Major Tourist Attractions: L'Arche Museum and Archives, Sailors' Island, Langlade, Miquelon
The last bastion of France’s colonial empire in North America that’s still under French control, the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are a little taste of France right in America’s backyard.
Remote, sometimes harsh, but always picturesque, Saint Pierre and Miquelon is actually an archipelago of eight islands, only two of which are inhabited. The bulk of the population resides on Saint Pierre, the administrative capital and where most tourists arrive. Miquelon is the physically larger island, but only 700 or so of the 6000 total population call this rugged outpost home.
Located just 15 miles off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Saint Pierre and Miquelon may not possess the sun and sand of the French Riviera, but it does offer a stellar glimpse into colonial French life for those willing to make the trek. Dotted with colorful homes, the stark beauty of these enchanting islands will leave you wondering why more folks haven’t heard about them.
Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect during your visit.
- Wander through the colorful homes and museums on Île aux Marins (Sailor’s Island), an abandoned village in Saint Pierre’s harbor.
- Hunt for signs of Al Capone’s presence here in the 1920s by taking the Saint Pierre Prohibition tour, then taking in the Prohibition Museum.
- Appreciate the ruggedness of the islands on a Zodiac boat tour through the archipelago.
- Learn the history behind Saint Pierre’s unique buildings on an architecture tour of the town.
- Take a bird watching tour where you’ll encounter atlantic puffins, kittiwakes, and cormorants among many others.
- Learn about lutherie, the craft of making stringed instruments, at the Violin Makers Workshop.
- Admire the modern stained-glass windows, a gift from Charles de Gaulle, at Saint Pierre Cathedral.
- Dine on scallops, foie gras, and snow crab at a romantic seaside restaurant.
- Spot humpback, minke, and finback whales from a tour boat, or even from the comfort of the shore.
- Take time perusing the extensive archives at L’Arche, the ultra-modern museum documenting the archipelago’s days of old.
Address: 490 Sussex Drive
Phone: 902-429-2480 and press 1