A recent evolution from fishing community to artsy hub has seen this Newfoundland community grow into a vibrant destination. Here are the top things to do.

1. Enjoy performances from artists and musicians at Garrick Theatre

Auditorium, photograph courtesy of Garrick Theatre.

The beautifully restored Garrick Theatre offers year-round performances from musicians and artists—including events taking place on its lawn—as well as film festivals and cinema nights. The acoustics in this historic, 200-seat cultural venue are superb, with even-more-intimate shows performed in the theatre’s bar area.


2. Shop locally-made textiles at Tree Line Fine Art and Craft

Photograph courtesy of Tree Line Fine Art and Craft.

Textile artist Morgaine Parnham opened Tree Line Fine Art and Craft as an inviting space to showcase her weaving. Her loom is set up at the back of the store, and visitors will love the texture of her soft-woven cushions that invoke the local landscape. The store also features scarfs, prints and other works by local artists.


3. Hike through Dungeon Provincial Park

Explore the wind-swept cliff tops of Dungeon Provincial Park, home to a collapsed sea cave and natural arches carved by the Atlantic.


4. Preen yourself with organic beauty products from East Coast Glow Wild Island Apothecary

Iceberg Water Soaps, photograph courtesy of East Coast Glow.

Pick up organic beauty products made with iceberg water, salt, flowers and other locally foraged ingredients at East Coast Glow Wild Island Apothecary. The iceberg water soaps are scented with essential oils and extracts that are created in-house, and each one is almost too pretty to use.


5. Dine at Boreal Diner

Chef-owned Boreal Diner serves up hearty and thoughtful locally sourced cuisine (think cod nuggets with plum sauce and pan-seared turbot with rice and green onions). It is located on two floors of an old saltbox house and has a used bookstore tucked into a corner upstairs, too.


6. Savour homemade ice cream and milkshakes at Sweet Rock Ice Cream

Photograph courtesy of Sweet Rock Ice Cream.

The homemade ice cream, shakes and waffle cones served at Sweet Rock Ice Cream are all delicious, and feature flavours such as Bonavista Sunset (dark chocolate and orange), Partridge Berry Cheesecake and Rhubarb Crumble. The dairy, eggs and many flavourings are all sourced locally.


7. Learn about the history of cod-fishing in Newfoundland

Ryan Premises National Historic Site, photograph by Gabrielle Holowacz.

Explore the clapboard structures at the Ryan Premises National Historic Site and discover how 500 years of cod-fishing has shaped Newfoundland culture. You can also browse vintage household items and artifacts at the Bonavista Museum, housed within the site, to gain insight into the lives of the people who made their homes in this rugged environment.


8. Dine at the Bonavista Social Club

The Bonavista Social Club uses local ingredients to create the best burgers and wood-fired pizzas in the community.


[This story appears in the July 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]