The friendly people of the small town of Gander are famous for their generous open-door policy. They've shown their warm-hearted nature on several occasions, welcoming stranded air travellers into their homes when air travel has been delayed for long periods of time – like the massive volcanic eruption in Iceland that shut down Atlantic airspace in 2010.
Although Gander was plan B for many of these accidental tourists, the range of seasonal activities including whale watching along the scenic sandy coast, Nordic skiing, summer golf, kayaking, hunting and ATV areas bumps a return trip to the A list. Other stand-outs include fishing for Atlantic salmon on the Gander River, the Little Harbour Marina and the North Atlantic Aviation Museum.
Air travel has always played a central role for Gander. The city's location was originally chosen as a refueling depot for flights leaving North America for the United Kingdom and continental Europe, giving it the nickname the "Cross-roads of the world". Its location as the most easterly airport in Canada played an important role in World War II as allied aircraft and troops were stationed in Gander before heading over the Atlantic.
After the war, the town of Gander began to spring up a short distance from the airport. Many of the streets and avenues of Gander are named after historic aviators and airline innovators. Other big names brought to Gander for stop-overs (and longer visits) include Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, The Beatles, Fidel Castro and George Bush Sr.
Gander's location at the centre of Newfoundland and Labrador makes it an ideal spot for conferences and festivals. In addition to yearly flight events, Gander holds a number of charity motorcycle rides and a growing triathlon that has been held since 2010. Wintertime sees the return of Snowfari which combines ice fishing, skiing and motorized snow fun with indoor feasts and festivities.
Whether you are visiting Gander, returning home or just stopping over, Gander's history and friendly people make it a great spot to fly to.