You had me at "picnic by the ocean".
What could be better than a delicious, homemade meal paired with gorgeous views of the ocean crashing up against the cliffside - PLUS a century old lighthouse overlooking the whole thing!? Nothing. That's what.
When thinking of something to do a couple weeks ago for the weekend ahead, I thought "Why not have a picnic at the Ferryland Lighthouse?!" I sure am glad I thought of it, because boy - was it ever the experience of a lifetime!
The lighthouse was built in 1870 (she's lookin' good for her age, though) and sits on a long peninsula southeast of the village of Ferryland. To get there - one must drive up the scenic coastal route on the Southern Shore (A.K.A The Irish Loop) and drive along a winding road while passing quaint fishing communities and ocean views along the way. Seriously, just driving there is an experience in itself!
It's approximately 1-hour away from St. John's, and some tour groups offer the Ferryland Lighthouse as part of their many tour iteneraries.
Once arrived, you'll pass the Visitor Centre and gift shops at the base of the peninsula and drive up the narrow road to the Ferryland Lighthouse parking area. From there, you'll walk the trail up to the lighthouse! You could also walk up from the visitor centre to extend your experience just a liiiiitle bit longer!
Note - it's a requirement to make a reservation for the actual picnic, so be sure to check out their website and book before your visit!
Now, things are running a little differently this year due to COVID-19, so this is how the picnic worked for us:
We booked our picnic and paid via e-transfer (credit card over the phone is also an option!)
We were told to call the Lighthouse when we arrived so they could bring out our meal
We brought our own blanket (it's "BYOB" A.K.A: Bring your own Blanket - this year!)
They told us to wait at one of the "Picnic Pickup Signs" (colored signs with cute lil' animal drawings on them!)
Once ready, they brought out our picnic!
So easy! They took all of the appropriate precautions and safety measures; so you can rest easy that you and your family will be safe!
When we finally found a spot to get our eatin' on, we couldn't WAIT to dig into our meal!
When booking, they will provide you with a menu with a few different sandwich and dessert options. We chose the curried chicken sandwiches (on THICK oatmeal molasses bread slices), and for dessert, a marshmallow brownie for Jarrid, and carrot cake for me! It also came with the most flavourful orzo salad and lemonades. Oh, and did I mentioned it's ALL homemade? *Excuse me while I drool on the floor*
How could you not love enjoying an outdoor picnic while breathing in the salty air and watching seabirds flying all around you? It's truly magical.
After we finished eating, it was relaxing just to sit and admire the view while drinking our lemonades. We got up after a bit and walked along the edge to take in some more views.
There's so much to be learned about the lighthouse and of the village of Ferryland. It's a great place to visit for all ages. There's no better spot in Newfoundland where history and beauty blend together so perfectly, with a splash of lemonade - of course.
If you're interested in learning more history about the lighthouse, HistoricPlaces.ca shares a lovely historical summary that is worth the read!
As we ended our journey and headed back down the trail towards our vehicle, I was able to get a few snaps of the surrounding scenery. From the base of the trail, you can see Isle aux Bois - and on either sides of the peninsula - Sandy Cove and Back Cove.
We couldn't recommend this experience enough! LADIES - get your man on the BALL and tell him to book this thang ASAP! Major brownie points will be scored if he does!
So, if you're looking for an amazing experience whilst on vacation here in Newfoundland & Labrador - be sure to book a Lighthouse Picnic at the Ferryland Lighthouse.
Until the next adventure,