If you're driving from New Brunswick to Halifax, you're going to pass by the town of Oxford, Nova Scotia--aka, the Blueberry Capital of Canada. Because of this designation, we just had to stop, not knowing what we'd find here. Sure enough, there's a giant "statue" of a blueberry--a happy blueberry at that--in the gas station parking lot right off the exit. I discovered later that this isn't just any giant blueberry, it's the largest blueberry in the world!!!!!!! How exciting!
Though we didn't explore much, I'm about positive you can buy blueberries here...though not as large as this one, I don't think.
Considering where most of the population lives in North America, it's hard to believe you have to travel all the way to Nova Scotia to be "halfway between the Equator and the North Pole". But you do. A town called Stewiacke (between Truro and Halifax) holds the title as being on the exact spot in the middle of the 2. Bobby and I were both very interested in this place--geographically it's significant to be here. So, we stopped off here and got a picture. It's a cute little town--what we saw of it--with a nice visitors center and a great place for a photo opportunity. Bobby wasn't expecting this particular one, but it's a good shot of him anyway. What a cutie;-)
Unfortunately, as I was looking this place up online, I found there is a giant statue of a Mastodon in a field here as well. I'm deeply saddened we missed it. I never thought a place could have 2 great roadside attractions (never in my wildest dreams did I think such a place existed)...but we'll get that when we return.
If you want to say hello to your VT friends while in Halifax, you can go to the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library. It is located downtown at 5381 Spring Garden Road, and the very friendly staff will give you a free 30-minute access card. The library is open Tuesday to Saturday, check the Website for more information on business hours.
As a side note, the library is dedicated to those who died in the First and Second World Wars. It was built after a report had stated that "Halifax is known everywhere as a classic example of lack of interest in the spread of intelligence among its citizens"!!!! The building opened its doors in 1951 and on the very first day, 2000 books were signed out :o)
After the Halifax Explosion in 1917 leveled the north end of the city, a new planned neighbourhood was built using a concrete fireproof block called hydrostone. The homes are situated on wide boulevard streets with similar look and feel. it starts at Young Street and goes north to Duffus Street and bordered by Gottingen and Isleville Streets. Along Young street was built a row of shops which now house some lovely unique stores and services. There are several antique stores, a spa, a fabric store, a yarn store, several cafes and restaurants, a French bakery, some lovely gift and craft stores. It's well worth a visit to browse and have a stroll around a pretty neighbourhood. Close by is Fort Needham Memorial park where there is a memorial to the Halifax Explosion.
Once you finish your fish and chips you might want to take in some scenery and go for a hike.
I recommend this wondeful trail in Blomiden Prov. Park , just and hour outside of Halifax in the beautiful Annapolis Vally., http://parks.gov.ns.ca/parks/blomidon.htm The scenery is fabulous looking out at the Mians Basin with the highest tides in the world and a great view of 600 ft. cliffs.
This is a good spot to camp as well.
There are quite a few beaches within an hour and a half drive from Halifax harbour, east and south along the Atlantic coasts of the province. Some have picnic facilities, toilets and canteens. Some are hugely popular and generally always crowded and some are a bit further away but worth the drive. Most have supervised areas. None of them are going to have warm water. This is the North Atlantic but by August you won't go blue quite so fast. You may, however, make the trip on a hot sunny day from the city to find fog at the beach.
Cole Harbour (turn off at Bissett Road): Rainbow Haven, has boardwalks, facilities, tends towards families and younger people.
Go a little further down the same road and you will reach Lawrencetown beach. Popular with surfers. MacDonald House on the top of the hill before the beach has a nice little tea room. Beach is rocky, unless the tide is out. Supervised areas, canteen, toilets, boardwalks, parking.
Further along the 107 east:
Martinique Beach and bird sanctuary. wooded and open picnic areas. Long sandy beach, really nice and worth the drive. Near Musquodoboit Harbour, down East Petpeswick road. My personal favourite.
Clam Harbour. Huge sand castle contest here every year in August. Thousands of spectators come to see it. Long beach, supervised on weekends, toilets and shower facilities. Turn right at Lake Charlotte. 50 miles from Halifax so a good hour or more drive.
South from Halifax:
Crystal Crescent: three beaches, the third one (farthest) is clothing-optional. Hiking trails nearby, not many facilities. Sambro, NS
Queensland, near Hubbards (exit 6 off hwy 103), is probably the most popular but it's very small and personally, I would drive a little further and go to Bayswater beach near Blandford at Hwy 103, exit 7 to the 329.
Nova Scotia Provincial Parks
A Dutch colonial manor house in Bedford built in 1770. It is a provincial heritage site and has a lovely little tea room on site as well. Open July and August, 1-4 p.m. No entrance fee but donations welcome. Other visits by appointment. There are rotating exhibitions and volunteers on site to explain the house to you. The grounds are very nice and there are lots of old photos and antiques.
15 Fort Sackville Rd., Bedford. Take Bedford Highway to Hatchery Lane; turn left on Shore Drive, then left on to Fort Sackville Rd.
Or, on Dartmouth Road, take Wardour street by the Bedford Public Library, then the first right and follow that road around the turn and the manor house will be on your right.
Let me see if I get it right. There's a mysterious castle built on the shores of St Margaret;s Bay in South West Cove. The best way to saee it is by boat but you can see it from the ropad as well . It was built by a love smitten engineer for hhis beloved . The story goes he feel in love with a lady of the night in Italy . He begged her to marry him and he would build her a castle . BShe did but before the castle was finished she died. When I last saw it it was still incomplete and he lived there alone.....
Spectacular coastal hiking trail leads hikers along high cliffs and deep valleys.
There are a total of 8 trails at Cape Chignecto. Some can be completed in a day, most are challenging and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. The viewpoints are spectacular, with 600 foot cliffs and the famous Fundy Shores at the base and the forest within the canyon is magical. You will see some of Nova Scotia’s rare plants and remnant old growth forest Wilderness campsites are available but reservations are required.
Because Cape Chignecto is a wilderness hiking park, there are no drive-up camping sites.
day pass is $5.00
West Advocate Harbour, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is approximately a 1 hour and 10 minute drive from Amherst or 40 minutes from Parrsboro.
I am an animal lover . Not sure which comes first animals or my garden . I was torn when I saw this gorgeus deer eating my plants...I let him nibble a little while before shooing him away . There are so many deer all around our parks homes and lakes. When you visit take the time to watch for them!
This small island in Halifax harbour has dunes, beaches, roads and trails as well as an abandoned military fortification. To get to the island, you can take the McNab's Island Ferry which is about Canadian $10 return. More information is at the website below. If you just want to see the island from afar, there are good views at the waterfront broadwalk as well as Pier 21 where there is a binoculars for you to view the island and its surroundings.
The Clay Cafe is a great place for groups, families or individuals to exercise their creativity. They provide the raw "greenware" or unfinished pottery items, many many different pieces both ornamental and practical. They provide the paints and they will fire the piece for you to pick up a day or two later, it's all included in the cost of the piece. They do group parties as well in a private room, great for kids' birthdays or even for adults (I once attended a bridal shower and everyone painted coffee mugs for the bride!). They used to be located downtown but are now in a new location on Quinpool Road. Easiest way to get there by bus is take the number 1 Spring Garden Road and get off at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford. The Clay Cafe is across the street from the Oxford Theatre. They also sell coffee from a local vendor, Steve-o-Reno's along with teas and some cold juices and snacks. There's a couple of coffee shops in the area if you want to bring in your own takeout coffee.
Go on a Friday night, they are open late for Midnight Madness and provide entertainment from local musicians.
June 2001 Water front Claudette and Simonne in front of the "Concordia" which had just docked on our visit last year with all the teen age girl students. This is a UNIVERSITY ship and goes around the world taking a year to do so.
Something that many people don't consider when they are in Halifax is checking out the nearby Shearwater Aviation Museum. This musem chronicles maritime miliary aviation and the story of what is now CFB Shearwater from 1918 to present. The collection boasts fifteen heritage aircraft, including a rebuilt Fairey Swordfish Mk. II among a whole hanger of aircraft. There are approximately 10,000 artifacts with an extensive collection of aviation art. Admission is technically free but they would appreciate if you left a donation.
The address of the museum is 13 Bonaventure Street. To reach the museum from Halifax take the MacDonald Bridge to Dartmouth. Turn right on Wyse Rd. until you reach Alderney Drive. Follow Alderney Drive along the harbour to the lights at Portland St. Turn right onto Pleasant St. Continue until you reach the traffic lights at the entrance to the airforce base (the first set of traffic lights past the Imperial Oil refinery). Directly to your left will be a large building with a smaller brown building to either side of it, one of which is a chapel. This is the Museum.
Crystal Crescent Beach is half an hour away from Halifax, but worth the ride. It's one of the most magnificent beaches I've seen in Canada - fine white sand, turquoise water, pine tree forests growing to the rim of the beach and, best of all, nobody there. You will have most of the beach for yourself, and if you see people close to the parking lot, it's still no problem to walk on for some meters and enjoy the silence.
The only drawback is the temperature of the water: chillyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
For Crystal Crescent Beach leave Halifax on the road that takes you to York Redoubt (Hwy 253) and follow it to its end.
This place is overpriced. The are nice places to stay in Halfax that are cheaper than this.more
I stayed at the Cambridge Suites twice during this trip, for a couple of days at each end of a trip...more
A $15.95 plus tax charge for in room wi-fi is more than an outrage, it is a new low in hotel...more