With summer fast approaching, it’s time to begin planning the perfect vacation—and this year, you can skip the debate about where to go.
Nova Scotia, Canada, has always been popular with tourists, but this summer, everything is lining up to make it the ultimate destination for every traveler’s needs.
Here are just five of the many reasons to choose Nova Scotia:
1) It’s Breathtakingly Beautiful
Known for its diverse landscape and stunning natural beauty, Nova Scotia has it all.
Miles of coastline offer access to white sand beaches or rugged rocky shores, and a network of well-maintained highways lead you through charming ocean-side villages and thriving agricultural towns.
The looming highlands of the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island offer dramatic vistas, while trails along the Atlantic Coast and the Kejimkujik Sea Adjunct offer the chance to glimpse marine wildlife in their natural habitat.
Take in the sight of the innumerable islands of Mahone Bay from shore or on a watercraft, and enjoy the striking effect of a bay full of sails during Chester’s race week.
With numerous picturesque communities and designated look-offs around the province, when it comes to photo-ops, Nova Scotia is sure to impress.
2) It’s Entertaining
Nova Scotia is known across Canada for having the nicest, most fun-loving population in the country – and what makes Nova Scotians so friendly?
Perhaps it’s all the interesting things going on around the province.
For urbanites, the capital city of Halifax offers a thriving arts scene.
Live music venues, theatres, restaurants, galleries and museums (like the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) abound, and the city’s popular waterfront boardwalk is alive with buskers and vendors all day long.
Whale watching and deep-sea fishing expeditions operate out of a number of different towns, while a leisurely tour of the vineyards of the Annapolis Valley is available for those who prefer to keep both feet on land.
The province boasts a popular craft beer scene, folk music, crafts, many excellent festivals, and no end of annual events and must-see destinations in every region.
3) It’s Adventurous
With so much rugged wilderness, it is no surprise that Nova Scotia is a No. 1 destination for outdoor adventurers in North America.
Offering a plethora of hiking trails through a variety of ecosystems and terrains, adventurers can experience many different landscapes within a few hours’ drive.
You could conquer Cape Split on foot or mountain bike, go sea-kayaking along the wild Eastern Shore or the Bras D’Or Lakes, surf or parasail at one of the province’s stunning beaches, or go zip lining at in the mountains at Martock.
The possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless, but the fun doesn’t stop there!
Nova Scotia is well known for its stories of haunting and pirate treasure.
The supernaturally inclined can go on any number of chilling ghost walks, and can keep a wary eye open for the flaming ghost-ship of the Northumberland Strait.
Treasure seekers can ask the locals about the infamous Treasure Pit of Oak Island, or go panning for gold at the Ovens Provincial Park.
There is even excitement for those who seek less conventional thrills, who can investigate the mass UFO sighting of 1967, locally known as the Shag Harbour Incident.
4) It’s Historic
As home to the Mi’kMaq First Nation and one of the earliest locations of European settlement in North America, attractions for the history buff abound in Nova Scotia.
For the more relaxed traveler, the historic sites at the Halifax Citadel, Fortress of Louisbourg, Fort Anne, or the Habitation offer guided tours and live reenactments by costumed performers that are sure to spark your interest.
For those willing to venture into more rugged terrain, the trails of Kejimkujik National Park harbor historic Mi’kMaq petroglyphs, and the Canso Island National Historic Site offers artifacts from the Dummer’s war and one of the earliest fishing settlements in North America.
Literature fans can explore the land of Evangeline and mull over the Acadian Expulsion at Grand Pré, rockhounds can comb the fossil-rich shorelines of the Bay of Fundy or examine the displays at Joggins and Blue Rock, and those who like to mix history and adventure can descend into the coal mines at the Cape Breton Miners Museum.
5) It’s Accessible
Today, the attractions of Nova Scotia are more accessible than ever.
With service from two major ferries (Yarmouth and Digby), Via Rail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and an international airport with connecting flights from across North America, getting here is easy and enjoyable.
A low Canadian dollar means that travelers from the USA will enjoy an excellent rate of exchange, boosting the affordability of all of the exciting activities on offer, and there are a range of charming accommodations available in every town.
The icing on the cake is that, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, general admission to all Parks Canada sites is free when you order the no-cost pass from the Parks Canada website.
So get your free parks pass and hit the trails – you’re not going to want to miss an adventure this summer in Nova Scotia!