irish-Newfoundland style cottage from the 1900s, is also one of the oldest buildings in North America.
You never know who you might spot here – Barenaked Ladies Ed Robertson and writer-musician Alan Doyle are known to appear on stage in this charming bar…
Where to stay
So many visitors have passed through Quidi Vidi and wanted to stay in Mallard Cottage all night. Now, the iconic pub offers its own accommodation – The Inn at Mallard Cottage. The Inn offers bright, understated rooms with a quaint yet chic vibe, offering traditional comfort after a long day of exploring.
Where to eat
For seasonal cuisine in a rustic setting, check out the ever-changing menus in Mallard Cottage.