L'Anse au Clair was incorporated as a town in 1970, the original name of the cove was L'anse Eau Claire (Clear Water Cove).
L'Anse Au Clair was first established by French settlers in the early 1700s. Shortly after the Quebec-Labrador border dispute in 1825, Newfoundlanders and people from the south of England also began settling in L'Anse au Clair. The original name of the community was Anse St. Clair named after one of the first merchants to establish here, whose last name was St. Clair
The first settlers were either Jersey fishermen who decided to stay all year or French fishermen from Blanc Sablon. In the late 1800s, settlers came from the Conception Bay area to work the summer fishery.
The inshore fishery remained important but since the beginning of the ferry service on the Labrador Straits in 1960, L'Anse au Clair has benefited from being the nearest community to the Blanc Sablon terminal.
This community has one of the nicest sandy beaches in the area and a walking trail that brings you to the Jersey Rooms, a site with foundations of buildings and stone walkways that were part of an 18th century fishing enterprise. Other walking trails in the community and along the shoreline will take you to Doctor's Path, Bubbling Sands, and Aunt Mary Jane's Playhouse.
The Gateway to Labrador Visitor Centre, a restored early 20th century church is an attraction itself with its Gothic Revival style architecture and exhibits that showcase all there is to see and do along Labrador Coastal Drive. Information officers will help you plan your stay.