Nova Scotia trip report

Dec 18th, 2003, 10:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 16
Nova Scotia trip report

Nova scotia ideas

This is both my intenerary and some cut and pastes I did researching my trip to Nova Scotia, I have made comments on places I went to!

Overall I enjoyed my trip to NS but it is too far for me to go back ( boston) It was very quiet, nice but not a place I need to go back to! One caveat, I did not go to Cape Breton, this is the area to go to from what I heard!

The Scotia Princess was ok, a little to honky tonk for my liking but it got us there!

Take care

Sunday -

French Shore ? in general, a little quiet and not too much to see

Digby ? nice town, worth the trip

Check in



Halifax ? did not make it to halifax

Wolfville ? scenic area, worth the trip


Dinner Resv @ Gran Pre Winery @ 630pm ? Gran Pre was outstanding, wines excellent and dinner amazing, don?t miss tour in early afternoon


Travelling from Halifax on Highway 101 west

or from Yarmouth / or Digby on Highway 101 east,

? take exit 10.
? Turn right onto Highway 1 and look for the winery on a hill to the right.

? Domaine de Grand Pré is located at 11611 Highway 1 just past the turnoff for the Grand Pré National Historic Site.

Good Morning Chris,
The winery is open 7 days a week, we have daily tours at 11am and 3pm, you only need to make a reservation if there is more than 10 in your party. The tour is a walking tour of the winery and vineyard, with a full commentary and tasting in our Wine Shop. The cost is $6.00 per person. You can also come in and just do a tasting, whichever you prefer.
We also have a restaurant on the premises, where you have a choice to sit inside or outside on our Pergola (outside patio), reservations are recommended.
If you need any more info, please contact me.
Marion H. Lane
Grand Pre Wines



Aimee and Chris = Golf
Mom = Spa @ 10 or 11am

Golf: Chester Golf Course

(members 3 days in advance, guest 2 days in advance)
Tee Times/Pro Shop- (902) 275-4543
Club House - 275-4702
Administration - 275-2434
Fax - 275-2177


Peggys Cive / Mahone Bay ? outstanding, beauty everywhere


Haddon Hall ? probably the prettiest inn I have ever been to, Hillary Clinton, Jim Carey, long list of celeb?s have stayed here and now I see why, grounds/view of harbor the best! Dining was like being in a old sea captains house, view of harbor and the food was maybe the best I have had in a while! ( I dine in boston and other major cities a lot and I tend to be pretty hard to impress, it was outstanding)

Dinner @ 7pm


Directions from Yarmouth
Travel east towards Halifax on Highway #103,

take Exit #8.

Turn left towards Chester approximately 2 km and stop at the flashing light.

Turn left towards Chester.

Within 100 metres you will see Haddon Hall Sign just past sign turn right on Haddon Hill Road.

As you start to descend Haddon Hill Road you will see our property sign and entrance on the right. Follow the lane up to Haddon Hall.

Oak Island Resort & Spa Pg 1 // Reservation Details // ( nice place to stay, townhouse on water, excellent grounds and spa)


Situated midway between Yarmouth and Digby,


Acadian region often referred to as the French Shore. It is the home of Nova Scotia's largest Acadian population, and visitors will often hear Acadian French being spoken.

Picturesque Route 1 passes through twelve French-speaking villages between Salmon River and St. Bernard.

The bilingual inhabitants along this shore are descendants of the first European settlers, who came from France in the early 1600s. Scattered over eastern North America by the Expulsion of 1755, many of Nova Scotia's Acadians came to this area several years later to build new communities, turning from farming to the sea for their livelihood.

This is a region of handmade quilts, smoked fish and churches of awesome splendour. You will also see Stella Maris, the Acadian flag, which is tricoloured with a single star in its blue portion, flying from public buildings and many of the houses.

Meteghan (pop. 984) is the French Shore's busiest port. Scallop draggers, trawlers, herring seiners, and cod and lobster boats anchor here.

The village was settled in 1785, and one of the oldest homes, La Vieille Maison Museum, where you can step back in time for a taste of l9th-century Acadian life. Ask for information at the Visitor Information Centre in the museum.

Acadiens are renowned for building beautiful, awe-inspiring churches, and one of the finest examples is St. Mary's Church at Church Point (pop. 487). An engineering marvel, St. Mary's was constructed between 1903 and 1905 in the form of a cross 58 m (190 ft.) long and 41 m (135 ft.) wide. The spire, which rises an impressive 56 m (185 ft.) above the surrounding countryside, is ballasted with 36 tonnes (40 tons) of rock to resist swaying caused by the often-powerful winds of St. Mary's Bay. From May to mid-October, a bilingual guide is available for tours of the church and its small museum.

St. Mary's Church is located on the campus of Universite Sainte-Anne, Nova Scotia's only French-language university. Founded in 1891 by Eudist priests from France, the university is a centre of Acadian culture in Nova Scotia. During the summer months it is the site of the award-winning Evangeline, a musical drama in Acadian French, based on the famous poem written by Longfellow 150 years ago. The university is also the site of the oldest Acadian festival in the Atlantic Provinces, Festival Acadien de Clare, held here each year in conjunction with celebrations in other Acadian villages along the shore, during the second week of July.

Belliveaus Cove (pop.404) is a former lumbering and shipbuilding community. This well-protected harbour features a picturesque lighthouse and wharf, a park, and a 5-km (3-mi.) trail hugging the shore of the Acadian coast and freshwater wetlands. The Joseph and Marie Dugas Festival in mid-August celebrates the arrival in 1768 of Clare's first Acadian settlers.

Another example of the Acadians' mastery in building magnificent churches can be found at St. Bernard (pop. 305), where an awe-inspiring granite church, which seats 1,000, was constructed from 1910 to 1942 by local residents. Guided tours are available, and in 1997 a series of musical concerts will be held on the first four Sundays of June.

St Marys Bay:

Along the coast of St. Mary's Bay, travel through picturesque French-speaking Acadian villages with towering church spires. Take a side trip on Digby Neck for some of Nova Scotia's best birding and whale-watching.


Digby Chicks ? herring


Visit Digby, home port to the world's largest scallop fleet. In communities along the way, enjoy the work of Nova Scotia's gifted artisans and crafts people.

Port Royal: Really like Port Royal, very pretty, history, all that!

At Port Royal, explore the reconstructed French Habitation, site of the first permanent European settlement in Canada. Be sure to visit Fort Anne at nearby Annapolis Royal, and walk among the heritage plantings of the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. See the world's highest tides harnessed for electricity at the Tidal Power project.

LUNENBURG: Nice place, very pretty

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lunenburg's harbourside buildings and Old Town, established in 1753, are among the oldest -- and most colourful -- in North America. But the funky community is no stuffy relic from the past. From its working harbour to its lively bars, there's always something going on.

If the weather's fine, find a dockside patio, order up a plate of seafood and watch the boats, the gulls and the world go by. When you have absorbed enough maritime atmosphere -- and a few local brews -- there are quaint shops and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to explore.

You can get up close and personal with Atlantic fish species in the museum's Millennium Aquarium. Upstairs are films and displays on fishing, whaling, rum running and shipwrecks, including a riveting exhibit about Sable Island -- known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic -- where more than 350 ships were lost since 1583. You may even catch a glimpse of Nova Scotia's graceful racing schooner, Bluenose II, which makes its home in Lunenburg.

Scenic Drives:

Annapolis Valley:

Rt 1 or Rt 3:

To get the scenery, I recommend you take the old routes #1 or #3.

#1 goes north & will take you through the beautiful Annapolis Valley.

#3 also goes north along the coastal towns. I prefer #1 through the Valley.


When you get to Kentville, enquiry about the Blominton Lookoff. This gives you a spectacular view of several counties!

From there proceed to Halifax and to Peggy's Cove. Then proceed on #102 or #2 to Truro & Cape Breton Cabot Trail. This will fill your week! Enjoy

Evangeline Trail:

Baxters Harbour ?
Hwy 101 ?
Ext 12 ? rt 341 North
Thru Sheffield Mills ? look for signs to Baxters Harbour

Our next stop was the "Look Off," the highest point above the Minas Basin with a view that goes on forever. Then on to Cape Split, which binds the basin on its western end, and

Scotts Bay:


Gran Pre Wines ? 2 miles East of Wolfville

Scott?s Bay, where the tidal "slosh" can rise and fall by almost 60 feet every 12 and a half hours!
We arrived at Le Caveau early enough to have a glass of wine in their open-air pergola and to take in the vineyards, and the adjacent rich countryside. After dinner, we visited the new press house to see the award-winning wine being made.

The next day, we set off on a trek along the 17th century Wolfville dykes - and our first view of a high tide on the Bay of Fundy. From there we went to Port William and visited the 1812 Prescott House, with well-tended grounds and gardens for relaxing.


After lunch at the 250-year-old Waterfront Warehouse, we spent the afternoon strolling through the town.

Sites of interest included

St. Paul?s Anglican Church, at 250 the oldest Protestant Church in Canada, and

Alexander Keith?s original Brewery on lower Water Street built in 1834.

For dinner, Sweet Basil on upper Water Street featured unusual fish and meat dishes in a casual atmosphere.

Our first stop the next day was the Halifax Public Gardens, a Victorian gem of trees, statues and fountains in the center of a lush and green city.

Next was the star-shaped Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, with its ramparts, musketry gallery, powder magazines, and garrison cells. Tours with members of the 78th Highland Regiment include bagpipe serenades, the changing of the guard, and the firing of muskets.

Lighthouse Trail:

Peggys Cove excellent place to see old NScotia

Mahone Bay - pretty
Mahone Bay
Mimis Ocean Grill ? 622 Main St ? 902 624 1342


Later that morning we set out along the Lighthouse Trail, passing the famous rocks of Peggy?s Cove and one of the most photographed beacons in North America

Further down the southern coast is Mahone Bay, whose narrow streets house the studios and galleries of some of Canada?s finest artist and artisans. Of special interest is the Amos Pewter Shop, where visitors can watch the spinning of flat sticks on the lathe and the polishing of nearly finished pieces to perfection.

Just a few more minutes down the Trail is the beautiful and historic town of Lunenburg, with its colorful waterfront, and captivating architecture radiating the flavor of the town?s Swiss and German ancestry and its seafaring heritage. We settled in for the evening at the Boscawen Inn/Mac Laughlin House, and enjoyed the panoramic view over the harbor with our excellent dinner.
Touring the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic (902-634-4794), we boarded boats to chat with "Old Salts" who had spent a lifetime fishing the Grand Banks, and saw dozens of exhibits and displays. We lunched in the same building at the Old Fish Factory Restaurant on the water?s edge. Later, after a trip to dramatic Blue Rocks (just what it sounds like), we had dinner at the Lion Inn B & B and Restaurant, with a casual atmosphere and good food and service.

The next morning we packed a picnic in our hamper, and after a stop at Sommerville Beach, we journeyed to Sandy Point Light House where we lunched at a picnic table and enjoyed one of the best views of the trip, an artist?s dream.

Less than two hours later we arrived at Cape Sable and Clark?s Harbour, the latter filled with colorful boats and ship-building yards, crammed with stacks of lobster traps at every turn.
That evening, we closed the loop on our Nova Scotia adventure in Yarmouth. The next morning we boarded the Scotia Prince, arriving eleven hours later in Portland. The daytime trip back is a bit challenging because the Scotia Prince is configured principally for nighttime travel. Comfortable seats are limited and scattered throughout the boat. A day cabin is not a bad idea.

Experience Dramatic Views of
the Tidal Rise and Fall


is located on the southern shore of Minas Basin, the northeast arm of the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is noted for its large tides, and it is on Minas Basin that the highest tides on Earth occur. This is truly a wonder of the world and should be experienced by any visitor to the Wolfville area.

Well before low tide is reached, Wolfville's small harbour is literally empty.

Four km west of Wolfville, at the Port Williams bridge and wharf, the large vertical range of the tides may be seen to better advantage (a parking lot is located on the Wolfville side of the bridge).

Dramatic views of the tidal rise and fall are also available town of Hantsport (at the 16 km east of Wolfville in the foot of William Street).

Views of the vast areas of sea bottom uncovered by the falling tide may be had at Evangeline Beach and at Avonport Beach, both about 8 km east of Wolfville.

In late July and August, the extensive intertidal flats in these areas are visitied by hundreds of thousands of shorebirds on their annual migration from the Arctic to South America. The crustaceans and worms in these mudflats provide a rich source of food for these birds which then fly for three to four days non- stop to South America. Flocks of shorebirds are best seen within two hours of high tide when they are spectacularly concentrated along the upper limits of the beaches.

Large areas of the original flats now lie behind man-made dykes. This conversion of tidal flats into rich farmland began with Acadian settlers in the seventeeth century. Today long dykes and thousands of hectares of productive level fields may be seen in the vicinity of Grand Pre, Wolfville, Port Williams and Canard.

Near the mid-point of an incoming tide, a tidal bore may be seen tumbling upsteam in some of the rivers which flow into Minas Basin (e.g. the St. Croix and Meander rivers near Windsor, and the Shubenacadie and Salmon rivers near Truro). A bore forms where the incoming tide pushes its way upstream against the outgoing freshwater flow of the river.


Take Exit #5 from Hwy. #101 - follow Hwy. #14 to Ski Martock. Turn right at Martock General Store. Turn right on Dyke Road.
- OR -
Take Exit #7 from Hwy. #101 - follow Hwy. #1 turn left at Pothier Motors. Turn left at Dyke Road.
We are located on the corner of Dyke Road and Dudley Park Lane

French Shore

Cape St Mary
Church Point
Belliveau Cove


Tidal Bore ? Salmon River ? off HWY 236, West of Ex 14 from HWY 102 --- on NW side of Truro


West Pubnico ?
Middle Pubnico
Oldest acadien settlement
Acadian village ?


Dining ? Galley, 115 marine Rd, nice view


Maritime Museum of the Atlantic ( titanic)

Peggy Cove = 27 miles West of Halifax

Food: Five Fisherman ? 902 422 4421

Chester to Mahone Bay ? 13 miles

gp2b3a is offline  
Jul 31st, 2004, 07:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 16
excellent review - thanks
gp2b3a is offline  

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