While you may consider a long hike through Point Pleasant Park to be more than enough exploration for one month day, there are a ton of tours and hikes to embark on all throughout Nova Scotia that you have to try.
Travel companies all over the province have set up special expeditions to take you and your friends on whale watching trips, wine tours and kayaking excursions that will show you a whole new side of Nova Scotia. We’ve listed a couple incredible places below that you have to explore ASAP.
1. The Lighthouse Route
Go for a drive along Nova Scotia’s scenic South Shore, and take in more than 20 lighthouses that line the coast throughout this gorgeous twelve-day journey between Halifax and Yarmouth. Stop in the historical town of Lunenburg for a couple days, and explore the history of this UNESCO world heritage site. Take in the beautiful churches in Chester, and the Tancook Islands near Mahone Bay. The Lighthouse Route is the perfect road trip for anyone looking to take in all the coastal beauty Nova Scotia is known for.
2. The Skyline Trail
Hike the seven kilometre Skyline Trail that winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, ending at the edge of a giant cliff overlooking the Atlantic Coast. Enjoy panoramic views of the Cabot Trail as it winds along the mountainside, and watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks. Tons of wildlife can be seen in this region, including moose, bears and eagles. You’re advised to remain on the well maintained boardwalk along this hike, as the surrounding wildlife is very delicate. If you’re looking to spend a few days in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, there’s also some awesome camp sites available for rent in the region.
3. Wine Excursion in the Annapolis Valley
Explore Nova Scotia’s scenic Annapolis Valley the fun way by booking a wine tour with Grape Escape. This incredible service offers private tours for groups of 8-10 people, bachelorette tours for wedding parties or custom tours where visitors have the option of constructing their own wine tasting. Get lunch in Wolfville during your excursion, or expand your tour to include some local craft breweries as well!
4. Sable Island National Park
This surreal Nova Scotian Island is home to a unique population of wild horses, and the worlds largest population of grey seals, in addition to many different species of sea birds and other wildlife. Whales and sharks can be seen in the waters near this isolated National Park, which is situated 300km off the coast of Halifax and accessible by both boat and plane depending on the weather. Register for your next Sable Island trip in June, when visiting season will resume once again. Due to its extreme isolation, tours to Sable Island can be pricey and even inaccessible for some, so make sure you read through the terms on their site before committing.
5. Whale Watching
Take a whale watching and seabird cruise from Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy for a chance to spot humpback whales, whitesided dolphins, beluga whales and even orcas. Spring and Summer are the best times of year to spot whales as they can be seen arriving from their breeding grounds in the Caribbean, but tours run all through the fall months. A percentage of all whale watch sales are contributed to the important marine research done by this company.
6. Peggy’s Cove
If you’ve ever seen a post card from Nova Scotia, you must be familiar with this St. Margaret’s Bay landmark. Less than an hour long drive from Halifax, take in the incredible views from the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, and explore the beautiful nearby fishing town. The Peggy’s Point lighthouse is part of the aforementioned lighthouse trail scenic drive, and is one of the busiest tourist attractions in Canada – you must visit next time you’re in Nova Scotia!
7. Citadel Hill
Fort George sits on the top of Halifax’s Citadel Hill, one of the busiest National Historic Sites of Canada. Built in 1749, the same year Halifax was founded, Fort George was constructed as a means of defending the strategic Halifax Harbour and its Royal Navy Dockyard. Today Citadel Hill visitors can take tours of Fort George and watch historical reenactments performed by actors of what military rituals would have looked like on the hill hundreds of years ago. There are also night tours through the tunnels of the fort that are allegedly haunted by the ghost of a little girl!
8. The Bluenose II
The original Bluenose became a famous fishing and racing schooner under the command of captain Angus Walters in the 1920’s and 30’s, before she was wrecked in the 1946. Nicknamed the “Queen of the North Atlantic,” the Bluenose was commemorated by appearing on the back of the Canadian dime, and with a replica named Bluenose II which was constructed in 1963. Today this historically accurate replica can be toured in the beautiful town of Lunenburg, and you can also catch a documentary about the Bluenose II’s reconstruction process called Bluenose: The Legend Lives, which premiered at this year’s Atlantic Film Festival.
9. Kayaking Tour
For experienced kayakers looking to explore some new scenery or beginners who want to learn more about the sport, there are tons of companies all over Nova Scotia that offer tours and lessons on how to best take advantage of this provinces water ways! Kayak Halifax offers guided tours of the Halifax harbour, while providing patrons with all the gear and equipment they’ll need for the day. East Coast Outfitters and North River Kayak Tours are two other Nova Scotian companies that will show you and your friends a side of this provinces waterways that you’ve never seen before.
10. Cape Split
Recently designated as a provincial park, this breathtaking headland lies on the coast of the Bay of Fundy, in Kings County Nova Scotia. Cape Split is a continuation of the North Mountain range, and separates the main part of the Bay of Fundy from the Minas Basin. 7km in length, this surreal spit of land makes for an incredible hiking route, as visitors are greeted with expansive ocean views on both sides of their path.
11. Bay of Fundy
Take a boat tour through the legendary Bay of Fundy, known for experiencing some of the highest tides in the entire world. Advocate Boat Tours works out of Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia, and takes visitors through the unique rock systems that line the coast of this beautiful body of water. If you’re not in the mood to be out at sea, wander some of the beautiful red beaches in Blomidon Provincial Park, and take in the unique rock formations created by the areas intense currents.
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