Comments From our Biggest Fans
While we don't expect you'll read them all, we sometimes have a hard time communicating the magic that can be created on a self-driven, self-guided vacation. We figured one of the best ways is to hear it from someone that has taken the trip. Note that the following customers cut across a wide and deep demographic. All of these folks would be happy to chat to ensure a CapeRace trip is for you.
Ed Orsini, Colorado, USAEco-Culture Experience, 10-Day
All I can say is, “Unbelievable trip!” I can’t thank you all enough for your guidance and help with our experience, and you will have my strongest recommendation to any who asks.
I have attached a draft of a review which I will post in Trip Advisor. Wish we had met you, but maybe in the future….!
Our first encounter with CapeRace Cultural Adventures, an Eco-Culture Experience, came from an article we saw in National Geographic. The review was so positive we pursued a trip to Newfoundland with this company, and our experience with all we worked with putting this trip together was truly exemplary. The experience is self-guided, but travellers are supplied with a Traveller’s Diary outlining the trip over the 10 or so days, with all kinds of information covering things to do and see, and three different houses in strategic areas of the Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas. Basically, one is supplied with a car and access codes to three fantastic houses, in our case, one in The Battery in St. John’s, one in Heart’s Delight, and one in Elliston, a stone’s throw from Bonavista. A few things are planned for you, and included, though dates and times are flexible, including a Lighthouse picnic, a boat tour with Bruce’s Rugged Beauty Tour company, and a downhome kitchen party – all absolutely don’t-miss experiences. There is so much to see and do in each town, so many hikes, so many vistas, so many wonderful people to meet, and you are given so much help in making this adventure one of a lifetime that I cannot find enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe it. The experience has taught us not only the history of this magnificent rock, but introduced us to the people and culture of Newfoundland. It will forever hold a special place in our hearts now, as the people, despite enduring unbelievable hardship and abuse, remain spirited and with a sense of humor that warms the heart. We were there off-season, so saw few whales (we did see Minke whales), but no icebergs, and we encountered a fair amount of rain and fog. We embraced the weather as being part of the experience, and were rewarded with days of incredible beauty, whether it was brilliant blue skies and sunshine, or fog and light rain along the rocky shores, sometimes with wind whipping the waves into crashing beauty. This trip was a gem, unexpected, but magnificent.
Craig Ellis, TorontoEco-Culture Expeience 2017
Dear Ken, Sharon, and Sharen
We have been home for 10 days now and have not stopped talking to each other and to our friends about how wonderful our trip was!
From start to finish every day was an adventure. What we loved about our trip was your attention to detail which meant that everything ran smoothly.
The outstanding detail was in our beautifully restored accommodations , our specially picked and included excursions and our travelers diary.
It meant so much to us to do this trip on our own and we also loved finding our own adventures , as you suggested, and yet we knew that you were only a phone call away if needed.
Thank you, we plan to return as we are in love with Newfoundland !
Craig and David Ellis
Ashley & Ryan Eco-Culture Experience + Culinary 2016Saskatchewan
Well... What an adventure! This trip was a surprise for me for our 10th anniversary from my husband, and it was incredible! This province is stunning with so much to offer. From fancy fine-dining where I felt like an adult again with a dress and heels and NO KIDS! To hiking 15 km in one day along the most beautiful coastline with my soulmate. It has been an amazing experience I will never forget and one I will be sharing with all my friends and family. This is a place everyone needs to come see at least once in their lifetime.
So I had to write this before the kitchen party and last night just made the trip 10X better. What a fun time. Music was AMAZING and the people are just such fun!
Thank you a thousand times over for such an incredible end to our trip. Much love for the two prairie kids!. If you are ever out west PLEASE look us up so we can try to repay you for this awesome time.
Ashly and Ryan
Brendan O"Raw, Eco-Culture Experience 2016Ireland
Hi Ken... We had a really great trip. After my initial apprehension about how it might unfold, we settled straight in to it. Couldn't have been smoother in fact. The houses were amazing and the landscape, wildlife, people and destinations all surpassed our highest expectations. The car rental and swap over went smoothly. On balance, while I loved St. John's, I preferred the outports. We probably have a split jury on that though.
Lighthouse picnics and Bruce's Rugged Boat Tour were both memorable and we were glad to have them on the itinerary. We saw whales everywhere but we're really impressed by the pod of Orcas that passed the lighthouse at Ferryland. Picked up some great local music cds and poetry at Fred's and Broken Books, respectively. Loved the people. Everyone working in shops, restaurants, filling stations or just standing at their front gates were all friendly, helpful and engaging. We'd like to import Elizabeth and Gerry and live next door to them. They made us feel part of the family. Elizabeth baked a cake for Liam's birthday while we there. We could be firm friends if we lived nearby.
Approaching my train stop now so I'll need to finish up. Hope we get to have that pint sometime. The SJS at yellowbelly brewery goes down very easily.
Hope all is well with you and yours.
Boyd Whitt- CapeRace Culinary, 2016Huntley Illinois
We are back home after an absolutely great trip.
We both had a wonderful time. Thank you for the effort you put into creating such a well paced, excellent food and comfortable experience.
You can be very proud of your tour creation.
Thanks so much
Boyd & Shannon Whitt
Karen Suk-Patrick, Culinary Weekend Getaway 2106London
We had a wonderful time. We loved the hiking and the dinners out and the kitchen party and the brewery tour (guide was great!). We did not make it to nearly as many places as you suggested for a drink - we obviously don’t have the constitution of a Newfoundlander when it comes to alcohol, however we braved wind, rain and fog and hiked all over Cape Spear, Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi and up and down the streets of St. John’s. Next time we will have to forgo a fancy dinner and just head straight to a good pub for music and pub grub. We thought Hare’s Ear was an amazing place to stay - and caught some late afternoon rays on the porch yesterday while we put our feet up. My sisters logged that we climbed the equivalent of 400 flights of stairs on their Fitbits in the four days we were there. We looked into a whale and iceberg tour but it was too cold and foggy and the promise of seeing both seemed pretty slim. We had fish and chips for lunch at a place called “BY the Beach” in Portugal Bay and tour around Petty Harbour. I think we packed a lot in in a short time. DIdn’t make it to the Basilica or the Rooms, but we have to leave something to come back for including more music next time.
We felt completely spoiled at Raymond’s (the food was amazing and we were treated royally - despite our slightly casual attire for the setting, and Chinched was also amazing. The Mallard was a great atmosphere - the waitress was the most enthusiastic describer of food we have ever met. When we flew out - we caught a beautiful glimpse of a great iceberg from the air. They bent over backwards at all three dinner places to make us feel welcomed!
Wendy Anderson, Eco-Culture ExperioenceLondon
Our trip to Newfoundland has been spectacular thanks to Ken, Sharen and the Caperace folks! Newfoundland was on my bucket list of places to visit and thanks to all the help from Caperace, our trip exceeded my expectations. Staying at Hipditch house was wonderful. The location was fantastic and it had every amenity needed for a great visit to St. John's. The house s beautiful and the views are gorgeous of the harbour. Visiting the lighthouse in Ferryland, Cape Spear, Signal Hill etc. was terrific, not to mention all the wonderful restaurants in St. John's. Then, moving on to Hearts Delight to stay in the EJ Sooley house was like a step back in time and experiencing life as it was in the outports, so remote and peaceful. It felt like a cross between The Bridges of Madison County (the kitchen in particular) and The Wizard of Oz with that little red gate and picket fence. We enjoyed the day trips up to Bay de Verde and all the wonderful culture and historic sites along the way. Hiking in various spots including right in front of the Sooley property was stunning. The paths were sprinkled with blackberry/bramble berry and blueberry bushes! And then on to the Thomas Mouland home in Bonavista where we enjoyed the cod wars and the rugged beauty boat ride among other things. The travellers diary is brilliant and it was our go to guide throughout our trip. Very well done! Can't say enough about this gorgeous province and all there is to be learned and experienced here. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will recommend CapeRace to all our friends! Kind regards, David and Wendy Anderson.
P.s. Ken I also really loved that goats milk soap! We took our used bar with us throughout our journey. And, the face cloths are so appreciated....as well as the cooler bag which we left at the TM house in Bonavista. I am going to Google goats milk soap and buy some if I can find it. Loved it.
Pauline Morissette, CapeRace Culinary, 2016Ottawa
Presently at St John's Airport - on my way back home to Ontario. Just want to say that everything went smoothly and that I am very pleased with what you two have put together! It was a wonderful week!!
Anne More Eco-Culture Experience Summer 2016
Just a short note to let you all know how much we enjoyed our trip (Melissa More ,my daughter, worked with you) to Newfoundland. The houses were: immaculate, in excellent locations and beautifully appointed. What a lovely treat to find home made biscuits from Elizabeth. Jerry, Carl and the kitchen performers were wonderful…full of energy and fun. I know that we would all come back to Newfoundland in "a heartbeat". The itinerary that you provided was so helpful and is a great keepsake. Thank you to all for the great energy and efforts. Best regards.
Anne (More) www.annemore.com
The Millers Eco-Culture Experience 2106
Well, it’s been a couple of weeks now since our return from Newfoundland, and I wanted to let
you know what a truly wonderful experience it was for us, and to thank you for providing this
service. There are always reservations when one begins a new adventure and this was no different;
however, from my initial contact with you, through our last day there was nothing that could have
The homes were super and the locations perfect. Having the travel diary helped us decide what
was a must-do for the day and what, sadly, would be left for a return visit. Having young
grandsons with us meant hikes and exploring were important and they were never disappointed. Yes, the weather was cool for July – but it just didn’t matter! We always had smiles on our faces
and each night we went to our super comfy beds excited for the next day.
I can’t say enough about how much we all enjoyed our time together and, as you comment, it is
often the unexpected that make the trip more memorable … like stopping when a crowd on the
shoreline caught our eye and discovering the capelin had come in. This was heaven to two boys
ages 10 and 11. They rolled up their pant legs and into the ocean they went to catch the fish.
In a text home to his parents near the end of our stay, one grandson wrote … “I love
Newfoundland and I’m not ready to come home. Can we move here?” I think that says it all!
Again, thank you so much for providing such a wonderful adventure!
Jim and Charlotte Miller, Cody and Timothy
P.S. It was wonderful meeting Elizabeth and Jerry in Heart’s Delight. Fresh chocolate chip
cookies on the table when we arrived was unexpected and were delicious, and then Jerry showed
us a fresh catch of Cod which was a big hit for Jim and the boys – a big thank you for their
kindness and thoughtfulness.
Ann & Margaret Cuddy, OttawaCapeRace Culinary 2015
Hi Ken - two big thumbs up from us :-) Hope all is well there. My daughter & I had a short but marvellous trip to the east coast of Newfoundland in mid August. We found the suggestions in the Travellers Guide to be excellent. As a result, we visited with people & did things we would not have known about otherwise. It wasn't just a trip. It was-as Ken had promised- a cultural experience and a great one at that! Accomodation in St John's & Bonavista was well thought out, comfortable & fun.
Every detail was looked after - from the comfy bedding to the welcome treats in the fridge when we arrived. We are both interested in food & found the reservations made by CapeRace were top notch! From Raymond's in St John's where we were shown to the best table in the room (and since returning home have seen it listed as Canada's #1 restaurant) to the down home charm of Mifflins Tea Room with its helpful staff and patrons. The 2 nights at Fogo island Inn were outstanding. Thanks Ken and Sharon for your prompt replies to our questions while in Newfoundland. A super trip that exceeded our high expectations !! Ann and Margaret (Ottawa)
Jan EllisEco-Culture Experience 2015
Hi Ken - Hope you are enjoying the warm eastern weather …. We had snow this weekend! Our trip really was amazing. Thank you so much for your help in organizing it for us. The houses were all great – all quite different, but all amazing, and loved by all. Hazel kindly offered to do our wash as the washer did not work and the Laundromat was closed on the weekend. She was very kind and helpful, as was everyone. When I see the size of the list above, I am a bit surprised (and I likley missed something!) – we had lots of family time and spent a lot of time talking to the local residents….. all great. It was interesting that for a place that seems to depend on tourism, we did not encounter lots of them (at least it did not seem that way). Did you hear that Peter played harmonica at our kitchen party? I think he was a hit – everyone played along and it was so much fun. I think the guys were a bit surprised at his playing….
The trip was everything we were looking for, and more, and I honestly believe it would not have been nearly as great without you and Sharon – thanks so much. And thank you to all of the people there that you have helping out – particularly Elizabeth and Jerry – they helped us start the trip off GREAT. It is interesting that when we talked about trip highlights and ‘duds’, and what we would do differently if we did it again, we all had different favourites, but no one would take out anything we did…. I think that is a measure of a great holiday.
We are already talking about a trip to western Newfoundland and Labrador at some point. For us, Newfoundland was far nicer than Nova Scotia and PEI – although we really enjoyed our visit there a few years ago. All the best, and we have already been talking to friends that now want to go to Newfoundland. Please contact us should you want to discuss anything about the trip! Happy to!
Jan, Peter, Rhys and Ellis
Barry Hemmings CapeRace Culinary 2015
Ken, we just returned from one of the most enjoyable trips of our lives. If one were to ask ‘what were your favourites’ I would answer: Fogo Island; Raymonds Restaurant; the lighthouse in Cape Bonavista where we saw humpback whales and icebergs. The meal at Raymonds was worthy of a Michelin star. The accommodations at the Battery and Bonavista were sumptous. Hazel dropped in and we had a good chat. We found Elliston a very interesting place. The John Crosbie museum on the sealing industry really opened our eyes. And I guess the best part was the Fogo Island Inn. We treated ourselves to this as it was our 47th anniversary last month. I shook hands with Zitta. Boy she has done some remarkable things. I think she has saved the Island. We had a three hour tour with Helen which broadened our understanding of the fishing industry, how people lived, and what the future holds. We purchased some works of art by artisans—we always like to bring back mementos that remind us of place and time. For me, I spent 3 hours in the Afterwords bookshop on Duckworth Street in St. John’s. I emerged with a dozen books, one by Joseph Boyden I had been looking for a long time. Now, are there other tour organizers like yourself who operate in other parts of Canada or are you one-of-a-kind?
Thanks again. Give us a call if you are in Ottawa.
"...Cape Race provides the perfect balance between freedom and structure. Freedom to explore and create your own adventure, within the context of an overall structure of personalized guidelines. Caperace also does an excellent job nurturing a balance between enjoying the natural beauty of Newfoundland on the one hand, and experiencing the rich culture and heritage of the people on the other. In our 10-day adventure we came to appreciate both the place and the people equally. That’s never happened to us on a vacation before. We expect to return!..."
Pam NowinaCo-Chair, Ontario Hydro Board , Ontario, Canada
"... We have traveled to China, Italy, Japan, Hawaii, etc, etc. This was the best trip we have ever had! Our group ranged from 7 years old to 68 years old. Everyone loved it. The kids never complained of boredom. We loved all the houses (everything was in perfect shape) and all the people we met. The scenery was amazing and your recommendations for things to see and do were great. Thanks so much..."
John and Nancy WhyteOntario
"... Hi Ken. We are settled in now after our wonderful experience with Cape Race and we would be pleased to be a reference. Our travels have taken us to many countries and each has been very interesting and has had it's own unique beauty. However, as Canadians, nothing can compare to our visit to eastern Newfoundland--you certainly planned a cultural experience that made us feel immersed in Canadian culture.
You asked what makes your trip plans different from other companies:
The location of each of the houses is so unique--each place offers a very different experience in its scenery, activities, and people and each place was so homey and decorated so that we felt we were part of that era.
Your suggestions as to itinerary are just that; great suggestions. We chose freely from your travel planner and not once did we feel that we should have done more as we were thoroughly satisfied with the activity or activities we had chosen. We felt that each day was a day well spent and enjoyed.
Each neighbourhood had so much to offer and all the neighbours are so welcoming that we felt we belonged. They answered questions, told directions, told us about the history of the areas, about the fishing history and seemed genuinely interested in us. We know the BBQ was just good timing but we will never forget it--to be invited to be part of something that is for the people who live there was one of the things that sets you apart. You must know that you have a treasure in Elizabeth--her welcome to the Sooley house in Heart's Delight was memorable--just like a good friend and neighbour arriving at the door with fresh muffins! And then, the lobster dinner (fantastic surprise), the kitchen party with Jordan's musical talent and meeting Elizabeth's mother, Mary and her sister Donna (another fantastic surprise--we love them all) When we got to Bonavista and couldn't find the key I did not hesitate to call Elizabeth for help--30 seconds later we were in the house. (There was no answer at Lloyd and Hazel's number and we were sorry not to have met them but we met so many other wonderful people on our walks around the Mockbeggar neighbourhood).
Finally, it is your attention to detail that made everything fall into place--you and your sister Sharon provided us with all the help we needed to make such a trip and we thank you. Your willingness to communicate through e-mail and telephone gave us a clear picture of everything. Your patience and willingness to write back and forth until we knew the answers we needed certainly sets you apart from the others. We are looking forward to hearing about the loyalty programme and who knows, maybe one day we'll meet you on the Segwun and we'll come back to your Muskoka dock for another Canadian experience:) Thanks again for everything, Ken. We wish you continued success in your very creative venture..."
Donna & Billy HouseEco-Culture Experience
I wanted you to know what a great trip we had. If someone wants to see Newfoundland, experience the culture and does not have any friends and family there this is the perfect way to do it. My husband and I had a great trip! Elizabeth, Jerry and Donna are the best ambassadors that you could every hope to have for your company. I can't wait to share with my family and friends what a great trip and experience this was. We hope that we will be able to make it back to Newfoundland again. Thanks for a great trip and wonderful memories we will cherish forever.
Suzanne and MichioNew York, USA
I wanted to thank you so much for all your planning and dedication. Staying in such homes with attention to authentic detail was a highlight of the trip. I particularly enjoyed being in your grandparent’s/dad’s home in Heart’s Delight. It was wonderful to be able to connect with those from another time. I was close with my grandparents and regret that we lost the home where they retired: a bucolic part of Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. It is about as rural as you can get around here.
I will remember every detail of that home from the mounted bottle opener in the pantry to the former clothesline in the kitchen-still working! Loved the fact that you kept her framed artwork-so revealing about the life of old. You did an awesome job decorating each home with the appropriate feel and character. I read all the accompanying booklets about each home, down to the paper Sharon wrote about the Newfoundland dialect. I am a foreign language teacher so that was right up my alley. Jerry and Elizabeth were so sweet-loved meeting them and having a musical evening with them and their son and his friend. Jerry has a great, booming voice-he is a great host. Please tell them we stopped over on our way out to thank them again but the place looked dark in the AM so we didn’t knock too loudly.
That is all for now. Hey, can you do a Cape Race for Central NL, the only part we haven’t been to?
Ken, just to add my 2 bits, John and I had a truly fabulous time with no complaints. Your guide book was amazing, so helpful in fact that John is thinking about producing one for our beach visitors. (We have a rental here on Anna Maria Island.) Connecting with the locals was a big added bonus. What a different trip it would have been otherwise. It was really fun to see all the relatives and neighbors pouring in for the scoff at Heart's Desire or Delight, now I forget which it was. The Newfoundlanders are an interesting lot and we feel honored to be honoraries. I suppose Becky was our Lavinia, feeling like the responsible one having planned the trip, perhaps, unbeknownst to us, worrying about the accommodations at each stop. We, however, found each place delightful. We think you have a great thing going with the cultural adventure approach and we're so happy we were able to experience it. We brought a lot of great memories home with us and we're already beginning to miss our new found land. Thanks for sharing.
Debbie VernonMuskoka, Canada
I can't say enough great things about CapeRace Tours and the adventures we just experienced! You have created a wonderful idea and it was the best way to explore and learn about each community we stayed in. Your Traveler's Diary felt like you were there leading us the way with your tips and advice of places to visit and people to meet.
We had the pleasure of meeting so many nice people- Jean next door at Hipditch, Fred at the Music store (we brought tunes home with us) Jerry and Isobel and the guys in the band who played at the kitchen party, Donna, Eric, Harv, Robyn and even the Mayor of Bonavista- Betty. She gave us a tour in her car of the homes for sale after I made an enquiry at the Town Office about the possibility of purchasing one of the abandoned homes there. I fell in love with the house on the ditch near the pond. We invited her back to the Thomas Mouland House to meet our boys. She stayed for awhile and talked about how hard it was to survive on fishing and sealing in the days she and her husband were first married. It was fascinating to listen to her and was an eye opener for Drew and Alex.
The scenery was amazing and hiking along the cliffs took our breaths away. We visited many pretty little harbors- even found Daniels Cove with a population of 5! We turned around because the gravel road to Grates Cover looked precarious! We managed to find the puffins and saw your other houses- Hare's Ear and the one in Elliston and would love to stay there someday when I can return for another visit. We didn't keep track of our mileage but I'm sure we added at least another 1,000 km. to the gauge! There were only a couple of days of down time where we stayed put to rest and explore leisurely. At Heart's Delight the boys were grateful to find the vintage bikes and fishing rods. They were out often and came home with a Flounder- what an interesting fish!
We were amazed to see mountains, the barrens and bogs with countless lakes and streams and ecstatic to see a herd of caribou herd Chance Cove on our trip on the Irish Loop.
I am so glad I met you a few years ago when you were looking at waterfront property on Bruce Lake. I never did sell that piece of land but meeting you and learning about CapeRace Cultural Adventures made it more worthwhile by a long shot! I will be telling everyone about what a great time we had and sharing the beauty of Newfoundland through the hundreds of photos we took while we were there.Now I need to think about getting back to work and into daily routines around home but with a lighter heart and many pleasant memories of Newfoundland.
Judy and DavidOntario, Canada
Had an absolutely wonderful time on our adventure in Newfoundland with our good friends, David and Suzanne Andrews. Your accommodations were so very well appointed and well equipped and the locations were superb! With your expert advice and information, we saw and experienced so much, and yet, as you suggest, couldn't do it all, even though we sure tried! In Heart's Delight we were very impressed with Elizabeth, who couldn't have been more hospitable. I fell in love with St.John's and want to go back some day! Of course, the charm of Hares Ears might have had something to do with that!!
How you try to tailor a trip to the tourist is very unique and special! Thanks to both you and Sharon for helping make our Excellent Adventure #11 such a success!
Brian & Lorrie MarchMontreal
Back home in Montreal but thought I would just thank you both for a great vacation and a fantastic place to visit with your assistance. The kitchen party was a blast and Gerry and Elizabeth are great people. The musicians were real in formative as well as very talented and Capt. John Sooley what can I say that was the icing on the cake. All the properties were amazing, it was like taking a step back in time, we loved it and will always remember this trip with fond memories.I can only wait for our next trip which we will have to make earlier in the year to see the whales and the icebergs and the other part of the island. Just wanted to take the time to thank you before I am off again, this time work to UK for 3 weeks.
... "Well Ken I don't know that there's much I can say to let you know what a fantastic and special time I had with CapeRace. Everything that was promised was delivered and I had the BEST time in all three beautiful homes and meeting some amazing people. Thank you and Sharon for the awesome work you have done to make CapeRace a truly memorable experience. I had a blast!..."