When you're on the Rock, you can be forgiven for thinking it's another country. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was another country, and Newfoundlanders not only have a distinctly thick accent, but a distinctly fun-loving view of the world.
George Street in St. John's is said to have more pubs per square foot than any other street in North America, and on weekends the downtown is hopping. Ask around for a place to try some of Newfoundland's infamous cuisine, although if cod tongues aren't your style, you can always indulge in some of the local fish and chips, often served on a bed of newspaper.
When you're done eating and drinking, walk off all those calories by exploring the city's quaint streets, where the multicoloured buildings seem to tumble down the hills. Or make your way to Signal Hill, where Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal. Even if telecommunications history doesn't interest you, the spot offers a terrific view of the city and its harbour. But at night, you might experience a different view, as the parking lots become the local lovers' lane.
There is plenty to see outside St. John's, too. Follow one of the roads leading to the coastal "outport" communities, each different in its own way, and through the scenic glory of Terra Nova National Park and Gros Morne National Park. The latter, in the western part of Newfoundland, has been called the "Galapagos of Geology." On the northwestern corner of the island you'll find L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, the ruins of a Viking settlement.
Many people visit the province hoping to catch a peek at the icebergs that float down from the far north. Iceberg Alley runs along Labrador, the mainland portion of the province, and the rarely travelled region offers its own rugged coastline, well worth exploring.