Route 310 runs along the northern edge of Terra Nova National Park and winds along inlets and hillsides to the Eastport Peninsula. In and around the town of Eastport are a number of fine sandy beaches, hidden in coves and laid out in long strands edging the road. Some of the best are located along the road from Eastport to Salvage; this route also passes through the wonderfully named village of Happy Adventure, as well as the aptly named village of Sandy Cove. Follow signs and bear right as you enter Eastport.
Across from the Sandy Cove beach is the start of the so-called Old Trails, a local system of walking tracks that have been joined into a corridor that winds along a wooded ridge and past remote ponds about 8km (5 miles) one-way to the lovely little village of Salvage. If you're an experienced hiker, pack a lunch, sturdy boots, and a compass, and make an adventure of it. Brochures with general descriptions of the trails are sometimes available in the local villages. They're also described online in a well-made local tourism website, www.roadtothebeaches.ca/oldtrails.htm.
If you don't have time to walk, drive onward to the picturesque fishing village of Salvage, 10km (6 miles) from Sandy Cove by road. The road mostly runs alongside the water, except for periodic detours up into the hills. The village itself is tucked into and around several coves, and everywhere great slabs of rock protrude from the earth, lending a cinematic drama to the landscape. More about the region's history can be found at the Salvage Fisherman's Museum (tel. 709/677-2414), set on a low hill overlooking the harbor. It's housed in the oldest building in the area, an 1860 home now filled with displays on local fishing heritage. It's open daily from mid-June to mid-September, usually from 10am to 6pm (but sometimes shorter hours); there's a small admission charge.
A longer excursion is the ferry trip that winds through a beautiful archipelago to remote St. Brendan's Island. From Burnside, just north of Eastport, provincial ferries (tel. 709/466-4121 or 709/677-2204) run three to five times daily year-round, with one-way fares of C$8.25 for a car and driver, C$2.75 for additional passengers, C$2 for senior citizens and children age 5 to 12. (You pay the fare when leaving the island only.) The crossing takes 1 hour. The island itself is home to several small communities strung out along 10km (6 miles) of unpaved road, although there are few services for travelers -- just a couple general stores. (The island does make a good destination for mountain bikers, though.) Otherwise, just take the ferry out and back as a low-budget, scenic boat tour: The islands between Burnside and St. Brendan's are uninhabited, wild, and beautiful. You might even spot bald eagles perched along the shore during the crossing.
Also in Burnside, check out the Burnside Archaeology Centre museum (tel. 709/677-2474) on Main Street, easily recognizable by the replica mamateek (aboriginal Canadian birch-bark house) standing outside. The museum displays artifacts from local archaeological digs that have been going on here for about 20 years; some items are as old as 5,000 years. This is a fascinating record of the Beothuk people who inhabited Newfoundland at the time of the first Viking and European contact. You can also watch staff sifting, cleaning, and cataloguing some of the finds. It's usually open daily, mid-June through October (but call ahead before coming). This is also a good place to park and stretch your legs for a scenic walk around the little village.