Pretty and peaceful, Nova Scotia is Canada’s second smallest state, a peninsula on the eastern border of the Canadian mainland. However, its lengthy coastline is dotted with fishing harbors, sandy beaches, and plump islands. The scenery varies considerably, from the foggy Atlantic Ocean from the southeast into the tidal salt marshes of the Bay of Fundy from the west and Gaelic highlands of Cape Breton to the north. In such marine latitudes, Nova Scotia has a breezy if rather moist climate. Summer is bright and sunny, but weather conditions can frequently result in fog, with snow in winter.

Halifax is the capital and largest town. In 1604 the French, such as Samuel de Champlain, settled the Annapolis Valley, founding Port-Royal, the first lasting European settlement north of Florida. They called it Acadia, a title that’s currently used to refer to all French settlement in the Maritimes.

1 Cabot Trail

A 300 kilometer scenic drive rings the northwest coast of this island and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It’s a coastal road, where the greatest hills in Nova Scotia dramatically meet the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Cliffs, beaches, views, and a winding street give countless photo opportunities. Many little communities and attractions line the road, which unofficially starts and ends in Baddeck, home to the father of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. Fall is a popular time to drive the Cabot Trail due to the area’s vibrant fall colours.

2 Peggy’s Cove

About 43 km south of Halifax, the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove includes a back-in-time texture and sits on the foggy Atlantic Coast. The much-photographed lighthouse marks a perilous point. Stark, wave-battered granite bluffs surround the lighthouse. Fishing wharves, boathouses, vibrant heritage houses, and art galleries line the winding road through the community.

3. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Overlooking downtown Halifax, this hilltop fortress is the remnant of a British garrison which was first established at the 18th-century. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, which itself was constructed in 1856, never saw a struggle. These days, the warren-like tunnels, powder magazine, and barracks are maintained, and living-history guides give tours. There are reenactments and fortress guards with interpreters dressed in British reds.

4. Cape Breton Highlands National Park

The greatest peaks in Nova Scotia are in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which covers more than 950 square kilometers at the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. The coastline of beaches and cliffs and the inland forests and rivers tempt walkers, walkers, and families to learn more about the park. Wildlife watching is excellent from the park with moose, beaver, eagles, and deer often visible from the Cabot Trail scenic drive, which partly cuts through the park.

5. Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park

Located 40 km from Halifax, Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park makes a great day trip. The park is spread over 40 hectares and is home to a huge selection of exotic and native animal species, including moose, foxes, beavers, wolves, black bears, and cougars. Horse fanciers take note: the park is the only wildlife park in the world with Sable Island horses.

6. Halifax Harbour

A boardwalk lines the Halifax Harbour, leading from Pier 21 Museum and the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market from the south as well as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and restaurants. Tugs, sailboats, and navy vessels come and go, and the views look out to Dartmouth across the harbor and Georges Island mid-channel. Close to the ferry terminal, “Historic Properties” is a set of restored heritage buildings flipped dining and shopping area. A range of sightseeing cruises depart from the waterfront.

7. Kejimkujik National Park

Kejimkujik National Park is the Maritimes only inland national park, even though it does have a seaside adjunct with a gorgeous white sand beach. The inland area is popular because of its lakes and rivers with excellent paddling, historic canoe routes, portages and hiking trails.