Less than an hour outside of town, Brigus is a great spot for a single-day excursion.
The main reason to visit? Brigus is intensely quaint. Newfoundland has plenty of cute little towns, but Brigus is all antique shops, diners, and B&Bs. The vibe is straight-up Star’s Hallow.
First off, there’s the Blueberry Festival, all weekend long (Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 14). Games of chance, folk music, gospel, the Miss Blueberry pageant, pie eating contest, dances, and fireworks. It’s guaranteed summer memories.
Then, there’s North Brook Cottage Antiques & Collectibles. Its owner has been collecting, buying, and selling for years, and has since set up in a building with a history near the centre of town.
“The store was originally owned by a lady named Masie Shea,” says the shop owner, who works in town during the week, and opens up shop on the weekends. “She owned a small candy/general store there since the ‘50s.”
Other sites include Hawthorne Cottage, family homestead of Captain Bob Bartlett, one of the country’s greatest Arctic explorers. The cottage and heritage gardens are now a National Historic Site of Canada.
If you’re up for some Goonies-style exploring, there’s the Tunnel. The Tunnel is just past the beach, down from the old Anglican church. The Tunnel was bored through solid rock on the waterfront in 1860 to provide access to a deep-water berth for the Bartlett sailing ships, so the ships could unload easily.
When it’s time to grab something to eat, there’s North Street Cafe for toutons and baked beans, or Jigg’s Dinner on Sundays. There’s also the Country Corner for cod chowder and blueberry crisp. Or, you could skip them both and stop at the E&E Drive-In on your way out of town.
Established in 1968, serving take-out food for over 45 years, the E&E is operating at an elite level when it comes to deep-fried foods in the province. The cheeseburger platter (“Regular,” “Large,” and “Super”) is where it’s at. The “Regular” is big enough for most humans, as it comes with a whack of fries, a burger with the works, and onion rings, each of which is approximately the size of a doughnut.
The Brigus Blueberry Festival schedule is available at brigus.net