How a lot of your house nation have you ever seen? As Canadians who’ve been travelling overseas for round 11 years, we’ve explored little or no of our dwelling nation — and I imply little or no. Previous to our current journey to Nova Scotia, Nick had solely been as far east as Edmonton, and I went to Montreal as soon as after I was younger!
We had been overdue to expertise extra of Canada, and what higher place to start out with than one of many furthest jap factors within the nation?
Our 15-day journey via the second smallest province in Canada gave us a style of the Maritimes and left us wanting extra. Every of the seven most important areas of Nova Scotia provided a distinct really feel — by way of landscapes, delicacies, and heritage.
We’ll be writing extra articles, and creating extra movies from our time in Nova Scotia, however for now, learn the remainder of this text and take a look at the video beneath to seek out out extra about travelling on this beautiful province.
The Invitation to Nova Scotia
It had been some time since we’d been on a press journey. In reality, the final one was once we had been invited to go to Chicago — in 2018. Earlier this yr we had backpacked round Ecuador and Peru, and loved a digital detox alongside the way in which, free of labor and campaigns.
We had been prepared for one more partnership that suited our pursuits, and the Nova Scotia tourism board was the right match.
As soon as we acquired the proposed itinerary, we requested to make a few modifications to higher match our journey model, and so they had been completely satisfied to accommodate our requests.
We knew straight away that the tourism board was going to be nice to work with. They understood the worth of influencers and on-line media and that it’s necessary to create content material that our readers will get pleasure from.
What a view!
Our journey to Nova Scotia was 18 days, however solely 10 days had been deliberate with the tourism board, the remainder of the time we had been on our personal — so, we had plenty of time to see the in-between bits of the province (Though, we may’ve stayed double that point).
The Street Journey Route
“Don’t overlook to drive on the righthand facet of the highway!”
These had been my first phrases to Nick once we picked up our automotive on the Halifax airport. Dwelling in Grenada, we drive on the left. Plus, it’s virtually unimaginable to drive greater than 65 kilometers/hour as our windy roads have obstacles to dodge like individuals, goats, canines, and potholes (to call a number of).
Driving in Nova Scotia with its paved roads, lane dividers and visitors lights was going to be a breeze…supplied Nick remembered to remain on the proper facet of the highway.
After loading Google Maps on our cellphone, we set off to downtown Halifax. The solar was shining, our Dodge Charger was purring, and we had been so excited for the beginning of the journey!
Having your personal wheels is a should in Nova Scotia. Our Dodge Charger was a fantastic trip!
With so many epic viewpoints, tasty eating places, and offtrack spots to discover, having your personal wheels in Nova Scotia is crucial. Not solely that, however because it’s such a compact province, driving round right here is fairly simple — it’s principally unimaginable to get misplaced.
The one factor you could determine is the place you need to go, and which scenic route you need to take.
If you happen to take a look at a map of Nova Scotia, you’ll see a really jagged shoreline with a bunch of “fingers”, quite a few bays and coves, and an uncountable quantity of lakes (properly, over Three,000), rivers, and streams. Evidently, the drives listed below are beautiful.
Our highway journey route in Nova Scotia regarded like this:
Halifax ⇢ Peggy’s Cove ⇢ Mahone Bay ⇢ Lunenburg ⇢ Blue Rocks ⇢ Liverpool ⇢ White Level ⇢ Shelburne ⇢ Barrington ⇢ Yarmouth ⇢ White Level ⇢ Kejimkujik Nationwide Park ⇢ Digby ⇢ Annapolis Royal ⇢ Wolfville ⇢ Urbania ⇢ Pictou.
We then crossed the Canso Causeway to Cape Breton Island.
Pictou ⇢ Mabou ⇢ Ingonish ⇢ Baddeck ⇢ Margaree Forks ⇢ Inverness ⇢ Halifax
Historical past & Tradition
We journey the world to study different cultures, customs and methods of life. By merely visiting the jap coast of Canada, we discovered ourselves in our dwelling nation, however with new cultures and cuisines to expertise.
With simply 15 days to journey round Nova Scotia, it was a bit tough to be taught all the things concerning the historical past and other people right here (and to go to all of the historic websites, and pattern all the conventional cuisines). However, we did our greatest and had nothing however optimistic experiences with the welcoming individuals of the province.
From the Mi’kmaq, the French Acadians, and the Africans, to the English, Irish and Scottish – in addition to the various who’ve immigrated right here extra not too long ago, Nova Scotia is a melting pot of cultures and other people.
The Mi’kmaq have known as Nova Scotia dwelling for over 13,000 years. Throughout our journey, we visited the Kejimikujik Nationwide park which is dwelling to historical petroglyphs, and the waterways right here had been utilized by the Mi’kmaq as journey routes to maneuver them between the Bay Of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean — via a dugout, wood canoe.
Liked this tree on the Kejimikujik Nationwide Park
In Latin, Nova Scotia interprets to “New Scotland”, and there’s nonetheless a powerful Scottish affect within the province, particularly on Cape Breton Island and the city of Pictou. From Ceilidhs (get-togethers) and fiddle music to their accent and delicacies, the Scottish roots are distinguished right here.
We spent a while within the city of Pictou, which is the place the primary Scottish settlers arrived aboard the Hector ship in 1773. Right here, lamp posts are adorned with Scottish tartans, a reproduction of the Hector sits within the bay, and there’s a yearly Competition Of The Tartans (in Pictou County) which celebrates all issues Scottish — bagpipes, conventional video games, meals, highland dancing, and extra.
Pictou was a ravishing little city!
We additionally visited a few of the Acadian communities within the southwest a part of the province, in addition to Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island. The French had been the primary Europeans to reach in Nova Scotia within the 1600s, and so they arrange their base in Annapolis Royal — a beautiful little neighborhood that we stopped in on our technique to Wolfville. From there, the Acadians unfold out across the province.
Throughout our highway journey, we noticed Acadian flags with indicators informing us that we’ve arrived in an Acadian neighborhood. The Acadian affect is distinguished in Nova Scotia and it reveals itself within the meals, language, and structure.
Regardless of which city or neighborhood we had been in, it appeared every had some type of historic significance. The following time we go to Nova Scotia, we need to immerse ourselves additional within the tradition and be taught extra concerning the Acadians, Africans, and Mi’kmaq individuals and maybe give extra time to tenting, nationwide parks and the outside.
Highlights From Nova Scotia
Most of the locations we visited, and the issues we did stick out in our minds as highlights from our journey. Throughout our transient go to, we had been in a position to get a style of what every space of Nova Scotia has to supply. Listed below are just some of our highlights:
This metropolis of round 430,000 individuals is ready on the second-largest pure harbour on the earth… as you’ll be able to think about, it’s an extremely picturesque place.
We wandered up and down the Waterfront (a pedestrian-only walkway) whereas stopping in for poutine, beaver tails, and craft beers alongside the way in which. We popped into the Atlantic Maritime Museum, wandered via the Farmer’s Market, and rode an amphibious automobile (Harbour Hopper) via the streets of Halifax…and straight into the Ocean.
The Waterfront in Halifax is a superb place to stroll
Throughout the bay, only a 5-minute ferry trip away, is the neighborhood of Dartmouth. Vibrant buildings, avenue artwork, little cafes and a fantastic strolling path are all causes to go to right here. Plus, you’ll get a fantastic view of Halifax from throughout the water.
With quite a few worldwide cuisines to dine on, historic websites to go to, countless occasions to attend (we had been there for the annual Halifax Jazz Competition!), and a chilled-out vibe, Halifax was a fantastic first cease on our Nova Scotia journey.
Taking the 5-minute ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth
The place To Keep
We stayed at two totally different locations in Halifax.
The Westin Nova Scotian (within the newly renovated rooms). The view throughout the harbour was spectacular, the breakfast buffet was wonderful, the workers had been pleasant and the placement was nice.
A cute Airbnb in one of many historic houses within the metropolis. Once more, a fantastic location, simply steps from the waterfront.
Don’t overlook to seize your Airbnb coupon to obtain as much as $55 off your reserving.
The place To Eat:
There are quite a few choices for native and worldwide delicacies. A few of our favourites embody:
The Bicycle Thief – nice location, tasty meals, and pleasant workers. Attempt the lobster roll and the rigatoni ragu.
Johnny Ok’s – Donair is the official meals of Halifax, and so they say that you just haven’t actually been to town till you’ve eaten one. These aren’t the identical as the standard Center Jap doner kebab or shawarma, there’s a twist. (we personally desire the standard ones, however hey, when in Halifax!)
The 5 Fishermen – wonderful restaurant serving scrumptious delicacies. Attempt the lobster and the tenderloin steak.
Meals Stalls – situated on the waterfront, there’s a cluster of meals stalls. Attempt the beaver tail, poutine, and ice cream. Plus, the Cussed Goat beer backyard is a superb possibility for chilly beers on a sunny day. (The one draw back is that they serve drinks in plastic cups. Convey your personal reusable cup to assist with the extreme use of plastic).
This was a tasty lobster roll!
Situated on the South Shore is the UNESCO listed (fish obsessed) city of Lunenburg. The city revolves round fishing and is obvious as quickly as you arrive — fishing boats in port, fish ornaments on retailers and church buildings, shipbuilding and fisheries museum, and fish on the restaurant menus!
We had been advised by our strolling tour information that the individuals of Lunenburg lived and died by the ocean — as up to now, quite a few individuals sadly misplaced their lives whereas fishing in treacherous situations.
With its location proper on the water, and the Georgian, Victorian and Colonial-style houses, this can be a very picturesque place. Other than wandering round and having fun with the port city, don’t miss the Ironworks Distillery which produces dangerously scrumptious fruit liqueurs, plus more durable booze equivalent to rum, vodka, and gin. Even if you happen to’re not a drinker, the constructing it’s set in is price a go to.
We actually loved Lunenburg and would’ve stayed an additional evening if we had time
The place to Keep: We stayed on the Bagintine Inn, which had a fantastic view of the water. Although there’s a bar and restaurant down beneath, we didn’t have any points with it being too loud. The situation is great.
The place to Eat: The Savvy Sailor has tasty (filling) breakfast, with a fantastic view. For dinner, we ate on the Salt Shaker, and whereas the meals was good, it didn’t blow us away. Employees had been nice and the placement was wonderful. We heard good issues concerning the Grand Banker Bar and Grill…however didn’t have an opportunity to strive the meals, solely the beers.
Kayaking at Blue Rocks
The neighborhood of Blue Rocks is a fast drive from Lunenburg and is a well-liked place for photographers. However, we weren’t there to photograph the blue shale rocks, we had been there to do some kayaking!
As we pulled in, the Atlantic Ocean was tough and the white caps had been fairly huge. I used to be nervous and thought the water was too uneven to kayak. Nick (together with his widespread sense) assured me that the information wouldn’t take us someplace harmful.
And, he was proper.
As quickly as I voiced my considerations to the information, he mentioned there was no approach he’d take shoppers out in that water. The place we had been going was protected by little islands and rocks. The corporate was known as Nice Paddling, and it was undoubtedly nice.
Although the Atlantic was tough, the place we kayaked was good and calm
We paddled via slim channels whereas recognizing bald eagles, quite a few black geese, and different sea birds. We even had some curious seals swim in the direction of us. Getting on the water and studying about Blue Rocks (and the province as a complete), whereas burning off a few of the meals we had been consuming, was a good way to spend the morning.
Nice Paddling presents Three totally different excursions, ranging from $60 per particular person. Click on right here to be taught extra.
Whale Watching at Digby
Situated simply outdoors of Digby is the Digby Neck. This peninsula is a wonderful place to embark on a whale-watching journey out into the Bay of Fundy. The solar was shining as our boat handed Lengthy Island and circled the underside of the peninsula at Brier Island, earlier than heading out into the open Bay of Fundy.
Time for some whale watching
All of us had our eyes peeled, hoping to identify a humpback whale.
Fortunately, despite the fact that we had been a little bit bit early within the season, we noticed one! The crew knew this whale and had named him “Rooftop”. We noticed him a number of occasions through the day, as he confirmed off by placing his fluke within the air.
Because the day was coming to an finish, we had been extraordinarily lucky to identify a Finback Whale. That is the second largest whale on the earth, and so they transfer very quick within the water. For no matter cause, this whale determined to hang around with us and allowed us to “ooo and ahh” and take some footage and movies, earlier than descending down into the depths.
There’s simply one thing particular about seeing wildlife in its pure habitat.
Convey heat garments for whale watching…and take a look at the video above for whale clips!
The place To Keep: We stayed in Digby itself and loved trying out the city the day earlier than. We stayed on the Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa, which was set on a stunning property.
The place To Eat: I like to recommend the Shoreline Restaurant in Digby. The city is thought for having the very best scallops on the earth, and the bacon-wrapped scallops and pan-fried scallops with garlic and butter are scrumptious.
Whale Watching: The corporate we went with was Petit Passage Whale Watching, and we had a fantastic expertise. Be certain that to convey heat clothes, even in the summertime months. It’s $85 for adults and $30 for youths. Click on right here to be taught extra.
Tidal Bore Rafting
Have you ever heard of this?! It’s an expertise you’ll be able to solely have in Nova Scotia — nowhere else on the earth presents it.
Right here’s what occurs…
The place’s the boat?! Tidal bore rafting was a lot enjoyable
The tides within the Bay of Fundy are the very best on the earth, fluctuating between Three.5 meters (11ft) and 16 meters (53ft). When the frenzy of the incoming tide meets with the outgoing Shubenacadie River, it creates swells, waves, and rapids.
We hopped on a zodiac and headed out on the river to trip these waves!
Although we had been gulping down mud and water (on account of laughing so exhausting), we had such a good time. The boat launched over the waves whereas we held on tight. As soon as we accomplished our rapids, we headed to the banks of the river to do some mud sliding.
Mud sliding was a good way to finish the day
This journey actually introduced out our interior little one and we had such a blast. Extremely beneficial! To be taught extra about tidal bore rafting, click on right here.
Cape Breton Island
I’m itemizing the entire island as a spotlight, as there are simply too many issues that stood out for us right here! The well-known Cabot Path drive is a should, however I like to recommend not dashing it. Drive a little bit bit, then keep the evening someplace and discover round that space, earlier than persevering with on the Cabot Path the next day.
Inverness city has a ravishing oceanfront boardwalk, wonderful golfing, craft beer brewery, and tenting alternatives. The Glenora Inn and Distillery is the longest-running producer of single malt whiskey in North America (there are solely 2), plus, the lodging and restaurant there are wonderful.
The boardwalk alongside the seashore in Inverness is a superb place to stroll
The Margaree River presents improbable fly fishing alternatives. Although Nick didn’t catch a fish (the climate wasn’t in his favour), there have been 40-pound salmon leaping out of the river there! If you happen to’re , choose up a salmon fishing license for round $62. You should buy flies and a license on the Tying Scotsman.
The Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park presents quite a few mountaineering trails and scenic pull-outs. Undoubtedly be certain that to get out of the automotive and do some strolling. We walked The Skyline Path and whereas it has beautiful views, it was fairly busy. If you happen to’re searching for a quieter, extra pure hike, then I’d suggest giving your self a bit of additional time to get pleasure from a much less well-liked path.
View from the Center Head Path
Ingonish Seashore has a sandy or rocky seashore, relying on the tides. There’s a freshwater lake right here, tenting alternatives, and the beautiful Keltic Lodge. The lodge was probably the most scenic lodging we had throughout our journey, and conveniently, it’s the start line for a fantastic brief hike — Center Head Path.
To sum up, don’t miss Cape Breton Island!
The place to Keep:
Genora Inn and Distillery. The property is situated simply outdoors of Inverness and is gorgeous. Don’t miss the excursions of the distillery, eating on the restaurant, and the stay music at evening.
The Keltic Lodge is dwelling to the world-renowned Cape Breton Island Golf Course, is the start line for the Center Head Path, and is ready in probably the most picturesque place! The restaurant served nice meals (the burger and pasta had been scrumptious), and our room had a wonderful view. Situated at Ingonish.
The Inverary Resort is a beautiful property situated proper on the lake. You possibly can lease kayaks, SUP or jet skis and revel in a day on the water. There are totally different room kinds to select from. The brand new restaurant wants extra workers, however the meals was tasty (strive the mussels and halibut). Situated in Baddeck.
We booked a Three bed room chalet at Lakeland Cottage for a few nights whereas Nick went fishing and beloved the little cabin. It was spacious and there have been strolling trails close by. Only a 10-minute drive to Inverness, and close to to Margaree Forks.
We loved our keep, the tour and the restaurant on the Glenora Inn
The place to Eat:
The Pink Shoe Pub comes extremely beneficial for meals and music, however we determined to spend the night on the Glenora Distillery restaurant as a substitute.
The Celtic Music Interpretive Heart has lunchtime ceilidhs and serves up good meals. Attempt the salt cod fish desserts.
The Dancing Moose: Owned by a Dutch couple, they serve up Dutch Pannekoek (pancakes), and different tasty do-it-yourself meals.
Rusty Anchor Restaurant: Close to Nice Bay, this spot has a fantastic outside patio, pleasant workers and good seafood dishes.
Consuming on the lodges. Every of the lodging we stayed at in Cape Breton Island (aside from our chalet outdoors of Inverness), had an onsite restaurant with tasty meals. So, we opted to remain there and calm down for the night.
Now that we’ve returned to Grenada, we’re simply letting our Nova Scotia journey sink in. Whereas we had been within the province, we took plenty of video and images and can be creating Three-Four movies showcasing the very best locations to go to, the very best issues to do, our expertise tidal bore rafting, and a listing of stuff you received’t need to miss in Halifax.
We’ll even be writing plenty of articles and persevering with to share images and posts on Fb and Instagram. Keep tuned for extra from this small, however action-packed province.
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