The town of Portugal Cove - St. Phillips is a picturesque community nestled in a particularly beautiful area just outside of St. John's. The community can trace its history to the early 16th century when Portuguese explorer Gasper Corte Real stopped in the area to bury two of his crew who had died at sea. When Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville raided Conception Bay in 1696, Abbe Baudoin recorded that three families were living in Portugal Cove.
Early settlers were of both English and Irish ancestry. The White House in Portugal Cove is one of Canada's Historic Places. The building has architectural value as an example of construction techniques utilized by Irish settlers Newfoundland.
In 1992, Portugal Cove was amalgamated with St. Philip's and Hogan's Pond which is renowned for its Rainbow Trout. Like all areas in the Northern Avalon, the town is a well-Known spot for whale watching.
Portugal Cove is the home of the Bell Island ferry terminal. The car and passenger ferry takes about 20 minutes to reach Bell Island and it travels back and forth to the island about every 40 minutes.
The town is part of the East Coast Trail system. Brock Head Path leads from Portugal Cove to Brock Head and there is a Botanical Interpretive Hike: from St. Phillips to Beachy Cove. Beachy Cove's calm and relatively warm waters provide the ideal location for visitors to take a quick swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
Broad Cove/St. Phillips Beach is well known amongst local scuba divers, Sea Kayakers, and personal water craft enthusiasts. It is also a very good spot to watch caplin "roll" in season. (usually early to mid summer.)