Things To Do In Nova Scotia
From May 27th to June 6th, 2017, we toured Nova Scotia as part of the Road to 150 travel series. It was our second province during our 150-day road trip and what an incredible time we had. From the absolute natural beauty of Cape Breton Highlands National Park to the historic beauty of Halifax, the small town charm of Lunenburg, and the excitement of tidal bore rafting, Nova Scotia is an incredible province to explore. Although we accomplished a lot in ten days, we really only scratched the surface of this incredible east coast province. Whether you’re looking for that laid back East Coast charm, maritime history, or incredible natural wonders, Nova Scotia is the place to visit!
This article is a summary of some of the best things to do, places we eat, and the places we sleep in Nova Scotia.
Things To Do In Cape Breton Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
No trip to Nova Scotia is complete without a visit to the incredibly scenic Cape Breton Highlands! This incredible piece of nature is managed by Parks Canada and is home to the Cabot Trail, which is known as one of the most scenic drives in the world. You’ll also find plenty of hiking trails, mind-blowing views, wildlife, beaches, and waterfalls.
Learn more at www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton.
Maison Fiset House
Located right on the edge of Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a cute little Acadian French community called Chéticamp. This is a lovely place to stay for exploring the area and we couldn’t have picked a better bed & breakfast than Maison Fiset House. The home is beautiful, historic, incredibly spacious, and comes with a big tasty breakfast. It’s steps from the harbour and nearby the popular Harbour Restaurant. What more could you ask for?
Learn more at www.maisonfisethouse.com/en.
Located near Maison Fiset House on the main road in Chéticamp, this place is home to the best seafood in the area. In fact, my lobster and snow crab was caught right in Chéticamp. How cool is that? Talk about fresh! It was a cool experience to eat lobster and crab (note: it does get messy) and the cheesecake for dessert was absolutely delicious. Soak in the views of the harbour while enjoying fresh seafood! This is the place to eat if you’re in Chéticamp!
Learn more at www.baywindsuites.com/index.php/menu.
What To Do In Halifax Nova Scotia
The biggest city in Nova Scotia is a vibrant treasure trove of history and fun. We loved walking along the waterfront and the historic streets as well as exploring the many historical sites such as Alexander Keiths, the Canadian Museum of Immigration, the Halifax Citadel, and so much more. There’s also a lot of live music and festivals throughout the year and a city I can’t wait to re-visit. For more, see our Things To Do in Halifax article.
Alexander Keith’s Brewery
This is the best brewery tour we’ve ever had. While the aspect of making beer is virtually the same at all breweries, Alexander Keith’s takes the tour experience to an all-new level. Instead of just explaining the process, the tour is more of a historical act with some of the tour guides dresses in period clothing explaining the unique history of the brewery itself. After all, Alexander Keith himself was a very important and interesting man. You’ll even get to experience a small Ceili (kitchen party) and sample some very tasty beer.
Learn more at www.keiths.ca.
Picture Perfect Tours
This was the first photography-related tour we’ve ever taken and we loved it. Geordie is just an awesome guy who not only took us to some great photogenic locations at Peggy’s Cove but also taught us a lot about the history of Nova Scotia. In addition, we learned a lot about photography itself and how to make better use of our cameras. Highly recommended.
Learn more at www.pictureperfecttours.ca.
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Canada is known for its healthy immigration and what better way to learn about it than to visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Not only is it incredibly informative and interactive but it’s actually housed in Pier 21, which used to be one of the main gateways into the country. It was so heartwarming to learn about the first day of an immigrant’s journey into Canada and how they felt about arriving here. There is so much history here and it should definitely be on your list of things to do in Halifax.
Learn more at www.pier21.ca.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
This is another historical site that can’t be missed when visiting Halifax and is one of the top Nova Scotia tourist attractions. Not only is it a Parks Canada National Historic Site but it’s also really interactive. Staff are dressed in period clothing and the tours are very well done. There’s a lot of little tunnels and passageways and a daily firing of the cannon at noon. It was my first time sitting next to a live cannon and boy was it loud. We then signed up for the “Ready, Aim, Fire” program, which allows you to fire a rifle from 1871! What an experience!
Learn more at http://pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/ns/halifax/index.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
There’s a reason Nova Scotia is part of the Maritimes. If you want to see incredibly detailed boat models, learn about the Halifax explosion, see actual artifacts from the Titanic, or learn how to type your name in Morris code, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the place to be!
Learn more at www.maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca.
Tidal Bore Resort & Rafting
Talk about unique! This is the only place in the WORLD where you can go tidal bore rafting. What an exhilarating experience! We got doused with wave after wave in the muddy Shubenacadie river before having the opportunity to jump into the water for a swim into the rapids. This easily one of the most exciting Nova Scotia attractions.
Learn more at raftingcanada.ca.
Best Western Chocolate Lake
Located right next to Chocolate Lake, this is a huge hotel where you can eat breakfast overlooking the lake, rest in the hot tub, swim in the pool, or even play games in the arcade room. In fact, if you’re there during the warmer months, you can even do what locals do and swim across the lake! We saw plenty of locals doing this despite the cooler weather in early June. The breakfast is great and the rooms are spacious.
Learn more at www.chocolatelakehotel.com.
Again, I can’t get enough of these heritage homes. This one was extra special because Oscar Wilde actually stayed in our room back in the 1800s. This felt like the house from the board game Clue. Not only is it like sleeping in a museum but it’s also in one of the best locations in the city. It’s walking distance to the harbour, all the best restaurants and nightlife, and even a 24/7 Superstore.
Learn more at www.waverleyinn.com.
Things To Do In Lunenburg Nova Scotia
Lunenburg Walking Tour
There’s almost nothing better than a walking tour when you first arrive in a new place. It really helps to liven the place you’re visiting and that’s just what happened when we took a walking tour with Ashlee from Lunenburg Walking Tours. Not only is she very lively herself but she explains so much about the history of Lunenburg that we really feel that we know the place now, which makes us love it even more. Thanks, Ashlee.
Learn more at www.lunenburgwalkingtours.com.
Trot In Time Horse Buggy Rides
We hadn’t planned on taking a horse buggy tour around Lunenburg but when we walked by the horses, the tour guides talked us into it. Not only are they super friendly but this is also a great way to learn about the history of Lunenburg with the added touch of riding in a horse buggy! If walking is hard for you (or if you just want to be in a horse buggy), this is the tour for you.
Learn more at www.trotintime.ca.
The famous Canadian icon, which is printed on the Canadian dime and inside the Canadian passport is from Lunenburg. Although it travels around the country, it’s a must-see if it happens to be in Lunenburg when you arrive. Not only is it one of the most beautiful sailboats you’ll ever see, but it’s also a very important piece of Canadian history. There are also certain times throughout the year when you can actually go sailing for a couple of hours. Now that’s something I’d love to do!
Learn more at www.bluenose.novascotia.ca.
Salt Shaker Deli
This place might just be the most happenin’ bar and restaurant in all of Lunenburg. At least it seemed that way when we visited. It was packed when we went and for good reason – the food is delicious and there are so many options for local craft beer. We had calamari and cod timbits as an appetizer, followed by Rosé Scallop Linguini and a nice cold pint of Cream Ale. Simply delicious! In fact, Lunenburg is known for their scallops so make sure you try a dish when you’re there!
Learn more at www.saltshakerdeli.com.
Things To Do In North Sydney
North Sydney was our first point of entry into Nova Scotia. Although we didn’t have time to explore, we did spend a night after arriving from the long 6-hour ferry from Newfoundland and wanted to relax. Luckily, we did because we found a wonderful bed & breakfast, as mentioned below.
Heritage Bed & Breakfast
What a beautiful heritage house! I’m really going to miss these East Coast bed & breakfasts. This house could be a mini museum and the breakfast is delicious. If you’re in North Sydney, this is definitely the place to stay. Plus, it’s right beside an array of incredible restaurants.
Learn more at www.bedandbreakfastnorthsydney.com.
Nova Scotia Tourism
Nova Scotia is one of the most popular places to visit in Canada thanks in part to its east coast charm and close proximity to the USA.
Nova Scotia Points of Interest
As you can see, we accomplished a lot during our 10-days in Nova Scotia. However, there are so many places to visit in Nova Scotia and we didn’t have time to experience it all. We can’t wait to go back and explore more. Some of the local businesses and organizations above helped us experience Nova Scotia in their own unique ways. From scenic views to history to delicious food, we really loved Nova Scotia.
What did we miss that you’d recommend we do or see next time?
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