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Red deck chairs Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Best Things to Do in Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Author Lori Sweet and Sylvio Roy
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Nova Scotia has so much to offer visitors. From the rugged coastline in the east to Nova Scotia’s pretty Annapolis Valley in the west, Nova Scotia is a destination that you shouldn’t miss. Here are some of our favourite things to do and see when visiting the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. 

Historical Roots of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia lays claim to one of North America’s oldest continuous settlements. See what Nova Scotia was like back in the days when European settlers first arrived to make new lives for themselves.

Port-Royal, Nova Scotia

Port-Royal National Historic Site

Port-Royal National Historic Site was one of the first European settlements in North America. It was the first to settle north of Florida in 1604. Samuel de Champlain, when establishing Port-Royal, followed the French fortified farm hamlet layout. The buildings were laid in a rectangle with ramparts mounted with cannons. Port-Royal was the first outpost of what was to become the French colony known as Acadia. The winters were harsh, and many people did not survive. The colonists needed the help of the Mi’kmaq people to survive and thrive in such a harsh environment. The Mi’kmaq welcomed the French and formed a friendship and alliance.

Canoe and Animal skins at Port Royal

You can now visit the reconstructed Port-Royal with live interpreters in early 17th-century costumes. It’s fascinating to learn about the hardships these early settlers had to endure to build this country we now call Canada.

A visit to Port-Royal is not complete until you visit the wigwam and immerse yourself in the Mi’kmaq culture. Local Mi’kmaq will educate you with their stories, legends, artifacts, and maybe even a song or two.

Grand Pré, Nova Scotia

Grand Pré National Historic Site

A UNESCO world heritage site, Grand Pré National Historic Site is a powerful monument to the early French settlers and Acadian history. The site celebrates Grand Pré as a vital part of Acadian history from the early French settlements in 1682 until the deportation of Acadians in 1755, also known as “Le grand derangement” (the great upheaval).

You can take a guided or self-guided tour where you’ll learn how the early Acadians ingeniously used a series of dikes and one-way valves to drain low-level lands from the sea. This gave them fertile lands to cultivate. You can also view a short film of the history of these French settlers and a statue of Evangeline, the heroine of the Longfellow poem narrating the tragic event of the deportation mentioned earlier. Although Evangeline is a fictitious character, she remains a symbol of this heartrending part of Canadian history.

Walking through the site, you can enjoy the serenity of the duck ponds and weeping willows. You will understand why Grand Pré, meaning “Great Meadow,” is a very appropriate name for this peaceful corner of Nova Scotia.

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Fort Anne National Historic Site Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Fort Anne National Historic Site is a few minutes walk from the downtown core of Annapolis Royal. The Scots first erected the Fort, and then it was expanded by the French and eventually taken over by the British. In the Officers’ Quarters, now a museum, you will learn about the area’s last 400 years of history and the relationship between the Mi’kmaq, French, British, and Acadians. Several historical markers lay in and around Fort Anne. These markers explain how the Fort operated. One marker shows the old Queen’s Wharf, used during the deportation of the Acadians. A walk through the grounds is both peaceful and informative.

A boardwalk meanders along the waterfront of downtown Annapolis Royal. In addition, to the spectacular view of the bay, you can breathe in the salty air while watching the movement of the tides. Another fascinating aspect of the boardwalk is the historical markers that give you insight into the early days of the settlement. (We recommend ice cream from One Scoop, Two Scoop for the walk)

Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens Nova Scotia

The Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, located a short 5-minute walk from downtown, showcases gardening methods used locally over the past 400 years! A highlight of the garden is a reconstructed 17th-century Acadian house. The beautiful gardens will allow you to enjoy the slower pace of Nova Scotia and its numerous and unique flowers.

Pro Travel Tip: Visit Nova Scotia’s tourism website. It’s an excellent resource for planning your Nova Scotia getaway. 

Fun Things to Do in Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has over 100 lighthouses in addition to its many beaches. So, take some time out and enjoy one of Nova Scotia’s most celebrated features. 


Margaretsville Lighthouse at sunset

A picturesque little village on the coast of the Bay of Fundy, Margaretsville is your quintessential Nova Scotian hamlet. The village had a bustling shipbuilding industry in the early 20th century. Now it caters to tourists. You can visit the historic lighthouse or the local museum, where artifacts of the village shipbuilding heydays are on display. You can also walk along the wharf and witness the mighty Bay of Fundy tides. They are around 8 metres (25 feet) in height at Margaretsville. A 10-minute stroll down the beach to the waterfall is a must. You can visit the Art Shack if you feel more artistic, where local artist pieces are on display. Most of all, take your time. The sea dictates the pace of life in the village.

Boats at Margaretsville in low tide

Read the article:  Shubenacadie River Tidal Bore Rafting and Mud Sliding Nova Scotia Style

Lobster Boat Tour

Do you want to experience what it’s like to be a lobster fisherman? The Bay of Fundy Scenic Lobster Tours in Tiverton, located about 50 km (30 miles) east of Digby, is a great place to do just that. Guided by Captain Kyle and Tour Guide Tamara, you will learn about lobster fishing and preservation. You will also experience the dropping and retrieving of lobster traps, and Tamara will allow you to band a real lobster!

Read other reviews of the The Bay of Fundy Scenic Lobster Tours 

Best Things to Do in Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia
Tamara of Bay of Fundy Scenic Lobster Tours

On tour, you will see The Balancing Rock. This 20-ton rock is balancing on a ledge, almost defying gravity. You will also sail by the Boar’s Head Lighthouse and see the seal colony suntanning on the rocks. This tour will give you a taste of what it is like to live near the sea.

Cape Split/Lookoff

Cape Split Provincial Park has a 13 km loop of trails through old-growth forest and incredible panoramic views of towering rocks sculpted by the world’s highest tides. This park is an area of cultural significance to the Mi’kmaq. The trail and park are open all year long. You should plan a minimum of 4 hours of daylight for the trail.

If you are looking for something less strenuous, you can stop at the “Lookoff” on your way to Cape Split. The “Lookoff” will give you a 180-degree view of the beautiful Gaspereau Valley. It’s an ideal place to take pictures and either look back on where you were or where you want to go next in this magical and historical landscape.

Pro Travel Tip: To visit this part of Nova Scotia, you will need a car. Book your car rental as far in advance as possible. This is not a year-round tourist area, so there aren’t as many cars available as in other destinations. 

Places to Eat and Drink in the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is home to some of the best lobsters in the world. Grab a lobster roll or two from any number of restaurants and enjoy Nova Scotia’s most famous dish. It doesn’t matter if your preference is for cold, steamed, or grilled; Nova Scotian lobsters are hard to beat!

Halls Harbour Lobster Pound & Restaurant

Hulls Harbour Lobster Pound Restaurant
Author Lori Sweet enjoying her lobster dinner

This well-known restaurant is in a rustic fishing village located on the shores of the Bay of Fundy that dates to 1779. As you enter the gift shop on the ground floor and make your way to the check-in desk, check out the Halls Harbour Lobster Pound menu on the wall. What about lobster nachos, a lobster roll, red shrimp tacos or a lobster meal? If you opt for the lobster meal, you can choose from 4 sizes of lobster right from the tank beside you. Of course, the best spot in the house is the rooftop deck, where you can enjoy your dinner while watching some of the highest tides in the world change the landscape before your eyes. And don’t worry, your lobster meal includes a bib. 

Terra Rossa Trattoria

Originally from Charlottetown, PEI, Terra Rossa Trattoria has made Wolfville, Nova Scotia, it’s home since the spring of 2021. With plenty of space inside or on their beautiful patio, you’ll enjoy the wide selection of local wine, “wine from away,” and local beer and cider. Pair any of these with their food offerings, including a hand-tossed stone-fired pizza that is a work of art. If you still have room, ask what desserts are available. You won’t go away hungry. 

Maritime Express Cider Co.

Maritime Express Cider Co. samples

Located in Kentville, Nova Scotia, the Maritime Express Cider Co. cidery and taproom can be found in what was once part of an iconic railway hotel called the Dominion Atlantic Railroad Hotel. Today the Maritime Express Cider Co. offers small-batch ciders to take with you or enjoy a bite. We recommend that you try a flight of 4 ciders or beer on tap. 

After satisfying your thirst and hunger, make sure you take a minute or two to look around the building, once considered one of Canada’s most architecturally beautiful hotels.

Pro Travel Tip: There are so many local restaurants to eat at that you will see very few chain restaurants. Rest assured that local restaurant fare generally uses fresh, locally grown items for their menus. 

The Church Brewing Co.

The Church Brewing Co. Nova Scotia

When in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, one of the places you must stop is The Church Brewing Co. This formerly working church that dates to 1914 was opened in 2019. You will find beautiful stained-glass windows and gorgeous wooden beams overhead if you choose to eat inside, or you can choose to sit on the magnificent patio outside. The building itself now houses a year-round restaurant, retail store and microbrewery. 

Pair some of their pub fare with a flight of their beer on tap. You will find something to fit the bill with names like Congregation, Sanctuary, or Til Death Do Us Tart amongst the offerings. 

Nova Scotia Wineries 

Annapolis Valley is one of five wine regions in Nova Scotia. Home to twelve wineries, make sure you taste their distinctive grape varietals. For example, try Tidal Bay, made from 100% Nova Scotia grapes. 

Domaine de Grand Pré

Domaine de Grand Pré is Atlantic Canada’s oldest Farm Winery. Here you will find an Inn, top-notch restaurant, and wine shop. Take a stroll up the hill, and you will have a breathtaking view of the vineyards and the valley. Le Caveau Restaurant offers inside dining or on their gorgeous flagstone patio. Amongst their wine selection, make sure you try their version of Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia’s Premiere White Wine. For a special treat, try Pomme d’Or Ice Cider. This is excellent with dessert or cheese. 

Gaspereau Vineyards

Gaspereau Vineyards Nova Scotia

Gaspereau Vineyard’s premium boutique winery has a 50-acre vineyard, formerly the site of a dairy farm and apple orchard. First, order a glass of wine or, even better, a Tidal Bay Flight so that you can taste all three of their Tidal Bay offerings. Then, pair your wine with something from their menu of fresh-daily local fare while you enjoy their patio with a view. 

Luckett Vineyards

Luckett Vineyards Nova Scotia

This stunning property opened to the public in 2010. The beautiful tasting room of Luckett Vineyards overlooks the Crush Pad Bistro and vineyards. The motto here is “wines worth phoning home about.” There is also a bright red English phone box in the middle of the vineyard. Guaranteed someone here will tell you the story. Enjoy a curated tasting in the tasting room, where they also have a version of Tidal Bay wine. Another favourite wine is their Phone Box Red. Grab a bite to eat at the bistro, and your server will help you with a wine pairing to enhance your food and wine. 

Blomidon Estate Winery

Best Things to Do in Bay of Fundy Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Located on the shore of the Minas Basin in Annapolis Valley, Blomidon Estate Winery is committed to producing 100% Nova Scotian-grown grapes and wine. A real crowd-pleaser is their refreshing sparkling wine called NV Crémant. They also have their own take on Tidal Bay and a classic Nova Scotian Baco Noir. After enjoying a tasting, take a stroll down to the water or sit on their deck overlooking the vineyard. You will find the whole visit relaxing.

Mercator Vineyards

Mercator Vineyards

Mercator Vineyards faces Cape Split, situated on a bluff overlooking the historic Acadia dykelands. They offer bicycle and picnic basket rental to take advantage of their location close to the Harvest Moon Trailway. Enjoy a tasting inside, or find a spot on the back deck overlooking the vineyard and indulge in a wine and chocolate flight. Try their version of Tidal Bay and see how it compares to the others you have tried. 

Pro Travel Tip: Leave the driving to the experts, especially when it comes to winery visits. 

Magic Winery Bus

There is no better way to do winery tours than the Magic Winery Double-decker bus or the Tidal Bay Express Coach

Choose the tour on the double-decker bus, and you will experience wine tastings at three of the stops and lunch with a glass of wine at the fourth. If you choose the motorcoach tour, you’ll stop at three wineries where you will get a brief tour, two tastings and a small-plate culinary serving per stop. 

Best Things to Do in Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Where to Stay in the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley area

Start Planning Your Return Visit!

This list of things to do in Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, barely touches the surface. You will want to come back, again and again, to visit the small towns and villages in this area and to sample the delicious farm-to-table offerings paired with Nova Scotia’s unique wine.

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Travel assistance was provided by Nova Scotia Tourism. All opinions are entirely those of the writers.