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Best things to do in Nova Scotia

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Where in the world: Canada  /  Nova Scotia

Top 15 things to do in Nova Scotia

1. Halifax Public Gardens, Halifax

Enjoy wandering among a wide array of plants, trees, flowers, and more at Halifax Public Gardens, one of the finest Victorian-era parks of its kind on the continent. Created in 1867, the gardens span an area of 6.5 ha (16 ac), and boast a number of public spaces and venues. Enter through the park’s ornate wrought-iron gate and stroll along the network of paths, alongside flowerbeds, past fountains, and under exotic trees. Kick back on a bench and people-watch, or grab a seat and enjoy one of the frequent musical performances at the bandstand.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Halifax Public Gardens

2. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Halifax

Step back in time at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a 250-year-old hilltop fortification overlooking the city. Learn about thecitadel's rich military history by taking a guided tour and observing costumed re-enactments. You can even find out what it was like working in the fort with the "Soldier for a Day" activity, which involves donning a uniform and taking part in drills. Fire authentic rifles of the time, and take ghostly night tours. After absorbing so much history, take a moment to refresh in the coffee bar, or peruse the gift shop.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $27 › Learn more about Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

3. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax

Visit Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for a fun, history-packed day perfect for the whole family. Examine artifacts salvaged from shipwrecks lying at the bottom of the ocean, and learn about the devastating explosion that ripped through the city’s shipyard in 1917. You’ll also have the rare and exciting opportunity to inspect artifacts from the infamous Titanic, the survivors, bodies, and wreckage of which were brought to this port. Though jammed with information and lore, the museum is not especially large, freeing you up for more sightseeing around the city.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

4. Halifax Harbour Hopper Tour

FROM $48
Get a snapshot of Halifax’s classic sights in an unconventional way — on a 1-hour Harbour Hopper tour. You'll travel on both land and water aboard a renovated amphibious Vietnam War vehicle. Drive by St Paul’s Cathedral, Citadel Hill and the Victorian beauty of Halifax Public Gardens, and then splash into Halifax Harbour for great views of the waterfront. Your knowledgeable driver and marine pilot livens up the ride with engaging tales and naval history, and offers pointers on where to head next during your stay in the seaside city.
Suggested duration: 55min
Tours from $48 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Ingonish

Enjoy the outdoors with tranquil walks around picturesque mountains, scenic beaches, and the famed landscape of the highlands at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You can go for a drive or a hike on one of many trails passing through the park, featuring ocean and mountain views from above. Observe the steep cliffs and river canyons winding through the forests near the Atlantic Ocean, with waterfalls and tundra-like plateaus also forming part of the scenery. You can also test your skills at an 18-hole golf course marked as the best public course in Canada. Wildlife in the area includes bears, birds, and whales, which can often be seen from the park’s coastal trails. Wear appropriate clothing, as the weather often gets cold and wet.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $133 › Learn more about Cape Breton Highlands National Park

6. Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, Peggy's Cove

The iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse beckons travelers by land and sea with its traditional white-and-red facade, as it marks the rugged eastern entrance to the bay. Step along the water-worn, rounded granite rocks that the beacon is built on, and watch the powerful Atlantic break heavily against them. The lighthouse represents a major stop on the region's Lighthouse Trail scenic drive. Be sure to take extra care exploring this area, as visitor can be swept off the rocks by larger waves. Don't forget your camera and capture this lighthouse, renowned for its composition.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $102 › Learn more about Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

7. Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Louisbourg

Visit Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a partial reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress. Originally part of the most extensive fortifications in North America, this National Historic Site now allows you to step back in time as you admire the architecture and period weapons, and interact with actors dressed as townsfolk from the era. During peak season, you can see a musket demonstration or puppet shows, participate in workshops, and enjoy a delicious meal at the onsite restaurant.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

8. Nova Scotia Day Tour - Visit Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, and the Annapolis Valley.

FROM $197
The best part of this tour is the down-home hospitality Sam tries to deliver with every ride. There is no real set schedule, so we have a bit more flexibility in how we do things. Sam will help you from the time you first write to the time she hugs you goodbye at the last stop and beyond if you're traveling to anywhere else that she is familiar with. Get to know other travelers and share once in a lifetime experiences along the way.
Suggested duration: 8h 45min
Tours from $197 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck

Find out how the telephone was invented by visiting Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, which includes a museum dedicated to the life and career of the famous innovator. Established in 1954, the museum overlooks Bell's summer home in Beinn Bhreagh, which is privately owned by his descendants. View a collection of Bell's artifacts, photographs, and personal items, see films and models of his inventions, and admire a life-size replica of a hydrofoil boat. The grounds are open to the public and make a great place for a walk or a picnic, while the museum often organizes workshops and interactive activities for children.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

10. Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island

Take a scenic drive on Cabot Trail, a 298 km (185 mi) loop around the island's northern section. Named after famed explorer John Cabot, the roadway was built in the 1930s. Drive or cycle through the picturesque Cape Breton Highlands, a route offering a staggering amount of stunning viewpoints overlooking mountains, undulating green hills, the ocean, and quaint, sleepy hamlets.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $133 › Learn more about Cabot Trail

11. Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax

Understand how a country can change and benefit through multiculturalism at Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, a museum raising awareness of immigration in Canada. Find out what it was like to immigrate though pier 21, and see how immigrants have contributed to the country's culture up to the present day. Check out what's on display at the museum's temporary exhibits, which change regularly. Don't miss the gift shop, which stocks books, clothing, and signature products, the proceeds of which support the museum's ongoing research into immigration and genealogy.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

12. Best of Halifax Small Group Tour with Peggy's Cove and Citadel

FROM $102
Experience all there is to see and do in Halifax by taking part in the Best of Halifax Tour. Led by a local guide, visit most of the area’s top attractions. Check out the view from Peggy's Cove and take the immersive tour through the famous Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. An extensive downtown drive will highlight more of what Halifax has to offer. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included. The Ultimate Halifax Tour includes: • Beautiful scenic drive up to Peggy’s Cove • Free time to explore Peggy’s Cove • An informative tour of Citadel Hill – the tour is guided by a living historical guide • An experienced guide throughout the entire tour to answer questions and point out interesting landmarks • Tour group is limited to seven people which makes the experience more intimate • Complimentary shuttle pick up and drop off from anywhere in downtown Halifax *Please note that adverse winter weather may result in cancellation of the Citadel and/or Peggy's Cove portion of this tour
Suggested duration: 4h
Tours from $102 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk, Halifax

Take a peaceful stroll by the water at Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. Stretching for 3.8 km (2.4 mi), the boardwalk begins at the Halifax seaport and ends in front of Casino Nova Scotia. Along your walk you will come across notable museums including the Maritime Museum, Pier 21 Immigration Museum, and the CSS Acadia Museum Ship. You can also discover the local seaport farmer's market, the longest running farmer's market in North America. The promenade is also home to shops, as well as historic Halifax properties, such as the Cable Wharf, which is a former cable ship terminal.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk

15. Half-Day Historical Tour of Halifax

FROM $133
This Tour is about Halifax's Remarkable History including all the Titanic and Halifax Explosion Sites and the Stories and Miracles of these Two Historic Tragedies. See ALL that Historic Halifax, Dartmouth and Fisherman's Cove has to offer in a Clean, Safe and Comfortable Tour Vehicle a Ford Transit 350 XLT Medium Roof 15 Passenger Van with 4 Guests Minimum to 10 Guests Maximum. Vehicle is equipped with a microphone to the speaker system and a large tablet to view Guests Videos and Photos to augment your Tour experience so you have a Memorable, Unique Tour of Historic Halifax, Dartmouth and Fisherman's Cove.
Suggested duration: 6h
Tours from $133 › More about this tour at viator.com ›