10 Day Nova Scotia Road Trip Itinerary (with Maps)

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Nova Scotia is the ideal province in Canada for road trips and scenic drives because you’re never far from the ocean. You get to enjoy gorgeous coastal scenery all around this beautiful province.

There’s a reason Nova Scotia is known as Canada’s Ocean Playground! Fishing, beachcombing, and whale watching are popular attractions you’ll want to make time for during your maritime road trip. Or just eat a ton of seafood like I did!

Enjoy the long summer days exploring the beauty of Canada’s east coast.

10 Day Itinerary Nova Scotia Road Trip

This ten day road trip itinerary around Nova Scotia is planned with the idea of exploring a region, spending the night, then moving on to the next location.

You can always add more days if you want to take it slower and immerse yourself in the culture. Alternatively, you can do a section of the road trip and stay in one place for the duration of your trip.

I traveled around Nova Scotia solo but you’ll find this guide is perfect for planning your family summer vacation too!

Most people fly into Halifax so that’s where we’ll start with this ten day itinerary for Nova Scotia.

This post contains compensated links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through links. See my disclosure about affiliate links

Nova Scotia 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary Canada

Last updated: July 7, 2020

Find the best Airbnb accommodations in Nova Scotia now!

Day 1 – Halifax

Halifax – Capitol of Nova Scotia

Pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to downtown Halifax (30 minutes) to explore the waterfront region. If you arrive late at night spend the night and you’re ready to explore the next day.

I stayed at the Hollis Halifax Doubletree, overlooking the harbor, a great location.

Check the latest hotel deals and prices in Halifax Nova Scotia now

Nova Scotia itinerary day 1 - Halifax Nova Scotia waterfront - Tall Ship Silva

Waterfront along Halifax boardwalk – Tall Ship Silva

Popular Halifax Attractions

  • Waterfront – Beautiful place to walk and if the Blue Nose II is in harbor book a trip – check the schedule here
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site – Citadel Hill with its star shaped architecture once guarded Halifax
  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Explore Halifax maritime history at this waterfront museum
  • Fairview Cemetery – Final resting place of over 100 victims of the Titanic
  • Halifax Public Gardens – Beautiful Victorian era gardens opened in 1867, the year of Canadian Confederation

Overnight Halifax: Hollis Halifax or the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront are both good choices. View more Halifax hotels here.

Day 2 – Halifax to South Shore

Peggy’s Cove – Lunenburg – Blue Rocks – Ovens Natural Park – Hirtle’s Beach

Total driving time 3.5 hours

From Halifax you’ll drive 45 minutes to Peggy’s Cove to visit one of Canada’s most iconic landmarks.

The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most photographed spots in Canada.

The iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia is a popular tourist attraction in Nova Scotia

The iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia is a popular tourist attraction in Nova Scotia

From Peggy’s Cove drive 100 km (60 miles) to the historic town of Lunenburg Nova Scotia. The downtown area near the harbor is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lunenburg is an attractive town with Victorian era houses painted in bright colors. The view from across the water on Tannery Road is wonderful.

Lunenburg is a popular Nova Scotia road trip destination with its brightly painted historic buildings

Lunenburg is a popular Nova Scotia road trip destination with its brightly painted historic buildings

Eat lunch at one of the seafood restaurants, I tried Grand Banker Bar and Grill and it is excellent. Walk off your lunch along the harbor.

There are two museums you should visit in Lunenburg:

  • Knaut-Rhuland House at 125 Pelham Street will give you a glimpse into the early days in Lunenburg.
  • Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic at 68 Bluenose Drive

If the Bluenose II tall ship is docked at Lunenburg, you can hop aboard and get a look at the ship for FREE! There are also paid boat tours available – check the listings for more info

Blue Nose II in Nova Scotia open for tourists to walk aboard

Blue Nose II in Nova Scotia open for tourists to walk aboard

Next drive 10 minutes from Lunenburg to Blue Rocks and walk the shoreline or take a sea kayaking trip. There are bunches of islands nearby, so the water is usually calm.

Pleasant Paddling will rent you a kayak or you can sign up for one of their guided tours. Traveling by myself I opted for the guided tour and I enjoyed it a lot.

Beautiful Blue Rocks Nova Scotia - small fishing village near Lunenburg NS

Beautiful Blue Rocks Nova Scotia – small fishing village near Lunenburg

Now take a drive from Blue Rocks to the Ovens Natural Park and enjoy a hike along the cliffs, plus you can try panning for gold on the beach. Read my full post about Ovens park here

From Ovens park drive to beautiful Hirtle’s Beach – only 12 km away – and enjoy a walk on the beach, watch for seals surfing in the water.

If you are into hiking, I highly recommend the Gaff Point hike – the trailhead is at Hirtle’s Beach! This was my favorite hike in Nova Scotia but it’s not for everyone.

Check out my Gaff Point hike video to see the variety of terrain on this hike.

Gaff Point trail view of Hirtle's Beach from the hill

Gaff Point trail view of Hirtle’s Beach from the hill

Take a scenic drive to Bridgewater and spend the night. Dine at the River Pub at 750 King Street.

In the morning grab some cookies at Weagles’ Bakery at 15 Victoria Road (they open at 6 am). Cookies are the perfect road trip snack. For a full breakfast I suggest Fancy Pants Café at 807 King Street.

Overnight in Bridgewater at Best Western or the Lighthouse Motel overlooking the LaHave River.

Check availability and the latest deals on hotels in Bridgewater.

Day 3 –  South Shore to Yarmouth

South Shore –Crescent Beach – Kejimkujik Seaside – Cape Sable Island – Yarmouth

Total of 3.25 hours driving time

From Bridgewater drive to Crescent Beach – 20 minutes or so. Crescent Beach is the place for windsurfing, kitesurfing, or regular board surfing. Enjoy walking the beach.

I found several sand dollars on this beach. As you may have guessed from all the surfing, it gets very windy at Crescent Beach!

From Crescent Beach to Kejimkujik National Park Seaside – 75 km (45 miles) takes about 45 minutes.

Hike out to the seashore and watch the waves crashing into shore.

Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Nova Scotia Canada with big waves and flowing grasslands

Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Nova Scotia Canada with big waves and flowing grasslands

Kejimkujik to Cape Sable Island is a scenic 1 hour 10 minutes drive. I enjoyed exploring Cape Sable Island and visiting a couple of the beaches.

The Hawk Beach at low tide exposes the petrified stumps from a former forest.

Walking this sandy beach, you can see the Cape Sable Lighthouse, the tallest in Nova Scotia at 31 m (101 ft).

Cape Sable Lighthouse is the tallest in Nova Scotia at 31 m (101 ft)

Cape Sable Lighthouse is the tallest in Nova Scotia at 31 m (101 ft)

Fill your belly at the JB’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant – it’s located on the left side just before you cross the causeway over to Cape Sable Island.

They have great food and wonderful staff.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops at JB's Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Barrington NS South Shore region

Bacon Wrapped Scallops at JB’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Barrington NS South Shore region

Cape Sable Island to Yarmouth – 75 km – around an hour. Yarmouth is another Nova Scotia coastal town and its located on the southwest tip of the Nova Scotia peninsula.

In Yarmouth visit the Cape Forchu Lighthouse and Museum – a wonderful place to watch the sunset.

Have dinner overlooking the harbor at Rudder’s Seafood at 96 Water Street. Looking for vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free options in Yarmouth – check out Gaia Global Kitchen at 222 Main Street Yarmouth

In the morning The Shanty Café opens at 6 am to help you break the fast – Shanty Café is located at 6B Central Street in downtown Yarmouth near the waterfront.

Overnight Yarmouth – find the latest hotel rates and availability here.

Day 4 – Yarmouth to Annapolis Valley

Digby – Annapolis Royal – Wolfville

Total driving time 2 hrs 50 minutes

The drive from Yarmouth to Digby – 100 km (60 miles) should take you just over an hour.

Do you love lobster and scallops? If so, Digby is your happy place! Home to the famous Digby scallops and delicious Atlantic lobster too.

July 5 – 7, 2019 you can enjoy the Lobster Bash in Digby. If you are around in early August, you’ll want to attend the Digby Scallop Days Festival – August 8 – 11, 2019.

Digby to the historic town of Annapolis Royal – 30 minute drive. Annapolis Royal is a charming coastal town with a lot of history – the early European settlers arrived in the area in 1605. The Mi’kmaq First Nations peoples have lived in the area for over 10,000 years.

Popular Annapolis Royal Attractions

  • Visit the only Tidal Power Plant in North America
  • Fort Anne National Historic Site
  • Port Royal National Historic Site
  • Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
  • Abundant historic buildings – 135 registered heritage buildings in a town with a population of around 500 people
Downtown Wolfville Nova Scotia mural of boat and pocket watch

Downtown Wolfville Nova Scotia mural of boat and pocket watch

Annapolis Royal to Wolfville – 1 hour 15 minutes driving time.

Wolfville was once home to some of the Acadians, later expelled by the British – many of them later settled in the land around Lafayette Louisiana.

2020.01.09 Editor’s Note/Correction. Thank you to Richard Riddell Comeau for the following:

Acadie was all of the Maritimes and much of the Gaspé Peninsula. Grand Pré, near what is today Wolfville, was one of our homes. The “Cajuns” of Louisiana are part of an Acadian diaspora which reaches across the globe.

There were Acadians that either avoided expulsion or returned after expulsion to the Maritimes to live. Acadian people and culture are alive and well in Nova Scotia and throughout the Maritimes. Vive l’Acadie!!
Nowadays around the Annapolis Valley there are several wineries within easy access from Wolfville.

Explore the wine region and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in downtown Wolfville. Try The Naked Crepe – good eats!

Overnight Wolfville – Click here for Wolfville hotels and latest deals

You can visit the Grand Pre Historic and UNESCO site just a few km from Wolfville.

Day 5 – Bay of Fundy to Northumberland Shore

Walton Lighthouse – Bay of Fundy – Truro – Tatamagouche – Pictou

Total driving time: 3.5 hours

Wolfville to the Bay of Fundy – Burntcoat Head Park – 1 hour and 10 minutes – 90 km (56 miles)

Watch the biggest tides in the world! It’s amazing to walk on the ocean floor and where only 6 hours earlier the water reached up to the rocky coastline.

Bay of Fundy is a must visit in Nova Scotia.

Exploring the ocean floor near the flowerpot at Burntcoat Head Park on Bay of Fundy Nova Scotia

Exploring the ocean floor near the flowerpot at Burntcoat Head Park on Bay of Fundy Nova Scotia

In between tides at Bay of Fundy drive to Walton Lighthouse and enjoy lunch at the Walton Pub – 20 minute drive.

Burntcoat Head Park to Truro – 50 minutes – 60 km (36 miles)

Truro to Tatamagouche – 45 minute drive (50ish km/30ish miles)
Take a walk on the beach at Rushton’s Beach Provincial Park in Tatamagouche.

Truro to Pictou – birthplace of New Scotland – 45 minutes – 65 km. The first Scottish immigrants landed in 1773.

At Hector Heritage Quay in Pictou step aboard a replica of the Hector – the tall ship that arrived in Pictou with the first immigrants from Scotland – more info here.

Interested in tracing your family tree and Scottish heritage – visit the McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre.

Overnight in Pictou – Find the latest deals and hotel reviews here.

Day 6 – Northumberland Shore to Cape Breton

Antigonish – Port Hood – Mabou – Cheticamp

Total driving time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Pictou to Antigonish will take about 45 minutes on the road.

In Antigonish if you are in the mood for a hike to stretch your legs check out Fairmont Ridge Hiking Trail for a 10 km (6 miles) out and back trail.

Next drive from Antigonish to Port Hood on Cape Breton Island. Grab some lunch at the Clove Hitch Bar and Bistro at 8790 NS Trunk Road 19.

Road sign for The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Road sign for The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Nova Scotia

The drive from Port Hood to Mabou is only 10 minutes. Mabou is a good choice if you want to add on an extra night to the trip because it’s a hotbed for music.

The village of Mabou has a population of around 1,200, with a few options for accommodation so check the Mabou website for listings – and check out the music events in Mabou.

Mabou to Cheticamp takes about an hour to drive. Cheticamp is just outside of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You’ll need to buy a pass to visit the park but it’s totally worth it!

In Cheticamp you’re only a 20-minute drive from Skyline Trail – hike it at sunset for beautiful coastal views.

Stay in Cheticamp overnight – check for Cheticamp hotels here.

Day 7 and Day 8 – Cape Breton Island

Pleasant Bay – Cabot’s Landing – Meat Cove – White Point – Ingonish

Total driving time: 3 hours

I know some people drive the Cabot Trail in one day, but you won’t have much time at all for the beaches, coastal hiking trails, or filling your face with seafood and local beer. Spend some time enjoying Cape Breton!

From Cheticamp drive to Pleasant Bay (40 minutes) and do some whale watching.

Grab a cup of coffee at the Pumpkin Patch...and some fudge. They also sell organic body care products…but coffee and fudge are important road trip products.

There’s also a cool looking art shop in Pleasant Bay – it wasn’t open when I visited town though. But take a look at Timmons Folk Art Studio at 22 Harbour Road if you visit Pleasant Bay – handmade souvenirs are the best!

Timmons Folk Art Studio Pleasant Bay Cape Breton NS

Timmons Folk Art Studio Pleasant Bay Cape Breton NS

From Pleasant Bay you can stop at Cabots Landing Provincial Park and visit the beach where Cabot is thought to have landed.

Cabots Landing Provincial Park in Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Cabots Landing Provincial Park in Cape Breton Nova Scotia

After visiting Cabots Landing you may as well continue on to Meat Cove – the northernmost community in Cape Breton.

There’s some good hiking around Meat Cove and great food awaiting you at The Chowder Hut.

View of Meat Cove Beach from the deck of the Chowder Hut Restaurant

View of Meat Cove Beach from the deck of the Chowder Hut Restaurant

After you satisfy your hunger get back on the road and visit the town of Cape North then continue to White Point for a scenic drive along the Nova Scotia coastline.

From there you’ll pass Neil’s Harbour and continue on to Ingonish where you’ll spend a couple of nights so you can explore the area.

Ingonish Beach at dusk Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Ingonish Beach at dusk Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Enjoy the beaches, hiking, and scenic coastal drives around Ingonish. I hiked a few trails in Cape Breton and visited Ingonish Beach in the evenings.

There’s a golf course at the Celtic Lodge in Ingonish and the lodge features live music events at the Arduaine Restaurant and the Highland Sitting Room.

Three great hikes around Ingonish are Jack Pine Trail, Middle Head Trail, and Broad Cove Mountain – get info on these and more hikes in Cape Breton here.

Find hotel deals in Ingonish and check availability here – they book up fast! If you want to stay closer to the beach check these listings. I stayed in a cute little cabin in Ingonish.

Day 9 – Cape Breton Ingonish to Baddeck

Total driving time: 90 minutes

Baddeck is home to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site so you’ll want to spend some time at the museum. The town of Baddeck is beautiful, enjoy exploring and tasting your way through town.

Hike the Uisge Ban Falls at 715 North Branch Rd Baddeck Forks.

Enjoy one last seafood dinner at the family owned Baddeck Lobster Suppers located at 17 Ross Street near the Baddeck Harbour.

Find the perfect hotel in Baddeck now!

Day 10 – Cape Breton to Halifax

Baddeck to Halifax

4.5 hours total driving time

On the road again for another scenic coastal drive from Baddeck to Halifax. It’s time to gather your wonderful memories of road tripping in Nova Scotia and fly home.

Split up the drive with stop in picturesque Guysborough and get some road trip snacks at Days Gone By Bakery at 143 Main Street – about 1 hour 40 minutes from Baddeck.

Readers have pointed out that this road trip is missing the eastern shore region. That is a great excuse for another trip to Nova Scotia for me!

For now you can check the Nova Scotia tourism info for a 3-day itinearary along the eastern shore here.

Alternate Route Baddeck to Halifax via Eastern Shore

5.5 hours total driving time

This route will take you to Guysborough and Sherbrooke and along the eastern shore. As folks have mentioned there is plenty to see in this region of Nova Scotia – I need to get back and explore it myself!

Enjoy your east coast road trip exploring beautiful Nova Scotia!

If you have any tips or suggestions for places to stop on the way please let me know in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading and happy travels!

Read these related posts to plan your Nova Scotia trip!

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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  1. Shannon - SoleSeeking says:

    Very useful itinerary, Susan! I currently live on Vancouver Island but would love to visit the east coast one day. Thanks!

    • Shannon, Thank you! I hope you do make the trip to Nova Scotia, it’s so different than Vancouver Island (my family visited Vancouver Island every summer to visit my grandparents in Courtney) but also some similarities like great seafood :)
      Maybe you should plan a great big Canadian road trip?! Cheers, Susan

    • Anne says:

      What about Liverpool Festival?

    • Jim says:

      On the trip around Wolfville, the Port Williams lookoff near Canning is something to take in. It is an escarpment that you can see from the Salt Flats near Windsor river to Berwick. It is especially scenic in apple blossom time and in the fall! On the Eastern Shore trip the Maritime History museum near Head of Jeddore was interesting too!

      • Jim, Thanks for you comment. Looking these up now, and adding to my list. I’m looking forward to seeing the fall colors in Nova Scotia this year, I left a bit too early last time.

  2. Marilyn Turnbull says:

    This is a good itinerary only thing missing is a trip along the eastern shore. There is more to see in Nova Scotia than the south shore and Cape Breton. Lacking tourist information about this area.

    • Marilyn, thank you for your comment. You make a good point about missing the eastern shore. As I wrote the post I also realized I need to spend more time in several areas of Nova Scotia. Another visit is necessary and I shall make it a priority to visit and write about the eastern shore. Cheers, Susan

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for such a thorough itinerary. We love nothing more than grabbing a hire car and going on a road trip and Nova Scotia is high on our list of next places to visit. So this will definitely come in useful.

    • Lisa, Thank you! Glad you liked the road trip itinerary, enjoy Nova Scotia when you do get a chance to visit – you will love the people and the places! Cheers, Susan

  4. Josy A says:

    Squeee Nova Scotia is so flipping pretty! I love that you included so many maps and photos. This all looks really useful…

    …but at the same time, the main thing I will take away from this is that I need to try scallops wrapped in bacon. They look really tasty!

    • Yes Josy! Nova Scotia is freaking gorgeous! If you were to get to Nova Scotia and only try the bacon wrapped scallops and then keel over and die, you would die happy!!! I would go back to NS and drive to JB’s at Barrington Passage just for a plate of those scallops….but I’d make it a double order :)

  5. Nicole says:

    We LOVE a good trip. I have wanted to explore Nova Scotia for quite some time. I like how detailed your itinerary is.

    • Nicole – Then you will LOVE a Nova Scotia road trip for sure! It is amazing! Thanks for reading and glad you like the detailed itinerary, hope you get to use it soon :)

  6. Sandra Ramsay says:

    Great road trip guide and I know its very hard to cover everything, but besides missing the eastern shore, you also missed all along the Parrsboro side of Fundy up through Joggins to Amherst. I would have continued right around this way instead of cutting across at Truro and New Glasgow. So many beautiful sites to see. Dining on the ocean floor..Five Islands Provincial Park…Ships Company Theater in Parrsboro and you must dine at the Harbour View Restaurant while in Parrsboro..and continue up to the Joggins fossil cliffs and museum. If you happened to dart into Springhill to tour a real coal mine underground, you may also be lucky enough to meet Canada’s Anne Murray at the Anne Murray Center in July. I could go on, but feel it is necessary to add both the eastern shore for some great things like Sherbrooke Village and fantastic hiking and beaches, Liscomb Lodge is awesome, and also the Parrsboro side of Fundy. Now your trip is nearly complete..happy driving!

    • Sandra, Thank you for reading and BIG thank you for your suggestions! It is a difficult (impossible, really) task to properly cover the whole of Nova Scotia in a 10-day road trip. Besides wanting to experience a variety of places, spend time chatting with people, eating all the great food, there’s a lot of time spent on the road driving. Two or three weeks would allow for a much fuller NS experience, but also add to the cost. A lot of people only get 2 weeks vacation though, so I decided on the 10 day itinerary and people can add days if they have the time. I do plan to go back to Nova Scotia so I’m adding your list of places around Parrsboro and eastern shore to my list. Really I should spend a whole summer in Nova Scotia to truly explore the province. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment. Cheers, Susan

      • Charlene Tuttle says:

        Totally agree with the comments. If you kept going up the coast along the fundy shore there are many more treasures. A visit to Cape Chignecto park and Cape d’Dor have views to rival any others along the “mini Cabot trail”. A visit to Advocate wouldn’t be complete without going to taste the food at the Wild Carraway. By cutting across you also missed the top part of the Northumberland Strait, warm waters and sandy beaches. Wineries, historical sites, and once again good old Nova Scotia hospitality. Just a suggestion that your return trip should be sooner than later and include the northern, often missed gems of Nova Scotia.

        • Charlene, thank you for commenting! Indeed, I missed out on some beautiful places in Nova Scotia. I’m adding all of your suggestions to my list. And I’m looking at a map right now, daydreaming about my next visit. Definitely going to include the places I missed out on last time. And I like your suggestion that a return trip should be sooner rather than later! Cheers, Susan

    • Marjorie says:

      We just did a road trip through to Parrsboro, beautiful area and we wished we had of gone through to Amherst, next time.

      • Marjorie, thanks for your comment. Enjoy the summertime road trips around Nova Scotia! I can’t wait to get back again, I’m aiming for a spring/summer trip next year. Amherst and Parrsboro are definitely on my list. Cheers, Susan

  7. Alanna says:

    So many great places to visit in our beautiful provnce of Nova Scotia! Lots of great details, however, a few gaps like Amherst and Springhill areas and the eastern shore. Also, when leaving Pictou you could take the Sunrise Trail route which takes you along the northern side of the province through many coastal communities between Pictou and Antigonish Counties. The Antigonish Highland Games takes place every July and is the longest running highland games event outside of Scotland. So many other festivals and events around the province as well that are unique to Atlantic Canada. Come back and enjoy!

    • Alanna, Thank you for your comment and tips! So many place to see in Nova Scotia it’s a challenge to do a 10 day road trip…maybe I should add a 14 day itinerary as well. Amherst, Springhill, Parrsboro area looks wonderful – I left out a whole chunk of Nova Scotia there! Sunrise Trail is a great suggestion, thank you! I love the coastal drives in NS. Would LOVE to attend the Antigonish Highland Games! Putting that on my wish list, won’t make it this summer but 2020 could be a plan. I have a few other NS festivals on my list as well. I really could spend a few months in Nova Scotia and not run out of places to see and things to do. Thank you Alanna! And yes I’ll come back :)
      Cheers, Susan

  8. Teresa Hensley says:

    Susan, the more I read, the more I smiled. I’ve had a home base in Austin for the past decade.. have managed an average stay of two months a year there.. last summer I headed up the east coast through Maine and on out through New Brunswick, P.E.I. and then Nova Scotia.. I had a rough plan for ten days in N.S. I drove straight to Cape Breton and the Red Shoe in Mabou. Ended up that night dancing at a Ceilidh and scribbling down the lists of places local people swore I couldn’t miss. Every day was like that. Breathtakingly beautiful land and coast.. fresh seafood…. absolutely lovely people and music everywhere. Two weeks later had to force myself to drive back over the bridge.. the beauty and people and MUSIC was very hard to leave. I wandered all over the rest of Nova Scotia for another three weeks and swore to go back for the Celtic Colors Festival this year. Of the many places I’ve wandered, this is one of the very best. I have spent a lot of time in B.C…. mostly in the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. I did not expect to find another part of Canada I would like as much. It delights me to have run across your post.
    Thanks. Hope to see more of you. Teresa Hensley

    • Teresa, thank you for sharing your travel story! Your comment makes me so happy, nice to know another woman who likes to roam around experiencing the beauty of the world and the kindness of the people. Nova Scotia steals your heart. Enjoy your travels back to Cape Breton for Celtic music fest – I’m leaving the link here for anyone else that may be interested – https://celtic-colours.com/ tickets go on sale July 9th. I won’t make it this year but 2020 is my plan. Keep dancing and exploring! Cheers, Susan

  9. Maryann Doucette says:

    Day 11…..Drive between Yarmouth and Digby checking the old churches and beaches and be sure to stop at Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse

  10. Pamela Armstrong says:

    Too bad, you drove right by Beautiful Shelburne on your way to Yarmouth!
    Historic waterfront, fine dining at Charlotte Lane, the Barrel Factory, the Black Loyalist Centre in Birchtown, Islands Park for camping on the other side of the harbour or stay at the beautiful Coopers Inn on the waterfront! You missed a lot there. And in Barrington you should try Captain Kat’s lobster Shack. And you missed the Acadian Village in Lower West Pubnico.

  11. Mary Harvey says:

    A visit to Nova Scotia is NOT complete without visiting the restored historic houses that are on their original sites in towns throughout the province.

    • Mary, thanks for commenting. I loved visiting the Knaut-Rhuland House museum in Lunenburg. There must be a list somewhere, of historic homes that one can tour but I haven’t found it yet. Cheers, Susan

  12. Anita McKarney says:

    Could this be made into a group trip for those who are interested?

  13. nancy white says:

    This was great but there is so much to see in the interior of Nova Scotia as well. There is Windsor, the birthplace of hockey. Mount Uniacke where you can find Uniacke House, the home of the late attorney general, great walking trails here and many lakes. There is a spot in the Gore Hills, Hants County, called courthouse hill, where you can see five counties from this hilltop. And fields blue with blueberries.
    There are so many beautiful spots in Nova Scotia. It’s hard to mention them all. What about the gorgeous apple orchards in Kings Co? and in Cape Breton I would not have missed Louisberg. there are the Rawdon Hills with the old gold mines. There is Shubenackadie wildlife park where we visited a lot as children. Shubenackadie Sam lives here.
    So often people think Nova Scotia is a bevy of coastline activity, but there is so much more to Nova Scotia. Like the beautiful farmland and forests, and all of the little communities along the way.
    You needed another ten days for the interior, but I did enjoy the pictures. I have lived in Nova Scotia for sixty-five years and have never set foot on a fishing boat and I don’t even care for fish. But I do love Nova Scotia and am proud of every inch of her, not just coastline and beaches.

    • Nancy, Thank you for all these travel tips for Nova Scotia! The blueberries from NS are the BEST! I did miss out on the interior area, and you’re right I could add another 10 days to explore. Really I could spend a couple months and still not run out of places to see. Having grown up in Calgary I am always keen to visit the coastal areas, but I enjoy exploring all regions. I’m adding your suggestions to my now GIANT list of places to see next visit, looking at spring 2020 for a longer road trip. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to offer your suggestions. Cheers, Susan

  14. Doris Betts says:

    Oh, what a shame that you missed the historic areas of St Peters (with its park and canal to the Bras d’Or lakes), the nearby Mi’kmaq community of Potlotek First Nation and beautiful Isle Madame on the south eastern side of Cape Breton, a mere 30 minute drive from Port Hawkesbury and the causeway! This island off the island is your quiet, uncrowded, picturesque destination on Cape Breton Island where you can enjoy nature off the beaten track! Rich in Acadian culture with some Irish thrown in as well, the island was once the summer cod fishing grounds of the Basque fishermen long before North America was permenantly settled by Europeans and still boasts excellent fish and seafood catches today! Get your fresh lobster, your fish and seafood (and excellent seafood chowder) at Premium’s Seafood Market on the High Road in Arichat. Grab a cup of freshly ground coffee and delectable freshly-made pastry from across the street at La Goelette a Pepe Cafe. This unique cafe tells the history of the local Acadian families and the tradition of the “sobriquets”, or nicknames they gave people to distinguish each from the others. Panels explaining the rich history of the shipbuilding boom in the area in the late 1800s line the outdoor porch. The cafe also sells unique arts and crafts created by local artisans. Step back in time and tour the grand, historic, wooden Our Lady of Assomption Cathedral nearby with its original architecture, artwork and organ, once the birthplace and home of St Francis Xavier University. Learn more local history at the LeNoir Forge museum on the Low Road in town. Spend the night at the recently restored Clairestone Inn and take in a drink on the large covered porch overlooking the harbour. Check out the sailboats at the marina across the water and stay at one of the cozy, fully-equipped Robin’s cottages beside the marina. Or rent the “Fisherman’s Cottage” airbnb in nearby Petit de Grat. Watch the spectacular sunsets over Arichat Harbour and maybe catch the whales feeding in the harbour or the lobster fishers pulling in their nets. Take an informative, guided lighthouse tour of the island. Walk the seaside trails. Enjoy some time with the kids on the beach in Pondville or take in a spectacular sunrise with a refreshing morning stroll along this sweeping stretch of sand. Let the lapping wave sounds relax you. Skip over to Petit de Grat and do some genealogical research to see if you have Acadian roots at La Picasse Cultural Centre and take in the Acadian Festival events in the French village in mid-August. Tour the educational Pebble and Fern Farm Market in Little Anse. Hike the coastal eco-trail nearby. Rent kayaks, SUP boards and canoes at the Groundswell Pub and bnb in D’Escousse where you can order a locally-made brew, a fine pub meal from their terrific menu or catch some live music in the evenings. Enjoy the serenity, slower pace, scenic beauty, cultural and historic richness and warmth of the friendly people who call this hidden gem of an island off Cape Breton Island home!

    • Doris, Thank you for your comment!! This sounds like the perfect place for me, and you’re right it’s a shame I missed it! Thank you so much for your marvelous write up about Isle Madame. I’m getting more excited about my next trip to Nova Scotia with each new place I’m learning about now. Cheers, Susan

  15. Kathryn Specht says:

    Grand Pre Historic and UNESCO site shouldn’t be under the Popular Annapolis Royal Attractions. It’s should be in the next section as it’s just outside of Wolfville. I grew up in this area.

  16. Ryan says:

    You completely missed the western half of NS as well, meaning 5 islands, parrsboro, advocate, Joggins and Amherst areas

    • Ryan, Thanks for your comment, but you are exaggerating a bit, right? Or you didn’t read the whole article? As others have noted in the comments I did miss out a lot of places, in particular Guysborough, Cumberland, Colchester regions. It is a challenge to fit the whole of Nova Scotia into a 10-day road trip. But I will make a point of visiting the regions I missed out on, during my next road trip to Nova Scotia. I was planning on spring but looks like it will be in the fall instead. I’m adding the places you mentioned to my list.

  17. SOLANGE ABBOTT says:

    We did something similar to this several years ago–try 1972. We live in Rollinsford, NH and drove to Bar Harbor, Maine. Saw the Blue Nose Ferry and took it and then drove to Halifax. Ended up on Cape Breton Island, saw the Alexander Graham Bell museum too. But, something that I can’t find much about anymore–maybe because it’s gone,. but there was a some sort of boat that you drove your car on and they had a rope across the water, and the men would pull on the ropes and take us across. It was awesome! I don’t think it was much money.
    Came upon it by accident. We camped the whole time. I’d love to do this again. But this time Hotel it!!! lol

    • Solange, What a wonderful experience for you, thanks for sharing your memories. I’d say you are long overdue for another trip to Nova Scotia! I’ve heard of that type of ferry you mention, but I’ve never been on one for vehicles. I wonder if it was the Englishtown Ferry that you took? In Lafayette Louisiana they have the Petit Bayou Ferry that is for people to cross the bayou at the historic village, it’s fun! I hope you get back to Nova Scotia soon and enjoy your trip. It’s interesting you mention camping because I thought my camping days were over but I’m about to buy a tent and plan to start camping during my travels rather than staying at hotels and home rentals all the time. Happy travels to you!

  18. June Blenkhorn says:

    Feel really disappointed that Amherst and Cumberland are not included in this trip, I guess you feel Nova scotia stopped at Truro.

    • June, Thanks for commenting. There’s a lot more of Nova Scotia than I had time to see and include in this itinerary. Rest assured both Amherst and Cumberland are on my list for next trip in the fall. I’m happy that you and others are commenting with your suggestions for places I missed!

  19. Melissa says:

    Next time you hit cape Breton Island go to the fortress of Louisbourg. It is amazing to see all the stores and way of life back in the day

    • Melissa, Thank you for commenting. Yes definitely, I have Fortress of Louisbourg on my list for next trip. I love visiting living history museums, it adds a lot to the experience when there are people in period costumes. I’m looking forward to it!

  20. Next time you come this way, be sure to check out Amherst – home of Nova Scotia Tourism’s New Tourism Business of the Year – Birkinshaw’s Tea Room!

    • Eleanor, Thank you for your comment. I will be there…I’m looking at the menu now, everything sounds scrumptious! I haven’t had a proper afternoon tea in ages, this is now on my Amherst must do list :)

      • Clare Christie says:

        Well done, as far as you go. I’m glad others have already urged you to include Cumberland County. Check out our history of the earliest Acadian Expulsion from Beaubassin, the Chignecto Ship Railway, our beautiful historic buildings and international Fibre Arts Festival (October) in Amherst, our fabulous beaches along Amherst Shore, the World Peace Conferences centre in Pugwash, and much more.

        • Clare, Thanks for commenting, I’m adding your suggestions to my list. I’ll likely be in Nova Scotia in October, trying to map it out now. I’ll be driving from Calgary (visiting family in summer) and hope to go to Newfoundland as well, via Quebec/Labrador ferry and arrive in NS via the Sydney ferry. Have to see how it goes though, still in the planning stage for now.

  21. Sharon Chamard says:

    This is a very nice guide. One correction though–in Halifax, the cemetery with passengers from the Titanic is Fairview, not Fair Lawn. I gather you’ve visited every place on your list, and it’s a shame you missed the awesome LaHave Bakery a little ways outside of Bridgewater on Rte. 331. It’s a lovely drive along the river, and the bakery and attached craft shop are both worth a visit. This would be very feasible on the drive down to Yarmouth, as the 331 connects with the 103.

    • Sharon, Thanks for commenting, I’ve made the correction on Fairview. I heard about LaHave Bakery and not sure how I didn’t make a stop because pastries and cookies are one (two I guess) of my weaknesses. I stocked up on road trip cookies at Weagles’ in Bridgewater, and Fancy Pants has lovely baked goods as well, so many good places! I’ll be sure to stop in LaHave Bakery next trip, I think it’s going to be a 3-week trip because my list keeps getting longer and longer.

  22. Jeff macdonald says:

    You didn’t mention sydney and the big fiddle, louisburg,the mira,miners museum,etc.missed entire south half of cape breton. Mainlanders.

    • Jeff, Thanks for your comment. Finally, someone mentions that I’ve left out Sydney! No one else mentioned it yet and I’m curious about that. Yes, I left out a good chunk of Cape Breton (and other regions of Nova Scotia) because you can’t see all of Nova Scotia in a 10-day trip. And I wanted to go hiking in the highlands, which I did and enjoyed! I’ll visit more of Cape Breton this fall, probably start in Sydney if my current plans work out. Thanks for your suggestions, adding them to my list.

  23. Kevin Williamson says:

    What about other areas of Cape Breton, Sydney, Glace Bay,Louisbourg, Bras d’or and points in between. Did you get tired?

    • Kevin, Thanks for commenting. YES! I did get tired and if I didn’t need to sleep I would’ve seen a whole bunch more. I think you’re the first to mention Glace Bay, and only the second to mention Sydney, but yes I’m adding these to my trip plan for the fall.

  24. Reinhard Sunnus says:

    Pity, you didn’t stop by in Bear River on the way from Digby to Annapolis Royal. There’s the Bear River Winery, Myrtle and Rosie’s Cafe for great burgers, the Oakdene Center and a few more venues worth checking out (there are quite a number of fine artists living and producing in Bear River).

  25. Connie F says:

    From Peggy’s Cove you can go through Chester. They have the oldest pub and restaurant Fos’cile and then go through Mahone Bay that has the beautiful picturesque 3 churches and the famous Mug& Anchor pub and restaurant.

    • Connie, Thanks for commenting. I like your suggestions, and I think some kayaking at Mahone Bay would be a good addition too! The list keeps growing :)

  26. Betsy says:

    My husband is from Canso, NS in Guysborough Co. If traveling to the NE tip in July, I suggest checking out Stan Fest. A 3 day music festival to celebrate hometown Folk Musician ( and cousin to my husband) Stan Roger’s. Also stop by the Whitman House museum, Head over to Grassy Island Museum and take a boat ride to Grassy Island. Afterwards grab lunch or dinner at the Harbour View Cafe- great fresh cod fish and chips! Little Dover a neighboring town has a great provincial park. Stop at the Canteen for a lunch or ice cream. There is a decked path through the marsh to a beautiful inlet beach, late July- early August the waters are warmer than even on the Atlantic Coast beaches such as Queenland’s beach, south of Peggy’s Cove. Which by the way, Peggy’s Cove has a great week long arts festival in July.

    • Betsy, Thanks for commenting. I won’t be in NS in July but your info will help other readers (more info on the Stan Fest website) I’ll have to get to Stan Fest another year, I love taking in live music events. I’m looking forward to the coastal drives and exploring Guysborough County, thanks for all the details, you’ve written up a good itinerary for me :)

  27. Phebe Baker says:

    Thanks for not mentioning Lockeport

  28. Stephanie says:

    This is a great article, as I live in Nova Scotia and am always ready to promote it to whoever is interested. There are some areas not mentioned, which is understandable, but one area is where I live… Baie Sainte-Marie (between Yarmouth and Digby), also known as the French Shore, in the Municipality of Clare. We are the largest French Acadian community in the province… where you would have found great festivals, music, art, culture, beaches and welcoming people! Maybe next time… :)

    • Stephanie, Thank your for commenting. The French Shore sounds wonderful and yes, indeed I will make a point of visiting Clare and Baie Sainte-Marie region. I’m planning on visiting in October, although I see the festivals are in the summer so that’s a good excuse to return yet again after that!

    • Stephanie- I am a Board member of the French-Canadian Genealogical Society of CT. We are researching the Acadians and the French-Canadians, and the perception of being different “groups”. Can you shed some light on this or point us in the right direction?

      • Stephanie says:

        Hello Phyllis,

        I think a good place to start would be the Centre acadien at Université Sainte-Anne, Church Point, in the Municipality of Clare, N.S. It is the only French-language university in Nova Scotia, and is situated approximately 1 hour from the town of Annapolis and the Port-Royal National Historic Site, where the first European settlement was formed in 1605! Bonne chance!


  29. Carla Snair says:

    I’ve read ALMOST all of your comments… people seem to get a little bitter when you haven’t visited their area, lol.
    I’m from just outside of Halifax and I’ve travelled extensively throughout North America and obviously especially all through NS, but I will tell you that of all the places I’ve been, the area of Five Islands-Parrsboro-Advocate, is the most beautiful and secret place of Nova Scotia. I know this area has been mentioned at least 5 times in the above comments, but I’ve been to all parts of our beautiful province and this is definitely a hidden “gem”! I don’t know if you like or have had clams, but Five Islands is famous for them and there are several places in that area that cook them the best, haha. When you start your travels just outside of Truro to head down that way you are travelling on the #2 Highway. It is scenically beautiful the entire drive! What gets me is that the view is never the same, because the tide is constantly changing along the Bay of Fundy. Seriously so incredibly gorgeous, the people and phenomenal and the food is to die for!
    I’m glad you loved what you’ve seen so far of our province. We can’t wait to have you back!

    • Carla, Thanks for commenting. I can’t wait to come back! I LOVE that the people of Nova Scotia are so passionate about where they live and the places that are dear to them. This is helping me with my trip planning, although it’s still going to be a challenge to see all the places in a few weeks. I’m reading up on all the locations people mentioned. Thanks for details and more input on Five Islands, Parrsboro, Advocate – I’ll definitely try the clams and spend some time there. The tides around Bay of Fundy are simply amazing to see. I’m super excited about my next trip!

  30. Catherine Hunter says:

    Sounds wonderful, however it seems you’ve left out a lot of beautiful places in Cumberland County such as Amherst, Parrsboro, Advocate, Joggins, Cape Chignecto, etc.

    • Catherine, Thanks for your comment. Yes, I missed a bunch! But I have added those places to my list for the fall trip, I’m looking forward to visiting Cumberland County for sure!

  31. Karen says:

    We are currently planning our trip for September, this has given us some great ideas thank you

    • Karen, Thanks for your comment. Wonderful! I hope you have a most amazing time in Nova Scotia. September is a beautiful time of year to visit Nova Scotia. Have fun!

  32. Lisa MacPherson says:

    So I have read all the comments, you certain didn’t have time to hit all the places you could have in our lovely province! There is one I would love for you to see, it is a coastal community between Barrington and Yarmouth on the South Shore, it is called Pubnico (it encompasses several communities), a jewel you will never forget and while you are there don’t forget to visit the Red Cap Restaurant and motel have a piece of pie ;) you will meet some lovely people especially if you go around 7pm when the locals gather for coffee and a chat! The Acadien museum is also a good place to stop and visit to get a feel for the history of the area. Enjoy your month in NS lol you will need at least that much time next visit!!!

    • Lisa, Thanks for commenting. You had me at pie :) I will add your suggestions to the big list for next trip. I’m putting together my itinerary for a fall road trip and you’re right a month or more is needed! I think I may split it up with a week or so in Nova Scotia before I go to Newfoundland and then 3 weeks when I get back. Looking forward to my next trip!

  33. Denis Frenette says:

    Sounds like a nice trip.

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