I don’t really know how or why we decided to plan a trip to Nova Scotia, but it was absolutely worth it. Nova Scotia is such a hidden gem in Canada, many people don’t even know about it or what it has to offer! I have some friends and family members that have traveled there for camping and sightseeing, which is the only reason I even knew about it.
Canada is so beautiful and full of breathtaking scenery I feel like Nova Scotia gets lost in the mix. I highly suggest planning a trip, even if it’s only for a couple of days or a brief stop on your larger trip. Like many places you could spend three days or two weeks here and still not see everything it has to offer. Nova Scotia has something for everyone. There are tours, scenery, vineyards, restaurants, views, hikes, literally everything.
The city of Halifax is still growing quickly, so there is a lot of construction and newer modern architecture. We stayed at an AirBnB in Halifax. It was within walking distance from downtown and we were able to take day trips to all of the other places we visited during our short stay. There is so much to see just in the city so I was glad we made it our hub, because we were able to continue exploring throughout the entire trip.
For starters, the entire city is on a giant hill. The lowest part is on the harbour, which is beautiful to walk next to especially in the evening. There are little plaques that provided pieces of history of the port city as you walk, which I loved! It was a great way to learn about the city’s history without having to do a tour. The highest part of the city is the Citadel Hill, which is part of an old fort. I highlyyy recommend taking a walk up here just before dusk. Being up on top of the hill provides you a view of the entire city, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It is so tranquil, you forget you’re even in the city.
We had dinner one night right on the harbour at an adorable restaurant called The Bicycle Thief. The ambiance, food, wait staff, and wine were all amazing. It’s a very trendy spot so make sure you make a reservation or get there early!
This is a total tourist spot but a must see at the same time. Just to get to Peggy’s Cove you have to drive through this adorable fishing village until it opens up to the most breathtaking view. I really wasn’t expecting it to be as magnificent of a view or experience as it was. There are great stories for how it got its name and how the giant rock formations were formed. The harbour is dotted with fishing and lobster boats unlike many of the more traditional boats you see in America. It’s definitely worth taking a few hours to visit if you’re in Nova Scotia!
This is a must if you like beautiful views and wine. I couldn’t believe what a great deal this hop-on, hop-off wine tour was. Our tour guide was amazing, we visited five different winery’s/vineyards, and had tastings and tours of each place.
If you’re planning on doing this know that Luckett’s Vineyard is one of the most popular stops because of it’s amazing view and outdoor restaurant. Get to this one early and then loop back around to the other vineyards if you want to get lunch or do a more extended tour/tasting. The food was excellent and I highly recommend getting one of their boards (that is the picture I use as my main blog picture). The colors and tastes of the food is so vibrant and fresh, if you end up having to wait a little while for a table it is well worth it.
Just for reference, the first two stops were my favorite, and I definitely recommend spending the most time at those places! Don’t rush yourself to get through everything, enjoy the company you’re with and the wine!
We were trying to pack a lot of stuff into a little time, so we only did the half day rentals. But Pleasant Paddling offers tours and full day rentals if you have the time, I really recommend staying out for an extended time. There is so much to explore and the views are so beautiful. It’s nice to get lost in nature sometimes. We spent most of our time going between islands full of huge evergreen trees and rock structures, trying to spot out all of the different species would could find!
To get to Pleasant Paddling you have to drive up the coast and through an non-traditional, quaint little fishing town. Right next door is this adorable little shop called The Point General, it’s no bigger than a small room but you have to go in. Not only do they sell local artists work, food, and freshly brewed coffee, but they will make you a wonderful picnic basket for a very cheap price in a waterproof bag for you to bring out on your kayaking trip. The basket included crackers, olives, local goat cheese, local smoked meat, locally baked cookies and Perrier water. It also gave us the perfect excuse to find a spot with a great view and take a little break.
- Mahone Bay
This is a cute little town, great to stop through and walk around. There’s just one main street with local restaurants and shops to explore. It has a very authentic feel and isn’t overly touristy. It’s right along the water so it’s also very peaceful. Sometimes it’s nice to do simple things and just enjoy your company 🙂
- The Bay of Fundy
This is a must and will probably be on every Nova Scotia list you find. With the largest daily tidal change in the world, it is truly something spectacular that everyone should witness. We asked some locals during the wine tour where the best spot to view it was, which is how we found this unbelievable spot on top of a huge hill. It gave us a breathtaking view. The hill was drivable and we found a spot to pull off a park with a few other awestruck visitors. We also drove back down and found a spot right along the bay to get a more up close view.
Sometimes when traveling the best way to explore is by getting lost and just seeing where it takes you. If you only have a couple of days, you should definitely have a plan before your visit, but no matter what, always make sure you leave some time for genuine exploration. I promise you will never regret it.