About Nova Scotia
“Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland” in Latin, and is one of the four provinces which form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax.
Nova Scotia is Canada’s second-smallest province, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres, including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is the second most-densely populated province in Canada with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental rather than maritime. The temperature ex-tremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean.
Nova Scotia weather can be summed up into one word – moderate. It rarely gets extremely hot or extremely cold. The daily temperature does fluctuate both by time of day and by your proximity to the ocean. If you spend the morning in Halifax, the afternoon in Wolfville and end up in Yarmouth for the evening – the weather and temperature can be quite different. Having a fleece or knit sweater on hand for easy layering will keep you comfortable wherever you are.
“TOP 10” in Nova Scotia
1. Self-driving – Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Park was the first national park designated in Atlantic Canada. The Cabot Trail, a world-famous scenic highway, runs along parts of the coastal borders on both sides of the park and crosses the highlands. With its salt-tanged fishing villages and mountainous interior cloaked in dense woods.
Summer and fall are the best time to drive the Cabot Trail. The attractions described above reflect a counterclockwise trip around the Cabot Trail, starting in the town of Baddeck.
2. Night Sky – Kejimkujik National Park
Discover one of North America’s darkest skies at Kejimkujik, a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Dark Sky Preserve.
Kejimkujik offers a unique perspective of the night sky by providing visitors with the oppor-tunity to discover both the astronomical science and the Mi’kmaw cultural perspectives of the night sky.
3. Atlantic entertainment and gourmets – Halifax Waterfront
The Halifax waterfront is a hub of culture and commerce in Nova Scotia. Surrounded by sparkling ocean, a working port, and featuring one of the world’s longest downtown boardwalks, the Halifax waterfront is home to a mix of year-round and seasonal pubs, restaurants, museums and shops, exciting events for local people and visitors.
4. Highest tides in the world and over 15 species of whales – Bay of Fundy
A visit to Nova Scotia is not complete without witnessing the incredible tides of the Bay of Fundy. Each day, twice a day, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of it, creating one-of-a-kind adventures that literally can’t be had any place else on earth! Looking to witness the tidal bore rolling in or experience the dramatic tides? Climb 300 foot cliffs overlooking waters where 15 species of whales come to mate, play and feast on plankton.
5. UNESCO and Tall Ship- Lunenburg Town
This UNESCO World Heritage Site – with its narrow streets and unique architecture – is also the home port of Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II. The graceful ship is a replica of the original fishing boat that found fame as a racing schooner.
Wander Old Town Lunenburg’s distinctive waterfront with its colourful buildings and listen for salty tales of seafaring and rum-running. Discover what life is like on the open ocean when you visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on the Lunenburg waterfront.
6. Seafood Gourmet – Nova Scotia Lobster
If you haven’t eaten Nova Scotia lobster in Nova Scotia, then you haven’t really eaten lobster.
Lobster is so naturally delicious that it’s best when prepared simply. The traditional Nova Scotia method is to cook lobster in a big pot of boiling saltwater, fresh from the ocean. You can eat it hot or cold but melted butter and lemon wedges are a must.
7. A Photographer’s paradise – Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
Set on rocky shores, the lighthouse and village at Peggy’s Cove are a photographer’s paradise on the Nova Scotia coast. Its classic red-and-white lighthouse marks the eastern en-trance of St. Margaret’s Bay. Built in 1915, the lighthouse is officially known as the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse and today is still operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.
8. Back to 1600s – Winery
Nova Scotia has a long and rich tradition for growing grapes for wine dating back to the 1600s, when this was one of the first areas to cultivate grapes in North America.
Framed by two parallel mountain ranges, the Annapolis Valley is one of Canada’s best fruit-growing regions with several hundred varieties of apples being grown here. Home of the legendary Glooscap of the Mi’kmaq people, early European settlers farmed this soil and fished these waters. Today, the Valley’s rolling fertile fields also include more than 20 types of grapes and an emerging wine industry. Be sure to visit a winery (or two) to discover Nova Scotia’s award-winning wines that are receiving accolades from around the world.
9. Immigration history museum – Pier 21
Pier 21 is a National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian Military personnel during the Second World War. Today, Pier 21 hosts the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21—Atlantic Canada’s only national museum!
10. Connect to Titanic – Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada, and the largest site in Nova Scotia that collects and interprets various elements of Nova Scotia’s marine history. Visitors are introduced to the age of steamships, local small craft, the Royal Canadian and Merchant Navies, World War II convoys and The Battle of the Atlantic, the Halifax Explosion of 1917, and Nova Scotia’s role in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster.
One of the museum permanent exhibit tells the story of Titanic’s creation and demise, drawing out the key role Halifax played in the disaster. While Titanic’s survivors went to New York, all who perished came to Halifax. The cable ship crews braved awful conditions to re-cover bodies and invented a unique system to solve the mystery of many unidentified victims. Many kept pieces of Titanic wreckage in their family for generations, preserving wonderfully carved pieces of her woodwork found as flotsam after the ships’ sinking on April 15, 1912. Glimpses of their personal stories and those of the victims who are buried in Halifax are the essence of the museum’s Titanic connection.
Get to Nova Scotia
Beijing/Shanghai/Guangzhou/Hong Kong – Toronto – Halifax
Beijing/Shanghai – Montreal – Halifax
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