Like many worthy travel adventures, a trip to the indulgent Fox Harb’r Resort begins by taking the road less travelled – where traffic is replaced with trees – to Nova Scotia’s idyllic Northumberland Shore.
Dreamed up by Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce to provide “luxury without pretension” and boost rural employment around his Nova Scotia hometown, over two decades Fox Harb’r has evolved from a landmark oceanside golf course to a complete Nova Scotia luxury resort destination.
Getting to Fox Harb’r Resort’s rural yet refined setting takes just ninety minutes – and three traffic lights – north of Halifax airport. You can also get driven to Fox Harb’r by private shuttle. Alternatively, you can jet right in to the resort’s 5,000 ft. fully serviced runway, an easy two-hour hop from East Coast hubs like New York, Toronto and Montreal.
From the moment you pull into the resort’s rolling drive, presided over by a bronze fox, of course, everything about Fox Harb’r is carefully detailed to showcase the scenic – like a front nine of golf holes on the Atlantic Ocean, alongside the serene, and the scrumptious.
No matter how you choose to arrive, Fox Harb’r rolls out the welcome mat with genuine Maritimes hospitality. Golfers, foodies, spa-goers and outdoor enthusiasts are all catered to here, every May through October. So, beyond its four-diamond rating and expected luxuries, like all-suite accommodations with heated bathroom floors and beds made with Frette linens, Fox Harb’r packs some wonderfully unexpected surprises.
TASTE HOMEGROWN NOVA SCOTIA PRODUCE
The phrase farm-to-table may feel very of the moment. But Fox Harb’r takes eating food that doesn’t travel far to reach your plate even closer to home. The resort boasts three greenhouses, gardens and fruit trees that grow the bulk of its two restaurants’ seasonal produce and herbs. You can even tour – and arrange a bouquet – with the hotel horticulturalist between late May and mid-September.
Past its own garden beds, Fox Harb’r goes pond-to-plate with two stocked trout lakes primarily for guests’ catch-and-release fishing. But whenever these are fished by the chefs to maintain healthy population levels, you can be served fish caught only an hour before. And in a province that’s universally famous for its seafood, everything else Fox Harb’r serves, from the Nova Scotia lobster and scallops to the oysters farmed literally just down the road, is Ocean Wise harvested, sustainably.
According to Fox Harb’r Executive Chef Shane Robilliard, all this simply makes sense. “It’s better for the environment. Overall, serving local at Fox Harb’r showcases our fantastic, artisanal producers. We are respecting Nova Scotia’s food traditions while supporting mostly small businesses. And it’s all so fresh, it just tastes better.”
TRAVEL TIP: Fox Harb’r Resort’s new Culinary on the Coast gourmet getaway includes a Lobster 101 session and a road trip guide to local makers, including a brewery, cidery and distillery, as well as Tatamagouche’s historic Creamery Square Farmers’ Market.
TAKE A NOVA SCOTIA VINEYARD VACATION
Perhaps it’s not that surprising for a resort with its own greenhouses to get into the wine business. In 2015, Fox Harb’r partnered with the province’s oldest winery and resort neighbour Jost Vineyards, to plant Nova Scotia’s first resort vineyard. Following two successful harvests, including grapes for Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay signature wine, Fox Harb’r will soon have its own private label vintage.
Dinners right in the Fox Harb’r vineyard are planned for 2019. And in the meantime, Fox Harb’r offers both on-site vineyard visits and private winery tours at Jost, along with hosting May and autumn culinary weekends that showcase niche winemakers. The resort’s Cape Cliff Dining Room has a 3,000-bottle cellar and Chef Robilliard is also a certified sommelier, so memorable food and wine pairings are possible any time you dine.
EXPLORE THE GREAT NOVA SCOTIA OUTDOORS
At one of Canada’s top 30 golf courses, you might expect to ride a golf cart. From Learning Academy swing clinics to an impressive range of golf packages, this resort is definitely a golfers’ spot. In fact, none other than Tiger Woods holds the Fox Harb’r golf course record. But beyond the cart paths, Fox Harb’r is also every outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Ride the oceanside Fox Trot trail on horseback, a mountain bike or a Segway. Play North America’s fastest growing sport, pickleball. Or paddle a sea kayak, stand-up pedal board or paddle board from the resort’s deep-water marina, to get up close with the resident herd of seals. If you just want to sit back and relax, you can also take in the Nova Scotia coastline on a Fox Harb’r pontoon boat ride.
TARGET NOVA SCOTIA FOR YOUR NEXT GETAWAY
Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore is brimming with beautiful views, beaches and picturesque landscapes at every turn. And Fox Harb’r gives you one more truly unique way to get outside and look up at the trees and the sky. It’s home to Nova Scotia’s only NSCA accredited sport shooting facility. So, you can do like in the movies, when they yell, ”Pull!” Take your own best shot at bright orange clay “pigeon” targets, that also happen to be completely biodegradable.
Fox Harb’r is a particularly great place for novices to try sporting clays, sometimes described as “golf with a shotgun.” In addition to a full competition-level course, equipment and instruction, Fox Harb’r offers Five-Stand shooting, a fast-paced mix of trap, skeet and sporting clays, that’s ideal for doing something new on vacation. And if shooting isn’t your thing, you can still get on target with archery. Whatever you choose to do at Fox Harb’r, great Nova Scotia photos and memories are ahead.