I’ve traveled to a lot of places in Canada and have always found Nova Scotia, the most unique and the most beautiful. Most areas are matched with the beautiful ocean and you have a range of bustling port cities like Halifax to sleepy fishing villages like Sydney on Cape Breton Island, along with wonderful beach resorts like White Point.
Interestingly, the area was set up by European colonists, as part of other developments along the Eastern United States in the 17th century. In Latin, “Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland”, which went along with New England, New York, New Brunswick and other colonial areas linked to original areas in Europe.
Visitors from the United States need a valid passport to visit Canada. My recommendation for visitors to Nova Scotia would be to allow yourself a week, and to either rent a car, or travel by car from the U.S. Canadian roads are clean and safe.
First spend a few days in Halifax, the big city of the area. It’s a port city, yet filled with cool bars, restaurants, hotels and nightlife. Every time I visit I’m amazed at the development here. There’s even a casino, the Casino Nova Scotia, right at the scenic waterfront.
The city has a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, check local paper The Coast for current happenings. I always consult their Visitor’s Guide to see what museum shows are happening, what concerts and also check what the hottest restaurant is.
We always have a great seafood meal at the Five Fisherman, one of Halifax’s best-loved establishments. The wine list here is vast, and the waiters are experts, feel free to trust their recommendations.
1740 Argyle Street (downtown)
Halifax, NS B3J 2B6, Canada
We’ve stayed at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront and had great service each time. Be sure to get a waterfront room. Summer rates start about $250 per night. The hotel is right on the edge of the waterfront, offering unobstructed views of the harbor. You are also in easy walking distance of all the shopping and dining in the renovated downtown dock-side area.
1919 Upper Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3J5, Canada
A visit to Sydney and the beauty of Cape Breton Island is a great day trip, offering a slower pace than Halifax. Here I would stay at a small inn or bed and breakfast, they are all over the area. We have used the official Nova Scotia government site (novascotia.com) to book them, with good success.
Another of our family favorites is White Point Beach Resort, a beautiful area on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The resort has unspoiled natural beauty, along with great, wide sandy beaches for just relaxing. It’s a great way to get away from everything. Summer specials start at about $150. per room per night.
White Point Beach Resort
White Point, NS, B0T 1G0
F. Michael Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. You can also follow him on twitter, @thefredsherman
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