Fun things to do in Province of Nova Scotia

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Province of Nova Scotia

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    Buy local, buy fresh, buy tasty.

    by planxty Written Oct 4, 2014

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    I knew before I went to the Matitime Provinces that they were going to be generally fairly rural with agriculture and fishing high on the list of activities and therefore I was expecting to be able to buy some nice fresh groceries, fish, shellfish, meat or whatever that was locally sourced.

    Much has been made recently about "food miles" and, whilst I do like to buy a kiwi fuit in London in the middle of January, in general I agree with the idea. I know many top chefs now are attempting to create entire menus sourced form x miles from the kitchen. What I wasn't quite prepared for was the scale of the concept in Nova Scotia. You will regularly see ladies like the one in the main picture sitting at a small makeshift stall or, like her, in a vehicle selling anything from carrots to home-made preserves to fresh salmon and just about everything in between. This particular lady was selling some excellent looking vegetables but we were well-stocked at that point. What had caught my attention was the sign for smoked mackerel, a fish I absolutely adore and can even prepare (if that is the right word) even with my limited culinary skills.

    As usual, I was sitting barefoot in the campervan (RV) and so asked my travelling companion to go and make the purchase. She returned with a bag of six of the most delicious looking smoked mackerel I have ever seen and I asked her how much they had cost. When she told me $5 Canadian I nearly had a heart attack as I would pay three times that in London. Not only that but they had been caught by her husband and home smoked at her house nearby. That is what I call local and proper artisan food. I have also included an image of them and another of how even I managed to make something vaguely edible out of them.

    This is only one example of many and the local produce enterprises range in scale from this one lady operation through once a week events in carparks with numerous sellers, through little shacks at the side of the road run on an honour system and up to proper buildings where local people rent stalls on a daily basis. For someone who likes cooking, as I do, it is absolute Heaven and I do suggest that if you are on the road you make use of it. It is just something we do not have so very much of in the UK although it does seem to be on the increase as people become more fussy about what they eat and how it got there.

    The website attached is by no means comprehensive as it is, almost by definition, something that can pop up any time but it is a good start.

    Trust me, you'll find something tasty and at prices to rival the big supermarkets even with all their bulk buying power. Try it, you'll like it!

    Roadside Vendor, Nova Scotia. Home smoked mackerel, Nova Scotia. planxty's smoked mackerel salad, Nova Scotia. Farmer's Market, Tusket, Nova Scotia. Farmer's Market, Tusket, Nova Scotia.
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    Grand Pre

    by Jim_Eliason Written Aug 23, 2014

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    This valley is the site of the original French Acadian settlement in Nova Scotia. The French lived here as farmers from 1680 until they were forcibly removed by the English due to paranoia about their loyalty in 1749. The site is a world heritage site today.

    Grand Pre Grand Pre Grand Pre Grand Pre Grand Pre
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    Baddeck

    by Jim_Eliason Written Aug 22, 2014

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    Sitting on Bras D'or in the middle of Cape Breton Island, Baddeck is famous for being the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell. The home is still held by the family and not visitable but there is a small museum outline Bell's inventions.

    Baddeck Baddeck Baddeck Baddeck Baddeck
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    ~ Buy a NS Museum Pass ~

    by RavensWing Updated Jul 9, 2014

    After traveling in NS for almost 3 weeks, covering the north shore, south shore, Halifax, Dartmouth and the Eastern Shore I found out that there is a Nova Scotia Museum Pass. This pass allows you to get into the NS Museums for free. There are 27 museums that participate in this Pass.

    You can buy this pass at any of the NS Museums - although I didn't find this out until just recently.

    The adult pass is $45.50 and if you plan to visit the provincial museums this is a good pass to buy. For current rates please click here. The pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase.

    Museum Pass
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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Nova Scotia in the Civil War

    by GentleSpirit Written Jun 21, 2013

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    I found it rather interesting that Nova Scotia had some involvement in the American Civil War.
    Bear in mind that Nova Scotians had immigrated to New England for quite a while, so it wasn't like there was no familiarity of contact.

    Historical sources claim that at least 200 Nova Scotians (and possibly a few thousand at most) actually fought in the American Civil War, the majority in Maine or Massachussetts regiments, though a few fought for the Confederacy. It is tempting to wonder if perhaps a few Nova Scotians might have fought for the Confederacy since the now expelled Acadians had settled in Louisiana, which was part of the Confederacy.

    Nova Scotia did a great deal of trade with the North though no clear relationship, commercial or otherwise, existed with the Confederacy.

    For those with an interest:
    -Greg Marquis, "Mercenaries or Killer Angels? Nova Scotians in the American Civil War," Collections of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, 1995, Vol. 44, pp 83-94
    -Greg Marquis, In Armageddon’s Shadow: The Civil War and Canada’s Maritime Provinces . McGill-Queen’s University Press. 1998.

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    Coastal Barrens

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jun 21, 2013

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    We did a really nice two hour hike on the afternoon of my arrival in Nova Scotia. It's called the Barrens, its about 10 minutes from Peggy's Cove but it's like a world apart. It was not a difficult hike, most of it was pretty easy, and the scenes, the formations of rocks, the effects of erosion were fascinating especially when you see the shapes it has created. There was the barrenness of the scenery, punctuated with small patches of lichen covered rocks and the relentless sound of the ocean.

    This is somewhat isolated, you might want to make sure you don't go alone, just in case.

    To get to the Barrens take the St Margaret’s Bay Rd (#333, turns into Prospect Rd) and turn left onto Prospect Bay Rd (towards Upper Prospect) until you almost reach the end, and then turn right on to Indian Point Rd. It's a tiny rd so keep a close eye out for it. Go to the end of that road and park and follow the trail.

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    Cape Breton Island

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jun 21, 2013

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    This was the highlight of my stay in Nova Scotia! If you are coming to Nova Scotia in autumn the one place you cannot and should not miss is Cape Breton Island. The tour I was on was mainly geared towards backpackers and hikers. We did relatively few of the usual tourist stops. We had a bunch of hikes at several places around the island, some were pretty challenging, some were easy, all were colorful.

    Make sure to see the Cabot Trail, one of the most scenic drives in North America, hike in the Highlands Park, see the Acadian villages, the Gaelic speaking villages. You will have a chance to come fairly close to wildlife, both land based and sea based. Make sure your camera is ready, there are beautiful landscapes, dramatic scenes and we had great light in late autumn. With a bit of chill in the air and the trees in bloom, and the pristine wilderness, Cape Breton is hard to beat.

    You will want to see the towns of Cheticamp and Baddeck. Ingonish is also a popular place to stay. Besides the great hiking trails, you will want to go sea kayaking, and whale watching.

    Please do visit my Cape Breton pages here

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Seeing the moose

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jun 21, 2013

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    I had heard that you might (might!!!) see wildlife on Cape Breton. There were some eagles we saw near our hostel . Still, I generally was taking advisories that we might see wildlife with some caution.

    We had just gotten into the Cape Breton Highlands Park, literally the first turn up the hill, and the guide alerts us that she had seen a moose on one side and told us where to look. It was a bit far away, but a few of us got some pictures of it. The guide, Kathy, must have chuckled to herself about her band of city slickers.

    Finally, we got on the Skyline Trail after making sure everyone was prepared and had used the facilities etc. A few of us were walking ahead. Anyway, I turn a corner and the moose was practically right in front of me!!!! Naturally, I reached for my camera at what seemed like lightning speed. It was a young animal and didn't appear to be very shy around humans. It let me take a bunch of pictures until its mommy came and must have said its time to go.

    As with all wildlife, be careful, they are wild animals. Give them room. Savor the experience!

    from the bus turn the corner and look what i Found!
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    Halifax

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jun 21, 2013

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    If you came in by air your journey will usually start at Halifax. The most important city in the Canadian Atlantic provinces, Halifax is still a major maritime and naval center. For a bigger city (relatively speaking) Halifax has a delightfully unhurried nature. With several universities in town you will find a youthful vibe to the city. Lots of great cafes and restaurants along Spring Garden.

    Remember that Halifax now refers to the Halifax Regional Municipality, a step taken by the Nova Scotia government in 1996 that folded several smaller administrative units into one bigger unit.

    You will want to walk around Old Halifax and see the stately buildings downtown. Drop into the Pier 21 museum, telling you of Halifax's role as the center for immigration into the country. Make sure to see the Citadel up on the hill. There is a laid back feel to the city. I found the locals to be happy to help and very friendly.

    One thing I did not see in Halifax was much in the way of souvenir shops. Most seemed concentrated around the harbor and they were relatively few in number.

    You can use Halifax as a base for seeing the main Island. You will have easy access to the metropolitan area and the great areas around Peggy's Cove. Spend a day or two here.

    Please visit my Halifax pages here

    Old Town Clock-Halifax Standing guard at the Citadel-Halifax
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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Peggy's Cove

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 17, 2013

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    This seemed to me the major tourist attraction in the Halifax area.

    Peggy's Cove is a small fishing village on the Chebucto Peninsula, about 43 km southwest of Halifax. The story is told that the name came from a shipwreck survivor. Nobody can tell you for sure that Peggy was her name, there are lots of stories about that. She ended up marrying someone from the cove, and the name sort of stuck, Peggy of the Cove, Peggy's Cove.

    The big attraction at Peggy's Cove is the red and white lighthouse, which is located on a group of large granite rocks. It looks super, especially with a great cloud formation or sunset behind it.

    If you happen to be hungry, you are in luck! The little restaurant/gift shop by the lighthouse serves some of the best clam chowder I have ever had!!

    The legend of Peggy of the Cove-http://www.peggyofthecove.com/

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    Nova Scotia Lighthouses

    by GentleSpirit Written Feb 9, 2013

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    Nova Scotia has more lighthouses than any other province in Canada. The total number is 160. Most visitors will probably get a chance to see the famous Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, which is only about an hour from Halifax. Another famous one, and the oldest one in North America, is the Cape Forchu Lighthouse near Yarmouth. That was easier to visit because the ferry from Maine landed there until a few years ago.

    If you want to center your visit around the lighthouses this is a good place to do it. Concentrate on the islands' South Shore. Make sure to take your camera, the views are usually wonderful

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    Savor the sunset

    by GentleSpirit Written Dec 27, 2012

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    The chosen speed in Nova Scotia seems to be a bit slower than other places. Take time to slow down and savor the simple pleasures Nova Scotia has to offer.

    I was surprised by the intensity of the colors at sunset particularly this late in the year.
    Make sure to take your camera and take lots of pictures..the sunsets are gorgeous!

    Sunset at Wycogamough, Cape Breton Island
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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    VISIT CHETICAMP - CAPE BRETON ISLAND

    by LoriPori Written Oct 2, 2012

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    Thursday September 13, 2012
    I loooooved everything about CHETICAMP - its location - The atmosphere - the Acadian Culture - the beautiful sunny day we were there.
    Cheticamp is a thriving fishing village on the west coast of Cape Breton Island and the western entrance to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The downtown area overlooks a large Bay.
    The population of nearly 4,000 is made up mostly of people of Acadian descent and Cheticamp is the largest Francophone enclave on Cape Breton Island.
    Things to do in Cheticamp includes visiting "Les Trois Pignons" and Jean's Gift Shop, both of which display beautiful hooked rugs of which Cheticamp is the Center and well known for.
    The locals have a "joie de vivre" - Joy in Living, as the community hosts many concerts, dances and musical events throughout the summer months.
    This is why their town motto is "Toujours Chantante" - Always Singing!

    Welome - Bienvenue a Cheticamp les Trois Pignons

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    CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDS NATIONAL PARK

    by LoriPori Written Oct 1, 2012

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    September 12 & 13, 2012
    Hans and I entered CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDS NATIONAL PARK at the Eastern Entrance at Ingonish. The Western Entrance is near Cheticamp. Entry Fee for Seniors was $6.80 or $13.60 for the two of us. The Permit is valid for a 24 hour period and the Expiration time is clearly marked on your receipt. You must keep this receipt handy in case it is asked for.
    The Park has so much to offer including scenic lookouts such as Lakies Head, Sunrise and Green Cove on the Eastern Side and Veterans Monument, Cap Rouge (my favorite) and Grand Falaise on the western side.
    The Park also offers 25 Hiking & Walking Trails, Beaches and Picnic Areas with clean washrooms and camping with 6 campgrounds.
    One third of the Cabot Trail runs through the Park.

    View from Cap Rouge Scenic Lookout

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    VISIT CAPE BRETON ISLAND

    by LoriPori Written Oct 1, 2012

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    Wednesday, September 12 & Thursday September 13, 2012
    An Island on the Atlantic Coast, CAPE BRETON ISLAND is part of the Province of Nova Scotia. The 3,981 square mile island accounts for 18.7 % of the total area of Nova Scotia. Although physically separated from the Nova Scotia Peninsula by the Strait of Canso, it is connected to the mainland by the 1,385 metre (4,544 feet) long rock-filled Canso Causeway,
    The Northern portion of Cape Breton Island is dominated by the Cape Breton Highlands. In 1936 the Federal Government established the National Park across the northern third of the Highlands,
    The Cabot Trail scenic highway encircles the coastal perimeter.
    Highlights of our visit to Cape Breton Island are : Visiting the Town of Baddeck, Ingonish area, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, driving along the Cabot Trail, staying overnight in Pleasant Bay and visiting the lovely town of Cheticamp, famous for its rug hooking art.

    Cape Breton Highlands National Park Cheticamp

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Province of Nova Scotia Things to Do

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