Shelburne & Lockeport, Nova Scotia
Shelburne and Lockeport are two towns on Nova Scotia's South Shore region, located approximately a 2 ½ hour drive from Halifax. The towns of Lockeport and Shelburne provide unique experiences that are rich in culture and adventure while providing visitors with places to relax and unwind in a surrounding of historic treasures, wilderness and beauty.
Shelburne & Lockeport History
Shelburne has a deep multicultural history. Originally known as Port Roseway, Shelburne was once occupied by Mi’kmaq, Acadians, Blacks and Americans. In the early 18th century settlers from New England discovered Port Roseway and battled with the Mi’kmaq, then later with the Acadians, for ownership and status. In 1783, during the American Revolution, 3,000 Black Loyalists escaped to freedom in Shelburne, making Shelburne one of the largest cities in North America. Yet, the promise of fortune from the agriculture industry fell short and caused frictions. Later, Shelburne found its calling in the fishing and shipbuilding industry, however tension forced the Black Loyalists to move to nearby Birchtown, making this land the only place with freed Blacks outside of Africa.
The town of Lockeport, formerly known as Ragged Island, was founded in 1761 by two Massachusetts families that built the town’s port into a major fishing industry that was internationally renowned. The wealth from the port activities was not the only thing unique to this town as it is also known for its stunning vista. While you can’t put a price on beauty, the image of Lockeport’s Crescent Beach was featured on the Canadian 50 dollar bill in 1954.
Things to See and Do
- Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, Birchtown: Depicted in the award-winning novel, the Book of Negroes, this historic site delivers a narrative account of Blacks who sought their own independence after leaving America in the 18th century.
- Historic Dock Street, Shelburne Waterfront: The historic downtown core takes visitors back in time to a place where 18th century living is celebrated during the annual Founders’ Days event.
- Shelburne Harbour Boat Tours, Shelburne: Taking in the stunning view of Shelburne’s natural wonders in an experiential harbour cruise. Their lobster dinner cruise is not to be missed!
- Buchanan Gallery, Shelburne: Devoted to current and future artists in the Shelburne area, stop in to view the sculptures, paintings, photographs and other fine art by Shelburne County artists.
- Osprey Art Centre, Shelburne: Music, dance, theatre, art, film—just a stone’s throw away from Shelburne’s historic waterfront. Osprey Art Centre presents live performances, visual art, and movies all year long.
- The Lockeport’s Afternoon in the Park Market on Fridays and the Shelburne Farmers’ Market on Saturdays offers market goers fresh, local goods from farmers and bakers and wonderful local art pieces from artists.
- In Lockeport, outdoor activities such as geocaching, bird watching, strolling along the boardwalk and Lockeport’s Crescent Beach, are popular with visitors and locals alike.
- The Lighthouse stage at Seacaps Park in Lockeport is bustling with music and culture during annual events: Harmony Bazaar, Lockeport & Area July 1st Celebrations and Lockeport Sea Derby.
Places to eat
Did you know that Shelburne is known as the Lobster Capital of Nova Scotia? Important information for the lobster lovers to have when planning a trip to Shelburne and Lockeport.
- Shelburne Farmers’ Market: Located within an old Hollywood movie set, the town’s Saturday market greets market goers with displays of fresh produce, sushi and local beer (Boxing Rock) and more.
- Charlotte Lane Cafe & Gifts: Nova Scotia’s award winning restaurant brings together the flavour of local ingredients with a Swiss flair and together it creates a tasty dish to please one’s palette.
- Lockeport Landing: Enjoy a palate-pleasing experience in a bright and cheerful, licensed cafe or... picnic on the beach. Don’t feel like cooking? Relax... just call us with your take-out order.
Along Shelburne and Lockeport's coastline, you will find cozy B&Bs, inns, cottages and vacation homes that provide the perfect location for strolling the historic Shelburne Waterfront or getting a bite to eat at a local restaurant. If you are the camping type, make sure to check out the beautiful Islands Provincial Park.