Top-10 Places to visit in Nova Scotia, Canada
This is a list of some of the top places to visit in Nova Scotia, Canada, including helpful links to information and videos on the various destinations. Nova Scotia is an ideal province for road trips and scenic drives because you’re never far from the sea. With fishing, beachcombing, whale watching and other popular attractions, it’s no reason Nova Scotia is known as Canada’s Ocean Playground!
I’ve been to Nova Scotia twice now and have an opportunity to road trip a great deal of the province. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
LUNENBURG is a colorful community with UNESCO status
The UNESCO site of Lunenburg is a colorful community dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, where the past mingles with the present. Tall ships are often moored in the harbor with horse-drawn rides taking visitors through the historic town. If you’re hungry, check out the Salt Shaker Deli for some amazing seafood chowder.
PICTOU is the Birthplace of Nova Scotia
Pictou is known as the birthplace of “New Scotland” Nova Scotia. Drive to downtown and be sure to check out 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 puts in perspective the arduous journey that took place over two hundred years ago.
If you want more information, here are 5 things to do in Pictou.
CAPE GEORGE POINT is my favorite lighthouse in Nova Scotia
One of my favorite lighthouses in all of Nova Scotia is at Cape George Point. A dirt road winds itself around a mountain face until finally the lighthouse reveals itself. Unlike most of the other lighthouses around Nova Scotia, Cape George is perched on above overlooking the sea. This is a wonderful place to take in the views, have a picnic, or just walk around and explore.
SHERBROOKE VILLAGE is one my places to visit in Nova Scotia
Sherbrooke Village is an extraordinary living history museum that depicts life in the mid to late 19th Century. The village is quite large with interpretive actors throughout, bringing history alive. Each of the authentic buildings have interpreters wearing period attire and are often working on creating goods from the era, such as a blacksmith, woodworker, crochet to a photographer using original techniques. This is a fantastic experience for both young and old.
TAKE A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE
If you stepped back in time at Sherbrooke Village, you may want to take a stroll down Memory Lane Heritage Village. This attraction is somewhat similar to Sherbrooke, but celebrates an era about a hundred years later in the 1940s.
Memory Lane Village is also considerably smaller than Sherbrooke, but still a wonderful place to explore. Visitors enter via the General Store to pay the admission fee, and then you are release out into the village to explore the bike shop, the ship building area and much more. There are some beautiful 1940s vehicles on site as well as other artifacts from the era. After perusing the grounds, you may want to stop by the cookhouse for some authentic buffet-style chow.
TIDAL BORE RAFTING
My next suggestion will surely get your adrenal going, it’s called tidal bore rafting. This is a truly unique experience in Nova Scotia, and one of the only places in the world you can do this activity (be sure to watch the video above to see it in action).
In a nutshell, tidal bore rafting is a group of people in a small Zodiac boat with a highly experienced captain. Excursions are timed based on the changing tide. Your captain will cruise upstream the nearby river with a massive sand bar in the middle. Once beyond the sand bar, the caption will check his watch to see how much time until the tidal bore arrives. Once it passes by, it isn’t long before the channel begins to fill up and create massive waves over the sand bar. Once this occurs, the captain will navigate the boat down the rapids for a thrilling ride.
Seafood, and lobster in particular, are big business in Nova Scotia. An interesting experience to learn about the lobster industry is at Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound, which is located right on the famed Bay of Fundy. Here you can take a tour of the facility, while also getting to pick your own live lobster that will be prepared and delivered to your table. After lunch, this is a great place to take a stroll on the beach if the tide is out. You’ll also see a slew of fishing vessels on the harbor floor patiently waiting for the tide to rise.
Walking along the harbor pier in downtown Halifax is a must! The views, public art, street performers, shops and restaurants make this a lively place to explore.
A couple blocks up from the harbor are streets full of additional shopping and restaurants. Continuing straight up the hill is a Halifax landmark, the Citadel National Historic Site. This large hill overlooking the harbor below is what led the British to found the town in 1749. The sweeping views are definitely worth the walk up.
If you’re interested in Titanic History, be sure to check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Here you will find that Halifax has many ties to the tragedy of 1912. About 5km from the museum is the Fairview Cemetery, where over 100 victims were laid to rest in an ensemble that represents the shape of a ship.
PEGGY’S COVE – One of the most popular places to visit in Nova Scotia
Peggy’s Cove and its lighthouse is probably one of the most popular places in the province, and for good reason. The idyllic village is utterly charming and the photographic opportunities are boundless.
Click the following link for a video and more information on visiting Peggy’s Cove.
CAPE BRETON and the CABOT TRAIL
Within the national park there are miles of hiking and walking trails, half a dozen beaches, eight campgrounds, and many spectacular waterfalls. Cape Breton is also well known for the Cabot Trail, one of Canada’s most famous drives. Along this stunning stretch of road you’ll experience jaw dropping ocean views, quaint villages and amazing restaurants serving fresh seafood. The trail is particularly popular in autumn when visitors come to marvel at the fall colors.
Well that’s a look at my top-10 places to visit in Nova Scotia. If you have any questions, or would like information about visiting any of these places, please leave a comment below. Click the following link if you’d like a more detailed guide to doing a Nova Scotia Road trip.