Breathtaking views, cool beaches, and lots of seafood – it is hard to know exactly where to start exploring in Nova Scotia. The fun never ends in Nova Scotia because there are exciting activities for all ages to take part in and enjoy. Listed below are 50 activities that you can add to your bucket list for this summer in Nova Scotia.
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1. Walk on the Ocean Floor at Burntcoat Head Park – Noel
With the tide’s fluctuation in Nova Scotia, it is possible to walk at the ocean floor. If you plan to visit Burntcoat Head Park, the beach is really the ocean floor that you can explore. You will see that the pools on the beach often have marine life inside of them. There is also a beautiful lighthouse, a 3-acre park, and walking trails at Burntcoat Head.
2. Take a Photo with the Cow Bay Moose – Cow Bay
The Cow Bay Moose is a 12 foot concrete sculpture of a moose created by Winston Bronnum. It appeared in 1959 and quickly became a local favorite. The moose has made an appearance in the “Trailer Park Boys”. It is the perfect place for a Canadian themed family photo, just don’t forget to bring some ‘Timmies’ to pose with.
3. Visit Oak Island – Oak Island
Oak Island is known for the treasure that may or may not be buried on the island. Since the 19th century, a number of attempts have been made to locate treasure and artifacts on the island. The island is privately owned, but there are tours that will take you around and on the island.
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4. See Sable Island – Sable Island
Wild horses running free on Sable Island is an amazing sight to see. Sable Island is one of the furthest offshore islands in Canada. The island is also home to the world’s largest grey seal breeding colony. You can visit the island by chartering a small plane or by taking a boat tour.
5. Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Joggins
At the tip of the Bay of Fundy are the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, which you can visit during low tides. You can find fossils on the beach that have been eroded off of the cliffs. There are also fossils still in the cliffs that are visible.You can also visit the wonderful interpretive center and learn more about dinosaurs in general and the fossils that exist on this beach.
6. See the World’s Largest Fiddle – Sydney
You can take a photo of the world’s largest fiddle on the Sydney waterfront. The fiddle and bow are 60 feet tall and can be seen by ships at sea. The fiddle is called Fidheal Mhor A’ Ceilidh which translates to the Big Fiddle of Ceilidh.
7. Bayer’s Lake Mystery Walls – Bayer’s Lake
Overlooking the Bayer’s Lake Business Park are the remains of a five-sided stone building, a stone staircase and a long stone wall, which no one knows who built them or why the buildings are there. The Bayer’s Lake Mystery Walls can be visited, but are monitored by cameras to protect the structures because they are protected by Nova Scotia Special Places Act.
8. Visit Peggy’s Cove – Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove is an iconic town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The classic red-and-white Peggy’s Point Lighthouse may be the most photographed lighthouse in the world and is a ‘must’ see. The town is a small community that has some small shops to visit and restaurants to eat at.
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9. Walk one of the World’s Longest Boardwalks – Halifax
The Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is almost 3km long, which makes it one of the longest boardwalks in the World. There are shops and ships along the boardwalk to keep you busy during your walk. If you need a break, there are hammocks on the boardwalk where you can rest and have a great view of the harbour.
10. Dempsey Corner Orchards – Aylesford
Dempsey Corner Orchards is a fifth generation family-run farm in the Annapolis Valley. The farm-themed playground is fun for kids, and you can visit the petting zoo where you can see calves, goats, sheep, bunnies and kittens. They also offer U-picks during the summer and early fall, so you can discover many varieties of fruit and see a working farm in progress.
11. Visit Hennigar’s Farm Park and Trail – Greenwich
The Hennigar’s Farm Market is full of the colours, tastes, and smells of the locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with locally made products. Right outside of the Farm Market is the Hennigar’s Farm Park and Trail, where you can meet the goats, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and goldfish. You can also play a round of Farmersgolf with your family and friends.
12. South Shore Exhibition
South Shore Exhibition is the largest agricultural exhibition in Nova Scotia. The festival has been around since 1891 and is located on 42 acres. The Big EX offers good, old-fashioned horse & oxen pulls daily, light horse competitions, show horse events, arts & crafts, 4-H, beef & dairy displays, rabbit & poultry displays, petting barn, music and performances from local groups.
13. Have you been to all of 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 (not all are listed below) 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
14. Mastodon Ridge – Stewiacke
When you are driving on Highway 101 near Stewiacke, you may spot the giant Mastodon on the top of the hill. Mastodon Ridge is only 15km from the gypsum quarry where the mastodon bones were found. Along with the giant Mastodon, there is also an exhibit on the Bay of Fundy, an 18-hole mini-golf course, a children’s play area and the Coldstream Clear Distillery.
15. Arisaig Lighthouse, Lobster Interpretive Centre & Café – Antigonish
The Arisaig Lighthouse is a full-size replica of the original Arisaig Point Lighthouse that burned down in the early 1930’s. There are interpretive panels at the lighthouse which tell the story of the local fishing community. The Lobster Interpretive Centre takes a closer look at the fishing industry. The Dockside Café serves up amazing seafood dishes.
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16. Go Camping with East Coast Glamping – Hammonds Plains
Who says going camping means roughing it? East Coast Glamping rents camping equipment and accessories that makes sleeping under the stars extremely comfortable. They can create custom glamping packages for your camping needs and wants.
17. Ride the Harbour Hopper – Halifax
The Harbour Hopper is the amphibious vehicle that travels around Downtown Halifax and the Halifax Harbour. The tour is 55 minutes long and is the perfect way of learn about the history of the city.It is a fun-filled amphibious adventure that you will never forget.
18. Festival Acadien De Clare
The Festival Acadien de Clare(the oldest Acadian festival in the world!) has always been a celebration of Acadian culture and heritage. Thousands of people from all over the world gather in Saint Mary’s Bay every year for a week filled with activities for all ages, like the lumberjack competition, the parade, the bazaar and so much more!
19. OnTree Fun & Adventure Park – Martock
Climb high in the tree at the first high rope course in Nova Scotia at OnTree Fun & Adventure Park. The Park was designed and built to be exciting and fun for all ages and abilities. There are 18 courses that you can pick from along with 45 zip-lines and a 45 foot base jump.
20. See Lunenburg on a Trot in Time Buggy Ride – Lunenburg
The Trot in Time Buggy Ride will take you around the historic port town of Lunenburg in a horse and buggy. The tour will start at the Fisheries Museum parking lot. During the ride, the driver will share stories and legends about Lunenburg.
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21. L’Acadie De Chezzetcook – Chezzetcook
Explore the unique Acadian culture at L’Acadie De Chezzetcook or Acadian House Museum. Step back in time with the traditionally dressed guides, who will show you how the Acadians survived through the years. Test your skills at ancestral skills, including baking bread in an outdoor oven, pulling candy, knitting, butter churning and much more.
22. Visit Pier 21 – HalifaxToday, Pier 21 is the Canadian Museum of Immigration, which tells the first-hand stories of immigrants who came to Canada and landed at Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971. There are many interactive displays around the museum to make learning fun.
23. Kejimkujik National Park – Maitland Bridge
Also known as Keji, Kejimkujik National Park is a ‘must visit’ because it is both a National Historic site and National Park. There are many ways to explore the park. If you love the ocean, you should visit the Kejimkujik National Park.
24. Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Cape Breton
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park will take you up mountains and down into valleys. There are many scenic look-offs and places to stop and rest. There are 26 walking trails and 6 beaches in the park that are ready for you to experience.
25. Drive the Cabot Trail – Cape Breton
The Cabot Trail is a must-drive when visiting Nova Scotia and will take you around Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The drive can be done in one day since it is 300 km long, but you may want to make some stops in the lovely coastal towns along the way.
26. Fortress of Louisbourg – Louisbourg
You can travel back in time to the 18-century at the Fortress of Louisbourg. The fortress is a living-museum that is visited by travellers from around the world. There is always something happening at the fort. Visitors can take a guided tour or download the Louisbourg app and explore the fort using an audio tour.
27. Make a Call at the Luckett Vineyard – Wallbrook
The red phone booth at the Luckett Vineyard has become an iconic location in the Annapolis Valley, and has a working phone inside. Along with making a phone call, take some with to explore the vineyard and taste their amazing wine.
28. Halls Harbour Lobster Pound – Halls Harbour
Halls Harbour Lobster Pound is one of the best places to eat a lobster dinner, along with other seafood dishes. You can choose your own lobster from the tanks or you can let the chef pick your lobster for you. During your meal, you can look out the windows to watch the Bay of Fundy tides change the harbour.
29. Tidal Bore Rafting Park – Urbania
The best way to experience the highest tides in the world is by rafting on them. The Tidal Bore Rafting Park is located near Shubenacadie. It is recommended that you stay at the Tidal Bore Rafting Resort because the tours leave early in the morning.
30. Be a Kid at the Candy Store at Freak Lunchbox – Halifax
It is hard to miss a Freak Lunchbox store with the bright colors and all the candy in the windows. When you enter the store, you will be greeted with wall to wall candy and funny gag gifts. Freak Lunchbox offers candy from around the world and even has favorites from yesteryear for you to enjoy.
31. Digby Scallop Days
Digby Scallop Daysis a 4-day celebration that takes place during the second weekend of August. This festival reflects on the local scallops and the fishermen who harvest them. Scallops from Digby, the Scallop Capital of the World, are known worldwide for their unique and succulent taste
32. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Halifax
A highlight of Halifax, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is home to the ‘Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship’ exhibit. This exhibit is one of the largest collection of items from the Titanic and has stories from survivors who stayed in Halifax.There are also exhibits on the Halifax Explosion and Theodore Tugboat, including a real-life version of the iconic tugboat.
33. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site – Halifax
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is also called Citadel Hill, and is a ‘must’ visit when you are in Halifax. From the fort, you have amazing views of downtown Halifax and Halifax Harbour. The fort is a living museum with guards around the fort.
34. Highland Village Museum – Iona
The only living Gaelic history museum in North America, the Highland Village Museum offers a unique experience. The village museum is 43 acres and has 11 historic buildings for you to explore with activities in each. You will learn what it was like to live in the 1800’s and early 1900’s in Nova Scotia.
35. Fisherman’s Life Museum – Jeddore Oyster Pond
Fisherman have played a huge part in Nova Scotia’s history and are still a huge part of Nova Scotian culture today. The homestead was built in the early 1900’s and belonged to Ervin Myers and his family. The Fisherman’s Life Museum covers what it was like to be a fisherman, and how his family lived during the 1900’s.
36. Nova Scotia Museum of Industry – Stellarton
Explore Atlantic Canada’s largest museum to learn about Nova Scotia’s industrial past. The Nova Scotia Museum of Industry has many interactive displays for you to lift, pull, push, drop and laugh to learn. There are over 36,000 artifacts to show why Nova Scotians are so proud of their work.
37. See Puffins on Donelda’s Bird Island Puffin Tours – Baddeck
The best way to see puffins in the wild is on the Donelda’s Bird Island Puffin Tours. On these tours, you can also spot seals, eagles, and other seabirds. The boat is covered, but the windows are removable for glass-free photos.
38. Bluenose II – Lunenburg
The Bluenose II is the iconic schooner that is pictured on the Canadian Dime. You can climb aboard the Bluenose II and even sail on the ship in Lunenburg. There are two 2-hour long sails daily, whenever the schooner is in port.
39. Take a Brier Island Whale & Seabird Cruise – Westport
Spot Humpback, Finback and Right Whales along with seabirds when you go on Brier Island Whale & Seabird Cruises. The captain has over 40 years of experience of sailing the Bay of Fundy, so he knows the best locations to spot these amazing animals. The cruises can be from 2 to 5 hours long.
40. Ride the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus – Wolfville
This one-of-a-kind, hop-on-hop-off tour will take you to five of Annapolis Valley’s best wineries. The Wolfville Magic Winery Bus is a great way of seeing the Valley and sampling the amazing foods and wines that it has to offer.
41. Just Us! Coffee Roastery & Museum – Grande Pre
A must visit for any coffee lover. The Just Us! Coffee Roastery & Museum has a small café serving freshly roasted coffee and tasty baked goods. Just to the right of the main door is the Fair Trade and Coffee Museum, which will show you how coffee is grown and roast, and why it is important to buy fair trade products when possible.
42. Jost Vineyard – Malagash
Jost Vineyard grows some of the best wine grapes and produces some of the best wines in Nova Scotia. Take some time to explore the vineyard, before heading inside to see the fruits of the labour. The Seagrape Café offers fine seasonal dishes along with the wines Josh has produced.
43. Eat at Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant & Brew Pub – Yarmouth
Enjoy a meal along with premium brewed beer at the only microbrewery restaurant on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant & Brew Pub is a local favorite with fresh lobsters and hand-made fish cakes. In the evening, you can enjoy live music with your meal.
44. Annapolis Cider Company – Wolfville
The Annapolis Valley is known for all the apples that are grown, and the Annapolis Cider Company is putting them to good use. In the heart of downtown Wolfville, local apples are pressed into juice and fermented into cider. You can watch the process by peering down into the cellar or enjoy some cider at their tasting bar.
45. Main-à-Dieu Fishermen’s Museum – Fleur De Lis
Located in Cape Breton’s Coastal Discovery Centre, the Main-à-Dieu Fishermen’s Museum provides an exciting look at the changes and challenges faced by the Nova Scotian fishing industry over the past 100 years. There are replicas of fishing boats, along with a large collection of fishing paraphernalia. You can also see working boats from the Main-à-Dieu Boardwalk.
46. Watch a Movie Under the Stars at the Valley Drive-In – Coldbrook
Watch 2 new release movies under the stars at the Valley Drive In in Coldbrook. This is a fun and affordable way of spending a weekend night. The canteen offers a wide variety of traditional theatre items along with fast food like French fries and onion rings.
47. Two Rivers Wildlife Park – Huntington
See Nova Scotian wildlife including white-tailed deer, black bears, and wolves in their natural setting at Two Rivers Wildlife Park. There are camping spots, a park and the beach for the whole family to enjoy. You can also spend your day hiking the trails, picking your own food at the u-picks, or at the petting zoo.
48. Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market
The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in North America being over 250 years old. There are two floors of vendors to see and browse what they have brought to market. There is something for everyone at this huge market, and the weekend is the best time to visit.
49. Martinique Beach
The longest beach in Nova Scotia, Martinique Beach is 5km of spectacular white sand. So, spend some time beachcombing, swimming or just relaxing on the beach. There are wooded picnic areas if you want to get out of the sun.
50. Explore a Waterfall
With the unique landscape of Nova Scotia, it is no wonder that there are so many waterfalls across the province.
Visit some or all of them this summer.
Unique Things to Eat & Drink
Nova Scotia is a delicious melting pot of culinary experiences. There are all sorts of cultures that combine here, and out of that mix a few dishes have risen as recognizably Nova Scotian dishes, several of them unique to the province. If you want to get a true taste of Nova Scotia, try as many of the following as possible. You won’t regret a single one.