during a recent trip to newfoundland with family and friends, we were fortunate to stay in lodging on the port au choix peninsula with easy access to the national historic site. when we arrived the first evening, we only had time to stop by the visitor's center and take a quick drive over to the point riche lighthouse.
the facilities at the visitor's center were clean and the staff was friendly. (there is a nominal entry fee for this attraction, but i am unsure as to the specific amount, as i'd purchased the 7-day "viking trail pass" for our vehicle earlier in the day at gros morne national park, which saved us a tidy sum over the entry fees for our party of three between the three parks/historic sites we we planning to visit during our three day stay on the island.) the octagonal wooden lighthouse was built in 1892, two years after the original lighthouse on the site burned down. i was disappointed to find that you could not actually go into the lighthouse, but there are certainly plenty of other things to explore at the site.
due to our late arrival the first night, i had to wait until the next evening to see what the other side of the peninsula had to offer. again that evening, we returned to the area with little time to sightsee before sunset, but i still had time to strike out on my own (my travel companions are not "outdoorsy" in the least) and walk over to barbace cove, where there is a restored french oven and chaloupe, the latter of which was built in 2004 by a basque maritime association. in addition to viewing these items, one of my main reasons for going on a short evening hike was to try to spot some of the local wildlife. (my trip had been frustrating moose- and caribou- free.) i did not see any this evening, but was lucky enough to run into a grazing caribou over in the "phillip's garden" area the next morning.
though port au choix is a little out of the way, it is certainly worth a visit. an hour or two will suffice if you're not a fan of hiking, but if you'd like to spend time soaking up the scenery and exploring the trails, it might be wise to plan a daylong visit. (as a bonus, fantastic food and lodging can both be found in town.)
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