Old Town Lunenburg
This UNESCO World Heritage site – with its narrow streets and unique architecture – is also the home port of Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II. The graceful ship is a replica of the original fishing boat that found fame as a racing schooner.
Wander Old Town Lunenburg’s distinctive waterfront with its colourful buildings, listen for salty tales of seafaring and rum-running, and discover what life is like on the open ocean at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Pull out your wallet and look at a Canadian dime – it’s emblazoned with a fishing schooner that became famous for speed and perseverance.
It was said the Bluenose could dance on top of the ocean, cutting through waves like no other ship on the sea. As a racing schooner, she was undefeated in her 18-year career and became a Canadian icon. Today, her spirit lives on in the Bluenose II - Nova Scotia’s tribute to our shipbuilding heritage. If you don’t get the chance to see the ship in person, glance at a provincial licence plate and you’ll see that familiar profile.
Get Out and Explore
After walking the wharves of Old Town Lunenburg, hike the granite outcrops of Blue Rocks, a small village that’s just a few minutes’ drive from the UNESCO site. With dramatic seascapes and fascinating geology, it’s a beacon for kayakers and cyclists.
Old Town Lunenburg is one of only two urban communities in North America designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Seventy percent of the original colonial buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries continue to greet visitors with their colourful façades.
In Lunenburg the past mingles with the present, and you can still see tall ships moored in the harbour and hear a blacksmith’s hammer in a waterfront warehouse. Guided tours tell tales of lives lost on the ocean, and of the spirits that return to haunt the living.