L'ANSE AUX MEADOWS
Around the year 1000, Vikings from Greenland and Iceland founded the first European settlement in North America, near the northern tip of Newfoundland. They arrived in the New World 500 years before Columbus but stayed only a few years and were forgotten for centuries. Since the settlement's rediscovery in the last century, the archaeological site has brought tourism to the area. Viking themes abound but so do views, whales, icebergs, fun dining experiences, and outdoor activities. L'Anse Aux Meadows on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland is a remote community of just 40 people, with St Anthony, 40 minutes away, having a population of only 3,500. The region is locally famous for springtime polar bears, nesting eider ducks, the northern extreme of the Appalachians at nearby Belle Isle, numerous spring and summer icebergs, and a rich ocean fishery. L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site is the UNESCO World Heritage Site that tells the story of Leif Erickson and the first Europeans in the new world. This site is often the keystone attraction for cruises themed around the Vikings. Discovered in 1960, it is the site of a Norse village, the only known one in North America outside of Greenland. The site remains the only widely-accepted instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and is notable for possible connections with the attempted colony of Vinland established by Leif Ericson around 1003, or more broadly with Norse exploration of the Americas. The root of the name "L'Anse aux Meadows" is believed to have originated with French fishermen in the area during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, who named the site L'Anse aux Meduses, meaning 'Jellyfish Bay'.