Eastern Shore Boating Itineraries

With private sandy beach anchorages and breathtaking nature preserves, escape up Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore and experience some of the best unspoiled and secluded seascapes in North America. For the adventurous, the pounding waves at Lawrencetown and Martinique beaches are surfing destinations for longboarders near and far, and the gentle rolling hills along the ocean make this region very "bike-friendly". Without question wreck diving is the number one reason divers come to Nova Scotia and there are many wrecks to be explored all along this coast, however marine life and underwater videography/photography are also great in the pristine waters.

View suggested 3, 7, and 10 day boating itineraries and learn more about each port destination, below.  

3 Day Itinerary

Halifax to Tangier or reverse:

  • Halifax
  • 100 Wild Islands Nature Preserve - Owls Head area - Shelter Cove/Sally’s Cove for a kayak adventure
  • Tangier (with limo back to Halifax)

7 Day Itinerary

Halifax to Bras d’Or Lakes via Eastern Shore or reverse:

  • Halifax
  • 100 Wild Islands Nature Preserve - Owls Head area - Shelter Cove/Sally’s Cove for a kayak adventure
  • Louisbourg
  • Marble Mountain
  • Baddeck

7 Day Itinerary

Halifax to Fox Harbour or reverse:

  • Halifax
  • 100 Wild Islands Nature Preserve - Owls Head area - Shelter Cove/Sally’s Cove for a kayak adventure
  • Sheet Harbour or Marie Joseph
  • Liscombe or St. Mary's River
  • Guysborough
  • Fox Harbour

10 Day Itinerary

Halifax to Bras d’Or Lakes via Eastern Shore or reverse:

  • Halifax
  • 100 Wild Islands Nature Preserve - Owls Head area- Shelter Cove/Sally’s Cove for a kayak adventure
  • Sheet Harbour or Marie Joseph
  • Liscombe or St. Mary's River
  • Louisbourg
  • Marble Mountain
  • Maskell’s Harbour
  • Baddeck

Destination Descriptions

100 Wild Islands Nature Preserve, Eastern Shore

The highlight of the Eastern Shore, these isolated beaches, bogs, barrens and forests have retained their pristine nature and this is one of the only undamaged and entirely natural island groups of its size in North America that have remained virtually untouched since the last ice age.

Depending on wind direction, anchor overnight in Owls Head Bay, off DeBaies Point or in the vicinity of Wolfes Island, and enjoy the secluded beach at Big Sandy Cove. Nearby Borgles Island Nature Preserve also has beautiful, deserted beaches. Coastal Adventures in nearby Tangier offers guided kayaking tours exploring the nature preserve. To get an in-depth look at the unique biology, geology and human history of the area, ask for Dr. Scott Cunningham, a renowned biologist and writer.

Head off with a picnic to the secluded beaches at Shelter Cove (also called Sally’s Cove) just to the west of buoy YE5. This is also a good day anchorage.

Baddeck, Cape Breton Island

Go alongside in this quaint yet bustling community located alongside the Bras d'Or Lake that was once Alexander Graham Bell’s summer home. There are several nearby golf courses, good restaurants and the fascinating Alexander Graham Bell Museum National Historic Site, which commemorates the genius and compassion of the renowned inventor. Exhibits show how he and his associates achieved Canada’s first powered flight, produced the world’s fastest boat, advanced recording technology, designed giant kites and, of course, invented the telephone.

East face of a 450’ wharf with 110/220v power and water. Nearest airport is in Sydney (78 km).

Fox Harbour, Northumberland Shore

Anchor overnight in the vicinity of Port Wallace (well protected) and take the boat over to the marina to spend the day at one of Atlantic Canada’s premier resorts with golf, spa, skeet shooting, fine dining.

Guysborough, Eastern Shore

Located in the sheltered Guysborough Harbour within Chedabucto Bay, Guysborough town is a quaint seaside town offers a full service marina along a picturesque waterfront. Within the town, visitors will discover a microbrewery and distillery, a 9 hole golf course, restaurants, shopping, and the Old Court House Museum.

Halifax, Halifax Metro

Renowned internationally from yachts to cruise ships or naval ships as one of the best R&R ports in the world, Halifax should be the departure or destination port for any Nova Scotia itinerary. Besides professional marine services and a major airport 30 minutes from downtown, the cultural and nightlife opportunities are myriad. A vibrant urban centre wrapped in seacoast and history, experience the friendly and upbeat culture, in this walkable city with docking right in the heart of the action. Stroll the historic waterfront, catch some live music and enjoy the best of what the Maritimes have to offer with never-ending festivals that ignite the party ambience. Power and water available.

Liscomb Harbour, Eastern Shore

Overnight near Wilson’s Cove and take the tender up the scenic river to the marina at the rustic Liscombe Lodge Resort & Conference Centre for dinner.

Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island

Visit Nova Scotia’s premier historic site at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site and then catch a show at the Louisbourg Playhouse, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Be sure to stock up on the fresh frozen snow crab at the fish plant. Overnight at the public wharf in Louisbourg. Nearby airport at Sydney.

Marble Mountain, Cape Breton Island

If there’s only time for one place other than Baddeck, this is it. With pretty beaches, a mountainside winery and beautiful vistas, this historic ghost town makes for an interesting anchorage.

Marie Joseph, Eastern Shore

Anchor overnight to explore the nature preserve by tender from the east. Very protected anchorage.

Sheet Harbour, Eastern Shore

Overnight in this very protected anchorage north of East Gibbs Island to explore the 100 Wild Islands by tender, or anchor off the pristine beaches of Taylor Head Bay. Taylor Head Provincial Park's hiking and walking trails provide access to a variety of natural habitats, interesting geological features, wildlife species, scenic look-offs, secluded beaches and miles of unspoiled coastline.

St Mary’s River, Eastern Shore

If the weather is calm, anchor at the mouth of the river for the day and proceed up the river by boat to visit historic Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia's largest living history museum.