With 8,265 miles of coastline, including many islands, Nova Scotia is the perfect place to enjoy incredible coastal adventures. Here are seven local favorites:
Seaside camping at Meat Cove
On a cliffside on the very northern tip of Cape Breton sits the remote campground of Meat Cove. There you’ll find hiking and biking trails, as well as kayaks for rent. Take to the water and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale swim by.
Camp on a private Island
Go on a luxurious camping adventure on the Island of Isle Haute in the Bay of Fundy with Advocate Boat Tours. Hike around the island then explore it by sea in a tandem kayak. Your adventure hosts have included everything – from an incredible three-course meal to a luxurious equipped campsite along the shore. Best of all? No crowds!
Go whale watching
Nova Scotia has great whale watching, being home to a remarkable 12 species of whales including humpback, finback, minke, and pilot whales. Keep your eyes peeled for a spout of water or a fin slapping the surface as you venture out to Brier Island on the Bay of Fundy or explore the shores around Pleasant Bay and Cheticamp in Cape Breton.
Give surfing, kite surfing, or stand-up paddle boarding a try
Rent a board and take a lesson with one of Nova Scotia’s many surf schools. You can even try yoga on a paddle board with Supdudeyoga. Standing up on water not your thing? Give kayaking a go – from gentle harbors to glacial barrens, there are outfitters around Nova Scotia to take you on a tour.
Explore 100 Wild Islands
Along the coast of Nova Scotia’s eastern shore are nearly 300 wild Islands which are protected by the province’s Nature Trust. From white sand beaches to coastal cliffs, these islands offer so much to explore. This is an area that is truly off the beaten path but still accessible for you to travelers. How to do it? Take a scenic boat tour with Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean. They even offer a camping adventure on your own private island which includes fresh lobster and mussels. Or explore by kayak with Coastal Adventures.
Bike the coast
If you enjoy seaside views while you cycle, try the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail in Cape Breton with 57 miles of easy flat trail from Port Hastings to the town of Inverness. For those who want a bigger challenge, the Cabot Trail offers plenty of hills with seaside vistas – you can put your quads into it it or take a sightseeing van tour option to help you through some of the steeper climbs. Or visit Baie Sainte-Marie during the Gran Fondo event, with 73-, 42-, and 22-mile panoramic rides along the coast of the Acadian Shores.
If you love to hike and you love the ocean, Nova Scotia offers the best of both. Cape Split is a 7.5-mile hike with a stunning view of Scots Bay in the Bay of Fundy when you reach the top. Or try Gaff Point a coastal hike that includes a wooded trail near the UNESCO Town of Lunenburg (psst, locals say there’s a secret beach on the trail). The Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a 6.5-kilometre loop in Cape Breton that’s suitable for all skill levels and has a breathtaking view at the top. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park has 33 miles of trail with several loops and campsites along the way. Taylor Head offers 8.8 miles of trail on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. And Kejimkujik National Park Seaside offers two loops – one 3.3 miles and one 5.4 miles, with white sand beaches and glacial carved headlands.
Explore our lighthouses
The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove might be the most well-known lighthouse in Canada but there are many more to explore. Check out the Lighthouse at Cape d’or where you can indulge in some fresh seafood at the Lightkeeper’s Kitchen and Guest House. A visit to the unique applecore style Lightstation at Cape Forchu is best paired with a spot of lunch in the Mug Up Team room. Take a walk around the coastal trail at the Louisbourg Lighthouse with a view of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic site in the distance. Or snap a selfie at the candy cane striped lighthouse on Brier Island after your whale watching adventure.