Places to visit in Nova Scotia Canada

Places to Visit in Nova Scotia

Lighthouses are a common sight in Nova Scotia.Lighthouses are a common sight in Nova Scotia. (Photo: DC Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images )

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Nova Scotia, a Canadian maritime province, is one of the first places settled by Europeans in the country. Much of Nova Scotia's history is tied to the sea, and so are many of its interesting places to visit. Travelers to Nova Scotia often feel as though they've stepped back to the time when Canada was still a British colony.

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg is home to the Bluenose II, Canada's most famous fishing schooner. The museum is filled with hands-on activities and exhibits, including a tour of the flagship Teresa E. Connor. To bring Nova Scotia's maritime history to life, the museum has heritage interpreters on hand, which include retired fishermen and fishing boat captains. These sailors provide first-hand accounts of life at sea in the north Atlantic Ocean. An on-site aquarium exhibits halibut, Atlantic whitefish and ocean pout.

Old Town Lunenburg

Nova Scotia's Old Town Lunenburg is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1753, it retains much of its original colonial appearance. Lunenburg was built on a narrow peninsula following the British colonial grid plan where streets and blocks are laid out in geometric patterns regardless of geography. Of the Old Town's approximately 400 buildings, 70 percent date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and made of brightly painted wood.

Shelburne

Historic Shelburne is located about two hours outside of Halifax. The seashore community plays host to a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the Lobster Festival in late May and the Founder's Day Festival in June. The Loyalist Encampment in July brings 18th-century Nova Scotia to life with battle and living history reenactments. The city's tall ships port accommodates large, rigged sailing vessels and is home to two 18th-century replica longboats built in 2008.

Lighthouses

Nova Scotia's coast is dotted with nearly 200 lighthouses. The oldest of these lighthouses, the Sambro Island Lighthouse, was built in 1758, and is the oldest lighthouse working lighthouse in North America. The automated lighthouses are maintained by their local communities. The Walton Harbour Lighthouse along the Glooscap trail shined lights over Hants County for 100 years before it stopped working in the 1970s. Now tourists get a panoramic view of the surrounding area from its lantern room during the summer months.

Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island is named for the explorer John Cabot who was the first European to visit the island in 1497. The trail spans 185 miles along Cape Breton's coast, and includes parts of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. As the trail loops around the island it passes through many small towns where hikers can visit local attractions like the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site in Baddeck or get a bite to eat at Chéticamp's Seafood Stop. The Cabot Trail is broken up into more than two dozen smaller trails that range in length from approximately .5 mile to 16 miles.

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