As the leaves begin to change colour and the thermometer starts to drop, we tend to lose the adventurous spirit that kept us going all summer. Throw on a couple extra layers, load up your coffee (+baileys) thermos, and make it your resolution this fall to travel outside the city as much as possible.
Autumn in Nova Scotia is a stunning site to behold, and all the natural wonders of our province flourish during this time. As the seasons change don’t let the cold discourage you – keep road tripping on weekends, and try to get out and see all these amazing places!
Nova Scotia’s capital city, Halifax is home to a massive student population of 60,000, making one of the liveliest east coast cities you can visit. The downtown core is big enough that there’s always something to do, but not so huge that you feel overwhelmed by the city. It’s also worth mentioning that Halifax is home to the most bars per capita in all of North America!
Be sure to check out Citadel Hill (a National Historic site of Canada), Point Pleasant Park, The Seaport Farmer’s Market, The Public Gardens and the historic waterfront boardwalk.
2. Bay of Fundy
Being one of the seven Natural Wonders of North America, the Bay of Fundy is a site you must visit on your next trip out east. Much of the Bay is actually located in New Brunswick, but there are a select few sections that are within Nova Scotia.
The hiking here is phenomenal, as is camping in the surrounding area. There are kayak expeditions and canoe trips to embark on. Set sail and go whale watching, or relax and enjoy watching some of the highest tides in the world flowing in.
Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site 1995 for its preservation of Maritime culture and tradition, Lunenburg is situated along Halifax’s beautiful South Shore – on the Fairhaven Peninsula at the western side of Mahone Bay.
Founded in 1753, much of Lunenburg’s unique architecture and colonial design are still maintained today. Those visiting the town can see the restored Bluenose Schooner at the the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
4. Cape Breton Highlands National Park
One of the most famous parks on Canada’s east coast, Cape Breton Highlands National Park is located at the tip of Cape Breton island, and is home to the famous Cabot Trail. Travellers from all over the world gravitate to this legendary coastal trail for unprecedented ocean views and some of autumns best leaf watching in the country.
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park has ample camping grounds for visitors to book, miles of marked hiking trails and some of the most diverse coastal landscapes in Canada! If you haven’t been you must check it out.
The small town of Digby is a hidden gem in Nova Scotia, located near Route 101 on the Western Shore of the Annapolis Basin. The town is famous for its scallop fishing fleet, boasting some of the best tasting scallops in the world. There’s also a ferry service that connects Digby visitors with the bustling city of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Adventure out onto the Digby Neck, a peninsula with some incredible panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Kejimkujik National Park
This massive National Park includes two separate properties: the main part of the park is located in the upland interior of the Nova Scotia peninsula, while the smaller seaside unit was located on the Atlantic coast of the Queens County.
The entire are of the park has also been designated as a National Historic Site, and features tons of beautiful camping grounds, hiking trails and great canoeing/kayaking river routes.
7. Fortress Of Louisbourg
This fortress, located in Louisbourg Nova Scotia, is national historic site that acts as a recreation of an 18th century French fortress that used to exist on the site in Cape Breton. It was the site of two sieges in 1758 that were turning points in the battle between the French and the English.
There are tours that run through the site constantly, and tourists are welcome to walk around the explore the site. The town itself is also definitely worth seeing after your Fortress adventures!
8. Annapolis Valley
They say the Annapolis Valley farmland is sewed with golden soil, on account of all the delicious food that leaves this luscious region. The Valley, as it’s called by locals, is home to some of the most popular vineyards east of Ontario, and is a popular spot for tasting tours and apple orchard adventures.
The surrounding area of historic Grand Pre and the Bay of Fundy offer some spectacular landscape views for those travelling within the region.
9. Crystal Crescent Provincial Park
The white, sandy beaches throughout Crystal Crescent Provincial Park will make you feel like you’ve just stepped foot onto a Caribbean Island. Only forty minutes outside Halifax, this spot if a perfect day trip for those looking to get out of the city for a little while.
For those hiking along the Cabot Trail, Cheticamp is a fishing village you must stop in along the way! Explore all the nearby quarries and trails this region has to offer – you’ll be blown away by the fluorescent blue and green lakes here.
The village itself is tiny but definitely worth passing through!
11. Hall’s Harbour
Another beautiful small Nova Scotian town, Hall’s Harbour is a fishing community located in Kings County along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. If you’re exploring the Bay and its surrounding region, Hall’s Harbour is definitely a stop you should make along the way!
The town is famous for its delicious lobster, bringing visitors from all over the country looking for the true east coast lobster experience. The low tide here briefly leaves boats stranded in the sand, before high tide returns to float them again.
12. Cape Split
Cape Split is a peninsula located on the Bay of Fundy in Kings County. The spit is 7km long and at certain points many kilometres above sea level. The land was recently sold to the government of Nova Scotia and is currently in the process of being transformed into a Provincial Park.
A great spot for hiking, a popular trail has existed for decades on Cape Split, taking approximately 2–2.5 hours each way to the tip of the headland.
13. Peggy’s Cove
If you’ve ever seen your east coast friends on Facebook posing in front of a huge lighthouse overlooking the ocean, then you’ve seen Peggy’s Cove. The town itself is only about an hour outside Halifax, lined with colourful houses that portray a distinct east coast charm.
The famous lighthouse looking over St. Margaret’s Bay is one of the busiest tourist attractions in Nova Scotia and is one of the prime attractions along the scenic Lighthouse Trail drive.