The east coast of Canada is filled to the brim with beauty. This summer we visited for our very first time and tried to pack in as many destinations as possible. In the week that we were there we put 3000 km on our rental vehicle! I honestly believe that you could live in Atlantic Canada for a lifetime and still not see everything. Here are some Instagram worthy spots that we discovered on our vacation:
1. Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia is one of the world’s most visited and iconic lighthouses. There is usually a sea of tourists here, but by some miracle we were able to get some unobstructed shots of her. We went very early in the morning on a cold, windy and rainy day. That was enough to keep the crowds away I guess!
2. Hopewell Rocks
Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick is also a very popular tourist destination. This amazing spot in the Bay of Fundy is home to some of the greatest tidal ranges. You can see the rock formations fully submerged at high tide or walk on the ocean floor at low tide. The tide table website outlines the times of low and high tide. We went at closing time (8pm); there were less tourists to obstruct our shot.
3. Anne of Green Gables
When you think of Atlantic Canada, Anne of Green Gables may come to mind. Cross the Confederation Bridge and you will find yourself in the land of Anne on Prince Edward Island. We visited the Anne of Green Gables museum and it really transports you into her world.
4. Thunder Cove Beach
While you are on Prince Edward Island you must stop at Thunder Cove Beach. It has amazing rock formations that look like they are from another planet. They call this one the Teapot rock.
Lunenburg is a quaint little town west of Halifax. It has a beautiful waterfront with lots of dining and shops to enjoy. There are colourful historical homes here as well as a piece of the Berlin Wall on display.
6. Blue Rocks
Blue Rocks is a little fishing village just outside of Lunenburg. It is a great spot for kayaking or photography. We drove down a bit away from the place that people usually photograph. There was not a soul around at sunset. I could see this as a beautiful place to propose.
7. Mahone Bay
This little waterfront town is close to Lunenburg and also has shops and dining. If you are a photographer, you will want to get a picture of the three historical churches across the bay.
8. Baxter’s Harbour
I always need to find a waterfall on vacation. Baxter’s Harbour in Nova Scotia delivers this, what an amazing place! It is on the Bay of Fundy, so has similar rock formations as Hopewell, but without the crowds. The waterfall has some of the brightest colours of algae that I have seen. Lots of snails and slime in this one. Not the best for swimming.
9. Cape Split
If you are into hiking and heights, then this one is for you. To see the stunning cliffs over the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia you must do a 12 km round trip hike through the woods. I would consider the hike beginner to intermediate level. You have to jump over a couple streams and navigate through rocks and tree stumps, but nothing too difficult. Make sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks. The hike is worth it as the views at the end are stunning. I was chicken and didn’t get any great cliff photos. If you are taking a dog with you be careful as some have gone over the edge.
10. Halifax Waterfront
You can not visit Nova Scotia without seeing the downtown Halifax waterfront. You need a day to do this one as there is so much to see and do. There are lots of shops and dining options, old ships and historical landmarks to see here. I preferred the waterfront at Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, as they were less commercialized.
11. Citadel Hill
The Citadel is a historical fort in downtown Halifax that was built in 1749. If you are a history or war buff, then this is your place. They have recreated the trenches from World War 1, which I found very meaningful and moving. We went on a Saturday when they were changing the flags, so admission was free, which we weren’t expecting.
12. Crystal Crescent Beach
This white sand beach is just outside of Halifax and is one of the nicest in Nova Scotia. There are hiking paths here that lead to cliffs, which are a great place for photos. If you want to avoid tan lines, there is a clothing optional beach here as well. We went in late July and the water was freezing! Felt like the polar bear plunge!
This is the extent of our trip to Atlantic Canada. We stayed in Nova Scotia, so most of our photos were taken there. We ran out of time and didn’t make it to Cape Breton or Newfoundland, which we will do another time. I think we saw a lot in a week. If you are interested in seeing more photos of our trip please check out my Instagram page.