The Salmon Cove Beach in Newfoundland has sand and lots of it. It's dark sand but it's sand nonetheless which is not something you see much of in Newfoundland. As such, this place is popular for families and those with dogs. They have Porta Potties (not the nicest bathrooms but at least they have them fully stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitizer) and picnic tables as well.
The beach is vast so you won't feel crowded and the scenery from the beach is as beautiful as it gets. There are sea cliffs and sea stacks and when we were there, the Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Board was filming a commercial to advertise the area. I can see why: it's gorgeous!
There is also a short hike, The Trail of the Eagle which is only about 2 km, above the beach in the woods. There are a plethora of blueberry bushes in there as well so if you go during blueberry season, you'll have fun picking blueberries as well as hiking. The hike isn't too challenging except going up the stairs in the beginning as they are steep. Wear bug spray though because there are lots of insects in the woods including black flies. I was bitten on the neck twice despite wearing repellent but I didn't apply it to my neck.
The beach itself is dog friendly and there are rubbish bins near the parking lot. To get to the parking lot, turn onto Penny's Road from Highway 70. It isn't signed very well so be sure to have your GPS or map with you so you don't miss the turnoff. There is also a $2.50 fee per person to visit Salmon Cove for which you'll receive a ticket you can put on your dashboard.
There are lots of places to eat or get a picnic lunch in nearby towns like Carbonear or Harbour Grace. There is also a boardwalk for those who prefer not to go on the beach or those in a wheelchair so you can still enjoy the view. There is also a lookout point where you get the best view.
Salmon Cove is definitely worth the drive from St. John's. The photos don't do it justice; it's more breathtaking in person.
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