Nova Scotia vacations
Clinging to its maritime past, Nova Scotia is a largely unspoilt land of green hills, rocky coastline and fishing towns and villages whose appearance and traditions have changed little over the centuries. Our specialists have explored this corner of Canada extensively and can plan a vacation to Nova Scotia around your interests that takes in the province’s best bits.
You’ll begin your visit in the provincial capital, Halifax. It’s a city where Celtic music and old sea shanties ring out of pubs, fresh seafood chowder is ladled into bowls in waterfront restaurants, and museums fill you in on the region’s past, from its military history to its role in welcoming immigrants to Canada.
Take the scenic Lighthouse Route along the coast and you’ll pass through Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing village where you can visit one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. The road hugs the coastline until it reaches the town of Lunenburg. Here, a rabble of red-painted wooden houses covers the hillside, and shops and galleries line the narrow streets.
Elsewhere in Nova Scotia, we recommend driving the Cabot Trail. This 297 km (185 mile) coast road winds around the highlands of Cape Breton Island, presenting a different view over the ocean at every turn. You could drive it all in one go, or our specialists can arrange for you to stay overnight, giving you time to explore the walking trails of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
Places to visit in Nova Scotia
Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Nova Scotia, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Map of Nova Scotia
Places & hotels on the map
Places in and around Nova Scotia
- Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia
- Cape Breton & Cabot Trail Nova Scotia
- Charlos Cove Nova Scotia
- Halifax Nova Scotia
- Ingonish Nova Scotia
- Liscomb Mills Nova Scotia
- Louisbourg Nova Scotia
- Lunenburg Nova Scotia
- Pictou Nova Scotia
- Spry Point 68 miles away
- Charlottetown 73 miles away
- Prince Edward Island 85 miles away
- Cavendish 94 miles away
- Riverside-Albert 113 miles away
- West Point 130 miles away
- Îles de la Madeleine 148 miles away
- Kouchibouguac National Park 159 miles away
- Saint John 173 miles away
- The Bay of Fundy 174 miles away
- New Brunswick 202 miles away
- Caraquet 208 miles away
- Saint Andrews by the Sea 222 miles away
- The Gaspé Peninsula 263 miles away
- Anticosti Island 293 miles away
Photos of Nova Scotia
Our expert guides to exploring Nova Scotia
Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Nova Scotia, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Nova Scotia at its best.
Canada’s Maritime Provinces offer a quieter alternative to the west coast. Here, you can follow coastal roads to secluded coves and traditional lighthouses. Visit peaceful fishing villages where saltbox houses line the waterfront. And, explore the area’s Celtic roots. Canada specialist Jon shares his highlights of the region.
Accommodation choices for Nova Scotia
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Nova Scotia. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
This Victorian-era heritage property is located on George Street, one of the oldest streets in Canada. The historic inn showcases antique furniture with Victorian-style wallpaper and rugs while still offering modern amenities. With a great location, beautiful elm tree-studded grounds and memorable 3-course breakfast, this is one of our top choices in the area.
A choice of sleek, modern rooms and cottages set on a private beach make this welcoming inn a rewarding choice on the Cabot Trail. With a scenic setting and numerous outdoor activities on the doorstep, it makes a good base for exploring the area.
This hotel makes a good base for exploring Louisbourg thanks to its views sunny ocean-view rooms, a convenient location just minutes away from the fortress, and a restaurant that features costumed servers and an authentic Cape Breton menu.
Spacious cottages with private decks provide a comfortable base for exploring Cape Breton's forested hills and weather-beaten coastline. With ocean views and easy access to a variety of hiking trails, it's a convenient and comfortable base for exploring the area.
Liscombe Lodge enjoys a beautiful riverside setting. Accommodation here includes cottages and chalets, and each of the river-view lodge rooms has its own private balcony.
Located on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, Seawind Landing is a secluded getaway offering gourmet meals and an extensive wine cellar.
Located in the heart of Lunenburg, the Lunenburg Arms Hotel and Spa provides a comfortable, Maritime-themed stay with easy access to local attractions and restaurants. The hotel has more facilities than others in the area, including a well-reputed spa.
Located in the core of Lunenburg, the Mariner King Inn is within a short walking distance of the seaside town’s cafes, restaurants and local attractions. This historic inn is named after King William, the first Britain to visit Nova Scotia and has a Georgian feel, with period furniture and plush fabrics.
Pictou Lodge Resort is just minutes from both Pictou and the PEI ferry, and features authentic log cottages set beside expansive private beaches.
Evening Sail B&B is a lovely, historic property situated within colorful gardens, consisting of just six rooms and suites.
Located just off Main Street, Louisbourg Harbour has eight beautifully decorated guest rooms, six of which overlook the historic harbour.
The grande dame of Halifax hotels, the Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is conveniently located and seamlessly blends period charm and modern conveniences with classically elegant public spaces and sleek, contemporary rooms.
The Cambridge Suites is a modern, all-suites property located in downtown Halifax. Ideal for longer stays, this hotel is popular with both families and couples.
Just a short, pleasant stroll from the waterfront, the Halliburton offers an intimate selection of rooms and suites across three heritage town homes. Because of the historical nature of the buildings, each room has its distinct shape, size and character.
Set in the heart of Lunenburg, the Addington Arms B&B offers spacious rooms, just minutes from the waterfront, restaurants, cafes and art shops.
Centrally located in downtown Halifax, the Prince George Hotel offers comfortable accommodation with first class service, and is within walking distance of Halifax's major attractions.