Discover the life of a 19th-century soldier, take a motorcycle sidecar tour, fish for your supper and much more in this Maritime province.
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You may already know Nova Scotia for its rugged beauty and friendly people, but this province has a deliciously quirky side that offers distinctive experiences for visitors. These 10 will make your trip to Nova Scotia a memorable one:
1) Take a motorcycle sidecar tour of the South Shore: Whiz along the twisting oceanfront roads of the famed Lighthouse Route with Bluenose Sidecar Tours, bundled into a retro Russian motorcycle sidecar on a personalized tour of this stunning area.
2) Break bread with 18th-century peasants and gentry in Louisbourg: Costumed interpretive staff members at the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada immerse visitors in history as soon as they arrive. Enjoy a hearty beef stew with the peasants at the lower-class Grandchamp Inn, or mingle with the gentry over upper-class fare at the Hôtel de la Marine.
3) Pick a lobster to feast on: Halls Harbour is an authentic lobster fishing village on the Fundy Coast. At the Lobster Pound restaurant, choose your live lobster from a huge tank, then wait at your table for it to be served up steaming hot with a side of coleslaw and a white-bread bun (how the locals eat it).
4) Walk a wild-flower labyrinth at Tangled Garden in Grand Pré: Wander the gorgeous gardens and wildflower labyrinth at Tangled Garden throughout the summer. Tangled Garden is also a much-loved producer of jams and jellies; be sure to try the raspberry lavender or garlic rosemary herb jellies.
5) Go mackerel fishing in Shelburne: Board Captain Ken’s fishing boat on a Monday evening to learn how to cast your line and reel in fresh mackerel. Back at the dock, the captain will teach you how to clean your catch, or do it for you, so you can take your haul home for a tasty fish supper.
6) Snap a scarecrow in Cap le Moin: While driving the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, you’ll discover a field of strange-looking scarecrows. Some modelled on politicians, others on celebrities, these scarecrows were originally created by Joe Delaney in the 1980s and make a great photo op.
7) Go tidal bore rafting: Ride nature’s rollercoaster as the incoming tides from the Bay of Fundy (home to the world’s highest tides) meet the Shubenacadie River for a tidal bore rafting adventure. Afterwards, guides will take you to squelchy mud banks to slide down to prolong the craziness.
8) Dig for clams: On this guided tour, you can learn the ins and outs of clam farming on the scenic shores of Malagash Bay, then dig as many clams from the sands as you desire—perfect for a clam bake on the beach later.
9) Sharpen up your soldiering skills: The Halifax Citadel offers packages that allow you to dress in traditional soldiers’ garb and learn the essential survival skills for a soldier back in the 19th century (rifle shooting for adults, drum training for under 16s).
10) Tour wineries on a double-decker bus: Climb onboard the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus to tour some of Nova Scotia’s best wineries and to sample award-winning wines accompanied by fresh, local produce in this picturesque part of the province.
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