NEWFOUNDLAND: WEST COAST TRAVEL GUIDE
The west cost of this little island will always have my heart! It’s where I grew up with my family and it’s played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. You always hear that Newfoundlander’s are kind, openhearted and full of life, I like to think those qualities have rubbed off on me a little too! So, whenever I hear that people are planning to visit, I can’t help but want to guide them in the right direction!
Normally when you’re visiting the west coast, you will fly into Deer Lake airport. I suggest that you either rent a car at the airport or take the airport shuttle to drive to Corner Brook (my hometown) to lodge and explore the area.
Corner Brook Sights
Margaret Bowater Trail - Best in the Summer & Fall to explore the downtown area.
Captain Cook Lookout Trail - A spectacular view of the city from up there!
Bartlett’s Point Park - A great park for children that has been recently build in the curling area. It also offers you a short walking trail to the beach where you’ll see gorgeous sunsets.
Corner Brook Eats & Drinks
Brewed Awakening Cafe - My go-to spot for coffee and sweets!
Harbour Grounds Cafe - Another great coffee spot with a view of the bay. Has a good selection of seasonal lunch items.
Best Coast Cafe - This is where you need to go for brunch. I love getting the fish cakes and baked beans for a traditional NL meal.
Newfound Sushi - Hands down the best restaurant in Corner Brook and the best sushi I’ve EVER had.
Bootleg Brew Co. - A new craft brewery that’s just opened on West Street. If you fancy a pint of beer named after some silly NL catch phrases, this is the spot!
Once you've explored Corner Brook you can head west down along the water front to visit some smaller communities and scenery! We normally refer to this as ‘Down the Bay’.
Communities to Explore
John’s Beach - Lookout for a little turn off on the right hand side of the road heading west. You will see a dirt road that will take you down to a lovely ocean beach where you can have a picnic and a fire.
Bottle Cove - Tons of little trails to explore by the ocean.
Blow Me Down Provincial Park - Drive right into the beach and head up the steep steps to the lookout trail. Stunning view of Lark Harbour!
Copper Mine Trail - For the more adventurous hiker. This trail takes about 2-2.5 hours to the top with very steep incline. It’s definitely worth the view to see the ‘Wee Ball’ out in the bay.
Further west, there are many other small towns to visit if you’ve got extra days in your itinerary. If you have lot’s of time I would recommend and overnight trip to Burgeo for the beaches with a additional day trip to Ramea (a small island accessed by ferry in Burgeo).
If you’re short on time, it’s time to head to my favourite part of the entire island, Gros Morne! There are beautiful communities in this area full of Newfoundland culture and delicious traditionally cooked meals.
Lookout Hills Trail - A Short hike from the Discovery Center with a stunning view of Norris Point and the Tablelands.
Galliott Studios - A fishing house on the wharf turned into a ceramic shop and cafe. You can also expect late night performances to be held here by local artists with cheese plates and Quidi Vidi beers to be consumed under the stars.
Molly Made - The best selection of local artworks and souvenirs to take home.
The Old Loft Restaurant - One of my favourite places to eat on the rock! Sit upstairs in the quaint dinning area or out on the patio to whale watch. You can’t go wrong with the moose pie and rhubarb punch.
Tablelands - Hike into the base of these red mountains (1 hour there and back). Be careful it can get VERY windy on this trail.
Green Gardens Hiking Trail - If you keep driving past the tablelands you will come to the start of this hiking trail on the right side of the road. This hike is much more challenging in length (5-6 hours), but has gorgeous coastal views, coves and green meadows as you hike through.
Trout River - If you keep driving past both the Tablelands and Green Gardens Trail you will eventually get to a small community called Trout River. Here you’ll be able to see ocean views, clothes lines filled with knitted goods for sale and plenty of salt fish laying out to dry. If you’re inclined, take the Eastern Point Trail through the meadows of sheep to see some amazing views of the community and the coast line.
Gros Morne Mountain Hike - The infamous Gros Morne Mountain hike is a must! It’s a full day of hiking to see a spectacular view of the Ten Mile Brook Pond and Long Range Mountains.
Next up on the Gros Morne Tour is to check out Rocky Harbour and it’s adjoining community Norris Point. Here you’ll find plenty of places to walk about and get yourself a lunch. My favourite place to grab a bite here is at Java Jack’s. It’s a little yellow house that’s been turned into a cafe and gallery. They also have a formal dining room upstairs for a more traditional sit down dinner.
Also check out Lobster Cove Head lighthouse in rocky harbour. There’s a little lighthouse museum display along with a short walking trail to the beach.
Take a short drive over to the community next door, Norris Point. As you enter the community you’ll find the old Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Museum that you can tour. It also has an art gallery, radio station and hostel. The museum is super spooky but worth the visit!
Another wharf pit stop for a snack and drink is the Cat Stop. You’ll most likely find yourself listening to a local artist performing there during the Trails Tails and Tunes Festival or in summer months.
My final recommendations for the Gros Morne area are the Western Brook Pond Trail to see the Fjords, followed by Cow Head and Shallow Bay. Cow Head is a very scenic place to visit and in the summer this community hosts the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Plenty of shows for everyone! If you keep driving through Cow Head, you’ll get to one of my favourite beaches called Shallow Bay. You can plan to spend the night or weekend here at the Shallow Bay campground. But, be careful yet again, it can get pretty windy here for tent dwellers!
Well by’s! I sure hope you get along well with this west coast guide to Newfoundland! I’ll be updating it each time I visit to keep the cafes and events up to date for you. If you’re planning to visit and have any questions you’d like to ask me please do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email. I’m always happy to help you make your trip here extra special!
Things to try
Toutons with molasses and baked beans
Fish and Brewis
Any Baked good with partridge berries or bake apples
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