Nova Scotia’s South Shore offers new discovery and adventure around every turn of its rugged Atlantic shoreline as natural wonders and attractions are tucked away on side roads or in scenic coves and harbours, just waiting for you to find and explore. So, whether you seek solitude or adventure the South Shore can satisfy whatever you crave. It can be luxurious oceanside accommodations or back-country camping; lobster freshly plucked from the sea or spirits aged aboard a tall ship to strolling the many sandy beaches to hiking the forest trails, or maybe all the above during your visit.
We continue our journey to explore South Nova Scotia and all that it offers starting with Peggy’s Cove, while still in the Halifax Regional Municipality it is still the first part of our South Shore adventure.
With a population of approximately 40 permanent residents, the small fishing village of Peggy’s Cove is located on the Eastern Shore of St. Margaret’s Bay in Halifax Regional Municipality. Peggy’s Cove welcomes nearly 700,000 visitors in a typical year, and it is arguably one of the most photographed sites in Canada.
Dating back to 1811, the original six families who started the village depended on fishing for their livelihoods. Today, even with the tourism industry taking over economic importance, fishing traditions are still alive and well at Peggy’s Cove. Many of the inhabitants continue to fish for lobster, keeping the fishing industry active in the village. The regional municipality and the provincial government have strict land-use regulations for Peggy’s Cove, with most property development being prohibited. The tight restrictions allow the village to maintain its undeveloped appearance and unique character. Peggy’s Cove captures the essence of life in Atlantic Canada.
The star attraction at Peggy’s Cove is a 100-year-old lighthouse that is perched on a mound of granite rocks. Built in 1915, the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse (also known as the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse) is an iconic Nova Scotian image. While visiting the lighthouse, tourists are strongly recommended to remain on the dry white rocks. The wet rocks are dark in colour from the waves crashing onto them and they can be very dangerous even on calm sunny days. A common phrase at Peggy’s Cove is “Please stay off the black rocks” as the waves are unpredictable. The safest way to enjoy the beautiful site is by keeping a distance from the ocean.
If seeing Peggy’s Cove from the dry rocks doesn’t appeal to you, then enjoy it by sea on a boat tour. Enjoy an adventure on the ocean with a knowledgeable crew, these boat tours go rain or shine and offer a unique way to experience Peggy’s Cove. Full boat tours are offered from June-August with partial tours running in September.
Unlike how far you travelled to see Peggy’s Cove, you won’t have to travel far for food. Just a few steps away looking right out at the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, is the Sou’Wester Gift & Restaurant Company Ltd. Which is open all year round and has been owned by the same family since its establishment in 1967. The 180-seat restaurant is sure to accommodate your whole family. Serving a variety of traditional Maritime and seafood dishes, there’s something for everyone at The Sou’Wester. After your meal, enjoy shopping at its two-level gift shop to find a perfect souvenir to take back home with you.
On your way to or from Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, we recommend stopping at the Swissair 111 Memorial. A short eight kilometres southwest of Peggy’s Cove is the crash site of Swissair Flight 111. On September 2nd, 1998, Swissair 111 was scheduled to leave from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, United States and land at Cointrin Airport in Geneva, Switzerland. While flying over Canada, the plane had a fire in the cockpit that resulted in the crash into St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia. The crash tragically killed all 229 people on board. The Swissair 111 accident is the second-deadliest plane crash in Canadian history. Located just minutes from the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is a parking area and a short walking trail to the beautiful stone memorial site open to the public.
A short 45 minute drive from Peggy’s Cove is Hubbards which is located on the eastern side of the Aspotogan Peninsula, and along the northern shore of St. Margarets Bay and borders the communities of Simms Settlement and Queensland. Hubbards is a popular summer destination for locals and visitors alike with numerous cottages, inns, campgrounds, restaurants, and the Shore Club which offers entertainment and a lobster supper that make it a must visit for anyone coming to the area. Hubbards features a picturesque locale, especially on Hubbards Cove, with a yacht club, Nova Scotia’s smallest provincial park, campground and ten stunning beaches such as Queensland, Cleveland and Fox Point all within “driving distance” of one another and just a stone’s throw away, and just around the corner, on the Aspotogan peninsula, the soft sand and cool, clear waters of Bayswater beach await.
If you are looking to stay away from the sand and get some exercise, there is the Aspotogan Ridge Golf Club featuring one of Nova Scotia’s newest Golf Courses. The course beautifully showcases the rolling wooded area and features inland lakes, rolling plains, meadows, river valleys, rocky bluffs and coastal estuaries, the course character is defined by the landscape it inhabits. Build an appetite swinging the clubs then check out their Parkwood Grill and have an enjoyable casual meal with family and friends on their outdoor deck or in the clubhouse.
Once you are in Hubbards, the rest of the South Shore is at your fingertips with Chester, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg and Liverpool just a short drive down Highway 103.
Founded in 1759, the village of Chester became a key location for lumbering, shipbuilding, and fishing by the early 1800s. Today, Chester is known for its picturesque harbour, beautiful beaches, and historic architecture. Chester is a popular destination in the summertime, with most visitors coming to enjoy sailing and boating.
Yacht racing has been a primary summer sport in Chester for over 150 years. In the mid 19th century, fishermen raced each other from the Chester shoreline to markets in Halifax and New England. Since the 1970s, the Chester Yacht Club has hosted Chester Race Week in celebration of yacht racing traditions. Attracting crews from across the country, Chester Race Week is Canada’s largest keelboat regatta. This 4-day racing event also includes shoreline entertainment such as live music and dances.
But if being on the water isn’t for you, Chester also offers activities for art lovers. Since 1938, Chester Playhouse has provided theatre productions, music, comedy, community events, and more. After a devastating fire occurred in June 2021, Chester Playhouse is set to reopen this summer with the grand reopening in August allowing it to continue as an arts venue for people of all ages to enjoy.
Longing for a place to relax during your visit to Chester? Check out Nova Scotia’s first Nordic Spa! SENSEA Nordic Spa opened in January 2020 and is now a bucket-list location in Nova Scotia. Inspired by Nordic culture, SENSEA offers all-season outdoor saunas, hot baths, massages, and more. This must-see spot is hidden away in the forest, making it a quiet place to unwind. We recommend booking a spa pass at SENSEA Nordic Spa any time of year for ages 16+.
Are you wanting to dive into a mystery before you travel home? Chester has a good one for you! Chester is the nearest village to the famous Oak Island. Since the late 1700s, the island has been known for theories of buried treasure, historical artifacts, and manuscripts. While there are over 50 published books about the mysteries and history of Oak Island, it has recently drawn more public attention due to the television show The Curse of Oak Island. Airing on the History Channel in 2014, the reality show follows a team of treasure hunters including brothers Rick and Marty Lagina, who are dedicated to discovering the legendary treasure. During the past decade of the show, the team has found various artifacts that are believed to date back to 1200 – 1600 A.D. Guided tours of Oak Island and the ongoing treasure hunt will be returning in 2024.
After a full day of activities, there’s nothing better than a freshly cooked meal. In Chester, you can find the oldest pub in Nova Scotia called Fo’c’sle Village Pub. Known as “Chester’s Living Room”, Fo’c’sle is open all year round and serves classic pub fare and coastal cuisine. If you’re hoping to enjoy your meal right on the water, then we recommend the Seaside Shanty. For over forty years, Seaside Shanty has been serving the village of Chester and its guests. With fresh local ingredients including fresh seafood, and amazing service with a spectacular view it is a fantastic place in Chester to choose your next meal.
Mahone Bay is a small town located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. With a scenic harbour view, charming stores, restaurants, and cultural attractions, Mahone Bay is a must-see on any tourist’s itinerary. While there are photo opportunities around every corner, the three churches along the waterfront are a photographer’s dream shot. St. James’ Anglican Church, Trinity United Church, and St. John’s Lutheran Church are recognizable to any visitor of Mahone Bay no matter where you may come across a photo of them.
With slightly over 1,000 residents, Mahone Bay is fast-growing and a perfect place for entrepreneurs to set up shop. If you happen to be just passing through, the Mahone Bay Museum is a great place to stop and learn about local heritage. The town is known for its history of wooden boat building. Boat building was the predominant industry in the early years of European settlement, but originated in the area from the Mi’kmaq, who crafted birch bark canoes. The museum has exhibits including both Mi’kmaq history and European settlement. The Mahone Bay Museum is run by the non-profit organization, Mahone Bay Founders Society.
We suggest parking your vehicle and walking through the town to get the best experience. Only a five-minute walk from the museum is a must-see coffee shop, The Barn Coffee & Social House. The Barn is exactly what you pictured, a barn. Impressively restored into a coffee shop, The Barn kept its rustic interior with exposed wooden beams and stairs leading up to a second-floor loft. The Barn offers a variety of drinks and pastries to choose from with comfortable seating and even some merchandise for sale if you want to show off your new favourite coffee shop. While enjoying your drink, use the free Wi-Fi to plan where to go next as you take on a fun day of shopping in Mahone Bay!
Mahone Bay gift shops offer various types of handcrafts that will make beautiful gifts from your trip. A popular shopping destination in the town is Northern Sun Gallery & Gifts. Along with a range of items for sale, the store expanded in 2008 to host a modern art gallery. Northern Sun Gallery & Gifts sources unique products and proudly carries handcrafts made in the Maritimes. Continuing right around the corner onto Main Street, you will come across a well-known name, Amos Pewter. Amos Pewter artisans produce handcrafted jewellery and giftware made of pewter metal. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a demonstration while you’re visiting the shop. Amos Pewter jewellery is recognizable from anywhere and is very beloved in Nova Scotia.
Mahone Bay has beautiful boutique inns to choose from for your overnight visit. The Mahone Bay B&B is newly refurbished, offering modern rooms. The B&B is located on Main Street, making the walk to nearby shops and restaurants a quick one. Another great choice to book from is kitch’inn. This boutique inn has a restaurant attached called betty’s at the kitch. Relax with a glass of wine and homemade wood-fired pizza at betty’s before heading to your comfortable room for the night. kitch’inn along with betty’s at the kitch is the best of both worlds to eat and stay.
Lunenburg is a port town located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It is a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town of Lunenburg is known for its beautiful historic architecture, including the Lunenburg Academy and St. John’s Anglican Church. Lunenburg is home to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, which showcases the region’s maritime history. Lunenburg is a popular tourist destination largely due to the retainment of its original appearance of the 1800s. UNESCO has claimed Old Town Lunenburg to be the best surviving example of a colonized British settlement.
Set up in the town are historical markers for tourists to learn more about Lunenburg’s long history. While walking the town is a great way to experience the sites, we recommend tourists enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout Old Town Lunenburg. The narrated tour is a great way to see the historic sites while relaxing in the carriage.
After your horse-drawn carriage tour, you will certainly want to head down to the bustling waterfront. If you’re planning a trip in August, the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival will surely lift your spirits. The four-day festival is the longest running music festival in Nova Scotia and one of the oldest in Canada. The festival is a perfect chance for you to experience East Coast culture and explore nearby shops and restaurants between performances. The Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is a family-friendly event and has indoor and outdoor venues.
Also located on the Lunenburg waterfront is the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic plus there are also tours for the public to sail in the Bluenose 2. The Bluenose 2 is a replica vessel of the famous Bluenose. The Bluenose was a racing schooner that showcased Nova Scotia’s shipbuilding heritage around the world. She was built in Lunenburg in 1921. The Bluenose internationally represented not only Nova Scotia, but Canada. Since 1937, the Bluenose has been on the Canadian dime, and she is featured on Nova Scotia’s license plates. In 1946, the vessel reportedly hit a coral reef and sank. But nearly twenty years later, the exact design plans were carried out for a second time to create the Bluenose 2. Funded by Oland Brewery, the Bluenose 2 was built in the same shipyard by some of the same people who built the original vessel. The designer of the Bluenose, William Roue, endorsed the Bluenose 2. The captain of the Bluenose, Captain Walters, took the Bluenose 2 out for her maiden voyage. We recommend the two-hour cruise that takes place twice daily while the Bluenose 2 is in the Lunenburg port. The sailing schedule is available online.
While you’re enjoying the waterfront, we recommend grabbing a bite to experience the local seafood dishes with an incredible waterfront view.
With so many activities to do during your visit, we suggest staying for a couple of days! Choose a room at The Lunenburg Inn and enjoy a coffee on the balcony of the oldest inn in the town. The Lunenburg Inn has been welcoming guests for nearly 100 years and is a 5-minute walk from the waterfront. Or book your room at Smuggler’s Cove Inn on the colourful Montague St. within walking distance of many local attractions. Smuggler’s Cove Inn has 4 room categories to choose from and an elevator for accessibility.
Wherever you may be going next, we suggest stopping at the Ovens Natural Park just outside of Lunenburg. Thousands of visitors venture there every year to hike along the trails and view the sea caves known as “The Ovens”. Home to dozens of naturally created sea caves, Ovens Natural Park is an unforgettable stop on your Nova Scotia itinerary. Hiking the trails and going into the caves is one way to see them, but you can also rent a kayak and enter from the water! Ovens Natural Park also offers gold panning on Cunard’s beach, a small museum, and live music and camping in the summer months. The park is dog-friendly as long as your furry four-legged best friend stays on the leash.
Bridgewater is the largest town in the South Shore region with a population of over 8,700 people. The beautiful LaHave River runs through the town, feeding into the Atlantic Ocean. Bridgewater is located roughly twenty kilometres inland, nestled into LaHave River Valley. Prior to European settlement, the Mi’kmaq inhabited the area for more than 6000 years. The nearby Petite Riviere also has an extensive history between the Mi’kmaq and later the Acadians, leaving an ancient burial site of both Mi’kmaq and Acadian people to be discovered in Petite Riviere in the late 1990s.
To learn more about Bridgewater and the surrounding area, we recommend visiting DesBrisay Museum. Originally a personal collection, the DesBrisay Museum expanded to become a lively space filled with First Nations artwork, Folk Art, Model Ships and more. DesBrisay Museum is actively growing their collections and hosting events. Inside the museum is a gift shop that offers a range of local artwork and books about the area. The DesBrisay Museum is located within the grounds of a lush park. Bridgewater Woodland Gardens was donated to the town in 1921 to become a recreational park for the public to cherish. Due to the woodlands, aquatic pond and the parkland, Woodland Gardens has a diverse, wide range of wildlife to inhabit the park. The park is available to the public year-round as well as the DesBrisay Museum, but the hours of operation are reduced during the winter months.
We encourage everyone to take advantage of the beautiful LaHave River running through Bridgewater and go for an adventure along the LaHave River Trail. The trail is well-maintained for both walking and cycling through the woods during the warmer months, with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails in the winter. Enjoy the scenery and peacefulness of the LaHave River Trail, which is only a short distance to Wentzell Lake Provincial Park.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to get outside and have fun in Bridgewater! Head to the South Shore Exhibition when it arrives each summer. Operating since 1891, it is the largest agricultural exhibition in the province. Taking place on 43 acres of land, the exhibition includes horse competitions, arts and crafts, 4-H competitions, live music, rides, food vendors and so much more. There is truly something for the whole family at the South Shore Exhibition.
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat during your road trip, Bridgewater has Arby’s, and it is the only one in Nova Scotia so if you are looking for a delicious sandwich later in the day while you explore the town Arby’s is your place.
We also recommend staying at The Riverport Inn B&B. Built in 1906, The Riverport Inn B&B is an adult-only accommodation that is rich in history. Only a short distance from beautiful beaches and the LaHave ferry, you won’t be disappointed with the activities available nearby to enjoy before leaving for your next destination.
Liverpool is a coastal community located along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Liverpool’s harbour was utilized as a seasonal campsite by the Mi’kmaq for over 5000 years before European settlement. Liverpool was established by British settlers in 1759 and was named after Liverpool, England. The early European settlers were mostly fishermen and foresters. Shipbuilding and nearby lumbering gained popularity especially in the late 1800s.
In the 1770s, American privateer ships created chaos along Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Ships were being ambushed and even stolen right out of the Liverpool harbour. In 1777 the people of Liverpool petitioned to fight back. With granted crown authorization to launch privateer ships of their own, Liverpool became a leading port for privateer vessels and were known internationally for their workmanship. In celebration of their privateer heritage, the community hosts Privateer Days. A weekend event that includes a battle re-enactment, craft market, live music, fireworks and more. Liverpool welcomes all to this heritage festival that takes place in June.
While we recommend taking a trip to Liverpool for Privateer Days, you can also learn about Liverpool’s privateer history at the Queen’s County Museum. Located on Main Street in Liverpool, the museum showcases the most extensive, permanent privateer exhibit in Nova Scotia. You can check out a replica 34-foot-long privateer ship, and Mi’kmaq birch bark canoe in the museum while you’re there. Liverpool is home to a variety of museums that display local history and artifacts that will give you something new to learn at each one you visit. A couple other notable museums include Perkins House Museum, a museum inside the historic house of Simeon Perkins. And the Hank Snow Museum, a museum dedicated to the country musician Hank Snow located inside an old train station.
After an afternoon of museum expeditions, you won’t want to stop soaking up the East Coast history. Stopping at the Fort Point Lighthouse will be the cherry on top. Just off Main Street in Liverpool on Fort Point Lane is a small, charming lighthouse. Built in 1855, Fort Point Lighthouse was constructed to help sailors make their way along the coast and locate the entrance to Liverpool. It is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in Nova Scotia and tourists are welcome to go inside and experience the beautiful view of the harbour. Fort Point Lighthouse is open seasonally from June to mid-October with free admission.
Despite being a small community, there is no shortage of food options in Liverpool to try, so we promise that you will not go hungry.
Known for its rich history, relaxing environment, and beautiful landscape, the town of Shelburne is the perfect spot for you to slow down and decompress. Choose from many cottage rentals to stay within walking distance of the white sandy beaches nearby and take advantage of the fresh ocean air. If you are looking to get back to nature and relax for a night or two, then we recommend staying at Pine Bay Acres in one of their amazing yurts surrounded by 34 acres of forest. This peaceful accommodation offers kayak rentals for guests to discover the nearby Shelburne Harbour right on the water. With Sandy Point Lighthouse and other attractions just a few minutes away by car, Pine Bay Acres is an ideal spot to stay in Shelburne as you dive into East Coast culture.
Just a ten-minute drive out of the town is one of Shelburne’s main attractions, the Sandy Point Lighthouse. Built in 1873, the lighthouse sits on a sandbar in Shelburne Harbour, which is the third largest natural harbour in the world. The lighthouse is known for its distinct architecture and makes for captivating photographs. During low tide, visitors are able to walk out to the lighthouse and enjoy the sand bar. Sandy Point is a family-friendly area that encourages building sandcastles and making memories. There is also a community centre with snacks, washrooms, and a picnic area on the shoreline.
It may be hard to leave the sandy beach, but the town of Shelburne has fun indoor attractions as well! Shelburne’s Museums by the Sea include three local museums nearly one on top of the other that are all ready for you to explore, starting at the Shelburne County Museum. Discover a little bit of everything as the Shelburne County Museum shares the county’s history dating back thousands of years. The museum displays artifacts, portraits, maps, and documents for visitors to observe. Directly across the street is the Dory Shop Museum. Built in 1880, this authentic dory factory is in the heart of Shelburne’s dory building traditions. Dories are small, lightweight boats with flat bottoms and high sides, and able to withstand the rough ocean waves. Sharing the knowledge, skills and traditions of dory building is important in Shelburne, making this museum an excellent place to learn and share. And with only a one-minute walk to your final museum, the Ross-Thomson House and Store Museum will end your day on a delightful note. Learn about trades and life as a Loyalist refugee in 18th-century Shelburne at this preserved historical house. Ross-Thomson House tour guides are enthusiastic about the history and their presentation, creating both an enjoyable and educational experience.
Less than a 10-minute drive from the Shelburne’s Museums by the Sea is another museum to add to your itinerary. The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre provides historical information about the Black Loyalist community in Shelburne in the 1700s. In the 1780s, Shelburne County was home to the largest settlement of free Black people outside of Africa. The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre goes into depth about the hardships and accomplishments by some of the earliest settlers in Canada, the Black Loyalists. The centre offers guided and virtual tours. We recommend taking a tour at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre to learn more about this important piece of Shelburne’s history.
Back in the town of Shelburne, we recommend shopping at Tottie’s Crafts to take home that special souvenir from your visit. Tottie’s Crafts opened in 1982 and is run by volunteers. While promoting local artisans, a portion of the sales at Tottie’s goes to supporting waterfront projects, festivals, and the local fire department. All products at Tottie’s Crafts are made in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. Some of the products for sale include paintings, pottery, jewellery, knitting, soaps, teas and much more. With a large variety of products, you will certainly find the perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones at Tottie’s Crafts.
After a long day of exploring, we recommend landing at Boxing Rock Brewery for a drink and a meal. Located on Water St. in the town of Shelburne, Boxing Rock produces a wide range of craft beers, and food options made with local ingredients. But if you’re looking for a kid-friendly restaurant, we recommend The Ship’s Galley Pub and Eatery. Also located on Water St., this seafood restaurant is a local favourite and serves delicious pub fare and seafood cuisine.
Nicknamed the Lobster Capital of Canada, the Municipality of the District of Barrington is located on the Southern tip of Nova Scotia. The Municipality is made up of small coastal communities where fresh seafood is easily found. Barrington has some of the richest lobster grounds in the world, hence earning its nickname. Barrington has historic charm, and great hospitality. All necessities like grocery stores, pharmacies, medical services, and banks are close by along with specialty shops, recreational facilities and museums for the residents and visitors to enjoy.
One of the admired museums that is a part of the Barrington Museum Complex is the Barrington Woolen Mill. In the 1800s, the Barrington Woolen Mill was a vital business in the community. The mill used machinery and waterpower to turn raw fleece into yarn and cloth to make durable clothing. Producing clothing at the mill was much faster than by hand and it created more jobs in the local economy. Today, the preserved mill has become a museum to allow visitors to see the original machinery and demonstrations of handspinning, dyeing and weaving. At the Barrington Woolen Mill, visitors can find a mural of the first piece of Nova Scotia Tartan, a beloved Nova Scotian symbol.
Want a thrill during your visit to Barrington? You won’t have to travel far from the Barrington Woolen Mill to find one. Nearby along the Barrington River, receive hands on lumberjack training from World Champion lumberjack Darren Hudson. Hudson is a fifth-generation lumberjack. He’s a seven-time world logrolling champion and twelve-time Canadian champion. Test yourself with the guidance of Hudson and try logrolling, axe throwing and more at Wild Axe Lumberjack AXEperience. Wild Axe Park is a great place to experience heritage activities in a fun, action filled environment.
After soaking up local history and maybe throwing an axe or two, you may be looking for a relaxing spot to spend a day. We suggest heading to Sand Hills Beach Provincial Park. The beach is 2.5km of white-sand and makes for beautiful walks during low tide. Sand Hills offers change-rooms and picnic tables so take your swimsuit and pack a snack for your visit. Sand Hills Beach Provincial Park is also a great place for bird watching. While exploring this scenic provincial park, please use the marked paths and boardwalks to help protect the natural environment.
Less than a fifteen-minute drive from the beach is Captain Kat’s Lobster Shack. Make your next meal a meaningful one at Captain Kat’s, which was founded in memory of Captain Katlin Nickerson and his crew who tragically lost their lives at sea in 2013. Captain Katlin’s mother Della opened the restaurant and strives to make a difference in her community. At Captain Kat’s you can expect fresh seafood along with many other options keeping everyone on your trip happy no matter their food preferences.
Yarmouth is a port town in southwestern Nova Scotia. Located at the entrance of the Yarmouth Harbour, the town of Yarmouth has some of the most buoyant Victorian style homes in Nova Scotia. Preserved by a local heritage committee, many of these Victorian homes were of sea captains and ship owners in the early years of European settlement. Yarmouth’s industrial heritage ranges from shipbuilding to railway construction. Railway and Steamship promotion in Yarmouth created the first tourism marketing in Nova Scotia in the late 1800s. Today, essential industries in Yarmouth include fishing and tourism.
One of the main industries in Yarmouth is tourism, largely due to the ferry that provides transit from Yarmouth Harbour to Bar Harbour in Maine. Bay Ferries offers a 3.5-hour ride between the two countries, Canada and the United States, on The CAT high-speed ferry. Vehicles ranging from cars to tour buses are welcome aboard with the foot passengers. The ferry is great for sight-seeing for whales and other wildlife. The CAT has cafés, movie areas, free Wi-Fi, and a gift shop all on board. When tourists arrive at the Yarmouth Harbourfront, they don’t have to look far for historical sites.
To learn more about Yarmouth’s history, the best places to start are at the local museums. First at the award-winning Yarmouth County Museum & Archives. This museum has over 20,000 artifacts that showcase Yarmouth’s heritage. The Yarmouth County Museum & Archives is in a former church and contains the third-largest ship portrait collection in Canada. Next, skip over to The Harbourfront Museum, which is located within the historic Killiam Brothers building on Water St. See how the tourism industry has impacted Yarmouth over the years through the artifacts displayed at The Harbourfront Museum. Then enjoy a five-minute walk along the waterfront over to the W. Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum. The interactive museum containing around 90 percent authentic materials is there to tell the story of Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Limited. Founded in 1923, Sweeney Fisheries was active in all aspects of fishery including the catching, processing, and shipment of fish. Only a three-minute walk from the W. Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum is the Firefighters‘ Museum on Main St. Learn about the history of firefighting in Nova Scotia at the Firefighters’ Museum, open daily. Check out different types of fire engines used between the 1800s and 1900s as well as Canada’s first horse-drawn steam engine. The museum carries thousands of artifacts including patches and badges from all over the world.
Continue on Main St. to experience the beautiful landscape at Frost Park. The park features a 150-year-old fountain, a gazebo and a compass-rose which overlooks Yarmouth Harbour. Frost Park was originally a small cemetery of early settlers and some of the tombstones remain in sight of visitors. The park contains historic markers for visitors to read about the town’s history. It is well-maintained and has beautiful flowers. Frost Park is a favourite spot to relax and go for a stroll all year round.
The town of Yarmouth has some unique places to shop for art lovers with many shops displaying a wide range of unique, good quality and made locally of gift options for you, your family and your friend to remember Yarmouth by.
Our next issue will follow the tide and spotlight the must-visit small seaside towns and villages of the Annapolis Valley and along the Bay of Fundy Coastline as we continue to share our must-visit destination as we explore the best Nova Scotia has to offer.
by Gabrielle Gamblin