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Your-Nova-Scotia-Travel-Tips, Issue #002 -- The BEST Nova Scotia Travel Tips
February 15, 2014
Issue #002, February 2014

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well. Usually, at this time of the year I start to think about what I want to do for my summer vacation in Nova Scotia. What about you?

Are you planning your first trip to Nova Scotia? Have you been there before and can't wait to return? Do you live there and want to explore your home province more?

Whatever group you fall into I am here to help you with your planning.

Welcome to the February issue of Your Nova Scotia Travel Tips. My newsletter promises to bring to you information that will make your Nova Scotia vacation the best ever!

It doesn't matter if this is your first visit, if you are a native Nova Scotian visiting from away or if you live here ....these tips will be invaluable as you plan your time in this beautiful place.

Festivals & Concerts

Nova Scotia is famous for its festivals, events and outdoor concerts. They are everywhere and you could easily go to one every weekend.

The festival pages on my website are up-to-date. Well, I should say that they are up-to-date as of today BUT I will continue to add events as I become aware of them. So check my listings often.

Some events that look interesting are:

Shelburne County Lobster Festival
Shelburne, South Shore
June 5 - 8

10 Annual Englishtown Mussel Festival
Englishtown, Cabot Trail
June 28

Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Canso, Eastern Shore
July 4 - 6

Mabou Ceilidh
Mabou, Ceilidh Trail
July 17 - 20

Explore the Cradle of Acadie
Annapolis Royal, Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley
August 1 - 15

Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling 2014
St. Ann's, Cabot Trail
August 16 - 17

2014 Hike the Highlands Festival
Ingonish, Cabot Trail
September 12 - 21

4th Annual Cape Breton Paddlefest
Arichat, Fleur-de-lis/Marconi/Metro CB
September 12 - October 12

Jost Vineyards Grape Stomp
Malagash, Northumberland Shore
September 20

The Canadian Deep Roots Music Festival
Wolfville, Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley
September 26 - 28

2014 Valley Pumpkin Festival
Kentville, Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley
October 1 - 31

Celtic Colours International Music Festival
Baddeck, Cabot Trail
October 10 - 18

Ghost Town in Annapolis Royal
Annapolis Royal, Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley
October 17 - 31


It is next to impossible to keep the festivals and events listing up-to-date. Check my listing on my website often but there are two other ways to know what is happening in the area that you are visiting.

Many towns have information centres. They will know what is going on. Watch for posters in grocery stores, pharmacies and the local post office. Also, check the local newspaper. Ask the owners of the motel, inn or B&B where you are staying.

The folks living in the area are also a great source of information. I remember once I was in Margaree (Cabot Trail) walking near the river. I met several people from the area and they all told me about the salmon supper that evening at a local church hall.

Word of mouth must have worked because the hall was packed that evening.

Nova Scotia Tourism maintains an extensive list on their website. You can even use the search function with the name of a community and dates. Very useful!

Must-See Museum

The Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck in Cape Breton is an excellent place to learn about Cape Breton's most famous resident.

Bell said: I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all!

The museum is a great place to spend some vacation time. The museum traces the life and the inventions of Bell. You can even have a White Glove Tour which is getting up close to some of Bell’s personal items that are stored away from the public’s eye.

The museum even has the replica of the Silver Dart. The Silver Dart was flown over Baddeck Bay in 1909. It was the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to fly in Canada.

The replica of the Silver Dart was flown over Baddeck Bay in 2009 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the event. This is a must see!


You can see Bell’s home, Beinn Bhreagh, from the viewing deck of the museum but there is a way to get even closer.

Do you like boats?

The ‘Amoeba’ sits on the waterfront in Baddeck and will take you on a wonderful sail on the Bras d’Or Lake. You will get close to Beinn Bhreagh which is Bell’s final resting place.

Some of his descendants still live there.

The Great Outdoors

If you love hiking on the coast I urge you to check out the Taylor Head Provincial Park on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. This is probably one of the best coastal hikes in the province.

There are several hikes in the park and they are all great. I hiked directly to Taylor Head when I was there. An awesome hike with lots of coastline.

There is also a very nice beach at Taylor Head. However, the facilities are limited so you need to be organized.

This is a great spot away from the regular tourist hang-outs.


Taylor Head is about 1.5 hours from Halifax so it is a good distance. I tend to be quite exhausted after hiking on the coast so I don't want to move far after my hike.

If you can, I suggest that you stay in the area for the night. There are campgrounds and B&Bs in Spry Bay and Sheet Harbour which are not far from Taylor Head.

Weekly Music

The spring, summer and fall promise to be exciting in Cape Breton. There are annual festivals but there are also events that happen every day or each week.

This means that you can catch some great Cape Breton music no matter when you plan to take your summer vacation.

Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs
Baddeck, Cabot Trail
Everyday in July & Aug from 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Gaelic College Wednesday Night Ceilidhs
St. Ann's, Cabot Trail
Every Wednesday from Jul 1; 7:30pm

Blas Math Lunchtime Ceilidhs
Gaelic College, St Ann's Bay, Cabot Trail
Monday to Friday; 12:15pm - 1:00pm

Gaelic Concert Series
Christmas Island, Bras d'or Lakes Scenic Drive
Every Tuesday from Jul 15 - Aug 19 8:00pm

Sunday Ceilidhs
Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, Judique,
Ceilidh Trail
Every Sunday 3-6:00pm


If you drop by the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique ask about the music demonstrations. There is often a fiddler there who can give a demonstration or some tips to the beginner fiddler.

You can even learn a little tune as you visit the Exhibit Room.

Halifax Attractions

The Halifax Citadel is located in the middle of downtown Halifax. The first citadel was built in 1749 when the city was founded. The current is the 4th citadel and was built in 1856.

It basically towers over the downtown core. The history of the city is told within these walls. Halifax was very important to the defense of British North America and later Canada. The citadel is well worth a visit!

I actually took a guided tour when I was there and learned a lot. The costumed animators are very knowledgeable about the citadel. They will answer all of your questions.

The citadel is filled with costumed soldiers who love talking to visitors. I think they also like getting their photo taken with visitors.

Don’t forget to check out the great views of the harbour and St. George's Island from the top of the Citadel walls.


Ever been on a ghost tour?

Well, you can at the citadel. Apparently, there are stories of ghosts roaming around. Tours are offered July 18-Oct 31 on Friday and Saturdays nights.

Call 902-426-1990 or email for more information.

Cape Breton & Turtles

Did you happen to see the episode on Leatherback Turtles on The Nature of Things on CBC Television? It was a story about the migration patterns of the turtles from the Caribbean to Neil's Harbour in Cape Breton.

A scientist, by accident, found out that these turtles were visiting the shores of this picturesque fishing village in Northern Cape Breton. It is an amazing documentary.

You can still see the show on the CBC website.

Hot off the Press

National Geographic Traveler has placed Cape Breton in the top 20 of the World’s Best Island Destinations.

A panel of 522 well-traveled experts in sustainable tourism were asked to rank 111 different islands.

Cape Breton was selected in the top 20 and was described as a:

Vibrant Acadian and Celtic heritage mix with coastal panoramas on the “top notch” Cabot Trail.

It makes me very proud to be from a very beautiful part of the world.

It is true, the Cabot Trail is "top notch".


Do you want to get some FREE tourism guides about Nova Scotia? Maybe even a map?

Well, you can! Call Nova Scotia Tourism at 1-800-565-0000.

They will send you a Doer and Dreamers Guide book. Make sure you ask for a Nova Scotia travel map too!

A little extra...

I mentioned in my January newsletter that Symphony Nova Scotia will be hosting a special concert in honour of Rita MacNeil.

The date for this special tribute concert is set for March 8, 2014 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax.

Well, they have added a second concert for March 9, 2014!

Scott MacMillan will be conducting the symphony with special guests: Men of the Deeps, Lucy MacNeil of the Barra MacNeils and Rita’s niece, Katriona MacNeil.

Check Symphony Nova Scotia's website.

Follow Me

My pinterest boards are really starting to grow. It really is addictive. These boards help me to collect awesome pictures of Nova Scotia.

I recently added a board for Nova Scotia fishing villages - 89 pins and growing.

Want to see awesome pictures of Nova Scotia? Visit's profile on Pinterest.

Do you want up-to-date information on interesting things happening in Nova Scotia?

I am hoping to set-up a facebook page this winter.

Stay tuned!!

That's it for now!

See you next month about this time for the next issue of Your Nova Scotia Travel Tips.

Don't forget to forward this issue to your friends and family! I would really appreciate it!

All the best,
Ann Marie

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