The Port aux Basques Area
Port aux basques, known as the Gateway to Newfoundland, is the first and last stop for any tourist arriving to the Island via the Marine Atlantic Ferry. For this reason, the town and its inhabitants invest a large amount of time and money into tourism to provide visitors with numerous activities to take part in while visiting the area, entertainment and attractions, and an overall friendly introduction to life in Newfoundland. Below are a few tourist attractions available in the area.
Scott's Cove Park, located just down the hill from St. Christopher's, is the place to be during the nights of July and August. Populated with live music and dancing, Scott's Cove provides locals and visitors alike with a taste of the traditional Newfoundland lifestyle. There are also numerous kiosks lining the area providing a range of services from fast food to clothing and souvenirs. As long as the weather is cooperating, there is always a crowd enjoying the music, food, or even fishing from the wharf.
Lighthouses are a large attraction on the South West Coast of Newfoundland. One of these lighthouses are located in the Channel area of Port aux Basques and is visible from the ferry as you enter the harbor. While the Lighthouse is not accessible by road, there is a local business (Marine Excursions) that provides boat tours to the lighthouse and other areas along the coast.
The Railway Heritage Museum houses the history of Port aux Basques' Railway and Ferry services. With tons of artifacts from around the area, experienced and knowledgeable staff, and a full decommissioned train, this museum is a must see while visiting the area or while waiting for the ferry. Two artifacts that can be found in this museum are the Mushrow Astrolabes, two navigational tools from the early 1600s found by Diver Wayne Mushrow in a shipwreck off Isle aux Morts, a small community roughly 20 minutes outside of Port aux Basques. These artifacts are normally kept on display in The Rooms museum in the provinces capital of St. John's, and are only displayed in Port aux Basques during the months of July and August, as per an agreement between Mushrow and the provincial government.
The Bruce II Sports Center is another popular place for visitors to the area, especially those with young children. This sports complex contains a swimming pool, bowling alley, ice rink (during the winter months), and an adult and child fitness center. The Bruce II also houses concerts and events throughout the year. This is a great place to spend the day when the weather doesn't want to cooperate with outdoor activities.
The Grandbay West Trail is an excellent place to spend on a warm sunny day. Located along a beautiful beach area, this trail follows along the coastline providing visitors with a comfortable hike along the ocean as well as an amazing view of the Long Range Mountains in the distance. The beach area is always crowded with families enjoying the water, relaxing in the sun, or playing sports games with the fastened net provided by the town.
As mentioned above, weather can often impact certain activities around the area. Port aux Basques, and the Wreckhouse area just outside of town, are known for their intense winds and hazardous weather conditions. It is important to always check the weather forecast when traveling in this area and to make other arrangements just in case your travel plans get delayed.