Looking to book your next holiday? The world is your oyster! But since you’ve landed on the Canadian Affair blog, you likely have your eye on a flight to Canada. If this is the case, may we recommend a visit to Nova Scotia?
One of the four Atlantic provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia is largely known for being home to many picturesque small towns filled with charm. Among those we’ve featured in our list is a tiny fishing harbour with some of the highest tides in the world and a picture-perfect town famously featured on a Canadian coin.
Here are just a few of the provinces’ most idyllic towns to add to your bucket list.
Located approximately 90 minutes from Halifax along a quaint harbour, the town of Lunenburg is probably most famous for its brightly coloured wooden houses—the majority of which were constructed between the 18th and 19th centuries. Considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in all of Canada, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 for its preservation of local culture. Expect to find art galleries and artisan shops on every street, as well a whole host of cultural and musical events during your visit.
Did you know? Lunenburg is home to the famous Bluenose Schooner—the ship illustrated on the Canadian dime.
For a taste of small-town charm, Mahone Bay is a great place to explore on a sunny afternoon. Home to some of the most beautiful harbour views in Nova Scotia, watch sailboats bobbing in the bay as you admire the three historic wooden churches which sit along the shore. The churches date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are a popular subject for photographers. When you’re not observing the town’s old-fashioned architecture, take some time to explore the town’s main street where you’ll find antique stores, boutiques, galleries and markets.
Top tip: Visit The Biscuit Eater Café & Books, a community café and bookstore serving delicious homemade goods!
Little fishing community, Digby serves as the gateway to the province for visitors arriving from New Brunswick via ferry. We suggest sticking around, if not only to see the world’s largest inshore scallop fleet. Those visiting in August should be sure to attend Digby’s annual Scallop Days Festival, held every year in August where they can taste big, fat juicy scallops hauled out of the waters here. Of course, there is plenty more to enjoy, including lots of great restaurants, an attractive waterfront, and the Wharf Rat Rally, one of Canada’s largest motorcycle rallies, attracting thousands of riders.
Don’t miss: Nearby Brier Island—the ideal place to go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy.
Need another reason to book your flight to Canada? To visit a village built on stilts, of course! Bear River is undoubtedly one of Atlantic Canada’s most charming locations, home to a tiny population of around 800! It’s situated just six kilometres inland on a river on the Bay of Fundy, where the tide rises and falls approximately 25 feet twice a day! You’ll find a lively community here, including many artists and craftspeople who direct visitors to the local studios and encourage them to travel the Artists Trail.
Be sure to visit: The Mi’kmaq Heritage and Cultural Centre, which houses a heritage gallery showing the history of Bear River’s Elders and past Chiefs, as well as the first birch bark canoe to be built in the area.
For beautiful Victorian architecture and streets full of character, add Wolfville to your itinerary. Settled in the 1760s by New Englanders, many still liken it to the region thanks to its streets lined with maple and elm trees (creating some of the best fall foliage around!) and the presence of Acadia University. You’ll also find a thriving wine industry in Wolfville, which has helped to fuel the town’s thriving dining scene. It’s also popular for nearby hiking trails.
Did you know? You can stay in some of the historic Victorian homes which have been converted into B&Bs? We recommend the beautiful Blomidon Inn.
It may be quite a distance from Halifax (we estimate a 3.5-hour drive) but Baddeck is definitely worth the journey. Those visitors tackling the popular Cabot Trail highway often choose Baddeck as a stopover point, but its scenic lakeside setting and community feel make it a great destination in its own right. Explore the many shops and boutiques here, visit a brewery, or take a walk on the Red Island Trail.
Top tip: The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site is located here, which is filled with telephones, telegraphs, kites and other artefacts related to the famous inventor, who once spent his summers in Baddeck.