What continues to amaze me about visiting Canada is just how very unique and different each individual province is. While there are some similarities, the fact is that each one has some fairly amazing experiences to offer and that is certainly the case in Nova Scotia. My week spent exploring the province was everything I had hoped, from those stunning lighthouse scenes to experiences you can only enjoy in Nova Scotia. But these four experiences were among my most favorite.
I spent a full day driving along Nova Scotia’s scenic Lighthouse Route, meandering from one small fishing village to the next. There were a lot of highlights along the way, but one of my favorites was the first stop of the day in Peggy’s Cove. Folks have lived in this region of Canada for a long time, most of them traveling a long and arduous route from Europe all for the promise of a new and better life. We owe these intrepid souls an incredible debt of gratitude. The many towns and communities they founded not only in Nova Scotia but all along the Atlantic seaboard served as the base for future generations to move here and thrive. It’s a way of life that still persists to this day and the least we can do is visit and learn more about it.
I very quickly fell in love with the colorful town of Lunenburg. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 for its remarkably preserved Old Town; the best surviving example of a British Colonial grid layout anywhere. But there’s so much more to the city than those famous 48 blocks as I quickly learned. The first thing I noticed were the elaborately designed homes everywhere. That’s a testament to when the town was one of the richest in the world back during the late 19th century thanks entirely to its cod fishing industry. Today tourism rules the day, but the beauty and charm of the city hasn’t gone anywhere. I can’t name one single thing I enjoyed most about Lunenburg – we just clicked for some reason. But I do know that it won’t be my last time in this colorful town by the water.
Bay of Fundy
So much of my trip to Nova Scotia was centered in, on and around the Bay of Fundy that I think it fitting my last stop was a visit to Burntcoat Head Park where the highest tides on the Bay occur. The Bay of Fundy is famous thanks to the fact that it has the highest tides in the world, and it’s at this park where those ranges are the most extreme, usually around 40 feet but they can be as extreme as 50 – that’s the height of a five-story building. These differences also allow for some fairly unique experiences and it was at the park where I enjoyed a couple of them, including a remarkable dinner on the bottom of the Bay itself as well as an exploration of the tidal pools left behind at low tide. Every 13 hours more than 160 billion tons of water travel in and out of the basin, but it’s when the water levels are at their lowest that the real magic happens. Walking across the bottom of the Bay itself was an incredible experience I know I’ll never forget, looking up at suddenly dry islands and investigating the scores of tidal pools left in the water’s wake. With sunset approaching, it was also an incredibly beautiful experience and is one of the many things that make Nova Scotia completely unlike any other province in Canada.
When it comes to travel there’s planning and then there’s luck – and in Halifax luck was in firm control. I was lucky enough to visit during the Rendez Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Halifax is one of the host ports for this 7,000 nautical mile transatlantic race and they were lined up along the waterfront for everyone to admire and even tour. More than 40 Tall Ships sailed Canadian waters to honor the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and I personally couldn’t think of a better first introduction to this colorful city
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