The First Nations called it Mi'kma'ki, the French called it Acadia, the British called it New Scotland. We hope you’ll call it captivating. Learn about the lives of Native People before European contact at a heritage museum in Bear River, then travel forward to the Fortress of Louisbourg, the largest historical reconstruction in North America.
But our history is not just about graceful schooners and welcoming cultures…there have been battles, social upheaval, and an earth-shaking disaster known as the Halifax Explosion. And Nova Scotia was (and perhaps still is) home to more than a few rebels, rogues and rum-runners. There were even ‘legalized pirates’ called privateers who haunted the cold waters of the Atlantic, looking to profit by capturing foreign ships.
27 Provincial Museums & 10 Living Historical Sites
Living the past at our museums and historic sites. There are 27 provincial museums that explore the history of this place and the many cultures that call it home. One museum pass can open up all these doors into bygone days. And the past becomes a full-on sensory experience at any of the 10 living historical sites in Nova Scotia. Cannons blast and blacksmiths forge as interpreters get in character to make history something you can touch – and even taste.
5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
We have 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (the Acadian homeland of Grand Pré, Old Town of Lunenburg, and Joggins Fossil Cliffs) and 2 UNESCO Biospheres (Bras d'Or Lake and Southwest Nova). See for yourself how Nova Scotia adds to the richness of world culture!
Board the iconic Bluenose II in Lunenburg and navigate your way through the age of sail.
National Parks & Historic Sites
National Parks & Historic Sites are found in multitude in Nova Scotia! A few highlights include:
- Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada in Baddeck commemorates famous inventor who spent his summers on the Bras d’Or Lake
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada is home to the Cabot Trail, a land blessed with spectacular cliffs.
- Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada is a series of 1695-1708 fortifications in Annapolis Royal
- Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada is the largest reconstruction in North America of an 18th-century French fortress
- Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada, a UNESCO Heritage Site, commemorates the Acadian settlement and expulsion
- Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada is a restored British masonry fort dating back to 1828
- Kejimkujik National Park & Historic Site of Canada is the only site within the Parks Canada system to be both a park and historic site. This inland oasis of historic canoe routes and portages also has strong cultural ties to the Mi'kmaq
- Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada is a reconstruction of the 1605 French settlement Port Royal, one of the first in North America
- St. Peters Canal National Historic Site of Canada is an operational canal with original structures dating from the 19th-century