Historic Inn with Views of Conception Bay
Bell Island off of Newfoundland was one of the only places in North America to encounter enemy action during World War II. In two separate incidents in Conception Bay in 1942, German U-boats torpedoed carriers that were loaded with 80,000 tons of iron ore due to be shipped. The Royal Canadian Navy fired back with cannons in at least one of the attacks, but missed their targets. At low tide in the bay, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the remains of the four sunken carriers.
The infamous battle took place not far from the Sisters of Mercy convent—the stately building is located inland, just a 10-minute walk from the Royal Navy's cannons. Today, the convent has been transformed into the Belle of the Bay Inn; though it's close to the historic cannons, the area nowadays is a haven for quietude and relaxation. The inn added to its intriguing history when it earned a four-star rating from Canada Select.
Belle of the Bay features eight guest rooms, all with views of the coast. Standard rooms are bright and airy; room 201, The Collar, for example, features large picture windows and pastel-colored comforters atop queen or double beds. Some guest rooms have shared bathrooms, but the rooms available with this Groupon offer private bathrooms. Come morning, each guest can dig into a complimentary breakfast.
At the onsite Belle's Café and Bistro, chefs whip up breakfast entrees, specialty coffees, desserts, and light lunch fare, in addition to smoothies and ice-cream treats. In the dining room each evening, you can dine on plates amid occasional live entertainment.
If you get a minute, it's worth it to stop by the gift shop, which sells locally produced goods such as Newfoundland Natural soaps, Dark Tickle jams and teas, and Purity candles, as well as books and artwork.
Bell Island, Newfoundland: Historic Battles and Iron Mines on Scenic Island
Bell Island is only 12 square miles in area—or 32 square kilometers, if you're a local—and Belle of the Bay Inn guests can rent electric or regular bicycles (for a nominal fee) to pedal around the whole thing.
Dating back to 1895, the island was a major iron-mining site for the British Empire. Visitors can learn about this "Iron Isle" at the No. 2 Mine Museum, which features artifacts and photographs from the area's heyday. You can also journey beneath the surface on a walking tour of underground shafts.
Aside from a storied history, Bell Island is rife with beautiful scenery: coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, and stunning ocean vistas cover the area. In the summertime, the locals frequent Lance Cove Beach—about a 30-minute walk from the inn—for outdoor concerts, ocean swims, and seagull beauty pageants. On the beach, you can find the Seamen's Memorial, which commemorates the 69 sailors lost in the two separate German U-boat attacks in 1942.