Home Blog 9 of the Best Nova Scotia Experiences

9 of the Best Nova Scotia Experiences

Wednesday, 16th March 2022

Will Gray

canada kayaking cape breton nova scotia nstb

One of Eastern Canada’s Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia is almost completely surrounded by sea. With over 13,000km of coastline, it has more than its share of beautiful beaches and candy-striped lighthouses. Fresh seafood – particularly lobster, scallops and mussels – are another highlight, and you could spend days sampling its artisan craft studios, music festivals and wineries. Don’t forget to leave room in your itinerary, though, for these nine unmissable Nova Scotia experiences… from touring the Cabot Trail to whale watching.

1. Drive the Cabot Trail

2. Discover the history of Halifax

Museums, boutique shops and restaurants line a boardwalk that stretches nearly 4km along the Halifax Waterfront. It’s a great spot from which to watch boats come and go, and soak up the atmosphere of Nova Scotia’s capital. Commanding a hilltop in the heart of the city, the star-shaped Citadel was completed in 1856 – although its origins date back to 1749 when the British military established a guardhouse to defend the harbour. Guided tours bring the history of the fort to life. A cannon is fired daily at noon by the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery, while the sentry guard of the 78th Highlanders is changed at the front gate every hour.

3. Explore Old Town Lunenburg

4. Hike the Cape Breton Highlands

Around 950 square kilometres in size, this rugged national park of sea cliffs, beaches, river canyons and forested valleys is riddled with no fewer than 26 trails, many of them easy hikes. One moment you could be walking through Acadian or boreal forest (home to black bear, moose and lynx); the next you could be striding across a dramatic headland, catching glimpses of pilot whales in the sea below. As well as the 8km Skyline Trail (see no.1 above), popular hikes include the 7km Franey Trail near Ingonish Beach, the 4.5km Middle Head Trail (which straddles a narrow peninsula) and the 9.5km Acadian Trail, a forest hike accessed from the western side of the Cabot Trail.

5. Witness the world’s highest tides

6. Spot humpbacks and other whales

Up to 12 species of cetacean can be found in the Bay of Fundy during summer – the powerful tides stir things up, creating nutrient-rich waters full of krill, squid and herring. Humpback whales and white-sided dolphins arrive in June, but from mid-July to October you also stand a good chance of seeing minke and fin whales. Keep your eyes peeled for endangered North Atlantic right whales, as well as sei and pilot whales. If you’re lucky, you might also spot blue and sperm whales, orca and beluga.

7. Visit the iconic lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove

8. Experience the wilderness of Kejimkujik

West of Halifax, the Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site is a mosaic of lush forests, meandering rivers and island-speckled lakes. The Mi’kmaq – the First Nations people indigenous to Canada’s Atlantic Provinces – canoed the waterways of Kejimkujik for thousands of years. You can follow in their wake, discovering intriguing stone carvings, or petroglyphs, along the shore. Hiking and biking trails also probe this watery wilderness.

9. Time travel at the Fortress of Louisbourg

Feeling inspired?

Our week-long Cape Breton Explorer self drive holiday takes in the highlights of Nova Scotia, from Halifax to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, while our two-week Maritimes Explorer combines Nova Scotia with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

If you have any questions about any of our Canada holidays or want to start planning your own trip, send an enquiry or call our travel specialists on 01737 214 250 to start discussing your options.

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