It seems Canada doesn’t get the attention it deserves, especially the green province of Nova Scotia. Known for its iconic lighthouses, bountiful lobster and serene coastal locale, this is a must-see destination! Here are 15 places to see when planning a trip to Nova Scotia.
Top 15 Places to Visit in Nova Scotia
Bay of Fundy
The beautiful Bay of Fundy is a home to the world’s highest tides, typically reaching over 40 feet! Not only is this an amazing place to spend a few hours watching the tide come in, but this spot is also known for whale watching and kayak tours.
Cape d’Or Lighthouse
Tucked away in the small town of Advocate Harbor is Cape d’Or, with a stunning 360 view of the Cape d’Or lighthouse and towering cliffs over the Atlantic. Stay at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Guesthouse, just a short walk from the lighthouse, and have a meal nothing short of fine dining quality at the restaurant a few feet away.
Perhaps one of Nova Scotia’s most well-known tourist attractions, Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque lighthouse location surrounded by huge boulders and a charming fishing community. There are plenty of surrounding B&B’s, so stay a day or two!
Old Town Lunenburg
Take a walking tour of this colorful bay-side town and witness everything that makes this UNESCO World Heritage site unique. Horse-drawn carriages stroll the streets of brightly painted buildings, and the plentiful boutique stores and restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to pick up a souvenir and grab a lobster roll!
Where to stay: Lunenburg Arms Hotel
Cape Chignecto Provincial Park
Nova Scotia draws a lot of outdoor adventurers, so if you’re looking for lush hiking trails with incredible views, Cape Chignecto is the perfect place to spend the day or camp out! There are plenty of lookout points along the trails with ocean views, but the Three Sisters sea stacks that appear to rise in and out of the water with the tide is an absolute must-see during your wandering.
Where to stay: We recommend either staying at the Lighthouse in Cape d’or or Gillespie House Inn in Parrsboro.
Another quaint Nova Scotian town with a long history rich in culture, Mahone Bay is just a short drive from Lunenburg and shares all the appeal of its sister town. Awe at St. James’ Anglican Church, take a boat tour, do some yoga, and check out the local brewery.
The town of Parrsboro is an obvious artist community, with small, colorful lighthouses at every corner and local art decorating the walls of the town inside and out. Just slightly off the beaten path (about 15 minutes east towards Cape Chignecto) is an old bus settled into an oceanfront hillside with bright snowmobiles stacked on top, which — while being a cool photo op — embodies the spirit of Parrsboro. Try to visit during one of the town’s art festivals or annual ukulele workshop!
Where to stay: Gillespie House Inn
Take a short day trip and stop by the picturesque Arisaig Lighthouse! The small ice cream shop inside is perfect for a sweet treat by the sea.
Train Station Inn in Tatamagouche
Staying at Tatamagouche’s Train Station Inn is a super unique, one-of-a-kind experience with all of the amenities of a standard hotel and the added charm of historic box cars. Be sure to talk with the owner, James, to learn about the unique history of the station!
Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island
A scenic road trip up and down Cabot Trail on the western coast of Cape Breton Island is a year-round activity that every kind of traveler will enjoy. Foodies will eat up the fresh lobster found in nearly every restaurant along the trail, while adventure seekers will find days full of hiking, whale watching, horseback riding and shore-side water sports. This is the ultimate Nova Scotia experience!
Just a short 10-minute drive from the town of Lunenburg is Blue Rocks — a small fishing village concealed in a residential area off the main road. This is a very reasonable bike ride in a quintessential Nova Scotia setting for those of you who want to experience the outdoors firsthand, not just at your destination but your entire way to it!
Located along the Bay of Fundy, the Annapolis Valley is home to many award-winning wineries. While visiting this area of Nova Scotia, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of Canada’s best wines!
Nova Scotia’s capital really embraces the province’s “New Scotland” heritage with men in kilts and cobblestone streets. Halifax’s walkable waterfront area has everything from the massive Farmers Market boutique eatery center (North America’s oldest farmers market!) to museums that delve into the city’s role in the Titanic disaster.
Where to stay: Westin Nova Scotian
The Skyline Trail on Cape Breton Island
One stop travelers headed to Nova Scotia looking for dramatic views should not miss is the Skyline Trail on Cape Breton Island; this spot is known for its awesome lookouts and wildlife viewing, including whales, moose, bears, and even bald eagles.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Joggins Fossil Cliffs are exactly that — fossils embedded in cliffs dating back to over 300 million years ago. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see fossils in their natural, untouched state!
How To Get There:
With quick and direct flights from the New York area to Halifax via Delta and United, it’s now easier than ever for Americans to visit Nova Scotia, so planning your road trip to this gorgeous destination should be high on your bucket list!
Disclosure: Tourism Nova Scotia hosted my road trip through Nova Scotia, however, all opinions are my own.