Friends told us we really should go to Nova Scotia. They had so much fun there. Beautiful scenery, cute bed-and-breakfast places, great food and interesting history. We didn't need much convincing. We already knew we wanted to see the Bay of Fundy with its tides.
We like to get friends' recommendations when we travel. That's why we like passing recommendations to you. They gave us tips for a great driving circle to get a taste for Nova Scotia.
So taking our friends advice, we got on the road immediately, saving Halifax for the end. We got a rental car and headed about an hour south east to Lunenburg.
Really, there are any number of cute small coastal towns along this South Shore region, but Lunenburg was a good choice. Turns out it is a UNESCO World Heritage Town. There's a historic waterfront with a Fisheries Museum, and old sailing ships and lots of seafood restaurants. There are no worries about places to stay from small hotels to B&Bs.
You could easily spend a day or two in this area. When we left Lunenburg, we cut across the peninsula to the town of Annapolis Royal.
Annapolis Royal calls itself the birthplace of Canada, and it does have lots of history. It was founded in 1603. You can visit Fort Anne which was built in 1703. It's a typical "star fort" with cannons facing out toward the sea. You can wander the embankments, and some of the original buildings are available for tours.
Among other attractions, Annapolis Royal has the oldest cemetery in Canada... the Garrison Cemetery is next to Fort Anne. Take a night time tour of the cemetery. Our friends recommended this too. We almost ignored them on this one, but we're glad we didn't. You'll learn a lot on that lantern light tour.
A nearby attraction is Port-Royal National Historic Site. It represents an early French colony. Learn a bit about the Acadians and Canadian history. This reconstruction of early 17th century buildings is across a causeway where there is a power plant which uses the tides of the Bay of Fundy to generate electricity.
We drove north to Wolfville and Grand Pre. This is the area we stayed in to see the tides on the Bay of Fundy. There is the Grand Pre National Historic Site of Canada here. It a Commemorative Site about the deportation of the Acadians from Canada... The "Grand Derangement".
Grand Pre is also where we had a great time doing a little wine tasting.
Wine tasting in Canada? Yes, indeed. The Domaine de Grand Pre had a great tasting, and we had a nice lunch there. We also had nice tastings at other small wineries in the area.
Making our way back toward Halifax we stayed at the Inn on the Lake. It's only about 30 minutes from Halifax, so you can easily visit and tour town and still stay in the countryside. This hotel is also close to the airport, so it makes for an easy departure. That's a great little driving loop our friends told us about, don't you think? We're happy to pass it along.