Annapolis Royal Things to Do

  • Beginning of Tour
    Beginning of Tour
    by RavensWing
  • Officers Quarters at Fort Anne
    Officers Quarters at Fort Anne
    by RavensWing
  • Beginning of Tour
    Beginning of Tour
    by RavensWing

Best Rated Things to Do in Annapolis Royal

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    Port-Royal - The Habitation

    by Redlats Updated Dec 8, 2004

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    Historically, this is the first fort in the area. In 1605, Champlain built The Habitation after losing almost half of his men the previous winter on St. Croix Island.

    After having seen Fort Louisbourg earlier in this trip, we were amazed how small this structure was. The fort is a bunch of buildings built in a square with a green space in the centre. The various interconnected buildings had room for the governor's and officers' residence on one side, the solders' quarters and kitchen, etc. on another side, storage and other buildings.

    The building was protected by a wooden palisade and a platform for cannons, but it was not very good for defending. Just 7 or 8 years later, English forces from Virginia burned and destroyed the fort.

    The Habitant was rebuilt according to the original plan near the original site, although there is no way to confirm this. It is believed that the land the fort was built on may have slid into the sea in the 400 years since the original fort was built as there is erosion of the shores.

    We found the history lesson interesting. In school, I remember learning the history of Champlain and the "Order of Good Cheer", but I do not remember learning that the English destroyed the fort within ten years of its creation. If you are interested in seeing more photos of the inside of the fort, check out Simonneeddy's travelogue

    Admission in 2004 was $3.50 per adult, or a Historic Parks pass.

    Reconstructed 1605 Habitant
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    Historic Gardens

    by easterntrekker Written Aug 13, 2007

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    I have to admit my main reason to go to Annapolis is always to stroll among this gorgeous garden. Even my husband ( who's not a big enthusiast of garden strolling , loved it) It takes a miniumum of an hour. Although they are well known for their roses there are many different themed areas to visit!!
    Admission is $9.00

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    ~ O'Dell Museum ~

    by RavensWing Written Aug 5, 2014

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    On our walking tour of Annapolis Valley we went into the O'Dell Museum. The guides in there were very friendly and told us with great pride about the house. They showed us the first room, which happened to be Mr O'Dell's office and then allowed us to walk through at our own pace. They kept peeking in with us to see if we had anymore questions.

    Corey O'Dell built his Victorian tavern, inn and family home in 1869 at the head of the once bustling Annapolis-Granville Ferry during the Nova Scotian 'Age of Sail'. He was born in St. John, New Brunswick and came over to Nova Scotia in 1849 as a pony rider.

    As you walk into the O'Dell Museum you step into what was the tavern. This tavern would have only been open to men for trading in spirits and tobacco. The main hallway is directly off the tavern and the first room off the hall is the office. This room was used as Corey's business center. He would have managed all the business affairs of the Inn as well as the Ferry that sailed between Annapolis Royal and Granville Ferry. Back in the hallway if you turn left you will see the dining room, the kitchen was in the back of the house. The back staircase that led to the stagecoach drivers quarters. As you come to the front of the house you will find the main Parlor. In the Parlour you will see the original crystal handled bell pull to summon the servants, the original tapestry, and the oval framed photos of the O'Dell family.

    ~ Hours of Operation ~
    The O’Dell House Museum and the Genealogy Centre are open year round.

    Summer (from late May to early September):
    Every day – 9 am to 5 pm
    Winter:
    Monday to Saturday – 1 pm to 4 pm
    (weather permitting; a call ahead is advised). Closed Sundays.

    The admission is a $3.00 donation, or more if you wish.

    Parlour Mr O'Dell's Work Desk Dining Room Mr O'Dell's Office Kitchen
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    Annapolis Tidal Generating station

    by Redlats Updated Dec 11, 2004

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    The Bay of Fundy has some of the highest tides in the world. That means that twice a day sea water rises - sometimes as much as 7 metres in height. To produce power, the water flows through spillways upstream for approximately 6 hours. Then the spillways are shut, and when the water drops, and flows back downstream, power is generated (for approximately 5 1/2 hours). This repeats twice a day.

    This tidal generating station is a pilot project and proves that tidal power is viable. More power could be generated - but at a possible large environmental cost.

    The part of the generating station that is open for public viewing is limited. Really all you see is a bunch of information boards and a model.

    Entry is no cost, and the main floor serves as the local information booth.

    Tidal Generating Station @ Annapolis Royal

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    The Marsh area

    by easterntrekker Written Aug 13, 2007

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    The Marsh area is very interesing . There's an impressive boardwalk that allows you to get up close to this important marshland area without destroying it .Some wonderful views from here . The tall reeds in the picture have been growing since the early French settlers time and were used in there houses.

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    Take a walk through town

    by easterntrekker Written Aug 13, 2007

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    Itys entertaining to take a walk through this unique liitle town . There is a mixtute of the new to the very historic. We enjoye both . There is a board walk where you can watch the very large tide , and there are lots of little shops and restaurants as well!

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    Fort Anne National Historic Site

    by easterntrekker Written Aug 13, 2007

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    Canada's oldest National Historic Site, this is ususally the first stop for many when they visit the area. The earthwork fortification is quite intact, there is also 1797 British officers' quarters.

    It is easy to see why this was such an important location for the French and English . There is a clear view of the surrounding waters from the banks.

    When we were there , the cadets were taking a tour which somehow set the scene for us.

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    North Side of Annapolis Royal

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Nov 19, 2011

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    As you come into town and sitting to the west is the northern part of Annapolis Royal. We were able to access the area by walking across the bridge that has the Tidal Generating Plant on it. There are some nice older homes with great views of old Annapolis Royal and views of the harbor. A great walk for the hardy that are looking to get away from some of the tourists in town and see the less visited side of town

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    A phenomenal piece of technology.

    by planxty Written Jul 10, 2014

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    I am going to start this tip with a few facts that frankly astounded me when I learnt of them on my visit to the Annapolis Tidal Generating Station which is what it is about. The Bay of Fundy has the largest tidal variation in the world, averaging an incredible 47 feet. This huge tide means that tens of billions of gallons of water pass through here every day and that amounts to more than the output of every single freshwater river in the world. Even now, some time later, I find it difficult to comprehend as the figures are so gargantuan.

    What all this means is that Annapolis is perfectly situated for the generation of tidal power which is obviously renewable and eco-friendly, factors which seem to be becoming more and more important. Fossil fuel will inevitably run out but if anything the tides will get larger due to global warming, melting icecaps and so on.

    Recognising the immense potential for green energy a tidal generating site

    was proposed several decades ago. Work began in the eraly 80's and the station started generating in 1984. When you get the talk from the chap in the display room upstairs in the building shown on the main image it is hard to imagine that this is effectively still a test project albeit one that does function practically and supplies enough energy to the grid to supply many thousands of homes in the area with it's 20Mw. output..

    The downstairs area is a Visitor Information Centre and forms the basis of another tip.

    The energy generating company are extremely anxious to stress their environmental credentials and community involvement which is probably partially a reaction to what was, I believe, a fairly negative local reaction to the plan initially. Amongst the environmental measure they have
    put in place are fish runs so that the salmon can get upstream to spawn and then return to the sea. Another fascinating project is relocating osprey nests from the top of power poles which seem to be a favourite nesting spot for these birds. When you consider that the nests can measure as much as 13 feet across it is some feat. The company erects large poles specifically for the purpose and whilst some birds nest there of their own volition other nests are physcally moved by trained specialist teams under conditions which cause minimum stress to the birds. There is a good example of the scheme in operation visible from the carpark of the generating station itself as there was a nesting pair with a young one in a nest on one of the "artificial" poles. You can see one of the birds in one of the images. I apologise for it's quality but I only had my compact camera with me and the lens would not reach the nest itself so this is of a nearer "real" pole. Hopefully it will give an idea though. They were quite magnificent and are the provincial bird of Nova Scotia.

    The display room has only a few information boards and exhibits but there is always a member of staff there and this is where the interest is. There is no guided tour or whatever or set times for talks, the chap just greets you and starts chatting informally which I liked. Certainly, he is an emplyee of the power company and there to put a good spin on things but he did seem genuinely proud of the facility and the responsible attitude of his employers.

    The Generating Staion is open 1000 - 1800 seasonally from May until October, admission is free aand there are toilet facilities there. It is certainly worth a look if you are passing as it is the only facility of it's kind in North America and one of very few in the world.

    Generating Station, Annapolis Royal, Canada. Generating Station, Annapolis Royal, Canada. Osprey, Annapolis Royal, Canada.
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    Fort Anne - Annapolis Royal

    by Redlats Updated Dec 11, 2004

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    After the first Port Royal got destroyed by the British in 1613, the French decided that the original location of Port Royal was not defensible, and built a new Port Royal in Annapolis Royal in the 1630's. In 1702 the French began construction of the earthworks -- the way it looks now. Port Royal fell to the English in 1710 and changed name to Annapolis Royal, and the fort became Fort Anne in the 1800's.

    A tour of Fort Anne consists of visiting the interpretive centre in the main building and walking around the site (very few buildings remain). There is a tapestry (the Fort Anne Heritage Tapestry) that is many panes long and has been completed by locals and the odd special visitor (Queen Elizabeth II who added some stitching of Queen Anne, her grandmother? on a visit one year).

    We spent a couple of hours at the site. I liked wandering around the grounds and checking out access to the sea.

    Cost in 2004 was $3.50 Cdn per adult or a Historic parks pass.

    The powder magazine @ Fort Anne
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    A brilliant, historic, friendly pub.

    by planxty Written Jul 11, 2014

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    Annapolis Royal has many attractions and I commend them to you but what it appears to be slightly short of is pubs. There are plenty of restaurants, many of them licensed but the vagaries of the Nova Scotian licensing laws mean that you have to eat there if you want an alcoholic drink. Indeed, this seems to be the case in much of the Province, a lack of places just to go for a drink. I am not sure if living here would suit me, delightful as it is.

    It was with a glad heart, therefore, that I happened upon the Olde Towne Pub, just off the main riverside street. My friend and I wandered in to be greeted by a most friendly member of staff and if pushed to pick one word to describe this place it would be that, friendly. Nova Scotians really are hospitable people and in in time flat I had been engaged in conversation by the barmaid, the manager and at least three of the customers. A return visit by myself the next day (almost obligatory I felt) prompted the same scenario. I genuinely felt like I had been a local there forever, great atmosphere.

    There is a good selection of drinks and I plumped for a pint of the red ale which seems to be very popular in Nova Scotia and for which I am developing a great liking. My companion had a Virgin Caesar (Bloody Caesar withut the alcohol as she was driving) and pronounced it very good.

    Although I didn't eat there, I saw a lot of food served and it looked very good and well-presented with the advertised prices about average for the area. I suppose it would be easy for this place to let standards slip and rely on it's monopoly position but it most certainly does not. It is a very comfortable place with spotless washrooms and I can do no more than to recommend it highly.

    Olde Towne Pub, Annapolis Royal, Canada. Olde Towne Pub, Annapolis Royal, Canada. Olde Towne Pub, Annapolis Royal, Canada.
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    A graveyeard after dark - are you mad?

    by planxty Written Jul 11, 2014

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    Readers of other pages I have constructed here on Virtual Tourist know that I am fascinated by old graveyards as I find them a wonderful source of social history as well as being just plain interesting and so it was a very happy planxty that stumbled upon the graveyard adjacent to Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal. It was an even happier planxty that subsequently took a torchlight tour in the evening and learnt some of the stories behind this very historic burying ground but more of that later.

    The proper name for the cemetery is the Garrison Cemetery denoting it's use for those garrisoned in the fort and their dependents and anciary workers and it seems that the life here was regrettably short judging by some of the inscriptions. Sadly, many of the stones are now suffering the ravages of time and the sometimes brutal climate here but it is apparent that serious efforts at conservation are being made (lead flashing on top of some of the stones etc.) and hopefully it will have the desired effect.

    My travelling companion on this trip, VT member RavensWing (Lynne) and I had been told locally about a lamplit tour of the cemetery after dark and had it been highly recommended. As is so often the case local information is invaluable and so we arrived at the front of the Fort at 2130 that evening to be greeted by a chap I now know as Alan Melanson, an Acadian gent who can trace his lineage back to the 17th century and the very earliest French settlers in this area. Melanson, incidentally, is a very common Acadian surname.

    Alan was dressed, as he explained, in Victorian mourning dress, and then he proceeded to give us an absolutely fascinating tour of the cemetery pointing out all the major graves of particular note. Principal amongst these was the oldest English gravestone in Canada dating to 1720. I have included an image here taken in daylight the next day. I did not take any images on the tour itself as my small compact camera would not have yeilded good results and I did not want to ruin the torchlit atmosphere by using flash. Regrettably, several others did not see fit to extend the same courtesy to the rest of us. If I have one minor quibble with this excellent tour, and it is minor, it would be that. I really think that flash photography should be banned as it detracts greatly from the excellent ambience Alan builds up. Just a note to those with children. You may think this would be frightening for kids but there were several on the tour I did and they seemed to enjoy it greatly, it is not a "ghost tour". Alan is an excellent raonteur and, if anything and without being in the least disrespectful, the tour tends slightly towards humour rather then terror.

    Should you wish to go on the tour and I do suggest that you do, here are the details from the website. Otherwise you can visit the place for free yourself at any time.

    Every SUNDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, 9:30 pm, Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, June 1 - October 15.

    ALSO the FIRST FRIDAYS in June, September and October, PLUS every FRIDAY and SATURDAY during July and August.

    ADULT $9, YOUTH (13-18) $5, CHILD (12 & Under) $3
    Rain or Shine. NO RESERVATIONS. Duration: 1:00

    Garrison Cemetery, Anapolis Royal, Canada. Garrison Cemetery, Anapolis Royal, Canada. Garrison Cemetery, Anapolis Royal, Canada.
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    Ponds and gardens

    by easterntrekker Written Aug 13, 2007

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    There are several gorgeous ponds in the Historic Gardens . They are quite natural and are surrounded by many varieties of plants . I love how everything is labelled ., I have lots of notes so I can track down and hopefully buy some!!

    An impressive collection of daylilies was blooming when we visited!

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    Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens

    by Redlats Updated Dec 11, 2004

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    The Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens has many theme gardens - from an innovative garden (where they have new plants - I found some I will grow next year), to the normal themes (perenniel, rose, rock, winter, pond etc.gardens) to period gardens such as the Knot, Victorian or Governor's Gardens.

    The gardens also had historical items such as the Acadian House (a reconstruction of a 1671 dwelling) and they showed how the Acadians tamed a saltwater tidal wetlands with gates, etc.

    The gardens have better and worse times to visit. We visited in mid-September, and the gardens were in a pretty poor state. We were told that deer were eating flowers such as roses, and 2004 had been a poor year weather-wise. I guess we would have found more flowers in mid-summer.

    Open mid May to mid October til dusk.
    2005 adult admission is $8.50 Cdn.

    Victorian Garden -Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
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    ~ British - French - British - French ~

    by RavensWing Written Aug 5, 2014

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    Fort Anne was the most fought over Fort, it is believed to have changed hands between the British and the French over 7 times between 1621 - 1763

    Although it was closed when I visited, we were still able to walk around the grounds. There are picnic areas, benches along the outer path of the Fort, even stairs to get you up the very steep hills.

    There is parking along the streets, and also a parking lot behind the Officers Quarters. It is wheelchair accessible in all the areas.

    ~ Hours of Operation ~

    June 3 to June 24 - 9 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday to Saturday closed Sunday and Monday
    June 25 to August 30 - 9 am to 5:30 pm daily
    August 31 to September 30 - 9 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday to Saturday closed Sunday and Monday

    Grounds open year-round

    ~ Admission Rates ~

    Daily

    Adult $ 3.90
    Senior $ 3.40
    Youth $ 1.90
    Family/Group $ 9.80
    "Commercial Group, per person $ 3.40

    Seasonal

    Adult $ 9.80
    Senior $ 8.55
    Youth $ 4.90
    Family/Group $ 24.50

    Fort Anne Fort Anne Fort Anne A Tree near the Graveyard Officers Quarters
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