Port au Choix is a short detour off the Viking Trail (Highway 430). You will take the 430-28 west for about 20 km. On your way you will pass by the community of Port Saunders. Port Saunders boasts a beautiful coastal trail called Crow Head that is a must. At the end of highway 430-28 there is a peninsula that juts out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The townsite of Port au Choix is centred on the isthmus of the peninsula.
Port au Choix is in a very pretty setting and it's home to several attractions. The Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada is on the peninsula. The Visitor Centre has exhibits and a short film where you can learn about Port au Choix's first residents. The centre also houses a nice gift shop. The staff can direct you to the trail, that runs around the perimeter of the peninsula. They can also tell you if there are any active digs.
We went to the far side of the peninsula to the trailhead there. We were lucky enough to come across an actual dig. The researchers took time from their work and gave us a detailed account of what we were seeing. The site was a settlement that dated back 1,000's of years.
(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)
You'll also find the Point Riche Lighthouse in Port au Choix. It's just down a gravel road from the National Historic Site. There's a large parking area, you can start down the Philip's Garden Trail from here.
As you come into town on Route 430-28(Fisher St.), you'll pass a Foodland on your right and then see the Oceanside RV Park on your left. We had scouted this out previously and were glad we did. It was a great place to stay. It's right on the ocean, which we like, because it's bug free. The washrooms and shower were handy and clean. Sites have water and electrical hook-ups and there is a dumping station on the property. With the Foodland behind you across the road, the ocean in front, Port Saunders to your left and Point Riche to your right you have it all! In addition the sunsets can be spectacular!
(click photos to enlarge, click underlined caption for mapped location)
Port au Choix is home to Ben's Studio, which you'll find on your right as you come into town. Ben Ploughman is an accomplished artist. He makes 3D wooden images reflecting Newfoundland themes. CBC Newfoundland and Labrador has a TV show called Land and Sea. They did a full program on Ben which you can find at this link.
Just past Ben's studio on the left is a Western Petroleum station and C & V Convenience. You can pick up some munchies and water before you head out to the trails. The owners are a great couple and he has crazy stories about personal encounters with moose! The folks at C & V also hooked us up with Frank Walters, a local photographer, with some great prints that you can purchase.
The highway, now called Fisher Street, is also the home of The Bakery. Stop in for fresh baked goods and a coffee, and take some treats with you.
If you are looking for a meal The Anchor Cafe is further up the road, across from the fish plant. This is a great experience from arrival to departure. Make sure you have your camera ready for this!
Beside The Anchor Cafe is The French Rooms Cultural Center. This is a neat museum that explains the native and local history, and the french connection. They have an outdoor display on the grounds and an additional display at the trailhead of Barbace Cove Trail.
(click photos to enlarge)
Newfoundland has a gem around every corner. Just following random streets and lanes can introduce you to interesting people, views and experiences. In your plans always allow for free time to simply explore.