By Michael Edmondstone
Planning a trip to the easternmost province of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador? The province’s history dates back some 9,000 years to its first known human inhabitants, and many of its museums give you a chance to explore and interact with that history. Here are our top picks for must-see museums in Newfoundland:
The Rooms—St. John’s
As Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest public cultural space, The Rooms has something to interest all types of cultural enthusiasts. It addition to housing an ongoing exhibit of local artifacts from the 1700s to present day, The Rooms also serves as a space for contemporary art, currently featuring exhibits by Canadian artists David Blackwood, Betty Goodwin, and Mary Pratt. The museum also offers guests an unbeatable panoramic view of the town of St. John’s and its harbour in the multi-level atrium. The Rooms’ divisional museums—Logger’s Life, Seaman’s Museum, and Mary March Provisional Museum—are worth a visit as well.
Prime Berth Fishing Museum—Twillingate
This private fishing center and craft studio gives guests an informative and interactive look at the history of fishing in the region. The big draw is the reconstructed sei whale skeleton just outside, but each of the seven buildings holds a lot of fishing treasures inside of it, from old fishing models and displays to an on-site craft studio to a special “cod splitting” show.
Johnson Geo Centre—St. John’s
If you’ve got young travellers in tow, the Johnson Geo Centre is a must-see. This Newfoundland-centric science museum features ongoing exhibitions like “Our Province,” which allows guests to see a piece of ancient ocean floor and touch rocks dating back nearly 4 billion years; “The Titanic Story,” which recounts the tragic shipwreck that took place off the coast of Newfoundland; and “ExxonMobil and Gas Gallery,” which gives guests an up-close look at a drilling and production platform. The 3D and Geo Theatres are worth checking out, too.
Cupids Legacy Centre—Cupids
Located on the coast of Conception Bay North, Cupids Legacy Centre invites guests to dive into English Canadian history. The Cupids Cove Plantation Site is an archaeological dig that provides a glimpse of Canada’s first English settlement, dating back to 1610. You can also visit Cupids’ very own Elizabethan stage and the John Guy Monument of 1910, which commemorates Cupids’ 300-year anniversary. Be sure to climb Spectacle Head for a stunning view of the harbour.
Grenfell House Museum—St. Anthony
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Taking a tour of the former residence of Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell is an inspirational experience. There, you’ll learn about this great medical missionary, who founded a network of hospitals, schools, orphanages, and cooperatives to improve the lives of fisherman and inhabitants in the local area. The house is just one of many Grenfell historic properties, which include the Grenfell Interpretation Centre, Grenfell Handicrafts, The Rotunda, and Tea House Hill.
Author Bio: Michael Edmondstone is a writer who contributes to websites and blogs. He advises new Canadian homeowners on mortgage rates in Canada to find the best deals.