Fall in Nova Scotia is a glorious time of year. The days are mild and cool, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities and the vibrant fall foliage colours. Bountiful crops are being harvested, plentiful farmers’ markets and award-winning vineyards are welcoming visitors and there are many fall-themed festivals and events to enjoy.
Looking for ideas for a great adventure in Nova Scotia this fall? Here are 10 great activities you won’t want to miss.
10 things to do this Fall in Nova Scotia
1. Go leaf watching
I spy with my little eye something that is amber, crimson, gold and vermillion. All of these colours combine to paint the breathtaking canvass that is fall in Nova Scotia. Be sure to pack your camera as you’ll find stunning photo ops everywhere you go. Take a drive on the Cabot Trail to see the Cape Breton Highlands, bursting with colours so vibrant they inspire one of our most popular Celtic music festivals, Celtic Colours International Festival.
2. Discover Nova Scotia wines
Nova Scotia is home to 14 award-winning wineries growing varietals unique to our climate that reward us with truly distinctive and beautiful wines. The grape harvest takes place throughout the fall season, making now it the perfect time to tour and taste your way around Nova Scotia. From September 16 to October 15, don’t miss your chance to take part in grape stomps, winery tours and tastings and even participate in the grape harvest during the annual Nova Scotia Fall Wine Festival.
3. Fall festivals in Nova Scotia
- Celebrate our Celtic heritage and our fabulous fall season through music at the Celtic Colours International Festival (Oct 7-14) on Cape Breton Island.
- Visit Mahone Bay for the Great Scarecrow Festival and Antique Fair (Sept 30 - Oct 2), where you’ll encounter so many famous looking scarecrows, you’ll feel like paparazzi as you snap pictures of your favourites. Once the sun sets, walk amongst the 150+ carved jack-o-lanterns that light a walkway in the village. The scarecrows will remain on display for the entire month of October.
- Enjoy the festivities taking place throughout the Annapolis Valley during the Valley Pumpkin Festival (Sept 28-Oct 31), including the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta on October 9, where participants will race on Lake Pesaquid on the Windsor Waterfront in giant hollowed out pumpkins.
4. Nova Scotia fall harvest
Whether you’re picking your favourite kind of Nova Scotia apple or choosing that perfect pumpkin for carving, a visit to a local farm is fun for the whole family. Don’t miss weaving your way through a corn maze in a farmers’ field! If you don’t have time to pick apples, corn or pumpkins yourself, our local farmers’ markets are full of fresh-from-the-field fruits and vegetable.
5. Golf courses in Nova Scotia
Cool days and colourful backdrops provide the perfect setting for a round of golf. With more than 70 golf courses throughout Nova Scotia, there are plenty of options for where to take in a round before the snow flies.
6. Nova Scotia’s best walking and hiking trails
There is no better way to take in the array of fall colours than up close and in person with a scenic hike. Throughout the province there are walking and hiking trails through the highlands, along the ocean and saltwater marshes and above sharp cliffs that have been carved by the sea.
7. Nova Scotia surfing hotspots
Nova Scotia surfing is some of the best in North America and fall winds often create the perfect surf conditions. If you are a beginner you can learn to surf at one of the many surf schools in Nova Scotia.
8. Nova Scotia’s artisan studios
Whether you’re looking for a perfect souvenir or getting a head start on Christmas shopping, you’ll always find a treasure with visit to a few Nova Scotia artisan studios or one of many fall craft fairs.
9. Enjoy Nova Scotia’s theatre, music and art
Take in a show at one of our many professional and performing arts theatres and community playhouses and experience a Nova Scotia Symphony live performance. If you enjoy being in the middle of all the action, our dinner theatres are sure to leave you laughing. If exploring art venues is on your to-do list, experience the art of Halifax in a whole new light during Nocturne: Art at Night on the evening of October 15.
10. Ghost tours in and around Nova Scotia
Many communities and some of our museums, such as the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site’s ‘Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour’, showcase not only living, breathing history lessons but also ghostly history as well. Legends, folklore and ghostly tales put you in the perfect spirit for all hallow’s eve. From candlelit cemetery tours to city ghost walks, experience our haunting past.