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South Shore Region

Legalized pirates called privateers once plied these harsh waters, authorized to attack foreign vessels during wartime. Any coin they earned from captured cargo was theirs to keep – you had to make a living somehow. Privateer Days in Liverpool pays homage to this infamous heritage.

A coin of a different era, today’s Canadian dime, features the Bluenose, a fishing boat that found fame as a racing schooner. Visit the ship’s birthplace of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walk the town’s distinctive waterfront with its colourful buildings and Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

Don’t Miss Experiences:

Get to know the South Shore:

Then get out on the water and discover the South Shore from the vantage of the sea. Navigate through island-studded bays and past sweeps of silver sand. Float over the resting place of the SS Atlantic, the worst disaster for the White Star oceanliner company until a ship called the Titanic set sail.

Look for the many lighthouses on the Shore, weather-battered but still standing guard, including the much-photographed beacon in Peggy’s Cove. Come ashore to history in Shelburne, with its original United Empire Loyalist homes dating to 1783, or nearby Birchtown, the site of the first freed Black settlement in North America.

But if you are down to your last dime, try your luck finding the rumoured pirate booty buried on Oak Island. The scuttlebutt is that it belonged to Captain Kidd or Blackbeard, and treasure seekers have been digging for 200 years. Six have even died trying.

So come to think of it, we’d rather you not try. Go for a nice hike instead.

Don’t Miss Outdoor Adventures:

  • Surfing at White Point.
  • Sea Kayaking at Mahone Bay, Lower Prospect and Lunenburg.
  • Hike the Kejimkujik National Park – Seaside. 22-kilometers of  glacier-carved headlands, rocky coves and broad sweeps of silver.
  • Seaside and Inland Golfing
  • Coastal bird watching on Cape Sable Island, one of the best birding destinations in Canada
  • Hiking at Oven’s Natural Park, explore the famous sea caves from above by hiking the spectacular coastal cliffs or below from a hour-long boat tour.
  • Take a self-guided tour of the Coastal Heritage Trail at the SS Atlantic Heritage Park starting in Terence Bay, flowing the Head of the Bay around the Aspotogan Peninsula as the 13 interpretive panels teach you about the regions history.

Best Photo Spots

  • Big Tancook Island Red Fish Stores
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    Big Tancook Island, off Chester in Mahone Bay

    Hop on the Tancook Island ferry in Chester and travel to this picture-perfect island located 9.5 km (6 mi) off mainland Nova Scotia.  Stroll the peppery sand of Southeast Cove Beach, search for fossils near the wharf, peddle or hike your way around the island and see why birdwatchers, artisans and photographers flock here.

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    Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, Port Joli

    Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is a pristine and isolated 22 km² stretch of coastline near Liverpool.  An outdoor adventurers’ paradise, explore two hiking trails that leads hikers to glacier-carved headlands, secluded rocky coves and white sand beaches where seals and shorebirds are frequently seen. 

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    Lunenburg Waterfront, Lunenburg

    Renowned for its unique architecture, step back in time while walking about the picturesque town of Lunenburg, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Explore artisan galleries and local shops, dine in amazing restaurants, tour the historical waterfront and learn of the rich seafaring history.

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    Peggy's Point Lighhouse, Peggy's Cove

    Nova Scotia’s most photographed lighthouse, Peggys Point Lighthouse, known to many as Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, is situated in the quaint fishing village of Peggys Cove.  Built in 1915, the lighthouse is perched at the tip of the village on wave-washed granite boulders and was home to a post office until 2009.

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  • Blue Rocks, Lunenburg
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    Blue Rocks, Lunenburg

    Nestled on the South Shore near of the town of Lunenburg, artists, photographers and kayakers alike will be delighted with the undeniable natural beauty of the fishing village of Blue Rocks.  Blue Rocks has been a popular destination for artists and photographers since the 1940s.

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  • Hawk Point, Cape Sable Island
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    Hawk Beach, Cape Sable Island

    Located on the southern-most tip of Nova Scotia, The Hawk Beach is spectacular white sand beach where, at low tide, you can explore a 1,500 year old drowned forest of petrified tree stumps that are still rooted in the original soil.  The beach is also known as one of the best birding areas in Nova Scotia.

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  • Fort Point Lighthouse Park, Liverpool
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    Fort Point Lighthouse, Liverpool

    Built in 1855, the Fort Point Lighthouse is the site where deMonts and Champlain landed in 1604 and the location of a Privateers’ fort that defended the town and the trading routes in the 18th century.  Open year-round, the park includes picnic tables, interpretive panels and a beautiful view of Liverpool Harbour and Coffin Island Lighthouse.

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    Three Churches, Mahone Bay

    One of the most iconic views in Nova Scotia is the Three Churches, located in the picturesque seaside community of Mahone Bay.  Be sure to stroll by the churches and to visit the many artisan galleries, restaurants, and specialty shops that dot the vibrant main street. 

  • Big Tancook Island Red Fish Stores
  • Blue Rocks, Lunenburg
  • Hawk Point, Cape Sable Island
  • Fort Point Lighthouse Park, Liverpool

South Shore Communities

Oak Island Lunenburg

Lighthouse Route

Travel along a sea-sculpted coast, from the home port of an iconic schooner to a world-famous lighthouse, with innovative cuisine and more than a few salty stories in between.