The scenic town of harbour Grace has a rich history that spans almost 500 years. Visit the well stocked Kearney Tourism Chalet located near Riverhead at the bottom of the harbour for information. Visitors can take advantage of many services, including a large marina and recreational facilities.
In 1610 John Guy referred to the town as "Harbour de Brace". The name was most likely transferred from Harvre de Grace, France, illustrating the influence of French migratory fishermen in the region. On his way to Trinity Bay in 1612, John Guy stopped in Harbour Grace. He noted in his journal that they spent the night very near Peter Easton's pirates' fort in Harbour Grace.
Harbour Grace one of the largest towns on the Baccalieu Trail, has one of the most well developed harbours on the Avalon Peninsula. The town boasts many sites of cultural and historic interest. The Conception Bay Museum, which is near the recorded site of Peter Easton's fort, contains a number of exhibits including one on pirates, one on aviation, and one on fishing.
The Harbour Grace Air Field figured prominently in the history of Transatlantic flight. From 1927-1936, more than twenty flights took off from Harbour Grace to fly the Atlantic, some of them piloted by famous aviators such as Amelia Earhart. The "Spirit of Harbour Grace", DC-3 airplane, was restored and donated to the town in 1993, by the Pike family to commemorate the town's rich past in aviation.
The Railway Station Museum commemorates the first railway line to open between St. John's and Harbour Grace in 1884. The Harbour Grace Regatta is one of the oldest sporting events in North America. The first Harbour Grace Regatta was on Tuesday, July 22, 1862
The SS Kyle, which is moored in the harbour, was built in 1913 and became the first boat to provide Labrador with a regular scheduled service. The boat, which is immortalized in Ted Russell's poem "The Smokeroom on the Kyle," is an icon in Newfoundland culture.
The town has a number of Registered Heritage Structures such as the Cathedral of the Immaculate, St. Paul's Anglican Church (the oldest stone church in the province).as well as Court House . The Heritage District contains a number of homes and buildings including Rothesay House Inn.
The Harbour Authority of Harbour Grace was the initiator of the Admiral's Marina. The Marina is a natural harbour within a harbour, and has 150 berths available, fresh water hook ups, shore power, garbage services, 24 hour security, and a playground. The Admiral's Marina provides a safe haven for boats of a world class facility.
The Marina was built to resemble a pirate fort as a remainder of the 1600s when the notorious pirate,, Peter Easton, one of the most successful pirates of the 17th century, lurked the waters of Conception Bay and built his fort in Harbour Grace.