Nova Scotia boasts five UNESCO-designated sites and North America's first certified UNESCO-Starlight Tourist Destination. Explore these world-renowned landscapes to discover historic coastal harbours, lush farmland, fossil-rich cliffs on the breathtaking Bay of Fundy, and pristine waterways with awe-inspiring starlight skies overhead.
To enhance your experience, spend a day at each location and stay in nearby accommodations to get the most local flavour out of your experience.
Stroll the streets from the harbour to the hilltop, take a guided walk, or tour by horse-drawn carriage. Experience the historic beauty of Lunenburg’s brightly coloured houses and preserved wooden architecture, some dating back to the 18th century. Established in 1753, Old Town Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a British planned colonial settlement in North America.
Experience breathtaking views and heartfelt history at The Landscape of Grand Pré. The site, located on the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin in the Annapolis Valley, is an exceptional living agricultural landscape and an outstanding example of the enduring model of human capacity to overcome extraordinary natural challenges and cultural ordeals.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Every day, the world’s highest tides wash against the Joggins Fossil Cliffs slowly uncovering millions of years of plant and animal life. These fossils reveal details of life in the “Carboniferous Age” or “Coal Age” dating back 300 million years. Guided tour experiences are available and highly recommended. Be sure to make time to visit the interpretive gallery and other features of the Joggins Fossil Centre.
Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve is the second-largest UNESCO reserve in Canada. Within the Kejimkujik National Park, visitors can learn about 10,000 years of Mi’kmaq history, explore petroglyphs etched by the First People, paddle historic routes, and take in spectacular stargazing in the Dark Sky Preserve.
Bras d'Or Lake Biosphere Reserve
Sail the Bras d'Or Lake Biosphere Reserve, known as Canada's inland sea - a complex sequence of barrier beaches, rocky headlands, barachois ponds and wetlands - is a great place to discover through kayaking, boating or sailing.
Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands Starlight Reserve and Tourist Destination
Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands, located in Argyle, Clare, and Yarmouth municipalities in southwestern Nova Scotia, is the first destination in North America to receive a Starlight certification and is one of only four places in the world to receive both Reserve and Destination designations by the Starlight Foundation, an organization supported by UNESCO.