The Eastport Peninsula has long been a popular vacation destination in Newfoundland. It offers many affordable accommodations and is a great launching point for exploring Terra Nova National Park. The peninsula's excellent beaches, fishing villages and active arts community are also attractions for many visitors.
- 1 Burnside It began as two settlements -- Squid Tickle and Hollett's Cove. Features a prominent church, easily visible from the whole community. It is the headquarters of an archeological dig and the ferry departure site for St. Brendan's.
- 2 Eastport the hub of the peninsula, is widely known for its white sandy beaches and arable soils. Its beaches and pleasant maritime vistas make it a popular destination for holiday makers and retirees.
- 3 Happy Adventure A pretty seaside village built around three inlets on Newman Sound -- Upper Cove, Little Sandy Cove and Powells Cove. Named for the infamous pirate Peter Easton, the name "Happy Adventure" supposedly resulted from a successful outing of seeking and receiving shelter in the community’s harbour.
- 4 Sandringham This charming little community is named for the Queen’s palace Sandringham House. As you enter Sandringham, you will find Chuff’s Bight lookout and just down the road is the beautiful little area known as Chuff’s Bight Park. There is a nice beach area.
- 5 Sandy Cove Once known as "Silver Buckle", this lovely community was thought to be named after a pirate who had buried his treasure in the area. The pirate reportedly left the treasure with two men standing on guard whom he shot upon his return. It is said that after collecting his treasure, the pirate sailed away from the cove and crashed his ship on the rocks and drowned. Sandy Cove is best known for its most prominent feature -- a long sandy beach.
- 6 Salvage sits on barren rocky headland near good fishing grounds and the migration routes of harp seals. The village is built around a rugged but protected harbour that has drawn tourists and artists for generations. Salvage was named one of "Canada's 10 prettiest towns" by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine. The oldest community on the Road to the Beaches, Salvage was permanently settled in the early 1800s by European settlers. As a picturesque community nestled amongst the rocks shaped by glaciers, Salvage provides breathtaking scenery for the photographer. Numerous fishing stages dot the sheltered shoreline, creating one of the best examples of Newfoundland’s fishing villages.
- 7 St. Chad's Small fishing village. Once known as Damnable Bay (pronounced "Damn the Bell"). It is said that a pirate vessel, hoping to avoid the British man-o-war, took shelter in the intricate, shallow harbour. Because the entrance to the harbour is hard to find, it seemed to be the perfect place to hide. However, because the harbour is so small it made raising the sails to sail out a difficult task. It is said that while the British ship was searching around outside the harbour, a crew member on the secluded pirate ship accidentally struck the watch bell, thereby alerting the British of their location. As the story goes, before the crew was captured, someone on the ship uttered "Damn the Bell" resulting in a name that is still used today by some of the older residents.
- 1 Terra Nova National Park — where sheltered Atlantic fjords stretch inland to touch the boreal landscape
The Eastport Peninsula is a small extension of land into the central part of Bonavista Bay. The peninsula is adjacent to Terra Nova National Park and contains seven small outport villages: Eastport, Happy Adventure, Sandy Cove, Salvage, St. Chad's, Burnside and Sandringham. Fishing, farming and tourism are the backbone of the local economy.
Work in the region traditionally focused on the abundant natural resources. Inshore fishing, farming, and logging were still the chief source of employment for most of the inhabitants well into the 20th century. The lumber industry, however, faded away with the development of Terra Nova National Park in the 1950s. Happy Adventure is still a site of an operational fishplant (2017).
Eastport Peninsula has become one of Newfoundland's most popular tourist destinations. The Eastport Peninsula is part of the Road to The Beaches tourism region.
- Driving from the ferry at Port aux Basques, take the Trans-Canada Highway east 650 km to Hwy 310 and the Eastport Peninsula. Hwy 310 exits the highway at the western entrance to Terra Nova National Park.
- Driving from the ferry at Argentia, take Hwy 100, Hwy 101, Hwy 202, and the TransCanada Highway and Hwy 310 the 230 km to the Eastport Peninsula. Hwy 310 exits the highway at the western exit of Terra Nova National Park.
- Driving from St. John's, take the Trans-Canada Highway west 280 km to Route 310 and the Eastport Peninsula.
DRL Coachlines [dead link] operates a daily bus departing from St. John's and Port Aux Basques that stops at the Eastport Junction on the Trans-Canada Highway. You will have to arrange travel from the bus stop at the junction.
- The Long Chute Lookout, en route to Burnside. This wooden platform offers a panoramic view of Burnside and the surrounding seascape. It is a short walk from the road on a well-worn walking trail.
- Burnside Archaeological Centre, Burnside. The name Burnside originates from a forest fire that destroyed a large part of the area in 1912. But Burnside’s history goes back much farther. Artifacts from Maritime Archaic, Paleo-Eskimo and Beothuck Indians found in the area imply that these peoples frequented the area to hunt and fish. Evidence of this may be found at the Burnside Archaeological Centre Boat tours are also available to view the archaeological sites nearby. The 45-minute ferry ride to St. Brendan’s may also be taken from Burnside. There is also a short walking trail from the St. Alban’s Anglican Church to the Burnside Archaeology Centre.
- A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024 starts at 5:13PM local time and lasts almost three minutes. The chances of a clear sky are 20%. The track of totality is northeast from Mexico and Texas to Ohio, straddling the Canada–New England border, then across Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, then out into the Atlantic to be ended by sunset.
Art & culture
- The Veteran's Gallery, Eastport
- Pinsent's Studio and Gallery, Church Street, Eastport
- Concerts and plays (throughout the summer) at the Beaches Heritage Centre Theatre, Eastport.
- St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Salvage -- A wooden church built in 1859.
- Holy Cross Church, Eastport -- A wooden church built in 1890.
- Traditional Newfoundland saltbox houses
- Red ochre-coloured fishing stages built on stilts above the ocean.
- Eastport Beach.
- Capelin Gulch.
- North Side Beach.
- Sandy Cove Beach. On one end of the 2-km beach is an area known as "Caplin Gulch", where, in late June/July you can see the caplin "roll" as they come into the shore to spawn on the beach. If the conditions are right, icebergs may be seen in the bay.
- Salvage Fisherman's Museum and craft store, Salvage -- learn about the life of a Newfoundland fisherman. It was once the home of the Heffern family, and has been converted to display artifacts from as early as the early 1600s.
- Burnside Archeological Dig, Burnside -- learn about the Maritime Archaic, Paleo-Eskimo and Beothuck Indians and see the ancient tools they left behind in the Eastport area.
Terra Nova National Park
The communities of the Eastport Peninsula border on Terra Nova National Park making the Eastport area an ideal base from which to explore the park. In Terra Nova you'll find: hiking, swimming, canoe rentals (Sandy Pond), golf, sea kayaking, etc.
- Family Funland, Eastport -- Storybook village with boat rides, mini-golf, surf bike and petting farm.
- Splash n Putt, Eastport Junction -- Waterslide, pools, mini-golf, bumper cars, bumper boats and go-carts.
- Sandy Cove Head Trail for spectacular views of Terra Nova National Park, Newman Sound and Bonavista Bay. There is a trail from the beach’s parking lot up to Sandy Cove Head. At the summit, you are treated to a spectacular panoramic view, and there is a telescope. There is a 9-km corridor of trails from Sandy Cove to Salvage which can be accessed from the parking lot of Crooked Tree Park. The Old Trails provide gentle hiking for the less experienced and strenuous hiking for the more seasoned individuals. These trails provide excellent site seeing opportunities with magnificent virgin forest, waterfalls and abundant wildlife.
- Swimming Area residents and tourists enjoy fresh water swimming at Crooked Tree Park. Change rooms are provided as well as a picnic and play area and cook shelter.
- Old Trails Network between Sandy Cove and Salvage. These paths and cart trails once linked families in Salvage with those who settled in the early coastal communities of Newman Sound. 8 trails form a 12-km hiking corridor along the Eastport Peninsula from Sandy Cove to Salvage. Today the Old Trails are used to explore their marshes teeming with wild flowers, oceanic barrens, numerous streams and ponds, patches of boreal woods and the great vistas of Newman Sound and Bonavista Bay. There are picnic tables, benches and board walks over wet spots and streams. The Sandy Cove Entrance to the Old Trails is in Crooked Tree Park on the Ridge Trail that leads to a picnic site and volcanic dyke before it climbs up to the hills and ponds overlooking Newmand Sound. The Salvage Entrance starts behind the Fisherman's Museum and is a demanding hike up to the Big Shute and along the Peninsula to Sandy Cove. An easier entrance is near playground in the main harbour, and winds its way up the Meshes to the Big Shute.
- Salvage Trails, fantastic hiking trails
- Crooked Tree Park, Sandy Cove -- fresh water swimming available in this municipal park.
Festivals & events
- SeaFest, Eastport -- A beach celebration with concerts, games of chance and fireworks. Usually held the first weekend in August.
- Winterset in Summer Literary Festival. World-reknowned writers come to the peninsula for round-table discussions, book launches and a chance to interact with fans. Held mid-August.
- Targa Newfoundland. Car race, Eastport Peninsula leg in September.
- Fall Exhibition. A harvest festival with scarecrow contests, scavenger hunts and ribbons awarded for best farm animals, vegetables, and baking. Held Mid-October.
- Happy Adventure Pirate Fest. Aug 6 Pirate landing in upper cove followed by a treasure hunt and BBQ. Pirate dance at Legion.
- Bosun's Whistle, Happy Adventure. Tearoom and shop.
- Choices Crafts, Sandy Cove.
- 1 Eastport Organics, 16 Church St. (across from Pinsents Art Studio, next to the Beaches Heritage Centre). Farm store open all summer. A small sustainable organic vegetable farm specializing in salad greens and specialty vegetables.
- Chuckys Seafood and Wild Game, 8 Harbour View Road. 12:30-9PM. Fresh seafood and game overlooking Happy Adventure Harbour.
- [dead link] The Prints of Whales Inn, 120 Main Street, Sandringham. from $85.
- Sandy Cove Beach Housekeeping Cabins.