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The accommodations are booked, your bags are packed, and the car is geared to go. But what’s on the menu for your Nova Scotia getaway? If you’ve planned an East Coast Canada road trip, here are some delicious things to do in Nova Scotia. Even for those with cottage rentals in Nova Scotia, these gourmet getaways offer a reprieve from cooking and a chance to get a taste of the province.
7 Delicious Things to Do in Nova Scotia
If you’re looking for things to do in Nova Scotia, add these seven culinary adventures to your itinerary.
For a Romance Reboot: Book a Heli-Picnic Island Escape (Halifax)
If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Nova Scotia, book the Heli-Picnic Island Escape—a half-day chopper excursion from Halifax that includes a private sommelier tasting and exclusive access to Sambro Island. Soaring in the air, get a million-dollar view of the spellbinding coast, revealing white granite shorelines and turquoise waters.
You’ll also get a bird’s eye view of Halifax’s heritage buildings and inside the walls of Citadel Hill, the star-shaped fort. After landing on the island, relax on the beach and enjoy a gourmet picnic basket of local fare—charcuterie, smoked salmon, cheeses and chocolate—paired with local wines. This is one of the most romantic getaways in Nova Scotia and it’s guaranteed to impress your bae (also: it’s a great place to propose!).
For a Taste of Acadian Culture: Join an Acadian Kitchen Party (Argyle)
Nova Scotia is home to the Acadian people—ancestors of French settlers who arrived in the early 1600s and co-existed with the Indigenous peoples. You can’t go to Nova Scotia without learning about this vibrant, celebrated culture—which should include sampling some traditional Acadian dishes.
Start in the heart of l’Acadie at the Argyler Lodge—a country inn located in the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region—where you can indulge in a four-course Acadian and Cajun feast featuring fresh-caught seafood and perfectly paired local wines. Throughout the evening, you’ll learn about the history of French Acadie, the connections to Louisiana, and stories of local Acadians through food and song. You may even get a chance to play the spoons with a local pro!
For Lobster Lovers: A Summer Lovin’ Picnic on Oak Island (Mahone Bay)
Got a lobster craving? There’s a trip for that. Book the ‘Legends & Lobster’ experience, a boat adventure to Oak Island—a mysterious isle featured on the History Channel show, The Curse of Oak Island. Aside from hearing treasure-hunting stories, you’ll enjoy a beachside smorgasbord, starting with lobster spring rolls and a lobster sushi-rolling demo with Oak Island Resort’s Executive Chef.
But save room for the showstopper course: a spread of local lobster and other seafood dishes paired with Tidal Bay wines. Afterwards, loaf on the beach, or if you can still move, grab a stand-up paddleboard and hit the water.
For a Taste of Cape Breton Island: Enjoy a Meal by Moonlight (Baddeck)
There’s plenty to eat in Cape Breton: from learning the art of the lobster boil in Cape Breton Highlands National Park to whiskey tastings at North America’s oldest single malt distillery to joining a ceilidh (Celtic party) and seafood adventure.
But for a one-of-a-kind gastronomic evening adventure, snag a spot on the Lighthouse Bites Full Moon Adventure—a nighttime kayaking trip on the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake, which is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Paddling through pristine waters, dock on Kidston Island for a moonlight soiree complete with music, craft beer, wine, and gourmet eats.
If You’re Sweet on Sap: Go for Canadian Maple Indulgence (Earltown)
Nova Scotia has a flourishing maple sugar industry, with more than 150 maple farms across the province. The maple has a unique flavour and makeup, which you can explore during the Canadian Maple Indulgence at Sugar Moon Farms—a family-run maple farm in the northern region. On an after-hours rendezvous with the owner, learn about the craft of maple sugaring, tour the camp, and taste the flavour profiles from the season. Bring your appetite: sitting by the fire, enjoy a farm-to-fork feast that features sweet, smoky, and savoury maple flavours in the dishes. Maple cocktails are also on the menu!
For Astronomy Addicts: Embark on a Starlight Culinary Escape
Here’s an outing that will thrill science geeks and romantics alike: take a culinary escape at the luxurious Trout Point Lodge—the world’s first certified Starlight hotel. Located in a dark sky preserve, Trout Point has created a unique wilderness experience, allowing guests to get a glimpse at the night skies without any light pollution.
The lodge is equipped with a star-gazing platform and telescopes, as well as an astronomer on staff to answer all your burning questions. Staying here, you’ll be stuffed silly with sumptuous East Coast fare. And in the evening, an astronomist shares celestial stories and secrets under a cabaret of stars, while you gorge on Nova Scotian chocolate and sparkling wine. Sign me up!
For a Wine Weekend: Inn at the Winery at Grand-Pré Winery (Grand-Pré)
Wine lovers take note: Domaine de Grand Pré Winery in the Annapolis Valley is opening an inn on the vineyard. Imagine waking up surrounded by rolling hills and grapevines, as well as a tasting room that offers some of the best wine in Canada. For an evening activity, snag a spot at the Chef’s Table Dining for an exclusive culinary evening with Chef Jason Lynch.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Due to the impact of COVID-19, make sure to check with the Nova Scotia tourism website for updates on travel restrictions. As of writing, Canadian travellers coming from outside Atlantic Canada can enter Nova Scotia with isolation requirements based on vaccination status and testing. More FAQs are answered here.