What Makes Nova Scotia Special?
Nova Scotia is home to stunning natural beauty, an exciting and diverse culture, a rich heritage and warm and friendly people. Here’s some of what makes our province unique:
Known as one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Cabot Trail weaves through the Cape Breton Highlands, displaying it’s unrivalled natural beauty. Alexander Graham Bell once said “I have traveled the around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all. Located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Cabot Trail’s magnificent world-renowned drive is an experience like no other.
Bay of Fundy
The world’s highest tides carve the dramatic sandstone cliffs and caves that paint the Bay of Fundy coastline. These same waters reveal the 300-million-year-old story of life at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Joggins Fossil Cliffs. The Guinness Book of World Records declared that the world’s highest tides occurred at Burntcoat Head. While average measure is 54 feet, during the Saxby Gale of 1869, they were measured at 70.9 feet.
It was said that Bluenose could dance on top of the ocean, cutting through waves like no other ship on the sea. As a racing schooner, she was undefeated in her 18-year career. Today, her spirit lives on in Bluenose II – Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador and proud tribute to the province’s shipbuilding heritage.
Food & Drink
Nova Scotians have a long-standing connection to the land and sea. Our abundant fisheries and rich fertile farmland combine to create an overflowing pantry of culinary inspiration. Wild blueberries, Glenora single malt scotch, tantalizing fresh lobster, scallops and more, our wine country, cooking lessons and wine tastings, Ironworks Distillery, fresh apples, pears, strawberries and more! The result is a foodie paradise. When our land, sea and people come together at the table, visitors often find themselves asking for seconds.
Galleries & Artisans
Inspiration and creativity come easily here and wherever you go, you will discover Nova Scotian fine arts and crafts, in galleries personal studios and quirky shops. Join the experience and observe traditional rug hooking, wine making, working with pewter or fused glass at an Économusée. Many studios open their doors to visitors. And Nova Scotia’s folk art has found its way around the world as treasured souvenirs.
Welcome to a golfing destination where spectacular distractions are par for the course! With more than 70 courses in Nova Scotia, the variety and impressive quality attract enthusiasts from around the globe. Playing an authentic seaside links course, our newest, the Cabot Links, comes with the exhilarating understanding that you’re playing the game exactly as its inventors had intended. It has been ranked by SCOREGolf as #2 in the world.
National Parks: Kejimkujik National Park
Nova Scotia is home to 2 National Parks. Kejimkujik National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and has earned the designation of Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. In the heart of “Keji” you can experience the night skies of a thousand years ago, within a protected forest as you learn about astronomical science and Mi’kmaq cultural perspectives.
National Parks: Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers hiking experiences like no other, ranging from easy strolls to rugged challenges. The Skyline Trail delivers a breathtaking view of the Cabot Trail, amid whales offshore, bald eagles above and you may even get a glimpse of moose.
27 Provincial Museums and 26 National Historic Sites!
Lunenburg’s Fisheries Museum tells the story of the Atlantic fisheries. You can step back in time to 1744 at the Fortress of Louisbourg, the largest historic reconstruction in North America. Listen to Canada’s immigrant stories at Pier 21. Learn the story of Halifax’s relationship to the sinking of the Titanic at the Maritime Museum. See the noon-day cannon fired at the Halifax Citadel, Canada’s most visited national historic site. Discover the inventions of a genius as you learn about the first powered flight in Canada or how the telephone works, at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Hear the pain in the Acadian stories of the “Grand Derangement” at Grand Pré. Speak to Samuel de Champlain at Port-Royal, the oldest permanent European settlement in North America.
For a relatively small province, mostly surrounded by water, the diversity of our geography and natural beauty is astounding. This makes for a place where one unique outdoor experience flows into the next as naturally as the rise and fall of the tides - whale watching, hiking, tidal bore rafting, sea kayaking, surfing, sailing, cycling – all create adventures worth sharing.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
Known as one of Canada’s most visited, this iconic lighthouse stands upon bold and bare granite boulders along the Atlantic coast, making it a perfect opportunity to stop for pictures and explore this working fishing village. Be sure to visit the bas-relief sculpture chiselled from the granite of a 30-metre rock face outside the de Garthe Gallery. Carved by William de Garthe, this sculpture depicts the lives and legends of the local fishermen.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Nova Scotia is home to 5 UNESCO designated sites. The landscape of Grand Pré is a testament to the endurance of the Acadians to overcoming natural challenges and cultural ordeals. The waters of the Bay of Fundy reveal the 300-million-year-old story of life at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. And the colourful and architecturally significant Old Town of Lunenburg, established in 1753 is the best surviving example of a British planned colonial settlement inNorth America. Sailing Canada’s largest in-land sea, the Bras d’Or Lakes, provides a stunning view of barriers beaches, rocky headlands and barachois ponds and wetlands, earning it the biosphere reserve designation.
Don’t Miss Events
Celebrate with us every year! A sample of some of our top-notch events: Stan Rogers Folk Festival, the Antigonish Highland Games, Celtic Colours International Festival, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Festival Acadien de Clare, but there are many, many more!
World Class Cruise Destination
As part of the Canada New England cruise corridor, Nova Scotia boasts two marquee ports-of-call – Halifax and Sydney – as well as eight uniquely different small ports located along the Bay of Fundy, the Atlantic coast, the Northumberland Strait and the Bras d’Or Lakes. With its prominent geographic location, Nova Scotia is visited by most cruise lines with calls originating from both Europe and the United States.