The Discovery Trail

Running along Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula—just two and a half hours from St. John's—the Discovery Trail is a panorama of natural wonders, stunning scenery, rich heritage sites, and quaint coastal villages.

Elliston and Bonavista—both CapeRace house destinations—are on the northern section of the Discovery Trail. On this loop, be prepared for breathtaking ocean views from cliff-top roads. Just don’t let yourself become too distracted by lighthouses, eagles, icebergs and whales. The Traveller’s Diary will keep you on track and on time, as you drive the Discovery Trail. It’ll lead you to the best spots to eat like a local. While the guide orients you toward many colourful characters and quirky spots of interest, you’ll also make plenty chance encounters, thanks to the warm and friendly nature of Newfoundlanders. 

In Elliston, a.k.a. the World Root Cellar Capital—locals have for centuries stashed their root vegetables in cool, grass-roofed spaces to keep them fresh all winter long. This beach town is excellent for puffin sightings and also home to the annual Roots, Rants and Roars festival—a grassroots celebration of Newfoundland food and music. Be sure to also check out neighbouring Maberly, a tiny hamlet with a population of 20.

The vibrant town of Bonavista has a fish plant—the top local employer—and a growing arts community. There are also many sights of historical significance. Italian adventurer John Cabot is said to have uttered the words “bona vista” (happy view) on arrival, 500 years ago, and the name stuck. You’ll soon see why!

Another highlight on the Trail is picture-perfect Trinity—where box-office hits The Shipping News and The Grand Seduction were filmed. This town of colourful heritage houses is also a great place for whale-watching or iceberg-spotting.


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