L'Anse Aux Meadows
Many of us learned the rhyme when we were children: "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Harder to fit into a catchy phrase is the tale of Viking exploration of the continent. Historians had long believed that Norse settlers had arrived in North America in the late 10th and 11th centuries, but the discovery of L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960 offered solid evidence. (Its inclusion on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1978 reflects the significance of the find.) Visitors to the site today can see the ruins of eight buildings, explore a reconstructed Viking encampment of sod buildings with timber frames, and interact with interpreters who, dressed as Vikings, stay in character. The site's visitors center provides an introduction to the work of archaeologists here and their discoveries, as well as the history of the Vikings in the New World.