It's hard to believe, but the tiny coastal hamlet of Trinity (now with a year-round population of less than 200) once had more residents than St. John's. For more than 3 centuries, from the time of its first visit by Portuguese fishermen in the 1500s until well into the 19th century, the village did steady business as a hub for traders (mostly from England) who supplied the booming fishing economy of Trinity Bay and eastern Newfoundland.
Technological advances, including the railroad and car, eventually doomed Trinity's prosperity and the town lapsed into an extended economic slumber. But you can still see lingering traces of the town's former affluence, from the attractive flourishes in the architecture to the rows of white picket fences all around the village.
Bonavista is 45 minutes to an hour's drive north on Route 230 from Trinity, at the very end of the peninsula, and is strongly recommended as a day trip if you're spending a night or two in the area. The section of Bonavista Bay here is noted for its icebergs, which can linger into middle or late summer, so watch for them closely by scanning the horizon for smaller "bergy bits."
The town's importance as a trade and fishing center has decreased somewhat (only because the cod have been seriously fished out), but a couple of surprisingly good cultural sites make this harbor well worth a visit, and Bonavista's present-day population of 3,800 is not too shabby considering where it's located. This place is somehow holding its own. Of course, it's also wonderfully photogenic any time of year -- even in deep winter, when the brittle snows contrast with the pearly water of the bay, thin blues of the sky, and hulking, whitewashed frames of former warehouses lining the waterfront.
Begin at Paradise: The High Road to Bonavista -- If you're going all the way north to land's end and Bonavista, I suggest a quick detour down Route 238 first; the turnoff is in the village of Paradise, a pinprick of a junction about 8km (5 miles) shy of Bonavista. After about 5km (3 miles), you'll arrive in Elliston, a pretty enough coastal village; more to the point, this route takes you into Bonavista via a scenic road that crosses through high upland barrens. The road has excellent views of the whitewashed town and its expansive bay, and you might even see an iceberg or two; this is a great vantage point to scan for them before heading back down to sea level.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.