It’s still fall, but winter is on the way, and it’s a good time to think about planning a winter getaway. While going south in the winter gets you more sun, Nova Scotia is full of winter fun all around the province, and you can enjoy whatever kind of getaway you fancy. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a place to hibernate, a weekend escape or a mid-February week away, you’ll find your perfect destination on this list.
Hanging out in the Valley is a great experience all year round, and if you want to stay in the heart of a Wolfville winter, you should stay at the Blomidon. A classic inn, the Blomidon was built in the 1880s and became an inn in 1947. You can choose from rooms, suites, or the Perth Cottage, all decorated in Victorian style. Since the inn is only minutes away from most of Wolfville’s main landmarks, it’s the perfect place to stay and enjoy Wolfville winter events*. You can also explore the town, which has plenty of beautiful parks and trails for winter walks, restaurants for every palate, and if you like to ski, Martock is only 30 minutes away (and they have both cross country and downhill skiing).
*These will be affected by COVID-19. As of right now there are tentative plans for events in January and February.
Phone: 1-902-542-2291 or 1-800-565-2291
Address: 195 Main Street, Wolfville
Amherst Shore Country Inn
The Amherst Shore Country Inn is the place to go if you want relaxation, great food, and beautiful views of the ocean. Settled beside the Bay of Fundy, the Amherst Inn is a fine dining establishment with gourmet meals all year round. There’s also a bakery on site with the finest breads, scones, and cheesecake bites to choose from. Hang out in the sitting room with other guests, go snowshoeing, or observe the winter tides of the Bay of Fundy from the seaside gazebo! Or from one of the trails, if you’re not a gazebo nut like me.
Phone: 1-902-661-4800 or 1-800-661-2724
Address: 5091 Route 366, Lorneville
Hatfield Farm is a fond childhood memory for many Nova Scotians—it’s a popular summer activity or field trip destination. Whatever your age, you can enjoy the Cowboy Adventures, the accommodations package that lets you winter camp in old-style cabins. The packages include breakfast and dinner, a sleigh ride, and campfire time. There’s a petting zoo and pony rides for daylight adventures, and potentially a rubber rodeo to enjoy too*! It’s a perfect weekend getaway to break up winter ennui.
*Currently closed due to the pandemic
Phone: 902-835-5676 or 1-877-835-5676
Address: 1840 Hammond Plains Road
If you’ve never stayed in a hostel, I’d recommend giving it a shot—it’s a very different kind of getaway, not just because it tends to be cheaper. The culture of hostels is alive and well at the Highlands Hostel, and if you’re looking to experience the Cabot Trail in a new way, this is the place for you. Close to a grocery store, you can settle in to enjoy some relaxing days…or you can head out onto the Cabot Trail and see what adventures you can find. Some examples: hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, exploring local breweries, winter hiking….and so much more.
Phone: 1-902-383-2371 or 1-833-381-6553
Address: 29295 Cabot Trail, Cape North
Alright, listen up: if you go to Inverary, that means you’re going to Baddeck, and if you’re going to Baddeck, you need to go to Tom’s Pizza, because it’s fantastic and awesome. With that out of the way, Inverary is truly a beautiful place to stay in Baddeck. With a spa, shop, and swimming pool onsite, you can soothe away your winter chills and aches, all the while enjoy stunning views of the Bras d’Or Lake. And since it’s in Baddeck, it’s easy to go out and explore the town (again, you should go to Tom’s pizza at least once).
Address: 368 Shore Road, Baddeck
Irwin Lake Chalets
People talk about the difference between ‘cottage’ and ‘cabin’ a lot, but I think chalet stands alone too It just has a different feel to it, you know? The Irwin Lake Chalets demonstrate the aesthetic of ‘chalet’ beautifully, especially because most of the chalets have outdoor hot tubs, which are a glorious experience in winter (pro tip—bring flip flops and walk over snow, not ice). There are trails and hills nearby to explore, sleigh rides to take, and it’s close to the Sugar Moon Farm, which is a maple syrup farm that has some of the best pancakes ever. And at the end of the day, just head home to your chalet!
Phone: 902-895-2663 or 1-866-55IRWIN (1-866-554-7946)
Address: 680 Loch Haven Lane, Old Barns Nova Scotia
The Lakes Golf Club & Resort
Okay it might seem weird to go to a golf resort in the winter, but hear me out—they have a whole page of winter activity suggestions, so they have prepared for this! They have suites and chalets to choose from, and one house if you’ve got a large group, and the restaurant represents all that’s great about Ben Eoin. As for activities, they are close to three majorly awesome winter activities: Ski Ben Eoin (which also includes snowboarding), snow shoeing on the property and nearby trails, and snowmobiling. I have never snowmobiled before (and I’m not sure if that’s a proper verb), but if it’s even half as fun as riding a Sea-Doo, this is a don’t want to miss chance to experience Cape Breton at “gotta go fast” speeds.
Address: 5153 East Bay Highway, Ben Eoin, Cape Breton
Norse Cove Seaside Camping
Alongside the 100 Islands, the Norse Cove Seaside Camping sites are perfect for exploring eco-friendly winter getaways only 75 minutes from Halifax. Bring your RV or rent one of their Nordic Huts, or go full adventure and bring all your winter camping gear. There’s activities on the property, lots of nearby outdoors to explore, and there’s the Longhouse common area for stormy days when you want to kick back, play some board games, and congregate with your fellow campers.
Address: 51 Dewolfes Road, Tangier
The magic of Oceanstone comes from the variety of cabins, rooms, and chalets on their property. When you look out your window you see the ocean and a bunch of buildings that don’t all look the same—it feels like a little village. There are board games and cards at the main lodge, the Rhubarb restaurant sells excellent food, and with their variety of packages you can customize your comfort. It’s close to Peggy’s Cove as well as local trails, so if you feel like venturing out in the cold you can get a splendid view of both forest and ocean in the winter.
Address: 8650 Peggy’s Cove Road
Old Orchard Inn
Just outside of Wolfville, the Old Orchard Inn has overlooked the Annapolis Valley since 1972. They have a luxurious spa and pool onsite, as well as a hot tub and sauna combo. With their fitness room and spectacular dining options, there’s no need to step outside to enjoy a relaxing winter getaway. If you do want to venture out, Wolfville is close by, so you can enjoy the town and the proximity to Ski Martock, if that’s your thing. Just warm up and relax at the end of the day in front of the gorgeous fireplace with a glass of local wine and Valley Apple Pie.
Phone: 902-542-5751 or 1-800-561-8090
Address: 153 Greenwich Road South, Greenwich
Seaweed and Sod Farm Bed and Breakfast
If you’re looking for peace and quiet, a peaceful escape from the busy world in the heart of nature, the Seaweed and Sod Farm is happy to provide. A tiny bed & breakfast overlooking the Bras d’Or Lake, the attached farm has horses, llamas, sheep, and heritage turkeys and chickens. There are trails to explore, star gazing and sunset watching to do, and just general rest and relaxation to be had. Unplug, decompress, and enjoy a winter retreat into the beauty of Cape Breton.
Phone: 1-902-577-1129 or 1-855-322-0148
Address: 7952 Kempt Head Road, Kempt Head Cape Breton
Smith Rock Lodge and Chalets
While skiing and snowboarding allow you to climb mountains, you’re generally on your way down shortly. Smith Rock Lodge and Chalets is on top of Fitzpatrick Mountain, so you can enjoy a wintery mountain stay. There are plenty of trails on the property and around the mountain, but if you prefer a little less chill in your workout you can enjoy their fitness centre and sauna. There’s a lodge where you can congregate or just sit and enjoy the view while you read or knit. Make the off-season your season in one of the lovely chalets on the mountain.
Address: 310 Fitzpatrick Mountain Road, Scotsburn
Tidal Bore Rafting Resort
It might be too chilly to go rafting, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the winter at Tidal Bore Rafting Resort. Since all the cottage and chalets are winterized, you can enjoy your stay in comfort—and one of the chalets has a hot tub! There are hiking trails to walk or snowshoe, new people to meet from a distance, and it’s close to several small towns in the area, perfect for doing some exploring.
Address: 12215 Highway 215, Urbania
Trout Point Lodge
In the Tobeatic Wilderness lies the Trout Point Lodge, a perfect place to combine luxury and wilderness experience in the winter. With a variety of lodging and dining options, you can enjoy the lodge as you wish. The entire wilderness is at your disposal, and there are guides available if you’re new to outdoor adventures. However you spend your day, make sure you save time before bed to star gaze in a Dark Sky preserve—the lodge even has telescopes and binoculars you can borrow to see the winter sky up close.
Address: 189 Trout Point Road, East Kemptville
White Point Beach Resort
With ‘beach’ in the name, you might think this place is ill-suited for winter. This is not the case (and I speak from personal experience). White Point Beach Resort has a variety of options, from single rooms to bigger houses, and they’re all ready to give you a great holiday. They have packages for holidays and romance, and you can snowshoe, hike, or even cross-country ski the trails on the property. The main lodge is wonderful for relaxing if you like to people watch or enjoy playing board games, listen to live music, or enjoy the spa and swimming pool.
Phone: 902-354-2711 or 1-800-565-5068
Address: 75 White Point Beach Resort Road, White Point
By: Adrienne Colborne