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.
Take the historic cable ferry across the LaHave River and explore the many beaches, local artisans, museums and coastal adventures to be had in the LaHave and Petite Riviere area.
Don’t Miss Experiences:
- Visit the world-famous Peggy’s Cove Village and the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
- Experience a day on an 1880’s family farm at Ross Farm Museum in New Ross.
- Sail on the iconic Bluenose II in Lunenburg.
- Take in a live performance at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, The Chester Playhouse in Chester, or the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne.
- Hop aboard the Tancook Island ferry in Chester and travel to this picture-perfect island located 9.5 km (6 mi) off mainland Nova Scotia.
- Explore Lunenburg’s colourful waterfront, narrow streets, captivating architecture, seafaring history, award-winning restaurants, and Ironworks Distillery.
- Take a harbour-side stroll along historic Dock Street in Shelburne.
- Receive hands-on lumberjack training with world champion log roller Darren Hudson on the Barrington River.
- Help protect endangered shorebirds and other local species at Kejimkujik National Park Seaside.
- Experience the wines and take a tour of Petite Riviere Vineyards, known as one of the oldest grape-growing regions in North America.
- Row, row, row a Dory at the Queens Hearts Dory Club Row & Ride Tuesday evenings all summer long at Cape Sable Island Causeway.
- Sample craft beers at Hell Bay Brewing Co. in Liverpool and Boxing Rock Brewing Co. in Shelburne.
Get to know the South Shore:
The Mystery of Oak Island
Book a tour for exclusive access to privately owned Oak Island, where one of the world’s most famous mysteries awaits. Recently made popular by The History Channels mini-series, The Curse of Oak Island. This treasure hunt has spanned over 200 years. The Friends of Oak Island Society holds tours of Oak Island throughout the summer, giving you the chance to see what has taken place in the treasure hunt over the years and where it currently stands. Tours must be booked ahead of time, access to the island is otherwise prohibited due to the ongoing treasure hunt.
- Hike the Kejimkujik National Park – Seaside. 22-kilometers of glacier-carved headlands, rocky coves and broad sweeps of silver
- Experience the Dark Sky Preserve at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, the second-largest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Canada
- Cycle the Rum Runners Trail, a 109 km, two-day ride from Lunenburg to Halifax. Stop at award-winning restaurants, explore attractions and seaside artisan shops.
- Try your hand at surfing at White Point Beach Resort
- Go on a guided sea kayaking tour in Blue Rocks, Mahone Bay, Oak Island, the LaHave Islands, Lower Prospect and Shelburne.
- Experience stand-up paddleboarding on the Mersey River, the LaHave Islands, White Point Beach Resort, and in Lower Prospect.
- Take a Shelburne Harbour Boat Tour and enjoy breathtaking views of the historic waterfront, savour a delicious lobster dinner aboard and try your hand at mackerel fishing.
- Seaside and inland golfing along the South Shore
- Coastal bird watching on Cape Sable Island, one of the best birding destinations in Canada
Restaurants that Feature Fresh, Local Ingredients
- Rhubarb at Oceanstone Resort, Indian Harbour
- Mateus Bistro, Mahone Bay
- Charlotte Lane Café, Shelburne
- Saltshaker Deli, Lunenburg
- Grand Banker, Lunenburg
- Fleur de Sel, Lunenburg
- Ironworks Distillery, Lunenburg
- Shore Club’s Lobster Suppers, Hubbards
- Galley Restaurant & Lounge, Chester Basin
- Biscuit Eater Café, Mahone Bay
- Lobster Shack, Barrington
- Quarterdeck Beachside Villas & Grill, Summerville Beach
Art Galleries & Artisans
- Amos Pewter: see how artisans cast molten pewter into sculptures and keepsakes at this economuseum.
- Laurie Swim Gallery: view amazing quilted works of art you would swear are paintings.
- Spruce Top Rug Hooking or The Hooked Rug Museum of North America: love hooked rugs? Be amazed by the skill.
- Maritime Painted Saltbox: features contemporary fine art and folk art.
- Focus Gallery: devoted to the artists of the area and showcase local works.
- Light My Fire Studio: Discover artistic and functional candles and even learn to make your own in the studio
- Art Gallery Tour of the South Shore.
Best Photo Spots on the South Shore
Kayking in Lower Prospect
Kayaking in Lower Prospect with East Coast Outfitters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg
- Queens County Museum, Liverpool
- Seal Island Light Museum, Barrington
- Shelburne Country Museum, Shelburne
- Fort Point Museum, LaHave
- Barrington Woolen Mill Museum, Barrington
- Old Meeting House, Barrington
- Ross Farm Living Agricultural Museum, New Ross
- Ross-Thomson House & Store Museum, Shelburne
- SS Atlantic Heritage Interpretive Park, Terence Bay
- LaHave Islands Marine Museum, LaHave Islands
- Black Loyalist Heritage Site, Birchtown
- Wile Carding Mill Museum, Bridgewater
- The Knaut-Rhuland House Museum, Lunenburg
South Shore Communities
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.