About Time we Became Tourists at Home

In the last four years, we’ve done a nice bit of travelling: Six weeks in NYC, 3 trips to Europe, five weeks in Australia/New Zealand, and a few visits to Canada’s West Coast.  Every single time we go on a trip, we’ll tell our new friends that they “NEED to visit Newfoundland & Labrador”.  And then they’ll ask us where the nicest places in the province are.  And we’ll start listing a bunch of towns that WE’VE NEVER SEEN, haha.  I was starting to feel like a hypocrite. We decided it’s about time we started giving credit to our beautiful corner of the World.

We started with Bonavista. It’s only a three-hour drive, but still far enough to warrant an overnight stay. Is it hard to believe we’ve never, ever been to Bonavista? (Probably. Right before we hit the road, we stopped at the garage to get my car. I told them where we were headed and that we’d never been there. The reply I got: “You’ve traveled to all those places and you’ve never been to BONAVISTA?!?!” Haha.)

We packed real light for one night in Bonavista.
We packed real light for one night in Bonavista.

We hit the road for our overnight stay with triple the amount of stuff we had taken on our recent 12-day trip to Europe. Oops. Funny how that happens. Road tunes were provided by James Bay, The Arkells, Purity Ring, and Fifth Harmony. And we couldn’t drive past McDonald’s without stopping to get ourselves some $1 Iced Coffees.

If you’ve ever made the drive to Bonavista, (or if you’re lucky enough to be from there), then you don’t need us to tell you how beautiful the town is.  If you’ve never been, then we’re telling you it’s beautiful! It’s not exactly a tiny town–we were told the population was around 4,000–but it still has lots of that old-town charm that I’m a complete sucker for.  Especially so in the stretch of road from the Ryan Premises to Swyer’s Grocery Store.  I understand that keeping up with modern times can have its advantages, but there’s something to be said for preserving history. (We didn’t actually go into Swyer’s Grocery Store–but our Dad can’t drive through Bonavista without stopping in for a pack of tea buns, haha).

Ryan Premises National Historic Site
Ryan Premises National Historic Site



Homemade Brekky at Lancaster Inn


We had a super comfortable stay at Lancaster Inn–probably made even more so by the fact we had just spent a bunch of nights sleeping in hostel bunk beds, haha.  And well, breakfast the next morning was actually perfect. Eggs, bacon, and homemade bread.

While we’re on the subject of delicious food, we absolutely have to mention the Bonavista Social Club.  We were told we HAD to eat here. So, we did. We were not disappointed. This place is an absolute gem, and we will tell anyone visiting Newfoundland & Labrador that they NEED to visit it. It’s not right in the town of Bonavista, it’s actually a short drive away in Upper Amherst Cove. Never been to Upper Amherst Cove? Not surprising, haha. According to wikipedia, the population of the town is 35. Yes, you read that right. The town population basically doubles when the Social Club is full. (Which is probably every time the doors are open–the place was full by the time we had finished eating.)  We chanced it and didn’t make a reservation.  If you’re planning a visit, call ahead to be on the safe side.  The menu is small, but when you want to try everything on it that’s actually a blessing, haha. Homemade breads and pizzas made in their own wood-fire oven, a Moose Burger with Partridgeberry Ketchup, Roasted Parsnip Pasta, and soups, salads, and desserts. And talk about locally sourced ingredients! They have their own goats, lambs, chickens, and gardens.  If you’re still not sold, the view is just as delicious as the food.

The Bonavista Social Club
The Bonavista Social Club
Moose Burger with Partridgeberry Ketchup
Moose Burger with Partridgeberry Ketchup

Any time not spent eating was spent driving and walking around, haha.  We tried to see as much as we could in one evening and one morning. I think we did alright. Anything we missed we’ll save for our next visit.


The iconic lighthouse at Cape Bonavista



Jess tried her hand at ‘sealing’.


Elliston: The ‘Root Cellar Capital of the World’


10 thoughts on “About Time we Became Tourists at Home

  1. I’m in love with your adventure(s) I wish I could travel as much as you! Ugh it looks like such an amazing place to travel. Places like that make you wonder how you would have turned out of you grew up there! haha. I love your pics btw!!

    1. Thanks Dakota! We feel like we were a little late hopping on the travel bandwagon, haha, but once you start, it’s hard to stop!

  2. I grew up in Bonavista 🙂 We had freedom, fun and fab food all around. Everyone should be so lucky to spend their child hood in such a safe and beautiful place. Enjoy your travels!

  3. It’s so nice to see you sharing the beauty of home……thank you! 🙂 A summer trip back into town is a must…..so much more to experience!

  4. I love your photos – I feel so nostalgic looking at them. My husband and I went to a lot of these places for our ‘stay-cation’ honeymoon last July!

    Elliston was wonderful – it was supposed to be our last stop, but our 2000 Chevy Malibu broke down. We popped the hood, and just like that there were people surrounding us, trying to get it started – turns out she needed a new starter. Everything was closed at this point, and it was getting dark, so a fellow tourist gave us a ride to the Lancaster Inn in Bonavista. We had a fantastic rest and wonderful breakfast, then called up an automotive business in Bonivista as one of the fellas in Elliston suggested. Turns out that had the part, so we bought it at a great price, and made our way back to Elliston where one of the men from the town installed it for us! Our car started and off we drove.

    The whole situation could have really sucked – but it didn’t! We got to stay an extra night in a fantastic Inn, and went home with a great memory of the kindest people you could meet – you can’t ask for any better than that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s