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Your guide to Nova Scotia
All About Nova Scotia
Surrounded almost entirely by the Atlantic Ocean on Canada’s upper east coast, Nova Scotia boasts more than 8,000 miles of coastline with stretches of sandy beaches and scenic fishing towns. The province is home to three national parks, including the historic Kejimkujik National Park and its Dark Sky Preserve, and more than 150 lighthouses — most notably the famous Peggy’s Cove. Nova Scotia plays host to the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, where you can hike, bike, and drive along an epic 180-mile journey through vibrant landscapes and villages. Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located here, including the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, with rare fossils from the Coal Age.
Nova Scotia’s capital is Halifax, a cosmopolitan metro area with a 2.5-mile waterfront boardwalk filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Its impressive star-shaped citadel sits on a hill above the city. Seafood lovers will be drawn to the town of Digby for its world-famous scallops, to Hubbards for the mouthwatering lobster, to Mahone Bay for the mussels.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia experiences a moderate climate, rarely getting extremely hot or cold weather. Summer is a great time to stay in one of the many vacation rentals in the province, with plenty of sunny days to enjoy the beach and outdoors. In spring and autumn, you can expect a mix of pleasant and rainy days, so make sure you pack for both. Winter is a magical time to be in Nova Scotia, with snow covering the hills. In late November, the annual Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas event features an opening-night tree lighting, fireworks, and plenty of holiday entertainment. You can expect cold conditions, so make sure you prepare with your best waterproof layers, boots, and thermals.
Top things to do in Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail
Consider setting off on a scenic journey along one of Canada’s most famous driving routes. The 180-mile trail takes in spectacular coastal views, small villages, and lush forests on Cape Breton Island. The roads wind around strategically placed lookout points with breathtaking overlooks. You can make the journey in a day or take your time and stop at villages along the way to enjoy local galleries, shops, and restaurants specializing in the region’s famous seafood. There are also countless hiking and biking opportunities along the trail.
Kejimkujik National Park
Explore the park on one of 15 hiking trails, including the 3.5-mile Hemlocks and Hardwoods trail. Along a boardwalk through a lush forest, you’ll pass by 400-year- old trees. The park is also dotted with red deck chairs placed at special locations to soak up the beauty. The idea is to find the chairs and use them to connect with the natural surroundings. Kejimkujik is also Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve, and when the sun goes down, the skies light up with thousands of glittering stars.
You’ll find one of Nova Scotia’s most scenic locations just 40 minutes from Halifax, with the main attraction being the famous lighthouse on the rocks, one of Canada’s most photographed sights. The lighthouse restaurant and souvenir shop are worth a visit, and hiking trails around the rocks offer amazing views of the spectacular coastline.