Back to “New Scotland” aka Nova Scotia

Road Diary update from Nova Scotia.  Click here to read the previous Road Diary update from this Maritime Canada road trip.

After a couple of weeks road tripping around New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, Chris (my videographer and sidekick on this trip) and I are back in Nova Scotia, also known as “New Scotland.” We left late yesterday afternoon from PEI and boarded the Northumberland Ferry. It was a beautiful and sunny day and a very picturesque voyage.

Nova Scotia PEI ferry

We stayed the evening not far from the ferry terminal at the Pictou Lodge Resort. The location is fantastic, with stunning views, great grounds and a wonderful beach. However, the cabin-esque accommodations are on the rustic side and have not been updated in a very long time. The lodge is pretty cool and the restaurant serves great food.

The next day we went to explore Pictou, which is known as the birthplace of New Scotland. We spent most of our time at the Hector Heritage Quay, a living history attraction that tells the story of 18-Century Scottish migration to the area. Touring the replica ship in the harbor really put in perspective the arduous journey that took place over two hundred years ago.

Pictou Nova Scotia aerial image by Mike Shubic of

We then headed east along the coast toward Arisaig. Along the way (about 40 minutes from Pictou) I noticed a sign that said something “point,” so I thought it might be a cool road to explore with water views. When we got to the end of the road, all we saw was a cemetery surrounded by trees (no water). I decided to send my drone up to see if there was any photos opps worth capturing.  Just above the trees I saw the water and flew in that direction. I saw what I thought was a large sandbar, but in fact it was a road. I told Chris to get back in the car and let’s see if we could find out how to get there.

With the help of Google Maps, we went down the main drag a bit farther and turned north on Big Island Road. Soon, we were crossing this very cool stretch of road with water on both sides. There was a wide spot in which we pulled over and then walk along this beautiful stretch of beach on the north side of the road. There was not a soul in sight, and over the next 30 minutes, we only saw two other cars drive past. The road leads to Big Island, an area we did not explore as time was waning.

Big Island Road aerial in Nova Scotia by Mike Shubic of

A little farther down Shore Road we came across Arisaig, an area full of artisan studios. Within this area is Steinhart Distillery, which has gained fame for its maple-flavored vodka. We stopped for a quick tour and a taste. A very cool venue worth checking out.

It was getting a bit late in the afternoon, so we continued onward. About 18 miles east of Steinhart Distillery we came across Cape George Point. A dirt road winds itself around a mountain face until finally a lighthouse was revealed. Unlike most of the other lighthouses around Nova Scotia, Cape George is on a high elevation overlooking the sea. This was such a wonderful place to hang out for a while and take in the stupendous views.

Maritime Canada Lighthouses - Cape George by Mike Shubic of

As much as we didn’t want to leave Cape George, we did have accommodations and dinner reservations at DesBarres Manner in Guysborough, which was certainly off the beaten path. The drive to Guysborough was really memorable, with quiet shoreline roads, pounding surf beaches and romantic seaside villages along the way. DesBarres Manner was a welcome sight after a long day of road tripping. This historic mansion is beautifully restored and the restaurant serves some fantastic food.

DesBarres Manner aerial by Mike of

Tomorrow we’ll explore a bit of Guysborough before heading to Sherbrooke, I hope you’ll stay tuned. Click here to read the next Road Diary update from this road trip around Nova Scotia, Canada.




Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.