tourist at home

Battle Harbour: Experience History at the Edge of the World

No Wi-Fi, no vehicles, no streetlights—no problem.

Last summer, Liam and I, along with his family, enjoyed one of the most unique destinations I’ve ever visited. Hidden along the coast of Labrador, the small village of Battle Harbour welcomes visitors in the summer and early fall, inviting them to experience a taste of what life was like as a fisher before the collapse of the cod fishery.

The setting sun shines beyond the clouds through the railings of a building on Battle Harbour. In the foreground is tall green grass shining in the sun's rays, with a beaten footpath leading away. In the background are several old white houses, and the ocean just beyond them.

The visitor experience is a heightened version of what the residents of Battle Harbour once lived—having three high-end meals made for you every day, for example. But the feeling that the small community cultivates makes it easy to understand what kept the village going, and why those involved are so passionate about sharing their small piece of history with the world.


A Guide To Whale Watching In Newfoundland

Updated for summer 2020 and COVID restrictions.

There are some experiences Newfoundland offers that are straight-up magical. One of those experiences is whale watching.

Every summer whales arrive in our bays and close to our shores, putting on a show for onlookers. I’ve watched whales swim and feed near me for decades, and it never ceases to amaze me.

A humpback calf fully breaches in Witless Bay. Photo by Jeannine Winkel of Molly Bawn Tour
A humpback calf fully breaches in Witless Bay. Photo by Jeannine Winkel.

Visitors may wonder about whale watching in Newfoundland. So I’m here to answer your questions!

All photos in this article are generously provided by Jeannine Winkel of Molly Bawn Boat Tours.


Alt Hotel Review: St. John’s Central Eco-Hotel

*Updated July 2020*

When I visit a new city, I like to stay right in the heart of it. I love being in the middle of the action, close to all the wonderful things a city has to offer. So when Alt Hotel opened its newest location in central downtown St. John’s, I knew I had to check it out. No matter where I travel in the world, St. John’s always remains one of my favourite cities.

Perched on the corner of Water Street and Prescott Street, Alt Hotel is a perfect spot for experiencing the best that St. John’s has to offer.

Alt Hotel St. John's Modern Nan Travel Blog


Locals I Love: Maggie Burton

One of my favourite locally-focused travel blogs is Girl In Florence. Georgette writes a great series on her blog titled “Locals I Love,” and it has inspired me to do the same for Newfoundland! There are so many wonderful people making Newfoundland a smarter, brighter, more creative place, and I plan to profile some of my favourites.

Starting with Maggie Burton.

Maggie is a creative powerhouse on the local arts scene. She co-founded the St. John’s New Music Collective, is a regular name in local publications such as Riddle Fence, and a regular face on the music scene both as a performer and accompanist to other local acts.

Locals I Love: Maggie Burton is a powerhouse on the local arts scene in St. John's, Newfoundland

This week, she is releasing her first poetry chapbook, Hands That Knew Heat, at Broken Books on Thursday at 7. So before you read her beautiful poetry, let’s get to know her!


Top Scoff: Tavola

This post has been a long time coming. (Really, any post has been a long time coming. It’s been a while.)

I went to Tavola with Liam in November (November!) for our anniversary. I had been wanting to go for ages, and our anniversary was the perfect excuse to get down there.

Let me tell you – I was not disappointed! The wait was certainly worth it.

Modern Nan Tavola Header


Top Local Spots To Shop For Christmas (And All Year)

Okay, so

We all know it’s coming. Some of you are (like me) super excited and are already eyeing those tinsel-filled boxes. (If you haven’t pulled them out already.) Some of you are plugging your ears and chanting “fa-la-la-notlistening-la-la-la” because it’s still November. But whatever your feelings at this point in the year, it’s still coming.


And let’s be honest. You want to beat the rush. You want to know all the best gifts and where to get them. And best of all, you want to buy local.

Shop Local St. John's


Delaying Hibernation: Things To Do In St. John’s In The Fall

Okay, so I know a lot of people are super pumped about fall. And I get it. Comfy sweaters, warm drinks, colourful leaves, Halloween. Lots of cool things. But for people like me, summer is when we come alive. I’m a hibernator. When the weather gets cool, I crawl under my coziest blanket(s) and the only people who can get me to leave it are the ones who literally pay me to. (Pfft. Jobs and stuff, amirite?)

The summer is when I come alive. It’s my time to shine. So when it ends, I’m sad and cranky, and a little cold.

But that’s not fair to fall. It really is a great time of year, especially if you can get past the icky weather.

So if you find yourself feeling like this in St. John’s over the next couple of months, here are some suggestions to get you out of that hibernation prep feeling.


top scoff, fries dressing and gravy edition: episode 4 – country delight

I can spend my time going around from greasy spoon to greasy spoon, giving you technical (scientific, even) descriptions and reviews of all the fries, dressing, and gravy you could ever eat.

But let’s be honest. When it comes down to it, everyone has one spot they hold dear in their hearts, and nothing anyone says or does will ever change that.

For me, that place is Country Delight.


Tales of the Officers – A Night With the St. John’s Haunted Hike

Recently, the officers of the St. John’s Haunted Hike were kind enough to invite me on one of their tours. So on Thursday evening, I tagged along on their Ghosties and Ghoulies tour. The G&G tour is their classic walk full of spine-tingling tales of local hauntings and crimes through our history.

For an hour and a quarter, we wandered the streets of downtown St. John’s, learning all kinds of things that will almost definitely make me rush past certain spots when I’m walking at night.

St. John's Haunted Hike