About Nova Scotia: Why the small Canadian province is worth a visit
Canada’s coastal province isn’t a huge destination, but it should be
Nova Scotia has gone through a lot of historical changes through the years
The area features plenty of opportunities to enjoy world-class seafood and wine
For the outdoorsy type, the natural wonders are a must-see
Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada but it more than makes up for its small size with scenic beauty, culture, a unique Nova Scotia history, and an array of fresh seafood.
Known as Canada’s French little secret, the coastal province is a humble place with plenty of points of interest throughout the region. Furthermore, while most of the province does speak English, Nova Scotia’s French influence is felt everywhere.
The skinny on Nova Scotia history
Nova Scotia is one of three maritime provinces in Canada. When Europeans were settling in the country, the French colonized Nova Scotia and their history of French ancestry still thrives today.
The province joined the Canadian Confederation in 1867 following a century of wars with other colonists and the native tribe Mi’kmaq. Nova Scotia had been colonized by different sects, including the Scottish, the English, and the French. The mixing of all these colonies over the year left a footprint on the area.
It’s home to beautiful natural wonders
Though the province is small, it is home to big-time scenery. Natural wonders abound across its small area including waterfalls, caves, and canyons. Perhaps the most well-known wonder of Nova Scotia is The Bay of Fundy. The bay between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has the highest tide in the world and because of that, the bay has been shaped beautifully.
One of the most notable features of the area is Balancing Rock, a natural phenomenon that appears to be a large boulder balancing on the edge of the rocks below it. Briar Island also sits in the bay and is home to local wildlife, and has arguably one of the best sunsets in the world. With plenty of densely forested hikes, tall majestic waterfalls, and ocean views the natural scenery of Nova Scotia is unmatched.
The area is a seafood and wine lovers paradise
Nova Scotia prides itself on its fresh seafood and exceptional boat-to-table service. The Nova Scotia Seafood Trails, a chowder trail and a lobster trail, are experiences that any seafood lover should take part in. The tours take tourists on a wild ride of fresh seafood through a collection of restaurants, fisheries, and retail stores.
With over 18 wineries across the small province, Nova Scotia is a unique region for Canadian wines and wineries. Wine enthusiasts should consider the Wolfville Magic Winery bus tour, a hop on and off service that takes wine aficionados across the province to visit the grounds of five wineries in the Annapolis Valley. Later, at the Maritime Wine & Beer Emporium, visitors can make their own bottles to take home with them.
The culture is off the charts
There is no shortage of cultural activities to explore in Nova Scotia. Throughout the year they host many exciting events such as FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, the Halifax Pop Explosion festival, and the oldest jazz festival in Atlantic Canada, the Halifax Jazz Festival.
Our culture is written in the lives of our people. It’s also written in our stage plays, movies, music and art.
Additionally, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia offers up a collection of fine artworks by Canadian artists and from artists around the world. They have ever-changing traveling exhibitions, and even offer workshops for aspiring artists.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
- What country is the largest country in the world? | Vacation 101
The size of a country isn’t always dependent on its area.
- Five things customs won’t let you bring back to the U.S. | Living 101
Knowing what you can and cannot bring to the U.S. will make your trip that much easier.