ST. JOHN’S

NEW­FOUND­LAND

Canadian Geographic - - DEPARTURES / CITIES & SIGHTS - —Nick Walker

“The ques­tion we get most of­ten is, ‘Is this nor­mal?’ ” says guide An­drew Mccarthy of St. John’s Mccarthy’s Party tours. “And we like to say there’s noth­ing nor­mal about this place.” That could go for the weather (lo­cals tell of get­ting “all four sea­sons in a day”) or evenings that sweep you from lav­ish din­ing to rol­lick­ing pub par­ties. Here’s a start­ing point for three ex­traor­di­nary days in the City of Leg­ends.

DAY 1

GET YOUR BEAR­INGS | 12 p.m. A plaid-blan­ket-pic­nic day tour stop atop Sig­nal Hill ac­quaints you with all of St. John’s at once, and At­lantic vis­tas that hit harder than any windy gust up around com­mand­ing Cabot Tower ( TOP). mc­carthys­party.com PAINT THE TOWN | 4 p.m. Train your cam­era on the spec­trum of homes on pho­tog­ra­pher Michael Win­sor’s Jelly­bean Row Tour, a be­hind-thescenes jaunt through Canada’s most colour­ful neigh­bour­hood. new­found­land­pho­to­tours.com SHELLFISH FEAST | 8 p.m. Mus­sels on the Cor­ner serves its name­sake bi­valve in dozens of de­light­ful ways. Try the creamy, white wine-based Oh La La Mus­sels and Baja Mus­sel Tacos, then head into at­tached O’reilly’s Pub for live mu­sic and night­caps. or­eillyspub.com/mus­sels

DAY 2

BIRD THE ROCK | 8 a.m. On Jared Clarke’s bird­ing tours into the Avalon Penin­sula’s bo­real for­est, along its coastal and is­land seabird (puffins!) colonies, you might also sight a moose, cari­bou or whale. birdthe­rock.com KITCHEN PARTY | 6:30 p.m. St. John’s best cof­fee, deca­dent pas­tries and fa­mous fish­cakes are rea­son enough to visit Water Street’s Rocket Bak­ery, but Tues­day evenings fea­ture lo­cal mu­si­cians and ac­cor­dion lessons for the brave. rock­et­food.ca

DAY 3

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE | 9:30 a.m. Cod Sounds’ culi­nary guides put the spot­light on the is­land’s wild ed­i­bles, their tastes and uses on this stun­ning coastal walk from the fish­ing vil­lage of Quidi Vidi, a St. John’s neigh­bour­hood. cod­sounds.ca

JIG FOR COD | 1 p.m. Take a run out of Quidi Vidi Har­bour and into open seas with Quidi Vidi Char­ters’ Kevin Bat­tock, who teaches cod jig­ging (a tra­di­tional fish­ing method) be­fore a water­front meal of the fresh­est fish and chips. qvchar­ters.com

RAYMONDS | 8 p.m. A top Cana­dian din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is right next door to the Alt Ho­tel: Raymonds pays trib­ute to New­found­land tra­di­tions with five- and seven-course tast­ing menus and per­fect wine pair­ings in a spec­tac­u­lar old har­bour­side brick build­ing. ray­mond­srestau­rant.com

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