St John, Newfoundland

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#21
Ontario, Canada
69 Posts
Joined May 2009
If you plan to book a car, its not a terrible idea to book it as soon as you know you might want one. Not sure when you arrive, but rental cars in the summer sell out in April/May for the entire summer. I go back home to NF every 2-3 years and every summer there are numerous complaints of folks not being able to rent cars.
#22
East Coast of Canada
291 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
OK...to be clear. It is St. John's, Newfoundland and Saint John, New Brunswick....we never shorten it to St.
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#23
Newfoundland, Canada
299 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi Folks,

I live in St. John's and can give you some advice. The irish Lop, while beautiful is probably too much for one day, it is 6 or more hours of steady driving without counting time for stops.

There are 2 ways I would suggest you see the area depending on your interests, the first is if you are interested in history and the second in the outdoors and scenery.

There is an abundance of history here with skirmishes between the British and French from the early 1600's. This run would include Signal Hill at the entrance to the harbour, don't miss the visitor centre and The Battery at the base of the hill.

From there start your southern shore run at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America and take Maddox Cove Rd on to Petty Harbour. Have a late lunch at Chafe's Landing and head back to town for our visit to the Rooms. The Rooms Museum in the middle of town houses an art gallery as well as the museum.

If you are more of an outdoors type I would still drop by Signal Hill to have a great view of the city. There are great short hikes around the hill, they can tell you at the visitor centre.

Next head to Cape Spear and on the Chafe's Landing. After lunch continue up the shore to Bay Bulls. If the birds are still in, don't worry about the whales and go on one of the boat tours, either O'Brien's or Gatheralls. they take you to the world's largest puffin colony and you will see many other birds as well. It is really worth it.

If you skip the boat tour you would have time to go to Ferryland where there is an archeology dig going on of the Mansion and colony of Avalon. Lord Baltimore and his wife Mary lived here before going on to found...you guessed is, Baltimore, Maryland.

Turn around at Ferryland and head back to town. You have about and hour and 15 minutes drive back to your ship.

The best place to pick up a car is actually the airport. It is a $15 cab ride but they may do a drop off for you if you are a preferred renter with one of the rental companies. All the big ones are here, and yes, rental cars do sell out here all the time so book in advance. Cancel if you need to.

Have a wonderful time here. We were our own country until 1949; the place is unique both culturally and geographically. If you want to see where you are coming to in a fun way, look for the TV program Republic of Doyle on line and watch an episode or two. The city is the big star, but if you watch the last episode of season 4, you might catch a glimpse of my husband and I, we were extras that episode

Margaret

Ps Ask any other questions you like.
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#24
7,105 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by missmollytoo
Hi Folks,

I live in St. John's and can give you some advice. The irish Lop, while beautiful is probably too much for one day, it is 6 or more hours of steady driving without counting time for stops.

There are 2 ways I would suggest you see the area depending on your interests, the first is if you are interested in history and the second in the outdoors and scenery.

There is an abundance of history here with skirmishes between the British and French from the early 1600's. This run would include Signal Hill at the entrance to the harbour, don't miss the visitor centre and The Battery at the base of the hill.

From there start your southern shore run at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America and take Maddox Cove Rd on to Petty Harbour. Have a late lunch at Chafe's Landing and head back to town for our visit to the Rooms. The Rooms Museum in the middle of town houses an art gallery as well as the museum.

If you are more of an outdoors type I would still drop by Signal Hill to have a great view of the city. There are great short hikes around the hill, they can tell you at the visitor centre.

Next head to Cape Spear and on the Chafe's Landing. After lunch continue up the shore to Bay Bulls. If the birds are still in, don't worry about the whales and go on one of the boat tours, either O'Brien's or Gatheralls. they take you to the world's largest puffin colony and you will see many other birds as well. It is really worth it.

If you skip the boat tour you would have time to go to Ferryland where there is an archeology dig going on of the Mansion and colony of Avalon. Lord Baltimore and his wife Mary lived here before going on to found...you guessed is, Baltimore, Maryland.

Turn around at Ferryland and head back to town. You have about and hour and 15 minutes drive back to your ship.

The best place to pick up a car is actually the airport. It is a $15 cab ride but they may do a drop off for you if you are a preferred renter with one of the rental companies. All the big ones are here, and yes, rental cars do sell out here all the time so book in advance. Cancel if you need to.

Have a wonderful time here. We were our own country until 1949; the place is unique both culturally and geographically. If you want to see where you are coming to in a fun way, look for the TV program Republic of Doyle on line and watch an episode or two. The city is the big star, but if you watch the last episode of season 4, you might catch a glimpse of my husband and I, we were extras that episode

Margaret

Ps Ask any other questions you like.
thanks for the advice. I am printing it and taking it with me
In Sept, it's not advantageous to try to see the Puffin colony, is it?
It has been recommended we can walk around the city and cab it to Signal hill. Does that sound good, or do you recommend a car to get around for the day?
#25
Newfoundland, Canada
299 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by mrspaper
thanks for the advice. I am printing it and taking it with me
In Sept, it's not advantageous to try to see the Puffin colony, is it?
It has been recommended we can walk around the city and cab it to Signal hill. Does that sound good, or do you recommend a car to get around for the day?
Sorry for the late reply. You can just walk around if you want to but you'll miss a lot of the things that make us special. You can walk to both the rooms and Signal Hill, but the hill is steep. I would cab up and walk down. If you don't want to go too far, take in the rooms. You will see it on top of the hill as you enter the harbour.

Margaret
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#26
Newfoundland
18 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by mrspaper
you're terrific
thanks

I live in St. John's. It is a beautiful city, in fact, the oldest city in North America. Signal Hill is name that after the first transatlantic message was received there. All this info and more is available at Signal Hill. Also, on the left on the way up the hill is the Queen's Battery. It is an amazing source of information on the wars etc. As already suggested, on the left going up the hill is the Geo Centre, another huge source of various history. You might also want to drive to Cape Spear (if renting a car). It is about 15 minutes from the harbour. Cape Spear is the most easterly point in North America. There is a Light house there to visit and the scenery is breath taking. Basillica Roman Catholic church is less than 5 minutes from port and is an architectural beauty and next door to the Rooms. So if you are going to the Rooms you should really stop to visit the church. George Steet is a two minute walk from port and is famous for over 60 bars/pubs on a street a 1/4 mile long. If you get thirsty you won't be stuck for somewhere to wet your whistle. Newfoundlanders have a saying about the weather ... "if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes". The weather here is anything but predictable however people are super friendly and the city is stunning to see. There are a few shops within walking distance from port where you can by some great souveners of our city, Downhomer probably being the best of them all. All of the things I mentioned above could be easily completed during your port stop over. Driving the Irish Loop is time consuming and will take you through some small towns and to an archilogical dig but that will be all you would have time to see during your visit.

Hope this helps you a little in trying to decide what you want to see.
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#27
Winnipeg
25 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Thank you for all the information. We will be cruising with an 84 and a 80 year old parent who are not up for much walking. We arrive at 8:00 on the October 17 and leave at 16:00 the same day. Any suggestions
#28
Newfoundland
18 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by Pegcruise87
Thank you for all the information. We will be cruising with an 84 and a 80 year old parent who are not up for much walking. We arrive at 8:00 on the October 17 and leave at 16:00 the same day. Any suggestions

I would suggest going to Signal Hill, The Queens Battery and The Geo Center. They are all on the same street. The Geo Center and Queens Battery are only a two minute walk from each other and Signal Hill is only a 5 minute walk however that 5 mins is up a very steep hill. I would suggest a rental car for the day. You should then have time to go to The Rooms and The Basicalla church (they are only a 5 min drive from Signal Hill and are across the street from each other as well).

It is cool here in October so where a fall jacket. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy our beautiful city.

Heidi
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#29
VA, MD & FL
6,279 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by mcgratru
OK...to be clear. It is St. John's, Newfoundland and Saint John, New Brunswick....we never shorten it to St.
I'm pretty much a geography nerd and I know it is St. John's, NL and Saint John, NB, but I've never been able to find out WHY. Are you able to enlighten me?

thanks
Thom
#30
New York
5,802 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by missmollytoo
Hi Folks,

I live in St. John's and can give you some advice. The irish Lop, while beautiful is probably too much for one day, it is 6 or more hours of steady driving without counting time for stops.

There are 2 ways I would suggest you see the area depending on your interests, the first is if you are interested in history and the second in the outdoors and scenery.

There is an abundance of history here with skirmishes between the British and French from the early 1600's. This run would include Signal Hill at the entrance to the harbour, don't miss the visitor centre and The Battery at the base of the hill.

From there start your southern shore run at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America and take Maddox Cove Rd on to Petty Harbour. Have a late lunch at Chafe's Landing and head back to town for our visit to the Rooms. The Rooms Museum in the middle of town houses an art gallery as well as the museum.

If you are more of an outdoors type I would still drop by Signal Hill to have a great view of the city. There are great short hikes around the hill, they can tell you at the visitor centre.

Next head to Cape Spear and on the Chafe's Landing. After lunch continue up the shore to Bay Bulls. If the birds are still in, don't worry about the whales and go on one of the boat tours, either O'Brien's or Gatheralls. they take you to the world's largest puffin colony and you will see many other birds as well. It is really worth it.

If you skip the boat tour you would have time to go to Ferryland where there is an archeology dig going on of the Mansion and colony of Avalon. Lord Baltimore and his wife Mary lived here before going on to found...you guessed is, Baltimore, Maryland.

Turn around at Ferryland and head back to town. You have about and hour and 15 minutes drive back to your ship.

The best place to pick up a car is actually the airport. It is a $15 cab ride but they may do a drop off for you if you are a preferred renter with one of the rental companies. All the big ones are here, and yes, rental cars do sell out here all the time so book in advance. Cancel if you need to.

Have a wonderful time here. We were our own country until 1949; the place is unique both culturally and geographically. If you want to see where you are coming to in a fun way, look for the TV program Republic of Doyle on line and watch an episode or two. The city is the big star, but if you watch the last episode of season 4, you might catch a glimpse of my husband and I, we were extras that episode

Margaret

Ps Ask any other questions you like.

Any highly recommended local tour companies that would be able to take 2-3 adults from the pier to the Hopewell Rocks? We arrive on Oct.1 and do not want to take the ship's shore excursion for 7 hrs. on a bus with a box lunch.

Just want to be able to walk on the ocean floor. That is why we are looking for a shorter tour -- 2 hrs. going, 2 hrs. back and about an hr. to explore.

MARAPRINCE
#31
VA, MD & FL
6,279 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by Maraprince
Any highly recommended local tour companies that would be able to take 2-3 adults from the pier to the Hopewell Rocks? We arrive on Oct.1 and do not want to take the ship's shore excursion for 7 hrs. on a bus with a box lunch.

Just want to be able to walk on the ocean floor. That is why we are looking for a shorter tour -- 2 hrs. going, 2 hrs. back and about an hr. to explore.

MARAPRINCE
Hopewell Rocks are about 2.5 hours from Saint John, New Brunswick. This thread is on St. John's, Newfoundland, hundreds of KM away. Have you checked the tide tables for the Rocks? Unless it is low tide you will not be able to walk on the ocean floor. (I have been there at both high and low tide).

Thom
#32
Newfoundland, Canada
299 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by TravelerThom
I'm pretty much a geography nerd and I know it is St. John's, NL and Saint John, NB, but I've never been able to find out WHY. Are you able to enlighten me?

thanks
Thom
Hi Thom,

Not too sure about Saint John, I'll have to ask my friend Sue from there. St. John's NL is apparently so named because the explorer who discovered us (John Cabot) supposed sailed into the harbour on 24 June 1497, the feast of St. John the Baptist, so we are named for the St.

Newfoundland was it's own country until 1949 when we voted to join Canada (long story) so Saint John was not even in the same country for the first 450 years of our European history.

Hope this helps.

Margaret

PS We don't have so much trouble, after all there are multiple cities in many countries with the same name AND the same spelling!
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#33
Canada
70 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Although not a native of the city, I currently live in St. John's, Newfoundland and find these comments and tips to be quite accurate. I work right on Water Street and it is fun to see the cruise ships come in during the summer and fall. The Irish Loop is a great drive but not realistic for most cruise ship itineraries. It will simply take too long and there would be no margin for error if you had car issues or wanted to stop off and even visit one place. So basically, it would be like one long car drive.

Having driven the loop several times, I also want to warn travellers that the food selections are for the most part sub-par. There is some interesting food to be had in Newfoundland, but you won't find it in a quick trip around the loop. The restaurants that are on the loop where you could get service in time to get back to the ship would be mediocre.

For a one day cruise ship stop in St. John's, I can highly recommend all of the places people have already mentioned, with some additional suggestions and comments- The Rooms is well worth it and a good place to have lunch as the restaurant is excellent and has some local fare; the Basilica next door is nice and often overlooked by visitors. Water and Duckworth Streets have some excellent restaurants; one of Canada's top restaurants- Raymond's is in downtown St. John's. Make a reservation at least a couple of weeks in advance. Moo Moo's is a great place to go for Ice Cream. Enjoy your visit and all the best!!
#34
Quispamsis, NB Canada
1,658 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by mrspaper
I am trying to search this thread for info. regarding St John, NF, and search tool isn't working for me.

What should we plan to do?
Are you looking for St. John's, Newfoundland or Saint John, New Brunswick?

If you are looking for Newfoundland, you should be searching for St. John's. If you search by St. John, you are probably going to end up with information for a city in the wrong province. My husband says if you are going to Nfld, you should go to Cape Spear. He says it is the most eastern point in North America and is really cool.

(Edit) Please ignore me - I just noticed this thread was old.
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#35
Jersey Shore
4,755 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Any suggestions, such as HOHO transportation. Just off a 9 hours Boston to Cape Cod and at the end it was very tiring. I remember on a thread about the Pink Bus. but can't remember which port of call.
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#36
Calgary, AB Canada
2,487 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by nelblu
Any suggestions, such as HOHO transportation. Just off a 9 hours Boston to Cape Cod and at the end it was very tiring. I remember on a thread about the Pink Bus. but can't remember which port of call.
Suggest you post on the Canada/New England forum instead of the Canada/Pacific Coastal forum.
#37
191 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
This is a review about Iceberg Quest Boat Tour in St John, Newfoundland. Don't take this tour. We toured in September, 2017. We were interested in Icebergs, whales, and the harbor. The day we docked, the weather was cold rainy, foggy, and windy. After arriving at the dock, we asked if the tour was still sailing.. Were we wurprised when they stated " Yes." Many guests became ill, the waves were high and the visibility was nil. We saw nothing except anger. We were also informed that icebergs were never seen in September. No where on the website could we find that information. Upon returning, we requested a refund. We have never been treated so poorly by the owner. She was hostile and extremely impolite. We could never recommend this tour to anyone. Don't take it.

St Pete