Nova Scotia bleg

by on August 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm in Travels | Permalink

Natasha and I lucked out with frequent flyer miles and soon we will have two lovely days in Nova Scotia, starting in Halifax but with a rental car.  What should we do?  Where should we eat?  Your thoughts would be most welcome.  I've never had a visit to Canada which was less than excellent and that includes a good fifteen trips at least.

1 Dan Clementi August 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Thoroughly agree with you on visiting Canada. I’m sure that the fortress at Louisbourg should be on your list. Another highlight for our family was the small (but very nicely done) Atlantic Marine Pavilion in Halifax, but this was 13 years ago and I can’t find a link. Maybe someone else can comment if it’s still there?

2 dingbat August 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Raft the Bay of Fundy when the tide comes in.

3 Jacob Horner August 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Go to the cemetery where the Titanic victims are buried.

4 Craig August 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Sadly, Louisbourg is probably a bit too far away for a short stay.
In Halifax, I’d visit the little Georgian legislature building, home of responsible government in the Canadas, and still the seat of government today.
Also, a drive down the coast to the little 18th town of Lunenberg – both scenic and historic.

5 Steve August 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

2 days is tough…. NS is actually pretty big and distances are deceiving.
Tidal bore rafting is a hoot.. even if you don’t raft.. you must see the Bay of Fundy tide come in.
It is hard to believe even when you see it happen. Fundy one day and Halifax the other.
Have fun.

6 art August 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Peggy’s cove is nice for a short visit. No good places to eat there, as I recall.
Fundy is too far away, but amazing.

7 Karen August 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm

In terms of food, a hearty local specialty is rapure (rappie pie), and I recall the best ones coming from roadside stands.

Read Longfellow’s “Evangeline” for a tale close to the hearts of all Acadians.

8 Geoff NoNick August 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm

There is a *fantastic* sushi restaurant on Spring Garden road in Halifax – Sushi Shige. One of the best sushi spots I’ve ever been to; I always make a stop there when I’m in town.

9 Tyler August 30, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I lived in Halifax five years ago. There are two restaurants you must go to: Tom’s Little Havana on Spring Garden Road has excellent food and The Old Triangle in the downtown is a wonderful pub/restaurant. Go when they have live Nova Scotia music, it’s great. I would see the Public Gardens in Halifax as well. Lunenberg is only 1.5 hours away and is stunningly beautiful.

10 Mark August 30, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Halifax can easily soak up two days, but if you want to drive, take Route 3 (old hwy) west to at least Lunenburg, everything after that is more-or-less a repeat. From there, cut across the province (North) and take in Annapolis Royal (est. 1604) and then go east on the old highway through the heart of the Annapolis Valley to Wolfville, then back down to Halifax. Two or three days there, depending on detail level…

From a former Nova Scotian now living on the west coast.

11 Jon August 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm

You’ve got to go to Lunenberg!

12 DonFlamenco August 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Go surf at any beach. Nobody, and decent waves for beginners.

13 Lawrence M August 31, 2009 at 12:44 am

Try to find some shack along the water that sells lobster. They can cook it for you and they have picnic tables making it so much more convenient. I had the best lobster which weighed over 7lbs and cost less than $10 USD. That thing was bigger than my forearm.

14 shsch August 31, 2009 at 4:16 am

The Bay of Fundy is in the final running (i.e last 28 and only Canadian location) for a possible spot as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. If you want something unique, pass through Truro and then head for the Bay to Parrsboro (great harbour for tide watching), a friendly little city. Stop in Masstown along the way at the Masstown Market, a taste of smaller shopping although even tourist buses stop there. After a night at a B&B in Parrsboro, you can head downshore to the Cape D’Or lighthouse and have lunch (amazing views)and then head north through Amherst and go to the Jost Winery, Nova Scotia’s and one of Canada’s best. Then continue east along the North Cumberland shore and spend the night in Pictou at another B&B in another fine small friendly city. There are places to stop along the way to hike.

15 B.B. August 31, 2009 at 10:15 am

The Celtic music is incredible. It is everywhere. Huge Scottish and Irish population. I found one town in the north where half of the girl high school seniors were in a a bagpipe band. There is a Gaelic college, focusing on music.

16 dale August 31, 2009 at 11:03 am

The main thing is go during June-Sept. The rest of the year, the weather is some of the worst on earth (I live in Alaska now, which is pretty bad, but I lived in Nova Scotia before). It is a cold rain for 9 months and then a miraculously beautiful short summer.

17 michael August 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Where to go in Halifax? Bubble’s Mansion! http://bubblesmansion.com/v2/

That is, if you’re a Trailer Park Boys fan.
http://www.trailerparkboys.com/

18 john August 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I’ve always wanted to see the tides in the Bay Of Fundy. There was a picture of low tide in our copy of the World Book Encyclopedia that fascinated me.

19 Epictetus August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Lunenberg for great examples of preserved 18th and 19th C N.S. architecture, the quietly moving Sailors’ Memorial, and if you’re lucky, the Bluenose II in port, the sailing ship on all the Canadian dimes.

Walk about Halifax downtown. See the Halifax Citadel, and try to be up there for the firing of the noon gun.

Easily on the same day you could see the Anglican Church with a window that shattered in the precise pattern of a male cameo. Locals swear this is a perfect likeness of the parish priest killed in the Harbour Explosion in WW I. It’s the only ghost story I know that actually comes with enchanting empirical data.

The chapel at Grand Pre and the Domaine de Grand Pre winery are a short drive out of town and very lovely. You’ll get to see how Louisiana Cajuns and Nova Scotia Acadians are linked by the Expulsion, when all the French boys and men were forced to swear fealty to the British sovereign or face deportation to French Louisiana. This half-day trip could easily include a tour of the Acadia University campus with its rare plant greenhouse.

Walk along Spring Garden road and have pints in the many colourfu, local pubs. Keep going until you get to the wonderfully cared for Public Gardens, kept faithfully in the Victorian style. A little further and you come to the Dalhousie University Campus, with some great examples of period architecture, particularly the original campus buildings.

If you still have time on your hands, take another short drive out past Coal Harbour to Lawrencetown, and watch the enthusiastic insanity of surfers in 7 Celsius water.

20 R Henry Sutherland August 31, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Drink Keith’s excellent beer

21 Spencer August 31, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I’m sure you’re thinking about lobster and I think you have to go to Five Fishermen for their lobster and all-you-can-eat mussel bar. I go everytime I’m in YHZ.

22 Jacob T. Levy September 1, 2009 at 7:36 am

There’s truly fantastic whale watching off Brier Island, near Digby. And, yes, Digby scallops and roadside lobster roll shacks!

23 Derek J September 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/AtoZ/halexpl.html

24 Richard September 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

Tyler

Avid reader of your blog from here in London. I asked my step mother who lives in Nova Scotia and this is what I got back….

“If Tyler and Natasha are interested in scenery and history, then one day spent in Halifax would be a good investment. There is the harbour itself and the ferry to Dartmouth, the walk along the waterfront, the Citadel National Historic Park (the old British fortress from 1749), the Public Gardens (best example in North America of Victorian Public Gardens), the Maritime Museum (displays on Hfx Explosion and on Titanic), and some lesser sights. All of these are within walking distance of each other. There are lots of good restaurants these days – depending on what kind of food they like.

For the second of (only) two days, I would recommend driving along the southern shore from Halifax, stopping briefly at Peggy’s Cove, and continuing to spend the day at Lunenburg (Unesco World Heritage site) and have lunch at Magnolia’s and perhaps go to the Fisheries Museum, and then return to Mahone Bay for tea on the way back to Hfx.

A close second would be driving down to Wolfville to see the Botanic Gardens and to visit National Historic site Evangeline Park and Beach, where there is a lot to be learned about Acadian history and the expulsion of the Acadians (1755). Wolfville itself is a charming town.”

25 Cynthia September 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Hi there,

I work for Nova Scotia Tourism. Although Louisbourg is one of my personal favourite spots, it’s a 5 hour drive to get there from Halifax and then you have to come back. And since you can spend a day there easily I would say it’s best left for another trip. Halifax has lots to do from fantastic restaurants to museums, to a great music scene and a great nightlife. So I would recommend at least one day in Halifax and on the other day you can tour the surrounding area…a trip to the Valley, maybe a vineyard tour would be great, or a trip to Lunenburg or Peggy’s Cove or both…very picturesque, a trip to a beach if the weather is nice. Just a few suggestions. You can also try an outdoor activity…like kayaking, whale watching, hiking. Let me know if I can help you any further and check out http://www.novascotia.com.

Cynthia

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