The Cabot Trail that winds through Cape Breton Highlands Park offers 298 km of highway filled with 26 hiking trails, villages, artisan shops and more. Give yourself at least 5 hours to complete the mission.
Location: Cape Breton Island, N.S.
Walk on the ocean floor at Burntcoat Head Park, home to the highest recorded tides. You can examine the species that live in the water pools at low tide, but heed the signs that strongly suggest leaving the area 3 hours before high tide.
Location: Noel, N.S.
Prepare to be amused by Theodore the Tugboat (a giant replica version from the children’s TV show), which sits in the capital city’s harbour. Tours have been scant in recent years and the beloved vessel is up for sale, so get your pic before he sets sail.
Location: Halifax, N.S.
What started as a graffiti prank by teens back in 1942 became an iconic place for telling wild stories and tall tales. The Liar’s Bench is located near the Route 2 highway and is often occupied by seniors known to tell a yarn or two.
Location: Springhill, N.S.
Get your giant-size love on for a fruity emoji when you visit the Wild Blueberry Man figure, situated in Canada’s blueberry capital. You’ll likely find some pie or jam of the same name too. Canada Post even made a stamp depicting him!
Location: Oxford, N.S.
For the best catch of the day, make a stop at Clearwater Foods Seafood Market. What started as a lobster retailer out of a pickup truck in 1976 has become a world-class operation.
Location: Bedford, N.S.
View the Bay of Fundy from the Nova Scotian side as well. Capture the sights of the Annapolis Valley, like the life-size Mastodon and the market at Mastadon Ridge, while you’re there too. If you’ve got more time, get digging at an active dinosaur dig in Parrsboro. Outdoor adventure never ends here.
Location: Various points along the northwest shore, including Middleton and Stewiacke, N.S.
Did you know that Nova Scotia is home to more than 150 lighthouses? The most photographed of them all being Peggy’s Cove. You could easily make a road-trip game of spotting them on your journey.
Location: Peggy’s Cove, N.S.
Cover all your bases for wine, craft beer and cider in one full sweep. The Good Cheer Trail is the place to take care of this business. Hailed as Canada’s first distillery trail, you’ll want to plan responsibly in advance for this stop.
Location: Shelburn, Lunenberg, Wolfville and Arisaig, N.S.
If you have a soft spot for big fish, then be sure to make time for some whale watching from one of the province’s many coastal hot spots. Various tour operators dot the coastline in such locales as Lunenburg, Tiverton, Inverness, Dingwall, Brier Island, Peggy’s Cove, Westport, Ingonish Beach and Pleasant Bay, to name just a few.
Maybe the closest you’ll get to touching a whale will be the skeletal remains near the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. Measuring 65 feet, this donated labour of love took 4 years to clean. Its size alone will wow you.
Location: Yarmouth, N.S.
Built in 2005, the Big Fiddle that stands proudly on Esplanade facing the Sydney Harbour is impressive at 55 feet and will make for a fabulous memory of your time spent in this former booming steel mill city.
Location: Sydney, N.S.
Nova Scotia is home to five — yes, five! — UNESCO World Heritage sites:
- 13 square kilometres of farmland at Grand Pré
- The colonial town of Lunenburg, home of the Bluenose ship
- The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve, which also includes the awe-inspiring Kejimkujik National Park
- Joggins Fossil Cliffs, where the highest tides in the world reveal the most complete fossil record of the coal age, 100 million years before the dinosaurs
- Bras D’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve
Want to see the other provinces, click the links below:
- Why We Love the East Coast – New Brunswick
- Why We Love the East Coast – Nova Scotia
- Why We Love the East Coast – Prince Edward Island
- Why We Love the East Coast – Newfoundland and Labrador
An editor with 15-plus years in the publishing business, Catalina Margulis’ byline spans travel, food, decor, parenting, fashion, beauty, health and business. When she’s not chasing after her three young children, she can be found painting her home, taming her garden and baking muffins.