Offering beaches, forests, wineries, and so much more to see and do, why would you need to leave Nova Scotia for a vacation? Take a staycation and experience what makes Nova Scotia truly special. So, do something different this summer and check out the 25 activities that you can do for a Nova Scotian staycation.
Find Local Waterfalls
Go off the beaten path to find the breathtaking waterfalls. Many Nova Scotian waterfalls are hidden in provincial parks. Get ready for a hike when looking for waterfalls. Check out our list of 25 waterfalls you can visit.
The Cliffs of Fundy
Visit Cliffs of Fundy, the newly designated UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Cliffs of Fundy Geopark stretches 125 kilometres, with about 40 designated sites from Debert, N.S., to the Three Sisters cliffs past Eatonville, N.S. — and out to Isle Haute in the Bay of Fundy. The site is well known for having the world’s highest tides, Canada’s oldest dinosaur fossils and stunning landscapes steeped in Mi’kmaq and Acadian legends.
Enjoy Some Local Desserts
Nova Scotia is home to delicious local desserts. From Moon Mist Ice Cream to Blueberry Grunt to Oakcakes, Nova Scotia has everyone’s sweet tooth covered. Every region has its own twist on classics and favourite desserts, so you are sure to find one that you love during your travels.
Go on a Spa Getaway
While most spas are looking a little different nowadays, a spa getaway is still a wonderful option for a staycation. Nova Scotia is home to many spas and resorts where you can relax and spend time away from the stresses of your daily life. Spa Getaways in Nova Scotia
Take a Hike
This advice is meant in the best way possible because Nova Scotia is home to some of the best hiking trails in the Maritimes. From the iconic Skyline trail to short local trails, there is a trail for all skill levels of hikers. Get out there and explore all that nature has to offer in this beautiful province.
From the Halifax Regional Municipality to off the South Shore to the northern tip of Cape Breton, you’ll find hiking trails and lookouts for multiple points of interest.
Tour a Brewery or Winery
Did you know Nova Scotia is home to one of North America’s oldest working brewery? From internationally known brands like Alexander Keith’s to small local breweries and wineries, Nova Scotia is home to amazing options from the South Shore to Cape Breton.
Follow Nova Scotia’s Lobster Trail
It wouldn’t be a trip to Nova Scotia without trying the scrumptious seafood, especially lobster. Hop aboard the Taste of Nova Scotia’s Lobster Trail, and sample some of the best lobsters in the world. There are many places to stop across Nova Scotia, so make sure to collect stamps along the way to enter to win the Grand Prize.
Atlantic Splash Adventure
Have an amazing staycation with the family when you visit the Atlantic Splash Adventure park. The park has 7 waterslides that everyone can enjoy. There are also Junior Rides available for the kiddos to have a fun time on, and a Kiddie Splash Pool for them to play in when they need to cool off. If you or the family are hungry, you can buy treats and snacks at Tiki Treats.
1840 Hammonds Plains Road, Hammonds Plains
From $14.60 – $97.02
Explore Peggy’s Cove
Home to Nova Scotia’s most iconic and most photographed lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove has become a ‘must-visit’ location. The working fishing village offers more than just a visit to the lighthouse. Enjoy fresh local seafood and spend the day watching the ocean splash against the rocks. Peggy’s Cove is only an hour from Halifax, but it feels like it is a world apart.
Have a fantastic staycation experience when you rent your own island in the Atlantic Ocean and stay in a deluxe yurt. The Island Glampingexperience includes a 4-hour Guided Kayak Tour, a picnic lunch for 2 people, bike rental and snorkels, an Easy-to-Prepare Dinner for 2 that has locally sourced ingredients, luxurious Yurt Accommodations, and a delicious breakfast the next morning that is dropped off to you on the island.
245 The Point Road, Blue Rocks
$650 for one person, $950 per couple
Visit Old Town Lunenburg
Explore one of only two urban communities in North America designed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk down the well-preserved streets from the 18th century. Lunenburg is still a working fishing village so you can enjoy some of the freshest seafood at local restaurants.
Reconnect with Nature in Kejimkujik
Hike, paddle and camp under the bright blue sky and stars at Keji. Reconnect with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Explore the forest or head to Keji Seaside to relax on the beach.
3005 Main Parkway, Maitland Bridge
$5.00 to $60.20
Acadian Kitchen Party
Combining great food, lively music and community, Acadian Kitchen Parties are a ‘must-do’ activity when you are visiting the Acadian Shore. Spend the evening with the Argyle Lodge where you will be tantalized by local flavours, hear local songs and stories, and maybe even learn how to play the “spoons”.
52 Ye Old Argyle Road, Glenwood
Magic Winery Bus
Explore Nova Scotia’s wine country on this unique hop-on, hop-off tour. Visit up to five of the best Annapolis Valley’s wineries, tour each site and even taste what they have been pressing and fermenting into their signature wines. Each stop is an hour long, and you can even stay at a winery for an extra hour and catch the next bus.
Willow Avenue, Wolfville
OnTree Fun and Adventure Park
At OnTree Fun & Adventure Park, you can experience the adrenaline rush of making it through “Canada’s largest high ropes challenges park”. It is Nova Scotia’s first high-rope course and zip-line park and it has 2 training courses, 14 adult courses, and 2 children’s courses that are fun and challenging for all skill levels. They also have climbing walls, Tarzan Swings, a variety of high rope courses, ziplines and over 180 other obstacles that can be found among the lush trees of Martock.
370 Ski Martock Road, Martock
$25.00 to $45.65
Shubenacadie Wildlife Park
The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is 40 hectares of natural woodlands where birds, native mammals, and some exotic species live. The park has both interactive and static displays that give information about the inhabitants of the park. It is also wheelchair accessible, which allows access to the viewing areas and interpretive panels.
3149 Creighton Road, Shubenacadie East
Season Passes: Adult: $16, Youth: $5.50, Family: $37.50
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, the UNESCO World Heritage site that is located at the very tip of the Bay of Fundy, is a unique place where you can see over 300 million years of history. Over time, the powerful tides have uncovered thousands of fossils in these iconic cliffs. During low tide, you can walk along the beach to see if you can find any fossils in the craggy, cliff face. If you want to stay overnight in the Joggins area, The Crab Apple Inn is the place to lay your weary head. This fantastic B & B has beautiful rooms, comfortable beds, all the necessary amenities, and a fabulous, full breakfast every morning that you stay there.
100 Main Street, Joggins
Tours from $11.50 to $74.75, or Free if you don’t book a tour
Fox Harb’r Resort
Book a fantastic staycation at one of Canada’s only five 5-star resorts this summer. Fox Harb’r Resort offers a full-service spa, golf, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and beach access. It is a wonderful place to spend time away from the hustle and stress of the day-to-day grind. They have many special packages that you can choose from depending on your interests.
1337 Fox Harbour Road, Wallace
This iconic Nova Scotian highway takes you in and around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. If you like, you can explore the Cabot Trail in just one day, or you can take your time and really discover what delights the highlands have to offer over a few days. The Cabot Trail is full of outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, and whale watching. It also has some of the most spectacular views of the ocean, mountains, and valleys that you will ever see when you travel in Nova Scotia.
18283 Cabot Trail Rd, Petit Étang
Adult: $7.80, Senior: $6.80, Youth (under 17): Free, Family (up to 7 in one vehicle): $15.70
Two Rivers Wildlife Park
Visit Two Rivers Wildlife Park and discover a unique blend of a wildlife reserve and a zoo. There are over 50 species of native and non-native animals and birds that call this beautiful wildlife park home. The park has fun activities that kids of all ages will love with its petting zoo, a playground, wagon rides, a U-fish pond, and so much more. The campground next door is open during the summer, so you can camp out and keep the fun going after dusk.
4581 Grand Mira North Road, Huntington
Adults: $8, Seniors (55+): $6, Youth (3-17): $6, Child (under 2): Free
Oshan Whale Watch
Off the coast of Cape Breton are whales, eagles and seabirds that you will be able to spot from the Oshan Whale Watch tour. In Bay St. Lawrence, you can spot long-finned pilot whales, white-sided dolphins, humpback whales, grey seals, harbour porpoises, bald eagles, gannets, and cormorants.
3404 Bay St. Lawrence Road, Bay St. Lawrence
$25.00 to $45.00
East Coast Surf School
Surfing is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of things to do in Nova Scotia. However, Lawrencetown Beach offers great waves for surfing. East Coast Surf School offers rentals and lessons for you to learn how to surf.
4348 Lawrencetown Road, East Lawrencetown
$75 to $95
Travel back in time at Sherbrooke Village during their 50th Anniversary (2020) and experience what life was like over a 100 years ago. Have your picture taken at Canada’s only Ambrotype glass photo studio. You can also explore working an actual wood-turner shop, a pottery shop, a blacksmith, and a printery.
42 Main Street, Sherbrooke
From $6.95 to $189.95
Explore Halifax Museums
Museums allow us to gather objects and lessons about our world together and display them for educational and entertainment purposes. Every city has their own ways to shape these spaces, and Halifax is no exception. Discover the province’s achievements and history through museums of Halifax.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure
Nova Scotia is known for its beautiful ocean views and its lovely forests, which makes you want to head outside and go on a spontaneous adventure. From hiking the rocky coastal trails to paddling down one of the many rivers, there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy in this beautiful province.
Explore Nova Scotia from the Water
Explore the great outdoors and take in the amazing views of this beautiful province from the water paddling.
Explore Nova Scotia Counties
There is so much more to Nova Scotia than Halifax and Cape Breton Island. There is something unique to discover in each part of the province. Check out these articles and check off one county at a time from your Nova Scotia travel list.
- Summer in Yarmouth
- Summer in Digby County
- Summer Adventures King’s County
- Summer in Annapolis County
- Summer in Pictou County
- Summer in Antigonish County
- Summer in Amherst and Cumberland County
- Summer in Truro and Colchester County
- Summer in Baddeck & Victoria County
- Summer Adventures in Inverness County
- Summer in Sydney and Cape Breton County
- Summer in Richmond County
- Summer in Guysborough County
- Summer in HRM
- Summer in Lunenburg County
- Summer in Hants County
- Summer in Queens County
- Summer in Shelburne County