Lunenburg is one of the most historical towns in Nova Scotia. Located on the Lighthouse Route, it is uniquely beautiful and charming. You won’t want to leave.
Founded in 1753 and made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 it has lots to offer all visitors.
This special place has been a vibrant fishing village since its founding. Its stunning architecture and working waterfront are reminiscent of this important history.
Located on Nova Scotia’s South Shore along the Scenic Travelway, Lighthouse Route, Lunenburg is a dream destination.
Lunenburg is located on the South Shore in Nova Scotia along the Lighthouse Route. It is a little over 1 hour from Halifax, 3 hours from Amherst, 5.5 hours from Sydney and 2.5 hours from Yarmouth.
Lunenburg is southwest of Halifax along Highway 103. If you prefer a more scenic drive take route 3 west from Halifax which is the Lighthouse Route.
The original Bluenose was launched in Lunenburg in 1921 and became a legendary racing ship and fishing vessel. She was and remains the pride of Nova Scotia.
Although the original Bluenose was lost in 1946, the Bluenose II was built in 1963 with its homeport being Lunenburg.
You can visit the Bluenose II on the Lunenburg waterfront. However, she is a Nova Scotia ambassador so is often visiting other ports. Check her schedule to make sure she is in her homeport during your visit. You can also sail on the Bluenose which is an extraordinary adventure.
You can discover more about the Bluenose in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic located on the Lunenburg waterfront.
If you want to learn more about the long history of the fisheries in Nova Scotia this is the place to visit. Its many exhibits include information about the inshore and offshore fisheries, the age of sail, boat building, fishing on the Grand Banks, and life in a fishing community.
The kids will love the aquarium and its vast array of species found in the waters off Nova Scotia. You can also step aboard the Theresa E. Connor and Cape Sable for a tour of authentic fishing vessels.
The museum also boasts a fabulous display of the original Bluenose artifacts including her racing trophies.
There is much to see and do in this little town. Simply walking around is a great way to see the sites and sounds of the community.
There are 2 Visitor Information Centres (VIC) in Lunenburg. The main VIC is at the top of Blockhouse Hill Road and the second is located on the boardwalk not far from the Fisheries Museum.
They can provide you with maps that will help with your exploring.
The walk along the waterfront is great. This is a historical setting. Imagine the fishing schooners in the harbour as they returned from the Grand Banks.
The Fishermen’s Memorial is along the waterfront. A poignant tribute to all those lost at sea. The boats in the harbour in the background make this especially moving.
The architecture of Lunenburg is very special. The colours are bright and vibrant. You’ll see grand and stately homes as well as funky arts stores. They all add to the uniqueness of this town.
This area hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. The VIC will be able to give you information on events during your visit.
Heritage Bandstand Summer Concerts, Annual Dory Races, Lunenburg Street Festival, Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival, Oktoberfest Craft Beer Festival, Lighting of the Vessels, and the Folk Harbour Festival are just a few.
Lunenburg’s location along the south shore makes it a great place to use as a base and explore the region surrounding it.
Day trips to Mahone Bay, Chester, Peggy’s Cove, Halifax, LaHavre, Blue Rocks, The Ovens and Gaff Point are excellent options.
If you want to do some coastal hiking I strongly suggest Gaff Point and The Ovens. The Ovens has, as a bonus, sea caves that you can enter. Both of these hikes are fabulous.
The 119km long Rum Runners multi-use recreational trail extends from Halifax to Lunenburg. The section of the trail extending from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay is called the Bay to Bay trail and is only 11km.
This is a great cycling route and a day trip to Mahone Bay and beyond is definitely a doable trip.
You can also spend some time exploring Blue Rocks. A gorgeous spot on the coast and less than 10 minutes from Lunenburg. Pleasant Paddling (located in Blue Rocks) offers kayaking tours.
You might notice the beautiful patch of green on the other side of the waterfront. This is the Bluenose Golf Club. An absolutely gorgeous location for a golf course.
Strolling along the waterfront you’ll also see options for sailing. The Bluenose II will be there along with the Eastern Star. We sailed on both when we visited Lunenburg and it was fabulous.
This is a full service community with a post office, hospital, banks, gas stations, grocery store, marina, shops, Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, restaurants and accommodations.
The Lunenburg Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is located at the top of Blockhouse Hill Road. A smaller VIC is located on the waterfront.
There are many great accommodations to be found on the South Shore - Lighthouse Route in Nova Scotia. Check hotels, motels, B & Bs and Inns in Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester, Bridgewater and Liverpool.
There are also lovely vacation rentals in the same areas: Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester, Bridgewater and Liverpool.
These links will also give you choices in smaller communities in the vacinity.
Nova Scotia has a wide variety of places to eat. From fine dining, family restaurants, pubs and pizza spots. There is something for everyone. I suggest you check my Where to Eat page for some tips on how to find a restaurant in your location.
Wondering what to visit after your exploration of the Lunenburg area? There is still lots to see and do in Nova Scotia.
Mahone Bay & Chester, Halifax, Peggy's Cove and the Bay of Fundy are not far. Check them out and enjoy all that Nova Scotia has to offer.
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