See All the Beauty Nova Scotia Has to Offer
by Lisa Banks
on the bounty of the world's largest scallop fleet, follow the
passionate steps of a French mistress separated from her lost
love, and catch the wafting of bagpipes caressing a peaceful
highland breeze at dusk-without leaving North America.
a bit north, where the summer air is clear and fresh and the
seafood is exquisite, Nova Scotia imparts a festive touch of
old world history served up with traditional Canadian hospitality.
the days of swashbuckling pirates and rum running, even Captain
Kidd vacationed in Nova Scotia. He'd retire to Oak Island just
off the coast to rest and repair his ships. It is even rumored
that it's his fortune buried in the 200-foot-deep treasure pit
that has thwarted the excavation attempts of hundreds of treasure
hunters since 1795, including
D. Roosevelt and John Wayne.
the capital of Nova Scotia and Canada's largest east coast city,
is a thriving Mecca of culture and celebrations. The Atlantic
gateway to Canada since 1749 and first British settlement in
Canada, it's host to hundreds of festivals from the month-long
street performer Buskerfest in August to Scottish ceilidhs,
jazz festivals, farmer's markets, historic re-enactments, and
displays of art along lively tree-lined streets.
sea has shaped the lives of the friendly maritime people, and
today the Halifax Harbor boardwalk is still a favorite hangout
for locals and visitors alike. With fine dockside dining, exotic
shops, luxury hotels, and a casino, there's a bit of something
for everyone. You can spend a leisurely afternoon taking in
everything from pillaged pieces of the Titanic in the Maritime
Museum to the largest gathering of majestic tall ships in the
with the highest number of pubs per capita in a nation
that takes its fun-loving, relaxed attitude seriously,
you'll likely want to catch a rousing performance
of local Irish music. Stroll the historic district's
cobblestone streets and you may stumble into the Lower
Deck, a cozy pub fashioned like the berth of a ship.
Don't be surprised when the music breaks for a split
second and the entire pub cries with one voice "Sociable!"
That's the Haligonian signal for the raising of glasses
of ale toward the wooden beamed ceiling in preparation
of a deep, collective drink.
you're not likely to want to leave Halifax, the ideal
Nova Scotian vacation involves a fair sampling of
time away from celebratory crowds. One of the best
ways to experience the natural paradise of Nova Scotia
is by renting a car and driving a few of the province's
feel a spirit of romance lingering on the Evangeline
Trail. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem Evangeline
immortalized the true story of young lovers separated
during the French deportation during Britain's invasion
of Nova Scotia in 1755. Today, the trail traces the
heroine's steps through historic seaside towns and
celebrates the diverse cultures that now live side-by-side.
4,700 miles of coastline and excellent camping, hiking
and biking, lets you get as close to nature as you
like. Whale watching and sailing off the shoreline
is sure to make the stoutest landlubber long for the
romantic days of Nova Scotia's Bluenose, the fastest
sailing ship in the Atlantic in her day.
trip to Nova Scotia can be considered complete without
a sojourn to the breathtaking island of Cape Breton.
Home to a large population of Scottish descendants
and considered by some more Scottish than Scotland,
you'll catch many a glimpse of bagpipes, kilts, and
highland dancing. Mingle with the locals, and you
may even hear an exchange or two in Gaelic.
Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell made his Canadian
residence in Cape Breton, and his famous words tell
the thoughts of many a visitor: "I have traveled
the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies,
the Andes and the Alps and the highlands of Scotland,
but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them
for explorer John Cabot who first discovered Cape
Breton, the Cabot Trail stirs the senses as it winds
around the plunging cliffs making up the coastline
of the island. Rest and reclaim reality with a stop
at the Bras d'Or Lake, a sea inside the island whose
shores are home to 200 bald eagles and the world-class
golf course Dundee Hills.
find that the friendly nature of the locals and stunning
scenery of Nova Scotia will be two of your favorite
trip highlights. But you'll also enjoy a favorable
exchange rate that makes your vacation dollar go farther,
especially with the already low prices of many goods
and services. And now it's never been so easy to get
to Nova Scotia. Many airlines offer direct flights
to the Halifax International Airport from major cities.
Ferry service from Maine and New Brunswick let you
shave off drive time if you plan to make the province
part of your road trip.
no matter how you get there, one thing you can be
sure of - you'll be glad you went.
Banks is a freelance writer originally from the tiny
village of Bear River, Nova Scotia. She has lived
in Japan and Florida, traveled throughout Asia and
Europe, and still hasn't found a place with more charming
warmth. See more of her work at www.lisabanks.com.
provided by www.novascotia.com