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If your Newfoundland and Labrador vacation plans include any driving and if you are the adventurous type who chooses accommodations and attractions as you go, then before you leave, you should make sure you have a good travel guide and road map. The latest travel map produced was done by the National Geographic Society, Maps Division. Known as the National Geographic Geotourism Map of Newfoundland, it's a map that highlights cultural and ecological points of interest and is great for establishing an itinerary. It's a high quality design that many have come to expect from National Geographic. For those of you whose first stop when planning any trip that involves driving is the local CAA / AAA office, (in general, Tourbooks are quite useful and their maps top-notch) be forewarned that for Newfoundland, it's probably not worth that stop. The Tourbook includes Quebec and the Maritime Provinces as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. There are no more than 5-6 pages on Newfoundland in either the information section or the accommodations section; coverage of attractions, accommodations and restaurants is cursory at best. The road map is even worse. Newfoundland is only included on a general map of Eastern Canada.
Most of the popular travel guides include Newfoundland and Labrador with other significant chunks of Canada. Fodor's and Moon Travel have the province in their Atlantic Canada guide, which also covers Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island; Lonely Planet and Michelin include the province in the Canada country guide, no regional guide. However, you needn't despair of detailed reliable information for both planning your trip and for carrying along with you.
Frommer's Newfoundland and Labrador by Andrew Hempstead (2012) is a great tool. It includes those very helpful initial chapters found in most Frommer's guides: (1) "The Best of..."; (2) "Planning Your Trip to..."; and (3) "Suggested Itineraries". It will become obvious to you that Mr. Hempstead has traveled extensively in Newfoundland and kept comprehensive notes as he did so. Descriptions, directions, and phone numbers are clear, concise and up-to-date.
If you plan your trip enough ahead of time, be sure to contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to ask for a copy of their Traveller's Guide. It contains even more information than Frommer's, including accommodations (by type and by geographic region); shopping; camping; festivals and events, attractions; tours, and more. It's like a portable copy of their well-designed and extensive web site (which is constantly updated and contains the most up to date information, and has new social media upgrades like Facebook, YouTube, Virtual Scrapbook and an RSS feed sign-up.) Each section of the guide is very well organized, and the indices provide several ways to find the information you're looking for. It's also pocket-sized, which is handy. If you're more of a spur-of-the-moment type traveler, you can pick up a copy of the guide at any of the many Information and Visitor Information Centres once you arrive. In fact, there's an information kiosk in the lobby of the St. John's airport.
If you are interested in the many wonderful natural attractions of the province, you should also check out Atlantic Canada Nature Guide by Barrett and Thurston (1998). The Newfoundland and Labrador chapter provides additional information on national parks, provincial parks, scenic drives and ecological reserves.
The Tourism Department also produces a fine Traveller's Map that usually ships with the Traveller's Guide to make trip planning easier. Request a copy before you leave or pick up a copy when you arrive. It has an especially detailed map of the Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas. If you rent a car at the St. John's airport, be sure to pick up the rental company's hand-out map; while the map of the province is small scale and not very useful, except for general orientation, the map of St. John's is quite detailed. MapArt produces a great road map of the province, and includes inset maps of about ten cities; you can buy a copy in many Canadian airports. If you plan to spend time on the southern part of the Avalon Peninsula (highly recommended!), you will also want the map of the Irish Loop and Cape Shore recently produced by the Southern Avalon Tourism Association.
Most GPS systems from the U.S. include Canada and will do well on major and secondary roads, and even in some of the smaller villages. However, many of the places you may want to visit, such as scenic fishing villages or bird colonies, are located on local roads that may not be included in your system's database. So turn off the "voice" and use one of the guides recommended here.