Until tourism became a major industry, the town of Lunenburg had always relied on fishing, ship building and ocean-based commerce to sustain its economy. Today, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic pays tribute to the sea-related activities that have helped shape Lunenburg. To be quite honest, I didn't find the museum all that entertaining BUT it does include a visit of two real-life fishing boats, the Cape Sable and the Theresa E. Connor, which allows you to get a very clear and vivid picture of what life must be like on the sea since you have access to all the rooms on board, from the kitchen to the dormitories.
Of course, another popular attraction in Lunenburg is Canada's most famous schooner, Bluenose II. It is operated by the museum and if it happens to be in Lunenburg, you'll be able to go on board but as this ship is in great demand, make sure to check the schedule beforehand to find out if it's in Lunenburg or not (http://museum.gov.ns.ca/bluenose/sailing-schedule.html).
The Canadian dime has the Bluenose schooner on one side. The original Bluenose sank off of Haiti in 1946. But they built the Bluenose II off the same blueprints and that is what is docked at Lunenburg (sometimes). Check the website to see its schedule. Sometimes it's out sailing around and sometimes it is docked elsewhere. A true Canadian icon.
The Bluenose II is an exact replica of the original that sank off the coast of Haitti. There is a museum just by the docks where all of the profits support the Bluenose and the dying art of the sailor. The Bluenose II is available to sail upon when it's docked. She is not always in port so definitely call in advance to see if she'll be there when you are. 40 spots are available for advance reservation and the remaining 35 are available on a first come first served basis 90-minutes before departure.
Beside Lunenburg is a major tourist attraction of Nova Scotia and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are many informative signboards which will guide you through the town and explain to you the history, culture and architecture of this lovely town.
There is a Bluenose II Company Store conveniently located at Bluenose Drive which sells various souvenirs of Lunenburg and Bluenose II (see my VT tip). The buidling itself is painted bright yellow and is very impressive.
Because Lunenburg is mainly of German origin, a piece of the actual Berlin Wall in Germany was actually shipped to Lunenburg and placed there as a gift and symbolisation of the German culture here. I managed to take a photograph of this wall with me and my guide, Robert next to it :)
The museum is located along Bluenose Drive and opens from May to late Oct (9.30am to 5.30pm). Staff will give explanations of the fishing industry and an aquarium on the first floor let you have a veiw of flounder, halibut and other native fishes.
The Lunenburg Academy is a huge building which is clearly visible when you enter the town of Lunenburg. Situated on top of the hilly slopes of Lunenburg, this place is built entire of wood in 1895 and it is actually a public school. However from the beautiful architecture, it is hard to imagine it is as such.
There is a fishermen's memorial along Bluenose Drive which is the waterfront street of the Lunenburg Harbour. This memorial to commemorate the fishermen which were lost while at sea and it is located just across the Bluenose II Company Store and is worth a visit.
The Bluenose II is a replica of the famous Bluenose, which was a racing schooner that won many races during the ealry part of the 20th century. This schooner was built in Lunenburg and sometimes it is in Lunenburg while other times it is in Halifax. This is a must because it is one of Canada's most famous boat.
The main reason why Lunenburg is an UNESCO world heritage site is because of the many beautiful and colourful historical houses which should be preserved for future generations. Look out for the distinctive "Lunenburg Bump", a five-sided dormer window on the 2nd floor that overhangs the 1st floor of some of the houses. More photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
In order to have a fantastic view of Lunenburg town and harbour, drive up the golf course on the opposite side of the town on a gentle hill. Once you reach the top, the view there is simply fantastic. More photos are the the travelogue section of this VT page.
Lunenburg in an addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site , is the home to the Fisheries Museum of The Atlanic , and it is home to the Bluenose II Fishing Schooner. Please note that Bluenose II , which was launched on July 24/63. , is not always in port .
The Bluenose is a Canadian Historical icon. The original Bluenose was a fishing schooner that was built in 1921 and sailed out of Lunenburg ..
From 1921 to 1938 Bluenose won five straight competitions for the International Fishermans Trophy with schooners from Gloucester , Mass. , USA.
By 1938 fishing schooners could noy compete with diesel powered ships and the Bluenose was sold and took up its new role as a cargo vessel in the Caribbean . It sank in 1946 when it struck a reef.
The Bluenose story is fascinating . One
involves an incident in World War II when the Bluenose was sailing in the Caribbean and was intercepted by a German U-boat. Apparently the U-Boat commander hailed the Bluenose and said , more or less:
" If you were not the Bluenose I would sink you now. Get back to port and if I cross your path again I will sink you."
The Lunenburg Town Hall construction was finalized in 1892. The three-and-a-half storey, red brick building is surrounded by public park space on the East and West sides of the building.
Visit the harbour and take a look at the famous Blue Nose II.
Lunenburg is proud to have a working waterfront.