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16 Unique Things to do in St. John’s – For Everyone

From endless hiking trails to gorgeous parks, mountains, hills and several outdoor activities, St. John’s. have many sites to explore.

When it comes to unique things to do in St John’s, the city doesn’t disappoint! This metropolis in North America’s far east has a lot to offer.

Just outside of the city, you’ll be able to find an abundance of jelly bean-colored houses between amazing breathtaking coastal views! There are endless hiking trails, gorgeous parks, mountains, hills and several outdoor activities to explore.

If you’re going on a vacation, holiday, or maybe, just chilling out, you might as well consider dropping by this beautiful city.

Asides from the fact that there’s something about the friendly people, the landscapes, the food, the music, and overall culture that just makes you want to go back there yearly. It is, without a doubt, Canada’s most unique province, with its own peculiar culture.

Where is St. John’s?

Seated on the eastern end of Newfoundland, St. John’s is the last city in Canada before you hit the Atlantic ocean.

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean’s coast in southeast Newfoundland, to the northeast of the Avalon Peninsula. That is why, many planes flying to Ireland, for example, conduct a pit stop here to ensure that everything is okay before crossing the Atlantic ocean.

Except for Greenland, the city is the most easterly city in North America; with 475 kilometers (295 miles) closer to London, England than Edmonton, Alberta.

In fact,  St John is also closer to the whole of Ireland than Miami, which is likewise on the east coast of the United States. After Halifax, Nova Scotia, the city is the largest in the province and the second largest in the Atlantic Provinces.

The Best Things To Do in St. John's, Newfoundland - Must Do Canada

St. John’s Population

Another thing that might interest you to know is St. John’s population. According to Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census, St. John had a population of 110,525 people living in 49,298 of its 54,067 total private homes. Making about 1.5 percent from its 2016 population of 108,860.

Again, in 2021, there were about 178,427 people in the St. John’s population centre and 205,955 in the St. John’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Obviously, these figures make St John the largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Canada’s 20th largest CMA.

Cities Near St. John’s

Of course, St. John has several other coastal and non-coastal cities near it. Examples are listed below:

  • Saint Johns, Canada
  • Mount Pearl, Canada
  • Torbay, Canada
  • Paradise, Canada
  • Wabana, Canada
  • Conception Bay South, Canada
  • Conception Bay South, Canada
  • Bay Roberts, Canada
  • Carbonear, Canada
  • Catalina, Canada
  • Bonavista, Canada
  • Hare Bay, Canada
  • Gambo, Canada
  • Marystown, Canada
  • Gander, Canada
  • Harbour Breton, Canada

How to get to St. John’s by Air and Road?

Depending on your means of transportation, there are several options for getting to St. John’s. The city is accessible by automobile from any place in the province, thanks to a well-maintained primary roadway, the Trans Canada Highway, which connects the province’s key destinations.

If you’re traveling through the Maritimes, there’s a year-round boat that runs from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Port aux Basques, although the ferry ride takes about six hours. After arriving at Port aux Basques, the journey to St. John’s will take another ten hours.

It’s a long drive, though, but it promises to be fun, especially because of the many scenic views along the road.

Alternatively, a more luxurious way is to fly! Flying is the most prevalent mode of transportation to St. John’s, with direct flights available from numerous places across Canada and the United Kingdom. Moreover, John’s is home to the St. John’s International Airport, which is the biggest and busiest airport in Newfoundland. Compared to other major cities in Canada, it’s a small airport but has everything you need.

Things to do in St. John

#1.  Visit the Signal Hill National Historic

One of the nicest views of St. John’s is from the summit of Signal Hill. The trek up to the place where Marconi sent the first wireless signal is always windy, but it’s well worth it. On your way up, stop at the visitor center for gelato from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company Cafe, or go inside Cabot Tower to see the gift store.

Hiking from the city center to the summit of Signal Hill is an option for adventurers or active travelers. It’s also a quick trip to the summit for those who like to take it easy.

Cabot Tower, named for John Cabot, who found North America in the 1400s, is located at the top of the hill. In 1901, it was also here that the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received. Signal Hill is a must-see St. John’s destination with views, history, and a number of hiking paths.

#2. Cape Spear

Cape Spear is one place you should squeez in, in your list of things to do in St. John. It is thrilling to look out over the Atlantic and realize that Ireland is Europe’s next closest neighbor. Check out the two lighthouses– the traditional-looking tall white lighthouse, and the original lighthouse, which you can explore. The second is as lovely; it was in use until 1955 and is the province’s oldest surviving lighthouse.

#3. Check out Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi, a charming neighborhood in St. John should definitely be on your list of things to do in St. John. Seated on the north side of Signal Hill, it’s home to the restored Quidi Vidi Battery, and the popular Quidi Vidi Brewery, which makes Iceberg Beer!

Certainly, you’re going to love it here as It’s just a modest gorgeous spot that has grown to a tourist attraction for photographers . Besides, this spot also houses the oldest residence in British Canada, which was erected in 1740 and located within the fort.

#4. Tour the rooms

Interestingly, the first time I heard of ‘the rooms’, I imagined some place with mattress and pillow! Lolz! Your guess is as good as mine!

Here’s the thing- The rooms are the cultural hub of St. John’s , showcasing Newfoundland via art, documents, history, and relics. Because of their striking outline in the city’s skyline, which is fashioned like three huge houses, The Rooms can be seen from the center of the town and from Signal Hill.

Again, the Provincial Museum, the Provincial Archives, and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador are all housed in the Rooms, making it one of St John’s most popular attractions. Without a doubt, this spot should make it to your list of things to do in St John.

Its a place to go if you want to learn everything there is to know about the local culture and history. There’s also an observation deck with stunning views of the entire harbor.

#5. Visit the Johnson Geo Center

The Johnson GEO Centre, which is beautifully constructed to fit the surrounding terrain, brings visitors beneath Signal Hill and into a 550-million-year-old rock bed.

The earth’s geological makeup, cultural past, and Newfoundland life are all described in interactive exhibitions. This is a fantastic site to visit for both young and old.

#6. Try out all the foods

In all your touring, ensure that you’ve got something in your tummy! You need the strength and St. John has varieties of delicacies to keep you motivated. With three of Canada’s best restaurant, you’re sure to get all you need! If the sea food is not your thing, then  local delicacies will. Some of the best places to eat include Anthony Boudain dined– famous for the touton, and local fish tongue.

You can also take a food tour to burn some calories in between tastings!

#7. Hit the George Street

One of the most lively places you should go to in St. John is the George street, If partying is your thing!

This ancient street is lined with taverns, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants that appeal to a variety of tastes and is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in St Johns.

Come to the George Street Festival in late July for the wild George Street experience, where bands perform very night, and you’ll be walking around with a cup of wine in your hand.

#8.  Get Screeched in

Getting screeched in is one fun thing to do in St John’s.

Basically, the ceremony recognizes you as an honorary Newfoundlander, if its your first time of visiting.  Kissing a frozen codfish, repeating a Newfoundland phrase, and sipping a shot of Screech whiskey is all the screeched in ceremony is about. Sometimes, it is followed by eating some food.

Additionally, for getting screeched in, there are two most common ways, one is on a pub on George Street and the second is on one of your boat tour. On George Street, you can get screeched in at O’Reilly’s, Trapper John’s, or Christian’s Pub.

#9. Go hiking

When it comes to experiencing the outdoors, St. John’s, like the rest of Newfoundland, does not disappoint. You’ll find a plethora of hiking routes just outside of town that will take you past seaside views.

The East Coast Trail, which extends over 300 kilometers and begins in St. John’s, is probably the most popular hike in all of Newfoundland. Parts of the path can be completed in a short amount of time while still providing breathtaking views. Moreover, the North Head Trail showcases St. John’s rocky beauty and goes to Signal Hill for the best views in town.

If you want to burn some calories while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean, we recommend this!

#10. Go Iceberg hunting and Whale Watching

How much do you love the waters and all its creatures? If crazily, then this is one unique thing to do in St. John.

Although St. John’s is not so known for abundance ice berg and whale, yet, you can still see some of it here. If you take an Iceberg Quest boat excursion, you might find yourself scraping bergy chunks from the sea to put in your drink or watching a pod of humpback whales eat on capelin. That sounds fun, isn’t it?

#11. Go Shopping at Community Market

One of the nicest things to do when traveling is to shop locally, and the St. John’s Farmer’s Market, is one place you should visit. Every Saturday, whether you’re looking for waffles, artwork, soaps, or produce, you’ll find it here. Or if you want some locally grown produce, this is where to get them.

#12. Try out some local Beer

One unique Hong to do in St John is to try out the traditional beer brewed in the area. With about 19 microbreweries and enjoy a local beer fight from the source. YellowBelly, Quidi Vidi Brewery, and Bannerman Brewing all have locations in St. John’s where you may obtain your beer straight from the source.

On weekends, visit the Port Rexton Brewery’s retail shop on Torbay Rd to pick up a supply of their beer. However, if you’re seeking for the best assortment of local beer, you won’t find it on George Street. It can be found at Jack Axes.

#13. Throw axes

If axe throwing is your hubby, you will find this session fun. Whether you want to learn axe throwing or you want to exercise your throwing skills, this is your sure bet. Go axe throwing at jack axes or try out Jason Momoa to have a nice time. A local axe throwing axe place in St. John also serves excellent beer. You can grasp some of it to chill out while you have fun throwing.

#14. View the Jelly Bean Row

Jellybean Row, a series of colorful houses lining the street is one of the first attractions you will find in St. John’s. The houses are painted with varying colors of blue, white,yellow, red, purple, and other amazing colors.

In the 1970s, it was part of a facelift initiative, and residents loved the trend, so it became a trend. Simply wander up and down the hilly streets to view the nicest rows; there are plenty within a short walk of Duckworth Street.

#15. Visit the Habour and water street

One thing to do in St. John is to visit the harbour and water street. Water Street is the oldest primary street in North America, having started as a path for early explorers and immigrants. It is still the gathering spot for sailors from all over the world and is adjacent to where transatlantic cruise liners land.

The Murray Premises, a mercantile building that was originally offices and warehouse for commerce and fishing, is still standing in the historic neighborhood today.

It is a National Historic Site that was built in 1846 and is one of the few buildings to survive the 1892 fire.

Harbourside Park, located along Water Street, features benches and views of ships, as well as occasional summer concerts and sculptures of the province’s two trademark figures.

#16 Basilica of St. John the Baptist

Lastly, if you’re a religious person, don’t forget to visit the Basilica of St. John. We recommend it as one unique thing to do in St. John.

Considered as one of Newfoundland’s most important architectural structures, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist was built in 1842 and 1892. The structure has a form of a Latin cross with thin-twin towers of about 46 meters high.

Its magnificent gold leaf roof and few superb statues are its most remarkable artistic characteristics. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima in one of the pinnacle was a gift from Portuguese sailors. Luckily, the sailor’s were shipwrecked on the Banks and had survived. Due to its historic background, the basilica has been designated as a National Historic Site.

What to do in St. John’s On Special Days?

What to do on a weekend

During the weekends, there are lots of fun things to do in St. John. Go hiking on the east coast, enjoy craft beer, visit the Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul at Mexico City Livestream Tour. The list is just endless.

Things to do in St. John’s Today

Go to comedy fight club round 7 at 288 Duckworth street. With just $15, have all the fun you could ever imagine.

Best Times to Visit St. John’s

Let’s guess, you’ve already made up your mind to plan a trip to St. John’s. Next, you’ll probably be wondering, what time of the year is best to visit this coastal city? Well, the fact is, Summer is the most popular season to visit St. John’s. However, this is also the busiest tourist season.

On the other hand, St.John can also be visited in the spring and fall but It would also depend on what you’re looking for. Whether you want to see the finest weather in the summer, or you want to see the icebergs in the spring, either way, there are always lots of things to do in St. John’s at different seasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the party in St. John?

George Street is the predominant home to St. John’s nightlife, and its claim to fame is having the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America. It is two blocks worth of nothing but nightclubs, bars, pubs and restaurants. This area isn’t the only part of downtown St.

What is there to do in St John’s Newfoundland in the winter?

During the winter seasons, there are lots of things to do in St. John’s. Examples include

  • Dashing through the Snow at Lester Farm Chalet.
  • Snowshoe the East Coast Trail.
  •  Sledding at Bowring Park.
  •  Sliding at Victoria Park.
  • Sledding at Pippy Park.
  • Enjoy winter Campfire & Snowshoe Picnic.
  • Visit the White Hills Resort

Conclusion

At St. John’s, there are limitless fun things to do. Whether you’re going on a visit, living there or just going on vacation. Whatever fascinates you, St John got you covered.