It’s true to say Nova Scotia’s best quality is its people. This province for us has it all; incredible wildlife, amazing wine, natural beauty, and good conversations!
We spent our week chasing waterfalls, trying amazing local seafood and learning the history and culture of the local towns. We’d say you don’t come to Nova Scotia for a fast paced life of a city, instead you come for the cheerful smiles of the small fishing villages and the for the salty sea breeze off the coastline.
- Capital city is Halifax, with a population of 417,800
- Peak travel season is July and August
- Currency is the Canadian Dollar
- 5 UNESCO designated sites
- You are always 60 km or less from the sea.
- ‘Nova Scotia’ is Latin for ‘New Scotland’
If you haven’t got long in Nova Scotia but want to get a real feel of the whole province and explore as much as you can then this is the perfect itinerary. If you love being on the road, amazing wildlife, delicious seafood and cultural experiences then this is the province for you!
So this is our 7 day road trip around Nova Scotia!
Day 1- Halifax
We flew into the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. This is the main airport in Nova Scotia, and is only a short drive into the capitals centre.
Halifax is a blend of old and new with 18th and 19th century architecture along with modern buildings and urban street art.
Our top suggestion
Hop on the Harbour Hopper tour! This tour gives you the unique opportunity to explore Halifax by land and sea all from one amphibious vehicle. View the famous landmarks and learn the history of the city until your driver becomes your captain and then you see Halifax’s diverse landscape from the water!
- Taste some of the local ales and do a tour at Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery.
- Take a science lesson at the The Discovery Centre.
- Go to the top of the city to find the Halifax Citadel National Historic site.
- Visit ‘one of the top 10 most beautiful libraries on earth’, the Halifax Central Library.
- Visit Pier 21 which is Canadians Museum of Immigration.
- Discover artefacts from the Titanic at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Where to eat in Halifax: Waterfront Warehouse
Where we stayed: The Halliburton
Day 2- Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg
Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, one of them being Peggy’s Cove, which happens to be the most photographed lighthouse in Canada and is a must do on your way to Lunenburg!
Lunenburg is a UNESCO site and tiny town with 2,263 residents and just four square km or 48 blocks, with each block being wooden, colourful and quirky! It’s full of so much history, culture and amazing food so we’ve come up with a list of our top 10 things you can do in Lunenburg which you can read in more depth in this article here.
Our top suggestion
Do a walking tour! The hour long tour is filled with local history and quirky bits of information and shows off the amazing 18th century and Victorian architecture.
With a walking tour you discover hidden gems you’d never have found yourself, and to hear information from your tour guide; someone who’s lived in Lunenburg their whole life, you hear the stories and history of their town and the tour is personalised by the passion and love the guide has for their home.
- Explore the famous Bluenose II.
- Go on a whale watching boat trip.
- Watch the sunset from across the harbour.
- Try some handcrafted spirits at the IronWorks distillery.
- Visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and chat to the Captain on the retired ships.
Where we stayed: Marina King Inn
Day 3- Kejimkujik National Park and Annapolis Royal
Kejimkujik National Park or ‘Keji’ as the locals call it offers 14 woodland trails, water activities and the opportunity to learn about the native Mi’kmaq who travelled on the same routes many years ago.
Our top suggestion
Discover one of the 14 trials in Keji and go searching for bears or rent a canoe to see Keji from the waters.
From Keji you can drive to Anapolis Royal. This historic town was originally inhabited by the Mi’kmaq community and you can visit a a couple of historical sites.
- Stroll around the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.
- Explore one of Canada’s oldest National Historic sites, the Fort Anne National Historic site.
- Talk to costumed interpreters at the Port-Royal National Historic Site.
- Drive 30 minutes out of Annapolis Royal to discover the town of Digby which is home to the world-famous Digby scallops.
Where to eat: Founders House Dining and Drinks
Where we stayed: Queen Anne Inn
Day 4- The Wine Country and Pictou
On route from Annapolis Royal to Pictou discover Nova Scotia’s agricultural region. Because of its award winning wines from the 22 grape growers in over 400 acres of vineyards this region has quickly become known as the ‘Wine Country’.
Our top suggestion
Take a tour at Domaine de Grand Pre Winery and try one of their renowned wines such as the Tidal Bay. We learnt about the background of the family who owned the vineyard, the history of the grapes in the province of Nova Scotia and sampled some of their best wines. To finish off the vineyard experience have lunch at Le Caveau Restaurant, voted in the ‘20 of the world’s best winery restaurants’ and have their incredible fishcakes or seafood chowder!
On the way to Pictou you can explore Victoria Park. What looks like an average local park from the borders, but once inside you can explore acres of woodland, two sets of waterfalls and get up close to the neighbourhood deer.
- Try the local cheeses at the Foxhill Farm and Cheese house.
- Take a tour at the Annapolis Cider company.
- Explore the tangled garden and buy one of their famous jellies.
- Learn about the Mi’kmaw at the Glooscap Heritage Centre.
- Visit the Sugar Moon Farm to try their award winning maple syrup and their pancakes which have been named ‘to be among the best in the country’.
Where to eat: Le Caveau Restaurant
Where we stayed: Evening Sail B&B
Day 5- Baddeck
The village of Baddeck is on Cape Breton Island and is considered to be the beginning and the end of the famous Cabot Trail.
Keep a look out for bears because it was here we saw one in someones front garden on the way to a waterfall!
Our top suggestion
Set sail on the Bras d’or Lake (a designated UNESCO Biosphere) on a schooner to watch eagles soar up above with Amoeba Sailing Tours. The captain shares his knowledge of the Bell family and the history of Baddeck while feeding the eagles.
- Hike to the Uisge Ban Falls.
- Visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum to discover his unique inventions.
- Watch a demonstration at the Colaisde na Gàidhlig which is known for its contribution and preservation of traditional Gaelic culture and music.
- Sample the local bears at the Big Spruce Brewery.
Where to eat in Baddeck: The Freight Shed
Where we stayed: Lynwood Inn
Day 6- The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail is known as one of the most beautiful and scenic journeys in the world showcasing an amazing coastal drive through the Cape Breton Highlands.
The trail is 185 miles long and takes roughly 4 hours to drive (without stops) so many complete the trail in a few days which gives you enough time to explore but we did the trail in a day.
Although just driving through the trail is beautiful enough, there are many activities to do and places to visit! So we’ve come up with a list of things to do along the way which you can read in more detail here!
Our top Suggestion
Hike the Skyline trail! The trail is known for its dramatic headland overlooking the rugged Gulf coast which takes 1.5-2.5 hours to complete. From this trail you might see moose, eagles, whales and bears.
- Go whale watching at Pleasant Bay.
- Taste whiskey at the Glenora Inn and distillery.
- Visit the Elizabeth LeFort Gallery and Museum at Les Trois Pignons.
- Jump from salt water to fresh water at Ingonish Beach.
- Go waterfall hunting on one of the 26 hiking trails.
Where to eat in Sydney: Governors Pub & Eatery
Where we stayed: Holiday Inn Sydney- Waterfront
Day 7- Sydney to Liscomb
Sydney is the second biggest settlement in Nova Scotia and is known for it harbour.
Our top suggestion
Visit the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site. Here you have the chance to chat with soldiers, fishermen, merchants and servants living in the 1700’s settlement!
- Experience life in a coal mine at the Miners Museum.
- See the worlds largest fiddle by the water.
- Take a course at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design.
Travel away from the shores of Cape Breton Island and start heading to the Liscomb Lodge Resort which is half way back to the airport of Halifax for the next day. On the way you can visit the the historic St. Peter’s canal, a National Historic Site which connects two bodies of water or the Sherbrooke Village which depicts life from the 1860’s to 1910.
Once at the Liscomb Lodge Resort you can use their canoes and kayaks to take a trip around the peaceful Liscomb river and have an amazing 3-course meal to end your trip around Nova Scotia!
Where to eat: Liscomb Lodge Resort
Where we stayed: Liscomb Lodge Resort
Our trip to Nova Scotia was in partnership with Destination Canada, who we went on assignment with to explore Nova Scotia for 7 days, capturing the most beautiful spots and destinations along the way.
Find out more about Nova Scotia at https://www.destinationcanada.com!