15 Beautiful Towns You Have To Visit In Nova Scotia
All within driving distance of Halifax!
While visiting the beautiful beaches and parks throughout Nova Scotia, be sure to stop in a couple of spots along the way. We’ve created a list with the most beautiful towns in our province, some of which you may have heard of and some that are less known amongst travellers. There are places in here that have the best lobster in Canada, and places where you can see the highest tides in the world.
Make sure you road trip out to some of these beautiful towns soon!
Antigonish lies within a county of the same name, and is home to one of the biggest universities in Nova Scotia: St. Francis Xavier. Over five thousand students return to this beautiful town every September, doubling its population. Antigonish is less than a thirty-minute drive from some stunning beaches and parks, including Pomquet Beach Provincial Park and Mahoneys Beach.
Shelburne is the the capital of it’s county of the same name, and is home to just about 1600 people. This charming little fishing town sits on the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia, and is a popular stop for tourists during the summer. Ship building and repair are major industries here, and as a result Shelburne is home to North America’s largest marine railway.
Located in the Annapolis Valley, Wolfville is home to Acadia University, and has a population of about 4200 permanent residents. Nearby destinations such as the Bay of Fundy and Gaspereau Valley make Wolfville a popular tourist stop. Stay at one of the historical Victorian homes in Wolfville that have been converted into popular bed and breakfast establishments, such as the beautiful Blomidon Inn.
Yarmouth is a port town located on the Gulf of Maine, in the southwestern part of Nova Scotia. Due to their proximity with Georges Bank, Yarmouth is located on what is considered to be the largest lobster fishing grounds in the world, and thus receives Canada’s largest lobster landings each year.
" class="lml-instagram-embed-2" />
5. Annapolis Royal
Located in the western part of Annapolis County, Annapolis Royal was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1994, as it was the site of several pivotal events during the early years of colonisation in Canada. The town sits on the south bank of the Annapolis River, on a shallow harbor at the western end of the beautiful Annapolis Valley.
Digby is located in southwestern Nova Scotia, on the western shore of the Annapolis Basin near the entrance to the Digby Gut, which connects the Basin to the Bay of Fundy. Try the towns famous scallops, or take a trip on the MV Fundy Rose ferry service, which connects visitors to Saint John, New Brunswick.
7. Mahone Bay
The town of Mahone Bay is located on the bays northwest shore, along what is considered the South Shore of Nova Scotia in Lunenburg County. Mahone Bay is known for its history of wooden boat building, and has a number of upscale shops and restaurants. With about one thousand people living here, Mahone Bay has some of the most beautiful harbour views along the South Shore.
Parrsboro is located in Cumberland County, and is know for its beautiful port on the Minas Basin. The Minas Basin is an inlet of the Bay of Fundy, and is visited frequently for its famously high tides. The town is a popular tourist attraction along the Bay, with seasonal theatre performances and popular fossil museums.
Cheticamp is a fishing village on the Cabot Trail, on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. The town sits on the western entrance to the famous Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which contains the Acadian Trail and is a great spot for visitors to hike and explore. Downtown Cheticamp overlooks the harbor, with a community of around 4000 primarily Acadian residents.
Located in the southeastern part of Lunenburg County, this village is situated on the Chester peninsula, which extends into Mahone Bay. Chester is one of the wealthier communities in the province, and is a popular holiday and resort destination. Nearby Mahone Bay and its numerous islands are a popular place for those with boats at the Chester Yacht Club to sail through and explore.
This small rural community is located in Inverness County, on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. With a population of 1200 residents, Mabou is surrounded by low mountains which are part of the Creignish Hills. The community sits at the head of an inlet named “Mabour Harbour” off the Gulf of the St. Lawrence River.
Tatamagouche is a village in Colchester County, and is situated on the Northumberland Strait, north of Truro. The village is located on the south side of Tatamagouche Bay at the mouths of the French and Waugh rivers. The name of the village derives from the native Mi’kmaq term Takǔmegoochk, which translates to “extending across.”
13. Five Islands
Five Islands is a rural community in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, located on the north shore of the Minas Basin which is famous for experiencing some of the highest tides in the world. It is named after the five small islands off its coast, called Moose, Diamond, Long, Egg and Pinnacle. There is an artists retreat on Long Island, which is active from May through to October.
14. New Glasgow
Located in Pictou County, New Glasgow is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbor and eventually the Northumberland Strait. New Glasgow is at the centre of the province’s fourth largest urban area, the population being around 35000 residents. Next time you’re in town, check out a performance at the Glasgow Square Theatre, or watch the charity Race on the River!
Part of the county bearing its name, Lunenburg is located on the Fairhaven Peninsula, at the western side of Mahone Bay. The town was founded only a few years after Halifax, and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 for its preservation of local culture. Lunenburg is home to the famous Bluenose Schooner, which can be found on our Canadian dime.