The Bonavista Peninsula juts northeast into the sea just south of Terra Nova National Park. It's a worthy side trip for travelers fascinated by the island's past. You'll find a historic village, a wonderfully curated historic site, and one of the province's most intriguing lighthouses. It's also a good spot to see whales, puffins, and icebergs.
Along the south shore of the peninsula is Trinity, an impeccably maintained and scenic old village. (The local historic society has final say over what can and can't be built or changed there.) Some longtime visitors grouse it's becoming overly popular and dandified with B&Bs, but there's still a palpable sense of tradition in this profoundly historic spot. It's also the only place for miles to find good shelter and a decent meal.
From Trinity, it's about 40km (25 miles) out Route 230 to the tip of the peninsula (which could take an hour or more to drive). Somewhere along this route, which isn't particularly scenic, you may wonder whether it's worth it; it is. Plan to spend at few hours exploring the dramatic, ocean-carved point and its fine fishing village of Bonavista, with three more historic properties to walk through. It costs C$3 per person to visit the red-and-white Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, open mid-May through early October. The one historical sight possibly worth seeing is the Bonavista North Regional Museum (tel. 709/536-2110), open daily from 10am to 6pm July through September. It features displays on fishermen and the local fishing industry, as well as some items depicting community life here during the early 20th century. There's an art gallery at the site, as well.
As there are very few interesting accommodations or intriguing restaurants this far out on the peninsula, it's probably better to plan this as a day trip than as an overnight. Base yourself either in Trinity or in Terra Nova National Park.