Cabin, cottage, chalet, vacation home, summer home, whatever you call it, they’re loved in Newfoundland!
The term “cabin” is what most Newfoundlanders will use, though cottage is quite common in other geographic areas. Either way, we’re generally referring to a small house-like structure, usually in a semi-rural or rural area that’s meant for a holiday or vacation type use. This could mean as a rental for people who are temporarily visiting, or somebody who owns a cabin may use it frequently, even every weekend!
Cabins come in many shapes in sizes. Some may be large and luxurious, others may be small and wouldn’t even pass building inspection in a modern municipality! Some may have beautiful chandeliers, others may not have electricity! Some may have a jacuzzi, others may not even have running water! The common thread is that you can have a fun time with your friends and family at any cabin.
As well, most cabins will be near an ocean or pond, have a wood or oil stove indoors for heating, an outdoor fire pit, and if they don’t have electricity from the grid, have a generator or solar panels for minor electricity needs, or maybe just gas lanterns for lighting.
Newfoundland Cabin Culture
Why are cabins seemingly so popular in Newfoudland? Perhaps it’s because locals love to have a good time and socialize, and cabins are all about that. Or maybe because when people who live a rural lifestyle have to move to the bigger city for work, they still want to have access to their former way of living. It’s hard to point to any single reason, but there’s no denying that Newfoundlanders love a cabin.
Local radio station VOCM even has a long-running Saturday night radio show called The Cabin Party which plays classic country music. It’s ingrained in our culture. There are even entire songs written about it, such as this one, which gives a great explanation of cabin life.
To an outsider, it may seem odd that people would be so eager to leave their comfortable homes with running water, electricity, and all the amenities, to get to a small place in the woods that may not have any of these things. But once you experience a cabin, you will understand why.
No matter where you vacation, you may choose to enjoy a summer-home or cottage style accommodation, but especially in Newfoundland it is not to be missed!
Renting a Cabin in Newfoundland
It’s important to note that not all cabins are short on amenities. While some are far in the wilderness, others are in much more convenient locations and will have electricity, heat, running water, full kitchens, etc.
So you can definitely have the cabin experience in comfort during your travels.
There are a number of ways you could rent a cabin in Newfoundland, perhaps the most common and obvious one now would be Airbnb, where you can do a search for Cabins across the entire province.
Here’s an example:
Aside from Airbnb there are many other cabin rental opportunities, particularly some established businesses who have been doing this for years.
There are also various other campgrounds, parks, and motel-style accomodations around the island which may offer cabins in addition to their other lodging options, such as Golden Sands Resort.
Booking early is recommended, since the best spots are often reserved quickly!
How to Prepare
If a cabin is available for rent, chances are that it will have all the amenities you’ll need, such as running water and electricity. Some people who own private cabins in Newfoundland do without these things, and there are Airbnb listings specifically for those who want to go off the grid, but most of the rentals are made for those who don’t want to “rough it” too much.
You’ll just want to make sure when booking your Newfoundland cabin rental to read the details and ensure it has everything you need.
Some other items worth noting:
The photos of a serene cabin patio with chairs leave out one detail: mosquitoes and black flies!
Since most cabins are located near wooded areas, this usually means these pesky little flies may pay you a visit. This is common right across Canada, and not really unique to Newfoundland, but if you’re not used to spending time in more rural areas, you may be unaware.
Flies tend to be worst around dusk, and may be kept at bay by a breeze, campfire, fly coil, or bug zapper.
They can be worse at certain times of summer than others, but there’s no denying that if you’re outdoors in a wooded area, they’re coming for you no matter what.
Bug repellent is a must, though a fly hat and long pants/shirts may help as well. And no cabin packing is complete without a tube of After Bite.
Many cabins are located near water, either the ocean, a pond, or a lake. Consult with your rental host about whether or not the water is safe or suitable for swimming before you get in.
Some may even provide a motorboat, dinghy, paddle board, or other items for water fun. Be sure to always wear a life jacket and practice smart water safety.
Cooking and Food Storage
Again, most rental cabins will be equipped with a proper kitchen, BBQ, and fridge/freezer.
In lesser-equipped units you may find a camp stove instead of a real stove and oven, camping cooler requiring ice instead of a fridge, etc.
Coming properly prepared is the important thing! Find out about the situation before arriving. Most times you can’t go wrong with BBQ-focused meals! It’s also a great time to pick up some Newfoundland steak (bologna) for breakfast or a snack.
- Where is the nearest grocery store and/or restaurant?
- What food can you safely store and cook?
- How many meals worth of food do you need to keep on hand before you’ll be able to purchase more?
- Even if you have a fridge at the cabin, will cold food spoil on the trip from the store to the cabin?
- Is there running water? If so, is it safe to drink or will you need to bring enough drinking water with you?
- If you would like any alcoholic beverages, domestic beer is available from most corner stores and gas stations, but anything else would need to be purchased at a liquor store.
We hope this has helped provide some useful information for booking your cabin rental when you visit Newfoundland! Please see our other articles to learn more about planning a trip to Newfoundland.