Corner Brook, NL, Canada

Surveyed by Captain James Cook in 1767, Corner Brook is an island on the west coast of Newfoundland, separating the St. Lawrence River from the Atlantic Ocean to form the stunning Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Corner Brook is set against the impressive backdrop of the Long Range Mountains, which form the northernmost section of the Appalachian Mountains.

This larger-than-life scenery creates a dramatic first impression when you arrive by ship, especially during the final stage that takes you around 20 miles through the Bay of Islands, a freshwater fjord, towards the mouth of the Humber River. The jagged slopes and thick forest are scenic at any time of year, although the autumn can be the most eye-catching when many of the leaves turn red, orange and copper.

Captain James Cook arrived and surveyed the area in 1767, charting the Bay of Islands and coast now dotted with fishing villages. The Captain James Cook National Historic Site, set on a cliff top, offers a spectacular view over the area. The museum also contains a number of the local maps he created, and many of the names he bestowed remain today. You could follow Captain Cook’s Trail, to charming spots like Lark Harbor, Bottle Cove and Frenchman’s Cove. You might even try some of the unique local cuisine. This includes salted meat and fish, especially cod, once a necessity for seeing residents through the long winter months, as well as pies and desserts made from local berries, such as partridgeberry.

The natural setting takes center stage in this corner of Canada, and there are many walking trails around Corner Brook as well as opportunities for zip lining and river rafting for the more adventurous.

Some of the most spectacular scenery is found in Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its varied terrain includes tundra, forest, bogs, salt marshes, waterfalls, and a freshwater fjord. Yet perhaps the most fascinating spot of all is the area known as the Tablelands. Here, tectonic plates collided millions of years ago, forcing part of the earth’s mantle to the surface, creating a vast, striking and geologically intriguing landscape, scattered with ancient rocks.