Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Mon March 05 2018
Cityscape of Saint John

St. Johns

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Cityscape of Saint John's from Signal Hill in Newfoundland Canada (photo via Elenathewise/iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Cityscape of Saint John's from Signal Hill in Newfoundland Canada (photo via Elenathewise/iStock / Getty Images Plus)

As you enter into one of the oldest cities in North America; St. John’s, Newfoundland, nestled in a harbor carved from 500 million year old rock; you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty that surrounds you. Here, city life and nature live side by side as neighbors. You’ll see hills outlined with beautiful flowers, plants, trees and wildlife that run down to the ocean. Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by the friendly faces of those who reside in St. John’s and the picturesque side streets that are flooded with an abundance of spectacular colors.

First discovered in 1497, St. John’s has been visited by soldiers, European explorers, adventures and pirates, for over 500 years. St. John’s, Newfoundland sits as the provincial capital and is the economic and cultural center of Newfoundland and Labrador. This city offers a unique combination of old world charm, distinctive architecture, several historical and natural attractions and sits within close proximity to coastlines, historical villages and a varied selection of wildlife.

St. John’s was honored in 2006 and named a Cultural Capital of Canada in the category of population between 50 thousand and 125 thousand. The city’s council is dedicated to supporting the arts, heritage and cultural groups of the city. Due to its stunning ocean, breathtaking scenery, impressive urban parks, enchanting streetscapes and significant historical sites, visitors to this fascinating city quickly learn how it earned its nickname, "The City of Legends".

Street with colorful houses in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (photo via Elenathewise/iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Street with colorful houses in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (photo via Elenathewise/iStock / Getty Images Plus)

As early as 1704 Signal Hill, (now a national historic site), has been flying signal flags to inform merchants of the approach of ships whether friendly or hostile. Giving a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, port and city, Signal Hill has been home to several military endeavors over the centuries. The most eastern point in North America, Cape Spear, (now a national historic site), offers its visitors incredible coastal scenery, but the major attraction is the fully restored lighthouse, which happens to be the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland.

Some of the city’s major attractions are all connected by a series of urban walkways, parks, historical sites, the fluvarium, (the only public fluvarium in North America where you can see Brook and Brown Trout in their natural habitat), splendid architecture, amazing water systems and enchanting wildlife. A mixture of whales, marine life and icebergs can be seen from varied vantage points around the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland and several different tour boats operating out of the harbor. One can expect to see humpback, fin, sperm, blue, minke, pothead, sei and right whales off the coast of St. John’s and the surrounding waters of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland is flooded with museums, galleries, parks, restaurants, historical buildings and sites, pubs and plenty of specialty shops. Whether you have a love for history, unique architecture, or wildlife and anything in between, there is sure to be something to please all who visit the spectacular city of St. John’s.