• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

bay of fundy

7 Unforgettable Day Trips From Halifax

When the tides send the waters of the Bay of Fundy surging back into the Shubenacadie River, hearty adventurers go tidal-bore rafting. Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

When the tides send the waters of the Bay of Fundy surging back into the Shubenacadie River, hearty adventurers go tidal-bore rafting. Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

Fly high, get the blues or travel in time—Nova Scotia’s best, within a short drive of Halifax.

There is no shortage of things to do in Halifax this summer, but if wanderlust strikes you, you’ll also discover many fantastic finds within day-tripping distance of Halifax.


From August 9 to 11, the Truro Raceway and Exhibition Grounds in Bible Hill (a one-hour drive north of Halifax on Highway 102) hosts the Dutch Mason Blues Festival. The festival is named for deceased Halifax blues legend Dutch Mason, the man B.B. King calls “the Prime Minister of the Blues.” This year’s performers include the Blues Brothers, Guitar Shorty, Lucky Peterson, Shirley King, Powder Blues and James Cotton. In addition to the smokin’ music, the festival features a BBQ competition, a custom motorcycle show, vendors galore and more.


You’ve never seen Nova Scotia like this. East Coast Balloon Adventures depart from the heart of the Annapolis Valley (usually near New Minas, a 75-minute drive northwest of Halifax on Highway 101). Flying daily, when conditions permit, at dawn and dusk, the hot-air balloon soars as high as 610 metres above the ground, usually travelling three to 20 kilometres, depending on winds. The ride costs $250 per passenger, with the balloon carrying four passengers plus the pilot.


A 50-minute drive east of Halifax on Highway 7, the Memory Lane Heritage Village is a “living history” museum, re-creating life in a typical 1940s Nova Scotian fishing village. There are 17 restored buildings on site, including a mill, barn, mine, general store, church and homestead. Enjoy a hearty lunch at the traditional camp Cookhouse restaurant. History buffs will love the Archives Research Centre (but book an appointment in advance). The village hosts special events throughout the year; take in the sounds of the Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival on August 17.


You’ll know it when you see it: 45 minutes west of Halifax on Route 333 is the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Perched on the rocks above the crashing Atlantic waves, its iconic lighthouse is the province’s most-photographed site. There’s lots of space to clamber around the shore and take in the ocean’s beauty, just take care to avoid the waves and slippery rocks. After you putter around the working fishing village, visiting shops and galleries, enjoy a slice of the signature gingerbread at the Sou’wester  restaurant.


Continuing west, the Lighthouse Route wends its way to the picturesque village of Lunenburg, an hour’s drive on Highway 103. This historic community with its lovingly maintained architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Great dining abounds, including the Old Fish Factory Restaurant, Large Marge’s Diner and the Knot Pub. See Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II, being rebuilt in her homeport. On the waterfront, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic tells how life on the sea shaped generations of Maritimers.


With each cycle of the tides, the mighty waters of the Bay of Fundy surge back into the Shubenacadie River, offering a unique opportunity to go tidal-bore rafting. Numerous companies offer daily tours from the Shubenacadie and Maitland areas (a 45- to 60-minute drive north of Halifax on Highway 102). On high-powered Zodiac boats, you’ll race out to meet the rushing waves, splash around and experience the power of nature firsthand. www.novascotia.com


A 45- to 60-minute drive north of Halifax on Highway 101, you’ll find some of Nova Scotia’s most celebrated wineries. In the last decade, the province’s wine industry has exploded, with local wineries winning accolades worldwide. Here are two local favourites: on the Avon Peninsula, bracketed by the Avon and St. Croix rivers, the Avon Sky Winery has quickly emerged as one of the country’s best, winning multiple awards: most recently, two silvers and a bronze at the Finger Lakes International Wine Championship. At the western end of the Annapolis Valley in Grand Pré, Domaine de Grand Pré is the province’s oldest operating winery, and home to the elegant
La Caveau restaurant. winesofnovascotia.ca

New UNESCO World Heritage Site: Nova Scotia’s Grand Pré

The historic church at Grand Pré (Photo: H. Holm, Nova Scotia Photo Album)

Every year, UNESCO adds sites of cultural or natural importance to its World Heritage List. This year’s new UNESCO World Heritage sites include 25 places, among them a species-rich coral reef system in Palau, the supposed birthplace of Jesus in Palestine, and Nova Scotia’s own historic Acadian settlement of Grand Pré, which is a Canadian national historic site.

Founded in the 17th century, Grand Pré was a farming community that used a unique hydraulic drainage system to work the marshy land that is affected by the world’s highest tides in the nearby Bay of Fundy. Archaelogical remnants of the original village of Grand Pré can still be seen here, though the majority of the Acadian community was exiled beginning in 1755 in what is known as the Grand Dérangement, or Great Expulsion.

Grand Pré is Nova Scotia’s third UNESCO World Heritage site. Others are the historic maritime village of Lunenburg and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs palaeontological site.

New Brunswick’s Venerable Algonquin Resort Could Become a Marriott

Photo: Trevor Donald

Marriott is in talks to buy the historic Algonquin Resort in St.-Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, CBC reports. (more…)

3 Days Left to Elect New 7 Wonders of Nature

Hopewell Rocks. Photo by Stoney Ballard.

By Carissa Bluestone

Voting for the New 7 Wonders of Nature closes on Friday (11:11:11 a.m. GMT, to be precise). As we reported in September, New Brunswick’s amazing Bay of Fundy is one of the nominees, the sole Canadian destination on the list. It’s up against iconic natural areas like the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands, and as of Sunday it was not on the list of top 10 finalists, so every vote counts.

New Brunswick tourism officials expect a win would greatly grow tourism and employment in the region, and some are even holding voting events.

The winners will be announced on Friday at 7:07 p.m. GMT.

Cast your vote for the Bay of Fundy.

Vote for the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Photo by Martin Cathrae

Only 50 days remain to cast your vote to decide the seven wonders of the natural world. Atlantic Canada’s Bay of Fundy is one of the 28 finalists chosen by the New7Wonders experts’ panel.

Criteria for the finalists included unique beauty, diversity, ecological significance, and an even distribution across continents. The Bay of Fundy, on the border of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is a popular tourist attraction  for its dramatic tide changes (100 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out daily), its unique rock structures, and frequent whale sightings. Among the other finalists are the Brazilian Amazon, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign is the brainchild of New7Wonders, a Swiss-based foundation who managed to draw more than 100 million votes to elect the new seven wonders of the world in 2007.

If you vote, you might just win a free trip in the process. As an added incentive, Tourism Nova Scotia and Tourism New Brunswick have devised a contest: cast your vote for the Bay of Fundy and win a six-night trip to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that includes admission to Fundy’s Hopewell Rocks, a lobster cruise, airfare, car rental, and accommodation. Only Canadian residents are eligible.

To vote, go to www.n7w.com and choose your seven favourites from the finalists. Voting closes November 11, 2011. The seven new natural wonders will be announced shortly thereafter.