Leave behind maritime province Nova Scotia’s capital city of Halifax’s bustling harbour for Lunenberg to search for the historic Bluenose tall ship minted on Canada’s dimes. Travel to charming Wolfville to walk across the Bay of Funday during low tide while scanning the horizon for breaching humpback whales in the distance. Ascend Truro’s Victoria Park’s Jacob’s Ladder for a challenging workout while experiencing breathtaking views of the ancient hemlock forest. Experience picturesque coastal beauty, wineries, and the famous Bay of Fundy’s tidal natural phenomenon. Please refer to the following list of the best day trips from Halifax, Canada to enhance your visit to Nova Scotia’s charming maritime villages.
1. McNab's Island
Hop aboard the ferry from Halifax’s busy Atlantic harbour to spend a leisurely day exploring the hidden gem that is secluded McNab’s Island. Enjoy peacefully walking along the powdery, soft sand beaches before hiking the ungroomed nature trails in search of historic fortresses. Indulge in sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean while passing by coal-black cannons lining the historic fortress’ heavily protected stone rampart. Watch as the white crests of the sapphire waves crash against the rocks surrounding Maugher’s Beach lighthouse before boarding a raft for a sightseeing excursion of scenic McNab’s Island.
Take a day trip to charming Annapolis Valley’s Wolfville to wander through the apple orchards and wineries and sample crisp, sparkling ciders and locally produced wines. For the adventurous at heart, tube down the Gaspereau River. Get your adrenaline pumping with a whale-watching excursion bounding across the Bay of Fundy’s waves and get to behold humpback whales breaching and dolphins splashing playfully. Stroll through Wolfville’s charming streets to admire the architecture of the historic homes before checking out its local shops. Hike the rugged, coastal Cape Split trail to admire the Bay of Fundy’s jagged, rocky sea cliffs before walking across the terra cotta sand floor towards rocky outposts during low tide.
Enjoy driving along the Atlantic Coast from Halifax to Guysborough to admire its vibrant wooden buildings lining its harbourfront. Drop by Guysborough Sailing Club to enjoy the rushing sea breeze while sailing across the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Pack up your picnic basket to spend a day at Tor Bay Provincial Park building sandcastles, bird-watching, and digging your feet into powdery white sand while sunbathing. Wander over to Out of the Fog Lighthouse Museum to learn about Nova Scotia’s families’ occupation of its lighthouses. Listen to the foghorn in action.
Stroll along Shelburne’s historic Dock Street watching the fishing boats pull into the harbour as hungry seagulls prepare to swoop in on their fresh catch. Travel back to the 1700s at Dory Shop Museum to view the staff display their craftsmanship skills while learning about the dory’s impact on Canadian and International fishing operations. Venture over to Island Provincial Park to canoe across the pristine Shelburne waterfront. Take a boat cruise to admire the colourful wooden homes bordering Shelburne’s scenic coastline before returning to browse charming seaside boutiques.
5. Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Be at one with nature during a day trip to Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. Rent a kayak or canoe to paddle across tranquil Kejimkujik Lake while admiring the amazingly beautiful autumn foliage. Follow the Mills Falls trail to discover ancient burial sites and petroglyphs surrounding the Mi'lkmaq’s ancient rawhide teepee-filled villages. Relax on a crimson Adirondack chair to admire the park’s picturesque natural beauty before resuming your search for cascading waterfalls.
Visit Truro’s Victoria Park to climb the 175-step Jacob’s Ladder while admiring its steep Salmon River canyon gorges surrounded by dense ancient hemlock forest. Hop on board a Zodiac raft for a thrilling water adventure riding the world’s highest tides where the Bay of Fundy meets the Shubenacadie River. Lace up your skates to participate in the festivities of February’s Long John Winter Festival including wagon rides, community skating, and musical performances. After picking up freshly caught seafood at Masstown Market, wander over to Little White Schoolhouse Museum to browse exhibits chronicling Nova Scotia’s 19th- and 20th-century education history.
While visiting Nova Scotia’s seaside village of Lawrencetown, venture over to Rainbow Haven Beach to observe kitesurfers perform daring aerial manoeuvres. Sign up for a surfing lesson to ride the strong waves alongside seasoned surfers at Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park. Walk along the popular Salt Marsh Trail travelling through wetland preserves to encounter the numerous native birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Attend the Annapolis Valley Exhibition during the third week of August to experience first-class entertainment and artistic displays from talented participants throughout the Maritimes.
During a day trip exploring Tatamagouche’s bayside village, hit the links at Brule Point Golf to play nine holes against panoramic views of Tatamagouche Bay. Stop by the Farmer’s Market at Creamery Square Heritage Centre to admire locally produced crafts while enjoying velvety, chocolate ice cream. Admire the village’s charming historic buildings before visiting Appleton Chocolates Company to satisfy your sweet tooth with their decadent sweets. Take a relaxing boat cruise across Tatamagouche Bay to enjoy watching seals play in the pristine waters before admiring a spectacular bayfront sunset.
Stroll along Lunenburg’s marina-side boardwalk in hopes of seeing the historic Bluenose tall ship pull into the harbour. En route to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, pass by fisherman hauling in cages full of freshly caught lobsters. Listen attentively to the commentary detailing Nova Scotia’s boat building, fishing, pirate, and rum-running history. Enjoy the salty sea breeze while wandering past centuries-old, vibrantly coloured buildings and churches dotting pristine Mahone Bay before searching charming seaside shops for maritime-inspired souvenirs.
Lunenburg and Mahone Bay Day Trip From Halifax
Duration: 6 hours
Climb up the treacherous rock mass surrounding the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse to enjoy the picturesque views of St. Margaret’s Bay. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze while admiring the powerful waves crashing against the rocks surrounding the famous beacon. Dine on succulent Atlantic lobster while watching local fisherman unload their overflowing nets, wooden crab crates, and lobster cages dockside. Wander by the pretty seaside shipping village’s historic cedar shake buildings to admire artwork and crafts produced by talented Nova Scotian artists.
Peggy's Cove Day Trip from Halifax
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Tour the Annapolis Valley to experience Nova Scotia’s premier food and wine destination. Be in awe of fragrant fruit orchards and vineyards. Wander under the dangling lavender chandelier of wisteria before listening to an informative discourse on the winemaking process at Planters Ridge Winery. Indulge in a two-course gourmet lunch at Restaurant Le Caveau while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding sprawling vineyards. Enjoy a wine-tasting before visiting enchanted Tangled Garden to sample chutneys, jams, and jellies produced from its aromatic orchards.
Small-Group Annapolis Valley Wine and Food Tour from Halifax
Duration: 8 hours
Experience Nova Scotia's phenomenal coastal beauty
Depart Halifax to experience Nova Scotia’s phenomenal Atlantic Coast beauty en route to Peggy’s Cove to watch its lighthouse illuminate the blackened maritime sky guiding fishermen to safety. Stroll amongst Lunenberg’s maritime village’s vibrantly coloured historic buildings before hitting the white sand beaches of charming Guysborough. Leave behind Canada’s charming Maritimes filled with memories of lazy days indulging in Nova Scotia’s succulent seafood, exploring charming fishing villages, and admiring nature’s breathtaking beauty.
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