The town is the gateway to the Great Northern Peninsula, owing to an important highway interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is the closest major community to Gros Morne National Park and is home to the Deer Lake Regional Airport.
The first European settlers in the area arrived from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia in 1864. They came as loggers and trappers, and later took up farming.
In 1922, a work camp was set up to support the International Pulp and Paper company. The camp became the town of Deer Lake. A townsite was constructed in 1925 and included a railway terminal, churches and a small hospital.
The airport was built in 1955 as the principal airport for western Newfoundland. It and is one of the town's major employers.
A hydroelectric plant was established on the Humber River in 1925 to provide electricity to a pulp and paper paper mill in Corner Brook.
- DRL Coachlines, toll-free: . Daily scheduled passenger coach services between St. John's & Port Aux Basques.
- Newhook's Transportation, ☏ . Another bus service from Port Aux Basques to St. John's.
- Star Taxi, ☏ . Shuttle from the Deer Lake Airport. $22 per person to Corner Brook, $20 to Pasadena.
- Norpen Bus Service, ☏ , . A shuttle to St. Anthony (for L'Anse aux Meadows) on Tuesdays & Fridays.
- 1 Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF IATA). Daily flights to Halifax and Toronto year-round and to Montreal in summer through Air Canada, and Westjet. PAL Airlines offers local flights to Stephenville, Wabush, Goose Bay, St. John's and Churchill Falls.
- St. Paul's United Church. A wooden church dating from 1955.
- The Main Street offers a scenic view of the lake.
- Roy Whalen Museum and Valley Crafts, 44 Trans-Canada Highway, ☏ . A local museum filled with antiques, artifacts and information. The gift shop offers a large variety of souvenirs.
- Sir Richards Squires Memorial Provincial Park, Highway 422 (at the end of a 30-km gravel access road). On the scenic Humber River, it's a popular place for salmon angling. 157 campsites with a picnic table, fireplace, garbage can and space for your vehicle. There are no electrical outlets. There are pit toilets and drinking water taps throughout the park. The park has a wheelchair accessible comfort station complete with flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities. Trailer dumping station is also available. Two short trails, which begin at the day-use parking lot, lead to Big Falls.
- Deer Lake Beach, Nicholsville Road. A small beach with a scenic walk along the shore.
- Alexander's Gift Shop, 1 Upper Nicholsville Rd, ☏ . Home decor, some women's clothing.
- Canton Restaurant, 6 Commerce St, ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-10PM. Canadian Chinese food, but you're in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, so you wouldn't expect authentic Cantonese food, would you?
- Jungle Jims, 3 Upper Nicholsville Road, ☏ . Su-Tu 11AM-9PM, W,-Sa 11AM-10PM. Wings, burgers, wraps, steaks, pastas, etc.
- Moo Lu Choo's Beachhouse, 137 Nicholsville Rd, Joe Butt's Lookout - Deer Lake Beach. Daily 10AM-10PM. It's not a Chinese restaurant. It's burgers and fries by the beach near Joe Butt's Lookout.
- Hideaway Pub, 2 Church St, ☏ . Friendly local pub with snack menu and a local beer.
- Old Rocky Brook Road Bed & Breakfast, 33 Old Rocky Brook Rd, Reidville, ☏ . Free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast. A garden, a firepit, laundry facilities, a shared lounge offering a library and piano. From $139.
- Driftwood Inn, 3 Upper Nicholsville Rd, ☏ , toll-free: . 24 rooms. From $119.
- Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake, 38 Bennett's Ave, toll-free: . Free hot breakfast and an indoor pool with an 80-foot waterslide. Free high-speed internet access and fitness centre. From $118.
Heading north on Highway 430 will bring you two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The entrance to Gros Morne National Park, with great hiking and some breathtaking landscapes, is about 25 km away.
- L'Anse aux Meadows, the site of the first Viking landing in the New World, is several hours drive to the north near St. Anthony (a little over 400 km away).
|Routes through Deer Lake|
|Port aux Basques ← Corner Brook ←||W E||→ Grand Falls-Windsor → Gander|
|Great Northern Peninsula ← Gros Morne National Park ←||N S||→ END|