The sea, not surprisingly, plays an important role in many things to do in Nova Scotia whose coastline is roughly 10 times as long as its land length. However, different parts of the 4,600-mile long coastline have different activities offer. The Bay of Fundy separating Nova Scotia from New Brunswick gives rafters and kayakers the chance to challenge the world’s highest tides, while the Northumberland Strait between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia boasts the province’s sandiest beaches and warmest waters.
Nova Scotia’s finest fishing, on the other hand, lies beneath the 9,000 freshwater lakes within the province’s sparsely populated interior. The Digby Neck peninsula is the best place to spot dolphins or whales aboard one of the many marine life watching tours. Guided cycling tours are also plentiful along most of Nova Scotia’s beautiful coastal trails, which can be easily explored by car or foot.
As its name suggests, Pedal and Sea Adventures specializes in coastal cycling tours along Nova Scotia’s most spectacular coastline stretches. Cyclists can choose between Cape Breton tours along the Cabot Trail, Lunenburg Adventure tours along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Evangeline Trail tours through the Annapolis Valley, or a combination of any of the above.
Visitors who prefer exploring Nova Scotia with their own two feet can arrange guided hiking expeditions through Freewheeling Adventures, a small rural company which has organized hikes throughout Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia for over 25 years. Great E.A.R.T.H. Expeditions is an environmentally friendly Halifax-based company specializing in guided hiking tours of both Nova Scotia’s provincial capital and extensive rural coastline.
NovaShores Adventures offers guided sea kayaking expeditions through the world’s highest tides within the Bay of Fundy or the less challenging, but no less beautiful, waters off picturesque Peggy’s Cove. The company’s East Dover location near Halifax offers courses at two different levels for beginners. The Coastal Adventures company also provides lessons at its own Eastern Shore-based school.
Rafters, on the other hand, may prefer Whitewater Adventures’ guided white water rafting tour through the challenging waters of the Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia’s longest and the Bay of Fundy. Most local rafting tour companies, including the Shubenacadie River Runners, schedule their trips around the rise and fall of the Tidal Bore, which can dramatically increase the water’s depth by up to 30 feet.
Many Nova Scotia tour companies such as Maxxim Vacations, also include a trip to the beaches in their vacation packages. Melmerby Beach Provincial Park, along the Northumberland Strait, contains one of Nova Scotia’s sandiest stretch between Roy Island and Kings Head. South Shore beaches like Rissers Beach near Liverpool, may contain cooler waters than those on the North Shore, but include unforgettable Atlantic Ocean views.
More than 700 authorized vendors throughout Nova Scotia sell the mandatory licenses required for fishing in the province’s 9,000 freshwater lakes. Some tour organizers like Blue Shark Charters specialize in shark fishing, while others, such as Zappa Tuna Charters, focus on smaller catches like tuna or salmon. Salmon fishing requires a different license separate from the main one.
The Bay of Fundy and Cape Breton are Nova Scotia’s two prime whale watching spots. Most guided tours such as Cheticamp’s Love Boat Seaside Whale Cruises or Brier Island Whale Watch on the Bay of Fundy’s southernmost Nova Scotia Island, specialize in one region or the other. Whale watching season usually lasts longer on Cape Breton than on the mainland.
Nova Scotia has also become home to at least eight quality wineries, many of which provide free tours. Go North Tours is considered Nova Scotia’s premier company, offering excursions throughout the Annapolis Valley and North Shore, Nova Scotia’s two favorite regions. Domaine de Grand Pré, the province’s first operating winery, also boasts its own wine gallery.