Ten Day Grand Tour

Day 1: Amherst – Baddeck

Welcome to Nova Scotia!

Travel along the Northumberland Shore which begins in Amherst, a full-service towns with parks, museums, and an 18-hole golf course.  The Northumberland Shore follows 450 km (280 mi.) of shoreline along the Northumberland Strait with over thirty fine-sand beaches which offer an irresistible invitation.  If you love to eat, blueberries, fine wines and delicious seafood are plentiful.

In Earltown, visit Sugar Moon Farm, Nova Scotia’s award-winning year-round maple syrup farm and dining experience.

Stop in the historic harbour town of Pictou, one of the largest communities on the Northumberland Shore. Pictou is home of the Hector Heritage Quay.  The quay’s colourful displays and costumed guides bring to life the history of the Scottish immigrants who arrived on the ship Hector in 1773.

Your journey continues to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia’s Masterpiece where historic villages and fashionable resorts combine to create a rhythm that is uniquely Cape Breton. Baddeck, on the shores of the sparkling Bras d’Or Lakes, was the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.  You can discover his many contributions to science at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Overnight: Baddeck area

Day 2: Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Spend today exploring the world famous Cabot Trail – a coastal highway described as one of the most spectacular drives in North America. The Cabot Trail winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a 950 km² (366 sq. mi.) wilderness area that is home to a variety of wildlife and landscape.

Some places of interest to stop at today include: Cheticamp, a busy fishing village with a thriving Acadian culture, where you will often hear the lively sounds of Acadian French being spoken and in the restaurants, you can sample typical Acadian food; Pleasant Bay, a working fishing village where you find the fascinating Pleasant Bay Whale Interpretive Centre; Ingonish, a popular resort destination where visitors can enjoy outdoor recreational activities that include hiking, deep-sea fishing, whale watching, bicycling and sea-kayaking; St. Ann’s, home of the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, the only one of its kind in North America.

Overnight: Baddeck area

Day 3: Baddeck - Sydney

Travel from Baddeck to Louisbourg where you can easily spend half a day at Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest historical reconstruction in North America.  Mingle with soldiers, fishermen, merchants, servants, ladies and gentlemen going about their daily business in this unique 1700s settlement and enjoy a homemade period meal authentically prepared and served in one of the historical restaurants.

Stop in Glace Bay where you can experience life in a coal mine first-hand at the Miner’s Museum, one of the region’s most popular attractions or visit the Marconi National Historic Site which marks the place from which Guglielmo Marconi and his team of engineers and scientists sent the first wireless transatlantic signal in 1902.

End your day in Sydney, Nova Scotia’s second-largest city, which provides an extensive array of services and amenities for visitors.  A focal point of the city is an extensive boardwalk with colonial lighting which winds along 3 km of harbourfront and in the summer months, is a popular centre of activities and entertainment.

Overnight: Sydney area

Day 4: Sydney - Liscomb Mills

From Sydney today, you will travel along the shores of Cape Breton Island’s beautiful inland sea - the Bras d’Or Lakes.  The Bras d’Or Lakes are a traditional home of Nova Scotia’s native Mi’kmaq and the Mi’kmaq language and culture are still evident today in the four reserves along its shores: Waycobah, Eskasoni, Wagmatcook and Chapel Island in Stl Peter’s Inlet.

Stop in St. Peter’s, known as the “Gateway to the Bras d’Or Lakes” which is a full-service community situated on a narrow strip of land separating the Atlantic Ocean and the Bras d’Or Lakes.  The St. Peter’s Canal, a National Historic Site, connects these two great bodies of water.

At the Canso Causeway, travel back to the mainland of Nova Scotia to Antigonish and inland to Sherbrooke.  Spend the afternoon at Sherbrooke Village Museum, the former picturesque lumbering and shipbuilding community which looks as it did 100 years ago, before gold mining transformed it into a boom town.

Your destination today is Liscomb Mills on the Marine Drive, a fisherman and canoeist’s paradise.  The Liscomb River Trail follows the river’s edge to a swinging bridge spanning a 20-metre waterfall and returns along the other side.

Overnight: Liscomb Mills

Day 5: Liscomb - Halifax

Your drive today continues along the Eastern Shore.  Stop at the Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, which offers a nostalgic look at life in the 1940's, and at the Fisherman’s Life Museum in Jeddore, where guides in period costume recreate the simple yet powerful daily life of coastal fishing communities.

The dependable breezes and steady surf at Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park make it a favourite playground for surfers and windsurfers and it’s a great place to take a walk on one of the province’s most popular sand beaches.

End your day at Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage, a restored fishing village which is located at the mouth of Halifax Harbour and offers an inviting collection of craft shops and restaurants and an extensive seaside boardwalk.

Overnight: Halifax

Day 6: Halifax

The Halifax Metro Tourism Region is the gateway to Atlantic Canada.  Nova Scotia’s capital city is vibrant and cosmopolitan with a rich seafaring past.  Metropolitan Halifax boasts a variety of fine restaurants, exciting nightlife, museums, historic sites and shopping.

Be sure and take in the impressive displays and dockside historic ships at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic before heading to nearby Historic Properties, with its unique collection of speciality boutiques, restaurants and pubs.  The Casino Nova Scotia offers 700 slots and tables games, five on-site restaurants and live world-class entertainment.  Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Canada’s last remaining immigration shed with interactive displays, 4-D film and more, and Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, where period-costumed soldiers re-enact British Military life in the 1800s and the thunderous boom of the noon-day cannon is heard 365 days a year.

This evening, enjoy a meal at one of Halifax’s fine restaurants and take in some local entertainment at one of the friendly nightclubs.

Overnight: Halifax

Day 7: Halifax - Liverpool

Your first stop today is Peggy’s Cove on the South Shore, one of the most photographed places in Canada.  The graceful lighthouse sitting high upon the smooth wave-worn granite of the coast now does duty as a Canada’s only post office in a lighthouse.

The South Shore journeys through a landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm.  Follow shoreline roads past rugged wave-carved headlands and tranquil island-studded bays where legends of the sea come alive in historic towns and weathered fishing villages.  Three members of the ÉCONOMUSÉE® network are located on the Lighthouse Route - Bay Hammocks in Seabright and Amos Pewter and Spruce Top Rug Hooking Studio in Mahone Bay.

In Mahone Bay, the narrow streets are lined with a unique collection of studios and galleries of some of Canada’s finest artists and craftspeople.  Continue to Lunenburg, where the colourful waterfront, narrow streets and captivating architecture radiate the flavour of the towns’ seafaring heritage.  Lunenburg is home to Nova Scotia’s famous racing schooner, Bluenose, the ship on the Canadian ten-cent piece.  Old Town Lunenburg was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

Today’s journey ends in Liverpool, the privateering capital of North America, located at the mouth of the beautiful Mersey River.

Overnight: Liverpool area

Day 8: Liverpool - Wolfville

Today you will travel into the province’s scenic countryside to Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, 381 km² of scenic inland wilderness country which abounds with wildlife.  Nature walks can be enjoyed on one of the park’s 14 hiking trails through woodlands and along waterways once used by the native Mi’kmaq.

Continue to Annapolis Royal.  This scenic town overlooking the Annapolis River was founded in 1605, making it the oldest settlement of European origin in Canada.  Annapolis Royal contains over 150 heritage buildings including the oldest wooden house in Canada.  Take time to visit Fort Anne National Historic Site, and see the impressive Heritage Tapestry which depicts 400 years of the area’s history and the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens with theme gardens and displays reflecting the history of the area.

Your journey continues through the delightful villages and orchards of the Annapolis Valley, Atlantic Canada’s richest agricultural region.

Your final destination today is Wolfville, a charming university town with stately trees and beautiful heritage homes.

Overnight: Wolfville area

Day 9: Wolfville - Truro

This morning visit Grand-Pré National Historic Site, where a graceful stone church stands as a memorial to the Acadians who were forcefully exiled from their homes and farms during the Deportation from 1755 to 1763.

Continue to the town of Windsor, where lovers of Canada’s favourite sport will be delighted to find that this town is the birthplace of hockey. Other points of interest include the Haliburton House Museum and Mermaid Theatre.

As you continue today, be sure and check the tide schedule as you might have the opportunity to ride the world famous tidal bore at one of the many tidal bore rafting companies that operate along the Shubenacadie River.  Encounter the power of the advancing tide overtaking the natural flow of the river.  Watch in awe as a small stream reverses into a turbulent river and the wet and wild adventure begins.  For those who would rather watch than ride, a look-off and interpretation centre are located in South Maitland which gives viewers an outstanding view of the rafters battling the currents.

Your destination today is Truro.  Colourful painted murals throughout the town depicts its history and tree sculptures highlight important figures from the past.

Also located in Truro at the Truro Power Centre is the Glooscap Heritage Centre, showcasing and interpreting Mi’kmaq culture of the region, including an Aboriginal gallery, multimedia presentation, audio exhibit and visitor information centre.

Overnight: Truro

Day 10: Truro - Amherst

On your last day in Nova Scotia you will travel along the Fundy Shore & Annapolis Valley where the majestic power of the world’s highest tides have shaped a landscape of unforgettable splendour.

Stop in Economy, a great place to “walk on the bottom of the sea” where clam digging, rockhounding and bass fishing are popular activities.  At Five Islands visit the provincial park with campgrounds, a picnic park, a beach and hiking trails featuring look-offs that offer splendid views of the islands and shore.

Parrsboro is the largest community in this area and is the headquarters for rockhounds who come to the Minas Basin looking for zeolites and semi-precious stones such as agate and amethyst, which are found on the beaches and in the cliffs.  A great place to learn about the minerals, fossils and fascinating geology of the region is at the Fundy Geological Museum.

Visit Cape Chignecto, site of Nova Scotia’s largest provincial park with a hiking trail which circumnavigates the cape along rugged cliffs rising high above the Bay of Fundy. Take a guided tour at Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site where 300-million-year-old fossils are continually revealed by the world's highest tides. The Centre contains an extensive collection and interactive displays.

Farewell to Nova Scotia.