The community of Lawrencetown, located a short drive from Halifax on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, is home to Lawrencetown Beach, a popular destination for beachcombers, sunbathers, kite boarders and surfers alike.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Lawrencetown
Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park
Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park is a great spot to take the kids to enjoy the sun, surf and sand. The expansive sandy beach invites you to stroll along and enjoy the fresh ocean air. With amenities such as change rooms, bathrooms and a canteen, plan to spend a full day here.
Surfing at Lawrencetown Beach
When surfers think of Nova Scotia, it’s usually Lawrencetown Beach that comes to mind. Lawrencetown has long been a favourite destination for surfers, year round. As a popular cold water surfing destination, it is not uncommon to see surfers catching waves in summer or winter. If you feel like joining them, nearby shops rent surfing equipment and offer surfing lessons.
September Storm Classic
Each September, as tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean move north towards Nova Scotia, the surf makes for picture perfect surf conditions on some of the year’s highest waves. Surfers flock to Lawerencetown Beach to compete in the September Storm Classic on the first weekend with favourable surf conditions.
Things to do in Lawrencetown
In addition to the beach, Lawrencetown is also popular with hikers, mountain bikers and birdwatchers. Trails following the beach and salt marshes unveil amazing views of the coastline and its range of wildlife.
Lawrencetown Restaurants and Nearby Places to Eat
If you’re looking for a snack, the MacDonald House Tea Room in East Lawrencetown sits atop a hill overlooking Lawrencetown Beach and Stoney Beach, a popular spot for wind and kyte surfing. The Tea Room houses a surfshop and art gallery along with the tea room.
Dartmouth is also a short drive away and is home to many restaurants and other dining options.
Accommodations in Lawrencetown
Accommodations in East Lawrencetown include bed and breakfasts and a hostel cottages and beach houses that are open year-round. In nearby Dartmouth, you will find a number of full-service hotels, bed & breakfasts, and more.
History of Lawrencetown
Lawrencetown, originally known as Tabooesinkajeth by the Mi’kmaq people, meaning ‘two small streams flowing through sand’, has long been known for its beautiful beaches. In the early 1750s, Acadians settled in the area, harvesting salt marsh hay and cultivating the land until relocating to Chezzetcook in 1754. As English troops arrived to construct a fort at Lawrencetown River in this same year, Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence offered land and a year’s worth of provisions to a group of 20 families who then settled in the area. Frontier life in the small settlement was difficult and risky but, before long, the settlers were producing crops of hay and vegetables that they could sell at markets in Halifax.
In the 1800s, as Lawrencetown’s population grew, occupations in lumbering and grain milling were added to the area and in 1861, gold was discovered in nearby Mineville which saw the local population swell with gold rush fever. As in other parts of Nova Scotia, the gold rush was short-lived and Lawrencetown soon returned to its former life of farming and forestry.
In the early 20th century, during the Prohibition Era in the United States, rum running became a popular way of life in the Lawrencetown region. In the dark of night, kegs of rum were rolled across the beach from their hiding spots to waiting ships destined for the US.