Arrive in Nova Scotia and make your way to the vibrant capital of Nova Scotia – Halifax, a city that offers a wonderful mix of both past and present. Today you have time to explore your immediate surroundings. Walk among the graves of those who perished with the Titanic, explore the park-like waterfront, bustling harbour, or quiet tree-lined streets. Experience the pageantry of 19th century military life at the Halifax Citadel, one of the largest British fortresses in North America. Be sure to save some time to discover the quaint shops and boutiques as well as restaurants that offer an eclectic gourmet cuisine.
Head out to the Sambro Peninsula to get your first taste of the rugged shoreline of Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Stop at the York Redoubt National Historic Site to take in the view of the entrance to Halifax’s Harbour (the second largest natural harbour in the world), and to explore the tunnels and fortifications that mark the site. Visit one of Halifax’s favourite summertime getaways at Crystal Crescent Beach – three secluded coves with turquoise-blue water and fine white-sand beaches provide the perfect location to either relax at the beach or hike along the many trails and boardwalks that skirt in and out among the forest, beaches and coves.
Leave Halifax en route to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lunenburg. On the way you will stop off at Peggy’s Cove – synonymous with the rocky shoreline of Nova Scotia, the lunar landscape and lighthouse are a sight to behold. Pass through numerous small fishing villages and scenic resort towns – Chester and Mahone Bay are but two of the quaint villages that line the South Shore, which are the hallmark of Nova Scotia. Exceptional shops, galleries and picturesque views, along with the many opportunities to stroll along the shoreline and into secluded forests will ensure that you have a full day today.
Start your day with an exploration of the exquisitely preserved town of Lunenburg – founded 250 years ago by German, Swiss and French settlers. The traditional home of the tall ships in Nova Scotia, this active fishing port has retained the distinctive style and flair of these early settlers. Participate in an exclusive cultural excursion with a traditional craftsperson or join in on a sea kayaking trip along the shoreline. Visits to some of the local natural wonders, such as Blue Rocks and the Ovens Natural Park, will also be high on your list.
Leave Lunenburg, travelling a little further along the South Shore – as the coast becomes less populated and the shoreline more remote and natural. Veer north to cross the mainland of Nova Scotia through lofty deciduous forests (particularly lovely in the fall). Stop at Kejimkujik National Park, where you can canoe the tranquil waters, or explore the walking trails that pass through towering ancient hemlocks, wind-swept pines and brightly coloured orchids. Take the opportunity to view a few of the hundreds of aboriginal petroglyphs that illustrate a vanished way of life. At the end of the day, arrive in the cozy little village of Annapolis Royal. Be sure to leave some time to explore the historic monuments and buildings of this little community – the candlelight tour of the local graveyard is always popular.
Head out to one of Nova Scotia’s most spectacular natural regions – the Digby Neck and Islands. This narrow peninsula juts out into the waters of the Bay of Fundy, where the tides have created a rich ecosystem that supports an abundance of wildlife and amazing topography. Your walks will allow you to take in the precarious “Balancing Rock” – a basalt outcrop that defies gravity, and visit the sensitive ecological treasures of Brier Island. You may decide to take in a whale-watching excursion as this area is famous for the great numbers of whales and seabirds that flock to the region.
Leave Annapolis Royal to travel along quiet country roads through the heart of the verdant Annapolis Valley. Apple and peach orchards, vineyards and family farms will mark your way. The most traffic you’ll encounter will be a tractor heading from a traditional red barn to a colourful pasture. Your route will also take you up and over the North Mountain range to the shores of the Bay of Fundy, where you can see for yourself the height of the Fundy tides at Hall’s Harbour. Arrive at the end of the day in the beautiful university town of Wolfville, your home for the next two nights.
Take the time to explore this town, as it is home to some of Nova Scotia’s finest restaurants and has an array of unique shops and boutiques. Travel north to explore Cape Blomidon and Cape Split – the power (and sound) of the Fundy tides will enthral you. On your return to Wolfville you will have the opportunity to visit the Grand Pré National Historic Site, which memorializes the tragic expulsion of the Acadians from the Maritimes in 1755. No doubt the words of Longfellow’s epic poem "Evangeline" will whisper to you.
Today is your day of departure. Take a last stroll around Wolfville to pick up that final memorable souvenir before you head for home – or off on your next adventure.