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Bonavista

4.5
Lighthouses · Parks · Historic Sites
Bonavista is a town on the Bonavista Peninsula, Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Unlike many Newfoundland coastal settlements, Bonavista was built on an open plain, not in a steep cove, and thus had room to expand to its current area of 31.5 square kilometres.HistoryGiovanni Caboto (John Cabot), a freelance Venetian explorer, was contracted by England’s Henry VII to find new lands, and a sea route to the Orient. Cabot set sail from Bristol, England in his ship the Matthew in 1497. When Cabot first saw land he reputedly said "O Buon Vista" (“Oh, Happy Sight!”) giving rise to the name of the town and nearby Cape Bonavista. Cabot landed with "a crucifix and raised banners with the arms of the Holy Father and those of the King of England". The land was inhabited, as the expedition found a trail leading inland, a site where a fire had been, and "a stick half a yard long pierced at both ends, carved and painted with brazil". The harbour was not ideal, eventually requiring the construction of several breakwaters. Despite this Bonavista became one of the most important towns in Newfoundland due to its proximity to the rich fishing and sealing grounds to the north of the peninsula. The Spanish, Portuguese, French and English fished off Cape Bonavista during the 16th century, but the Spanish and Portuguese presence soon declined, leaving the French and English as the dominant powers. Tension between the French and English sometimes resulted in military action, including an unsuccessful attempt in 1704 by the French to burn the town. The French Shore, which had Bonavista as its eastern terminus, was established by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Fishing rights in the area continued to be a source of tension between the French and English.
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Popular things to do in Bonavista

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Lighthouse
Cape Bonavista Lighthouse
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
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Park
Dungeon Provincial Park
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
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Historic Site
Ryan Premises National Historic Site
4.2
Duration: 2 hours
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Dolphin / Whale Watching
Dolphin & Whale Watching
4.9
Duration: 2h 30 min

Side trips from Bonavista

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Dolphin / Whale Watching
Sea of Whales Adventures Trinity
4.9
Duration: 3 hours
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Hiking Trail
Skerwink Trail Port Rexton
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
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National Park
Terra Nova National Park Glovertown
4.3
Duration: 8 hours
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Lookout
The Elliston Puffin Site Elliston
4.7
Duration: 30 minutes

Hidden gems in Bonavista

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Landmark
Matthew Legacy
3.8
Duration: 30 minutes
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Historic Site
Mockbeggar Plantation
4.3
Duration: 2 hours
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Lighthouse
King’s Cove Lighthouse
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
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Hiking Trail
Cape Shore Trail
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Shopping in Bonavista

Gift & Specialty Shop
Heritage Shop Ryan Premises
5.0
Duration: 30 minutes
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Gift & Specialty Shop
East Coast Glow
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Gift & Specialty Shop
The Elephant Shop
2.5
Duration: 2 hours

Scenic Drive in Bonavista

Scenic Drive
Discovery Trail
4.4
Duration: 2 hours

Museums in Bonavista

History Museum
Bonavista Museum
4.4
Duration: 30 minutes

Places to visit with Bonavista

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