The site of L'Anse aux Meadows, at the very northern tip of the island of Newfoundland, was the first authenticated European settlement in North America—and it happened 500 years before the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Around AD 1000, Norse Vikings built at least eight sod-and-wood buildings there, 300 mi/480 km northwest of what became St. John's. Three of the structures have been identified as dwellings and another as a blacksmith's shop. You can visit a re-creation of the settlement, approximately 1.3 mi/2 km down the road at Norstead.
In addition to the buildings, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there's a visitors center with exhibits about the Vikings. Though somewhat off the beaten path, L'Anse aux Meadows is well worth the trip.
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