Exploring St. John’s East Part II

Part 2 of exploring St. John’s East takes us to the Quidi Vidi’s: the lake and road of course! 

Your visit here will complete your full circumnavigation around The Battery–Signal Hill–Quidi Vidi, a most exceptional enclave of historic St. John’s.

Stay At The Sheraton Hotel

The Sheraton offers world-class hospitality and friendly service and is wonderfully situated for you to begin exploring historic St. John’s East. 

A stay here provides beautifully appointed rooms, exquisite furnishings, luxurious décor and sumptuous dining. The hotel directly overlooks St. John’s Harbor, the Narrows and Signal Hill, delivering gorgeous views for you to wake up to!


There is a great fitness center in the lower lobby with a pool and Rosewood Day Spa is on site for your personal pampering and relaxation. Be sure you also stop by Lane Gallery in the hotel lobby to view world-class photography of our spectacular province. 

Finally, if you’re one who never travels without your precious pooch, the Sheraton is pet-friendly!

view of Sheraton Hotel at dusk from harbour overlooking downtown in St. John's, Newfoundland, a relaxing hotel vacation stay
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

bedroom at the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland overlooking snow capped hills in winter, a wellness vacation accommodations
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

executive suite overlooking narrows and signal hill national historic site of Canada at the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, a business travel stay
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

restaurant at dusk looking out into narrows Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, a foodie and wellness holiday locale
© Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Sheraton Dining #1
The Oppidan
  

The Oppidan is an absolute hidden foodie gem. Dining here rivals any Haute restaurant found in the city without breaking your bank. Here you will discover an award-winning menu from Chef Roary MacPherson, Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador Restaurateur of the Year.


Their meals are freshly prepared, beautifully presented and delicious. Popular selections include the pad-fried cod, seafood platter, Newfoundland screech glazed salmon and Atlantic lobster ravioli.

The ambiance is intimate and classy with spectacular city views. Seeking that romantic evening? Be sure to book a table next to their gorgeous fireplace!

oppidan dining room with fireplace and harbour view Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, a delicious foodie restaurant travel experience
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

tourists smiling and enjoying cheesecake and fruit bowl at oppidan in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, relaxing holiday travels
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

plate of vegetable garden salad in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland oppidan dining room, a healthy food travel option
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

bowl of clam chowder with vegetable garnish at the oppidan dining restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, a cultural foodie experiential vacation
Louise Tobin‎, Facebook

food and fun travel at oppidan dining restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland
Louise Tobin‎, Facebook

cultural culinary cuisine holiday at oppidan dining restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland
Fabian Fitzpatrick, Facebook

tray of sumptuous decadent desserts at oppidan dining restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, a food holiday
Louise Tobin‎, Facebook

Sheraton Dining #2
The Biver

For those with a less hearty appetite and seeking a less formal setting, you may want to consider dining at the Sheraton Biver (rhymes with shiver). 

This cute foody spot at the bar is influenced by global cuisine, worldwide tradition, and local culture. They present creative, imaginative and locally relevant small plates carefully paired with local craft beers and wines.

interior of biver dining restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, local and international cuisine travel
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

tray of meats at biver restaurant at Sheraton Hotel St. John's, NL, Canada, a yummy food vacation
© Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

fish cakes at biver restaurant at Sheraton Hotel St. John's, NL, Canada, local cultural heritage food travel experience
Masayuki Ihara, Facebook

two women and a man celebrate his birthday with delicious chocolate torte at biver restaurant at Sheraton Hotel St. John's, NL, Canada, wellness, happy travels
Fabian Fitzpatrick, Facebook

Quidi Vidi Lake Rowing

The St. John’s Rowing Club is the only slide seat rowing club in all of Newfoundland. Located in the Boathouse on Quidi Vidi Lake, they offer many learn-to-row programs, geared towards all ages and experiences.

If you are visiting St. John’s for an extended period of time, this is a wonderful opportunity to get out on this beautiful 1,600 m (1 mi) long lake for fun and fitness!

dockside at the boathouse with a team of rowers about to get in the boat to row quidi vidi lake, st. john's, NFLD, Canada, a healthy vacation activity
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

team of rowers in the boat to row quidi vidi lake, st. john's, NFLD, Canada, a wellness travel experience to partake in
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

team of rowers in a boat glide down quidi vidi lake, with hills and dusk and sun setting in background, a wellness holiday and exercise on your Newfoundland travel to St. John's
Vicky TH, Flickr

Royal St. John’s Regatta

The Regatta is the oldest continuous sporting event in North America with its own coat of arms and the Latin motto: “Certamen Traditione Regatur” – Let the contest be governed by Tradition! It sure has, with 194 years of rowing tradition.

The Regatta is held on the first Wednesday in August (weather permitting) at beautiful Quidi Vidi Lake. All around its shores you will find concessionaires offering all types of food, treats, and games of chance.

The throngs of people who flock lakeside are also here to watch the races of course. All five crews that make up a race, begin and end at the head of the lake but not before they “turn the buoys” at the half way point on the other end, a spectacular feat of athleticism and teamwork.

The Regatta is much more than just NL’s most favorite sport but also one of the best summer social events in our fair city. This fun-filled day is not to be missed.

Tip: If crowds are not your thing, do what I have done in past years and watch the races from Signal Hill. Next to The Workers Compensation Building at 148 Forest Road is a perfect vantage point to see the rowers cross the finish line. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!

throngs of people at quidi vidi lake watching boats rowing in competition at Royal St. John’s Regatta in St. John;s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a cultural holiday point of interest
Zach Bonnell, Flickr

colorful concession stands and games of chance at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a family travel experience
Zach Bonnell, Flickr

team of female rowers rowing through water with colorful concession stands and crows of people lake side in the background at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, an exciting sporting event to take in on your vacation
Jeremy T. Hetzel, Flickr
a man spins the wheel at a game booth at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a happy family holiday vacation activity
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

teams of rowers in boats make the turn at the buoys with green rolling forested hills and clear blue summer sky at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a cultural heritage experiential trip point of interest
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

Regatta Museum
Nearly 200 years of the Royal St. John’s Regatta is also colorfully and proudly on display at its very own museum. 

Located within the Quidi Vidi Lake Boathouse, a timeline of history is illustrated through 4 sets of panels in addition to display cabinets that hold many different artifacts, ranging from medals to programs from its early history to past and present trophies.

Adorning the walls of the museum are also many pictures of crews as well as a Hall of Fame display. This museum’s collection is well worth the visit. Special tours and visitation to the museum are available upon request.

display case of trophy's at the boathouse museum at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a cultural and historical must-see
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

exhibit of storytelling and images at boathouse museum at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, an authentic and educational historical holiday
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

display case of schooner boat and medals at boathouse museum at quidi vidi lake at Royal St. John’s Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, authentic and enriching cultural and experiential holidays
© Royal St. John’s Regatta

Anglican Cemetery

The Anglican Cemetery is located on the corner of Empire Avenue and Forest Road. I couldn’t imagine a lovelier place to rest for eternity than here. Morbid fascination aside, a stroll through here is a sheer delight.

Perched overlooking adjacent Quidi Vidi Lake, this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in St. John’s with countless Maple trees that serve as a natural canopy. This is a peaceful, reflective and idyllic refuge with lots of benches and many other places to sit.

Take the time to browse the many headstones and graves dating back a few hundred years. Among the identified casualties buried in the cemetery include three victims of the Knights of Columbus Hostel fire which occurred in St. John’s on 12th December 1942 and also numerous casualties from the First and Second World Wars. There is lots of history here!

headstones and graves under a canopy of forest trees at the Anglican Cemetery and burial site in City of St. John's, NL, a beautiful and peaceful place to see on your wellness travel trip
http://ngb.chebucto.org/

headstones and graves at the Anglican Cemetery and burial site in City of St. John's, NL, a historical and moving point of interest to visit on your authentic Newfoundland holiday
http://ngb.chebucto.org/

Anglican Cemetery and burial site in City of St. John's, NL, a relaxing and tranquil destination to visit on any Newfoundland travel experience
http://ngb.chebucto.org/
Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road 

For a taste of old world opulence, you needn’t look any further than the heritage homes on Forest Road Extension and King’s Bridge Road. 

These former British merchant houses are architectural beauties nestled beneath a dense canopy of mature maple leaf trees. A walk about here is a sheer delight that echoes of a bygone era.

viewing the blue historical and heritage architecture house on Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a wellness vacation activity
Forest House – Magicpiano, Wikipedia

blue historical and heritage architecture house with white porch on Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a history travel point of interest on any NL experiential travel holiday
Kinkora – Magicpiano, Wikipedia

viewing the blueish grey historical and heritage architecture house with white porch on Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a beautifully built travel holiday activity
Devon Place – Magicpiano, Wikipedia

white trimmed historical and heritage architecture house with porch on Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, a lovely preserved experiential vacation point of interest
Sutherland Place – Magicpiano, Wikipedia

Gracie Joe’s 

Note: Moved to nearby Bell Island, thought we would leave in because it is a fabulous place to eat!

This delightful neighborhood restaurant/café should be a must for anyone visiting St. John’s (believe it or not it once was a funeral parlor). Gracie Joe’s is economically priced, delicious and healthy. When you visit here, you will also enjoy some of the best coffee in the city.

Their menu offers comfort food with a chef’s touch including Moroccan lamb shank, ginger lime chicken with a roasted corn salsa, ancho chili guacamole, and sun-dried tomato corn chips. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available.

Please note this is a CASH ONLY establishment.

exterior of Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner, a delicious and budget travel dining experience in Newfoundland
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

menu display board at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner on Bell Island, NL Canada, a yummy eating vacation experience
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

interior at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland with art work on walls, table and two chairs and menu board, a tasty place to eat on your foodie holiday
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

plates of food including vegetables, cinnamon bread tea and coffee at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland, a travel and tourism eatery
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

strawberry dish at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland, this is a healthy vacation food option
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

a bowl of seafood fishcakes at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland, a cultural heritage foody experience
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

tray of gluten free lemon blueberry muffins at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland, an alternative, healthier foodie travel holiday
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen

lamb chops at Gracie Joe’s restaurant, cafe and diner in Newfoundland, a tasty supper to order on your visit and holiday
© Gracie Joe’s Kitchen
Quidi Vidi Hand Wrought Pewter

This tiny studio is home to local metal artist Ray Cox. Ray is a pewter smith originally from Connecticut who came to Newfoundland in 1972 and never looked back.

His original, one of a kind works encompass both two dimensional and three-dimensional pieces. Some of his remarkable and unusual creations include “Air Cast” pewter bowls and “Natural Colour” motifs including whales and whale tails, trees and the mummer series. 

In fact, one of his cast pewter bowls was given by then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles as a wedding present.

Ray works irregular hours, so be sure to contact him to set up an appointment.

exterior of white building and blue trim at Quidi Vidi Hand Wrought Pewter, an inspiring and creative art point of interest on your trip to St. John's, NL
Google
metal alloy creation by Quidi Vidi Hand Wrought Pewter in Newfoundland and Labrador Canada, a highly recommended place to vacation shop
© Crafts Of Character

a beautifully created metal alloy silver plate by Quidi Vidi Hand Wrought Pewter in Newfoundland and Labrador Canada, an artistic experiential holiday experience
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

Belbin’s Grocery

A visit to Belbin’s is truly a step back in time. They have been in business for over 50 years, having survived and prospered based on good ole fashion values. 

At this tiny grocery store, every customer has a name.They take pride in highly personalized service (including home delivery for only $3.99).

Not only will you find the finest cuts of meat in the city here but also a wide selection of Newfoundland and Labrador products that keeps bringing back the faithful.

owners sitting on bench with Canadian flag blowing in front of Belbin's Grocery Store on Quidi Vidi Road in St. John's, Newfoundland, a where to shop food place on your holiday
© Belbin’s Grocery

owners smiling and standing in front of a pork loin at Belbin's Grocery Store on Quidi Vidi Road in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, a delightful cultural heritage food shopping point of interest
© Belbin’s Grocery

display case at Belbin's Grocery Store on Quidi Vidi Road in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada including jigg's dinner and seal flipper pie, an authentic food holiday
© Belbin’s Grocery

a happy vacation experience as cashier smiles and hands bag of groceries to female customer shopping at Belbin's Grocery Store on Quidi Vidi Road in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
© Belbin’s Grocery

Alexis Templeton Studio

Alexis is a real gem to the city of St. John’s. At her lovely, unique craft studio, she makes magnificent pottery beautifully finished in several distinctive glazes. 

Her celebrated creations can be even found adorning the fine dining tables at Raymond’s on Water Street, the top Restaurant in all of Canada!

Stop by and discover exquisite treasures from her and a few other artists too. Alexis also holds classes at her studio so you too can gain hands-on experience in her exceptional craft.

blue and yellow exterior of Alexis Templeton Studio in Newfoundland, a creative vacation
© Alexis Templeton Studio

blue and red pottery plate, bowl and mug at Alexis Templeton Studio in Newfoundland, Canada, a creative thing to do on your St. John's trip
© Alexis Templeton Studio

beautiful white and black arched pottery plate in the shape of salted cod at Alexis Templeton Studio in Newfoundland, Canada, an artistic vacation point of interest
© Alexis Templeton Studio

white pottery urchin and bowl at Alexis Templeton Studio in Newfoundland, Canada, an enriching holiday experiential must-see
© Alexis Templeton Studio

International Flavours

This is a small no-frills spot that has big flavor. A fixture on the St. John’s foodie scene for over 15 years, International Flavours presents authentic home-made Pakistani Cuisine fused with Middle-east and African flavours.

There are a limited number of menu options but the prices are economical and the portions are big and delicious. The main plate is a fresh mix of fragrant basmati rice, spiced lentils, and colourful stir-fry vegetables. It is served with or without chicken or lamb.

If you are a traveler on a limited budget who loves ethnic food, International Flavours is your restaurant!

blue exterior of International Flavours with two baskets of flowers hanging in St. John;s, Newfoundland and Labrador, a budget travel and delicious place to eat
© International Flavours

plate of lentils at International Flavours in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, middle eastern cuisine foody holiday
© International Flavours

cart with lemons, spices and herbs at International Flavours in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, a yummy spot to eat on your journey vacation
© International Flavours

middle eat meal at International Flavors in Newfoundland, a delicious restaurant dining experience
© International Flavours

shelf of spices and herbs at International Flavours in St. John's, NL, Canada, a travel budget foodie destination
© International Flavours

Craft Council

The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador is a member-based, non-profit organization supporting local artisans. Situated in historic Devon House, they proudly showcase the finest in, and diversity of, the NL craft community.

Here you will discover beautiful and thoughtful treasures ranging from rugs to paintings, to hand-knitted goods. All of it is local by talented craftspeople who take immense pride in their creations.

If you are looking to explore your creative side, workshops and classes also take place in their Clay Studio. A lovely gallery displaying exquisite art is also situated on their top floor.

The Craft Council is a must-visit on your St. John’s travels with wonderful staff and a superb shopping experience in a historic setting.

exterior of red, bricked Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Devon House in the City of St. John's, NL, Canada, a historic and wonderful trip shopping thing to do
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

female artist spinning and weaving her wool creation on a wheel at Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Devon House in the City of St. John's, NL, Canada, an artistic travel experiential point of interest
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

glass shelf of folk art and wood carvings at Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Devon House in the City of St. John's, NL, Canada, a rewarding and enriching cultural heritage vacation experience to explore
© NL Tourism

three children watching artist on clay machine making pottery at Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Devon House workshop in the City of St. John's, NL, Canada, authentic and experiential family travel point of interest
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

artist smiling in front of clay and pottery bowls and plates with stained glass creation hanging in window behind her at Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Devon House workshop in the City of St. John's, NL, Canada, a fun family travel holiday experience
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

female tourist holiday shopping with a white Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador bag in hand browsing the retail shop in Devon House in st. john's, a heritage vacation
© Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador
About Us
At Experience NL, we are planners of experiences…not simply vacations.

These are compelling, personally tailored getaways for engaged, curious travelers seeking life-enhancing opportunities.

Contact Matthew or John to start planning your most exceptional journey!

Sitting in a field at Spillars Cove, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada with ocean and cliffs in the background is Matthew, Experiential Travel Planner with Experience Newfoundland and Labrador Travel Agency
Matthew Barrett, Experiential Travel Consultant
Standing next to a Leprechaun at Dublin City Center in Ireland is John, Experiential Travel Planner with Experience Newfoundland and Labrador Travel Agency
John Keough, Owner & Experiential Travel Consultant
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