Province/Territory: Nova Scotia

Highest Tides, Coastal Drives and Freshest Seafood

  • 81 Heritage and Historical Sites
  • 7,600 Kilometres of Seacoast
  • 07 Distinct Regions

Nova Scotia—it means New Scotland—but you will discover many cultures here. Strong Celtic and Acadian heritages create your opportunity to tap along with bagpipers, drummers, and fiddlers. Dive into military history at the Halifax Citadel National Hisoric Site or Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Around the province, your sense of humour is useful: locals’ friendliness is legendary and many folks are quick with a story or joke. Take up temporary residence in one of North America’s oldest towns, Annapolis Royal. Dive into the pulse of Halifax’s thriving pub scene in a city famous for one of Canada’s most-loved beers. Eat more fresh lobster and scallops than you ever thought possible, pulled from the Atlantic and the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides. Visit sites where the Titanic disaster is remembered as a local event. Hike coastal trails and spot whales offshore. Create your own postcard photos of colourful architecture in seaside villages like Lunenburg and Peggy’s Cove.

This is Nova Scotia, a coastal playground with bagpipes and seafood.

Outdoor adventure

Urban adventures

  • Find local produce and artisan items at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, and explore the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 right next door.
  • Step back in history to learn about one of Canada’s most popular beers at the Alexander Keith’s brewery tour in Halifax.
  • Learn about a unique architectural style while shopping and dining in Halifax’s trendy Hydrostone neighbourhood.
  • Spend an evening visiting Halifax pubs, where you’re likely to hear live music and sample regionally-produced beer and wines.

Arts & Culture

Food & Drink

  • Sink your teeth into big, tender Digby scallops and shell your own local lobster.
  • Try a taste of Scottish heritage—the single malt whiskey at Glenora Distillery.
  • Learn why Cajun and Creole are important here—and some related cooking skills at Trout Point Lodge.

Nature & Wildlife

  • Book a tour to watch humpback, minke and or right whales at sea.
  • Experience the Bay of Fundy: 100 billion tons of water pour in and out twice a day.
  • Relax on one of countless beaches.
  • Drive the world famous Cabot Trail, named by Lonely Planet as one of the most scenic highways in the world.

Weather

  • Spring in Nova Scotia (mid March) brings temperatures from freezing to a comfortable 20°C. Gardens and golf courses come to life.
  • From mid June through mid September, warm days are the norm across Nova Scotia with temperatures around 20°C - 25°C, maybe a bit cooler by the sea. It’s the perfect time to hit the beach, take a hike, and play on the Bay of Fundy.
  • Fall arrives in mid September, bringing gradually cooler temperatures into mid-December. Early- to mid-fall is the time to experience Nova Scotia’s countless leafy trees (maple, oak, and others) in their dazzling show of autumn colours.
  • Winter can bring freezing and icy temperatures, but can be broken by above-freezing temperatures. It’s a great time to sample indoor activities—including great dining and museums, or to watch a local hockey or curling match.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Normals Website.
Quick facts

Quick Facts:
Area: 55,284, sq km (21,345 sq mi)
Cities: Halifax, the capital and largest city
Population: 945,437
Origin of Name: “New Scotland” in Latin
Official Welcome: Ciad Mile Failte (Gaelic for One Hundred Thousand Welcomes)

 

When to go
  • The many deciduous trees of the region make for a vibrant, colourful show of autumn leaves, generally during October.
  • Halifax is vibrant year-round; as a university town, pubs are especially busy during the school season.
  • Cruise ship season peaks in the fall when the leaves are changing colour.
  • Golf is best from late spring through early fall.
  • Wildlife viewing and whale watching is good from spring to fall, with various species peaking at different times.
  • Plan your vacation around Nova Scotia’s many festivals and events.
Getting Here
Getting around