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A guide to Nova Scotia – historic sites, gourmet eats and outdoor adventures

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A Maritime Province perched along the Atlantic shores; it’s easy to see why Nova Scotia has been labelled ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’. Home to countless attractions from scenic walks to sea kayaking, gourmet restaurants to Scottish traditions, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained. Head to Halifax, the province’s capital, to soak up the trendy vibe, face the rugged nature trails of Cape Breton’s national park or explore pretty coastal villages on the outskirts of Nova Scotia.

Rodrigo Menfra

My Destination local expert on

Nova Scotia



Heralded a miniature version of San Francisco, Nova Scotia’s buzzing capital has plenty of attractions to explore. Stop by The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to discover the area’s longstanding ties to the sea, enjoy tranquil coastal walks along Point Pleasant Park or dine along the bustling Halifax Waterfront. For further cultural explorations, wander along to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Scattered with brewpubs, quaint shops, outstanding theater and also hosting countless summer festivals, Halifax is famed for its trendy and happening atmosphere.


Cape Breton


One of the most scenic islands in the world, Cape Breton is characterized by highlands, lush valleys and undulating coastline. Drawing adventure enthusiasts from around the globe, a bundle of outdoor activities are offered here. Cruise the Cabot Trail's 300 km of coastal route for spectacular views, tee-off at the ocean-view golf course of Cabot Links, sample single malt whiskey at Glenora Inn & Distillery or visit historical attractions including the Miner’s Museum or Fortress of Louisbourg, North America's largest historical reconstruction


Eastern Shore


Most people stumble upon the Eastern Shore while driving northeast from Halifax towards Cape Breton via the scenic coastal route. Perched right beside the Atlantic Ocean, you'll find the best beaches and hiking on this rustic part of the province. Home to rugged wildlife from eider ducks to great blue herons, Atlantic puffins to plovers, there is plenty natural wonders to admire. Head over to Taylor Head Park or Martinique Beach to discover sweeping panoramas and soak up the tranquility of the area.


Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley


Home to the highest tides in the world, Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley are rife with attractions. A haven of whale watching, river rafting and rugged backcountry trails, avid adventurists will not be disappointed. Make your way over to the Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, delve between the Joggins Fossil Cliffs or explore nature on the untamed Glooscap Trail. Also, speckled with vineyards, farmer’s markets and burgeoning wineries serving locally-cultivated produce, Annapolis Valley is one of Nova Scotia’s top culinary destinations.


Northumberland Shore


Populated by charismatic towns and scenic rural landscapes, Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore has aptly been nicknamed the ‘Sunshine Coast’. Home to sandy beaches fringed by warm salty water as well as geological features such as Arisaig Provincial Park, the area has endless potential for relaxation. Uncover the rich Celtic heritage here at the annual Antigonish Highland Games, enjoy a tipple at Jost Vineyards - Canada’s longest operating winery - or simply explore the Interactive Museum of Industry.


South Shore


Stretching between Halifax and Yarmouth, the South Shore is scattered with petroglyphs, burial grounds and prehistoric encampments. Full to the brim with ancient history, from fishing to shipbuilding, this area has plenty of landmarks to occupy curious travelers. Also speckled with lighthouses and picture-perfect fishing villages, it's no wonder art galleries and local artisans thrive in this inspiring part of the province. Head to Mahone Bay to explore a scenic stretch of shops and restaurants or wander along to Shelburne to see the area that inspired the film The Scarlet Letter.


Yarmouth and Acadian Shores


Occupied by French-speaking villages, some preserving a history of over 400 years, this part of Nova Scotia is strikingly different. Step back in time at the Historic Acadian Village (Le Village Historique Acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse) and witness the unique Acadian culture. Alternatively, travel around the outskirts of Yarmouth and discover ‘At the Sign of the Whale’ - a vibrant collective of artists and craftsmen from all over Nova Scotia.