My daughter and I just finished a wonderful 10-day trip to Nova Scotia. When I was a kid we used to go to the Maritimes every summer. Truthfully, it was a bit boring for me – travelling without siblings and holing up in a massive old house without electricity or plumbing. But there are plenty of points of interest for both adults and kids in the Maritimes, which I wish I saw more of when I was younger.
Nova Scotia points of interest
I did manage to create some good memories and I wanted my daughter to have the same lovely experiences I did. We didn’t exactly recreate the vacations of my youth, but it was pretty similar: lots of lobster, sussing out authentic fishing villages and playing in the waves. It was all about hitting the top Nova Scotia points of interest, which I think we did.
Our trip was about kicking back, exploring a very different part of the country and trying new things. I’m now a huge fan of fried clams (but I’d take a pass on clam strips). Eve doesn’t mind boats so much and we’re both keen to find out if her paternal grandfather entered Canada through Pier 21 in Halifax (Canada’s Ellis Island). Here’s a few highlights from our trip in case you’d like to see.
The very best way to get your bearings is by taking a tour. Sounds cheesy, I know, but doesn’t have to be. We hoped into a motorcycle sidecar with Bluenose Sidecar Tours and zipped around the Lighthouse Route on the Southern Shore. I’m sure you can imagine how thrilling it was for a 10-year to be (sort of) riding a motorcycle. You couldn’t wipe the grin off her face!
Tidal bore rafting was hands down, one of the highlights for Eve. We went rafting with River Runners to ride the eddies produced in the Bay of Fundy when the tide comes in. I’ve been whitewater rafting on some serious rivers before, but this took the cake.
White Point Beach Resort
If you can’t handle cuteness, do not stay at White Point Beach Resort. Hundreds of bunnies frolic freely around the property and the hotel even offers bags of bunny food, so you can get up close and personal.
Yep, that’s a real cannon they fire at Halifax Citadel, a National Historic Site. I thought this would be a major snoozer, but so wasn’t. Eve took part in A Solider’s Life – a 90-minute program Parks Canada puts on. After suiting up in a uniform, she learned foot drills, sent a coded flag message and was basically was far more disciplined than I could ever make her be. Well worth it if you’re visiting Halifax.
Blomidon Provincial Park
Sometimes you just need to kick back and hit the beach, which we did at Blomidon Provincial Park. After getting our feet mucky from the sand, we washed them off in the waterfalls cascading down the dramatic red sandstone cliffs. How cool is that?
Lunenburg is one of those postcard-pretty towns that tourists love to flock to and for good reason. Home of the Bluenose and one of the oldest German settlements in Canada, you can easily while away several days here. I fantasized about moving here…
Do you have a favourite vacation spot from when you were a child? Would you take your children back there?
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Want to read more? I dish on the very best family attractions in Nova Scotia in my book: 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit.