Colony of Avalon is on Hwy. 10, following signs. In the early 16th century this part of the Avalon Peninsula was visited seasonally by Beothuk Indians and migratory fishermen from England, France, Portugal and Spain. The colony, established in 1621 by Sir George Calvert, was one of several early ventures by the English in the New World and was one of the first in Canada to result in sustained settlement. Deemed as abandoned upon Calvert's departure south to found what is now Maryland, Avalon was granted via royal charter in 1637 to adventurer and merchant Sir David Kirke, who governed the colony until 1651.
At Avalon’s several dig sites, visitors can watch archeologists as they carefully unearth such relics as rare coins and gold rings, pottery shards, arrow points, cannonballs and iron spurs as well as foundations of homes occupied by the Calvert and Kirke families. Conservators can be viewed piecing together excavated artifacts within the Conservation Laboratory; the completed objects are displayed at the Visitor Centre.
In a reproduction of a 17th-century kitchen, interpreters dressed in period costumes relate the customs of Avalon's early residents. Three heritage gardens impart a sense of which herbs and vegetables may have been consumed at the colony in the 1600s.