I have taken precisely three official road trips in my adult life:
Across Scotland & Italy (I flew in-between countries but it was one trip!)
From Toronto to Chicago (with two kids in the backseat - just nope!)
From Ontario to Nova Scotia (with every possession I own in tow)
Anyone who has met me knows that I prefer a plane to a car. A hotel to a tent. And a martini to a beer. It's likely why I chose to turn an empty roadside motel into a motel-resort instead of opening a campground. However, since living in Nova Scotia, I have discovered that there's a lot to be seen on an authentic Nova Scotia Road Trip.
The Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia has some of the most rugged, unfettered landscape that I have ever seen. In the 129KM drive from Halifax to Port Dufferin, you can experience crystal clear sand beaches, small little shops, craft breweries, cafes and restaurants, artisans and of course gorgeous scenery. You could easily turn the 90 minute drive into an all day leisurely exploration. And you'll still have more to explore past Port Dufferin!
The Eastern Shore encompasses 80 communities with a combined population of 26,000+ The region starts in and around Lawrencetown and stretches east to around* Canso. There's so much to see and do along 'the shore' that I thought I'd put my tour guide hat on and help you make the most of your visit. These are my favourite must-see-and-do activities.
First Stop: Musquodoboit Harbour
Home to one of our favourite breweries: The Harbour Brewing Company. a lovely farmer's market and the finest food shop this side of the province, Uprooted Market Cafe this little town is definitely worth a stop.
Just a short drive from the heart of Musquodoboit Harbour you'll find the absolutely stunning Lupin Pantry It is our absolute favourite Eastern Shore restaurant. The menu is seasonal and they grow their own food right there on site. Definitely worth booking a lunch at. (Side bar: this place has the most amazing bathroom. It gives any home renovation bathroom a run for its money!).
Second Stop: Taylor Head Provincial Park
There are lots of beaches between Halifax and Port Dufferin. All of which are stunning and worth exploring. We love them all and our favourites are Clam Harbour Beach, Martinique Beach and of course Lawrencetown Beach.
Our top choice to spend a day in the sun is always Taylor Head. This place rivals a tropical beach - with slightly colder water! It's beautiful white sand, jutting rocks and flowing grasses make it the ultimate place for a picnic. As part of the provincial park, the beach is located only a few steps away from some of the best trail hiking along the Eastern Shore. A walk along the beach or hike through the woods, it's definitely worth a stop.
Third Stop: Sheet Harbour
Sheet Harbour is the big-sister to our little town of Port Dufferin. It's only about a 15 minute drive away and is where we spend a lot of our off time. A super vibrant community full of wonderful people and local businesses destined for greatness (can you tell I love it here?).
There are so many businesses here that we work with and love I can't put them all in one blog post. On your way through town, we recommend you stop at Sober Island Brewing and meet the wonderful team that work there. In the summer months you can enjoy delicious craft brew in their beer garden while listening to live music. Hello summer.
If you're looking for a great place for dinner, look no further than The Henley House Pub & Restaurant. Only open seasonally, the menu is full of great options that appeal to every taste bud. Definitely worth stopping for a bite. If you can, get a spot on their patio - the ocean view is pretty spectacular.
I know this a post all about a Nova Scotia road trip. But bear with me as a I add one suggestion that leaves the car on the shore and you in a boat. From July to October the amazing Levy family run a boat tour business Sober Island Boat Tours Experience the 100 Wild Islands on an authentic lobster fishing boat. The sights, sea and wild life and stories are definitely worth the time.
The last stop before you end your trip with us - Harbourside Cafe The perfect place for a hand crafted latte (that absolutely rivals the big-city-guys). The love that you feel the second you walk in is true East Coast hospitality. Our family has voted the club sandwich as the best EVER. Everything is fresh, simple and 100% delicious.
If you decide to visit us, please stop at some of these amazing places and businesses along the way. And if you discover other amazing stops, don't forget to share them with us on our social media channels. We would love to hear all about your Nova Scotia road trip to the Eastern Shore.
*I say "around" because quite frankly, I'm new here and I still don't completely understand where I live!