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November visit?

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Hopewell, New Jersey
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24 posts
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November visit?

My husband, son and I have a five-day weekend in November. If we came to St. John's, would this be a good place and/or good time of year to see any of these: northern lights, icebergs, whales, puffins, fjords, coastal scenery. Thanks for any help you can give us!

Norris Point, Canada
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1. Re: November visit?

November is definitely not the best time to visit Newfoundland.

Weather can be quite nasty. It's very unlikely to see icebergs, whales and northern lights in November and most of the birds migrated south. The coastal scenery is still there bot often covered in fog. Fjords are only located on the west coast. St. John's is a lovely city with it's own charm and character and lots to see and well worth a trip anyway.

Hopewell, New Jersey
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2. Re: November visit?

Thanks for being so candid. Maybe we'll think about the spring break instead. Do you know anything about Long's Hill Suites in St. John's? I'd rather be in an apartment in a local neighborhood than in a hotel room. Thanks again.

Townsville...
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652 posts
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3. Re: November visit?

Would agree that November is not a good time to visit. Icebergs/whales, I believe, are usually around June-ish.?.?

We were supposed to go to St. John's in July/August this year and I had booked with Long's Hill Suites as they have a house that would have accommodated all of us. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our trip and therefore didn't get to stay there. I plan to book with them again when we do get to go.

Check out the reviews for Long's Hill Suites

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g154964-d619790…

Hopewell, New Jersey
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24 posts
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4. Re: November visit?

Thanks for the heads up. That's where I saw Long's Hill, in that review. I hope you get to re-plan your trip.

St. John's, Canada
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77 posts
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5. Re: November visit?

Hi there,

By Spring Break if you mean in Feb/March, you may want to rethink that as well... LOL! Those months can be pretty nasty here snow-wise. June is iceberg/whale month and July/August would be best for the weather. October will be nice as well though with the Fall foilage. I've never been in Long Hill Suites but I live in the neighborhood and it's a convenient location. Also you may want to check out this site http://34bond.com/ as they have 2 houses they rent out both in the downtown area... one used to be mine a few years ago! I'm not sure about service, etc. though. There's lots to do in St. John's itself (an old city with lots of character) but I do recommend a few days outside the city as well. The west coast of the Island (Gros Morne/Corner Brook area) probably has more scenery (fjiords, etc) but that's an 8-10 hour drive and I definately wouldn't recommend it in the winter. You can fly from St. John's to Deer Lake but that's quite pricey ([probably cheaper to fly to the UK... LOL!). I hope this helps! Let me know if I can be of further help.

Hopewell, New Jersey
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24 posts
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6. Re: November visit?

Oh, I get it now. It's like Rochester, NY, where I grew up. You know they have just two seasons there... winter and the 4th of July! Okay, June visit it is. Thanks so much for the information. I really do want to see fjords, so maybe I'd better think this through. Maybe I should just go to Norway for that! I'll keep your information about rentals. Funny that you used to live in one of the houses!

St. John's, Canada
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7. Re: November visit?

Yes it's really bizarre re the houses... my friend actually used to own the other at one point! And neither of us know the guy who bought them and rent them out. I'm tempted to go back and stay a night myself!

The only thing I'll warn you about in June is the FOG! It's not typically a warm month and the fog can be a bummer. But it brings with it the caplin, which bring the whales. And the bergs! July the weather is better, but you could miss the whales and bergs. Late July is the Annual George Street Festival which is a fun time if you're into bars and pubs but very unlikely to see the whales and bergs then!

Re the Northern Lights... I don't think they're typically visible from teh island part of the province... only Labrador. Maybe someone else can comment on that. Maybe on the northern part of the island (close to the fjiord area) but I'm not sure.

And Gros Morne is definately worth the visit... beautiful over there. Gros Morne Mountain is a great (and strenuous!) hike!

Let me know if there's anything else!

Hopewell, New Jersey
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8. Re: November visit?

Thanks so much for all the good info. I've been wanting to visit Newfoundland/Labrador for about a decade -- had planned a trip in the '90s, but because of my pregnancy stayed close to home. Now it's so hard to get away!

Townsville...
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652 posts
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9. Re: November visit?

Just wanted to say that I think you will really enjoy Newfoundland. So many people visit and compliment the how friendly the Newfies are :-)

I'm from there ... its been a very long time since I was last 'home' but all the chatter about it and seeing pics of St. John's tugs at me and I feel the need to take a holiday there, especially as my Aussie born hubby has never been there before. I want to show it off, want him to experience it, want him to feel the warmth of the Newfoundland people.

Anyway, the excitement you seem to be having planning/talking about this trip is wonderful and is making me want to go next year (since we didn't get there this year as I had said).

I hope all your plans fall into place

Owen Sound, Canada
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10. Re: November visit?

For whales [humpbacks] inshore, July is more reliable than June. This year it was mid-July before any appreciable numbers of humpbacks were around at Witless Bay, one of the premier whale watching spots, although this varies by year.

Fog can be a concern, especially on the Avalon Peninsula, at any time but the poster above is correct it is "generally" worse earlier than later in the summer.

The Avalon Peninsula [St. John's area] in July offers the chance to see 10's of thousands of puffins, a good chance for whales, woodland caribou, spectacular northern gannets at Cape St. Mary's, wonderful coastal scenery etc.

Icebergs can be 'hit and miss' -this year was excellent, the past couple of years very poor.

cheers

Jerry