Explore the Nova Scotia South Shore – Halifax to Yarmouth

Nova Scotia is the perfect road-tripping destination. While most people explore the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton, the South of Nova Scotia is just as exciting.

These stops along Southern Nova Scotia will make you want to pack your bags and go road-tripping through this incredible province of Atlantic Canada.

We landed at the Halifax airport on a morning flight from Toronto. After picking up our rental car without a hitch and set off to explore the Nova Scotia South Shore following highway 103 all the way to Yarmouth.

The next 10 days were filled with adventure and exploring the beautiful southern Nova Scotia landscape.

South Shore Nova Scotia

map of southern nova scotia
A map of South Nova Scotia of our trip

It doesn’t take long to get anywhere in Nova Scotia and there are a lot of sights to see in a fairly short distance. That is by Canadian standards. (We are a huge country, but Nova Scotia is a nice and compact Canadian province)

Days are spent exploring and enjoying the scenery with just enough driving to make things fun!

Peggy’s Cove

Peggy's cove sunset
A beautiful Peggy’s Cove sunset

Peggy’s Cove is the most popular tourist destination in Nova Scotia. Located just 45 minutes from Halifax, Peggy’s Cove is a lovely fishing village that houses a 100-year-old lighthouse. Located on a rocky outcrop it is also one of the most photograph spots in Canada.

There’s a fishermen’s Museum and monument here, there’s the Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours, Sou’wester Gift and food for lobster poutine, and plenty of gift shops and cafes.

Take the Peggy’s Cove boat tour to explore the coast and see the lighthouse away from the crowds.

Paddling Lower Prospect

east coast road trip kayaking
Dave kayaking through the waters.

Just 30 minutes from Halifax or Peggy’s Cove is a beautiful kayaking route in Lower Prospect. This is an excellent introduction to kayaking in Nova Scotia as you paddle the inner waterway and quiet bays safe from the Atlantic Ocean.

Lobster Boil

what to do in nova scotia lobster bake

There’s many places to eat lobster in and around the Nova Scotia South Shore, and if you are going to eat lobster once, it should be on the East Coast of Canada.

Fish and chips are staple meals on the East Coast of Canada, so give it a try all while supporting the local communities.

Where to Stay Near Peggy’s Cove

east coast road trip accomodation
This made a great base.

Staying at Oceanstone Resort made for the perfect point to make a base while exploring Peggy’s Cove.

We spent two nights here and it was a good amount of time to take in all the scenery of Peggy’s Cove and to do some adventures like Kayaking. Staying close to Peggy’s Cove, let us go out at sunrise and sunset to avoid the crowds.

Mahone Bay

east coast road trip mahone bay
Three churches line the shore.

We then moved on to the artisan town of Mahone Bay. It’s a lovely town set on the water with the 3 churches as the main attraction for photographers.

It’s a good place to stop for lunch and to do some shopping. Mahone Bay is a charming town and was once named the prettiest town in Canada.

Lunenberg

Lunenburg
Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is then on to the historic town Lunenburg to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of only two urban centers in North America to have that honor, Lunenburg is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Canada.

The other urban UNESCO World Heritage Site in North America goes to Quebec City.

lunenberg sunset
Lunenberg at sunset

Lunenburg is known for its painted houses. Go across the water to the golf course to watch sunset. It’s a beautiful scene.

It is also the home of the Bluenose II, you may get lucky and see it while it’s at the dock.

Lighthouse Route

Exploring Southern Nova Scotia takes you through the lighthouse route. This is an easy to follow route taking you through villages dotting the coast.

Blue Rocks

southern nova scotia road trip | blue rocks

Blue Rocks is just a few minutes outside of Peggy’s Cove and is another excellent spot to go kayaking or to catch early morning sunrise.

Out here, the fishing industry is alive and well and you will see many lobster traps, nets and fishing houses on the shore.

La Have

la havre bakery nova scotia
Catching sun at La Havre Bakery

Moving farther south, the La Have Ferry is a fun little adventure.

Take the ferry, which is one of the last remaining cable ferries in Nova Scotia.

Once you cross, it’s just a few minutes to the La Have Bakery where you can pick up snacks for the road trip, enjoy delicious treats and relax on the pier out by the water.

Crescent Beach

crescent beach nova scotia

Our road trip continued to Crescent Beach, the only beach in Nova Scotia you can drive on where we spent a wonderful afternoon.

A lot of people pack up their cars and bring a picnic. We highly recommend doing that!

Liverpool

nova scotia road trip lighthouse route

Our tour then took us to Liverpool, home of the Privateers.

Liverpool is an excellent place to spend the night at Lanes Privateer Inn.

They have a restaurant and cafe and can arrange paddling and hiking tours.

Birtchtown

Birchtown to visit the very first black loyalist settlement in Canada.

Iy played a huge part in the Underground Railroad and after gaining their freedom many former slaves made Birchtown their home.

There is an interactive museum to visit and there are hiking trails nearby.

Argyle

southern nova scotia | ye olde argyler

Our final night was spent in Argyle where we enjoyed lobster poutine at Ye Olde Argyler.

Ye Olde Argyler offers sea kayaking and is a beautiful place to relax. It’s not too far from Yarmouth, so we used this as our base to explore Nova Scotia’s southernmost city.

Yarmouth

east coast road trip yarmouth
Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth

Yarmouth houses another iconic Nova Scotia lighthouse. This is a beautiful lighthouse with interactive trails nearby.

Yarmouth is a popular stop on any road trip in Nova Scotia because it is where Americans catch the ferry from main.

Burntcoat Head Park

nova scotia attractions burntcoat head park

No exploration of Southern Nova Scotia would be complete without a visit to the Bay of Fundy.

While most of the action happens a bit further north, HeaBurntcoat Head Park is an excellent stop to walk on the ocean floor during low tide.

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides and you’ll be amazed to see the size of sea cliffs and islands that are revealed once the water retreats.

Annapolis Valley

dave pouring wine

Making our way back to Halifax from the Bay of Fundy, we cut through the Annapolis Valley.

It is a lovely wine country, so take your time and do some wine tours on the way back to the city.

Halifax

halifax argyle street

We ended our Southern Nova Scotia trip in Halifax where we explored the city and the waterfront.

Halifax has an excellent harbour, lots of history to explore and nightlife.

Things to do in Halifax:

Alexander Keith’s Brewery Tour, Explore the Citadel, Visit Pier 21 Museum, have a drink on Argyle Strreet and stroll the waterfront.

It was an excellent 8 day road trip that took us to the southern end of Nova Scotia.

The South Shore is filled with activities and after our road trip to the South, we spent 2 more days driving up along the North Shore and the Bay of Fundy before heading back to Halifax.

But that’s another story.

Stay tuned for more stories from our East Coast Road Trip through Nova Scotia.

east coast road trip
Exploring Nova Scotia’s East Coast

Our East Coast Road trip is in partnership with Nova Scotia tourism, to find out more about travel to Nova Scotia, visit NovaScotia.com

Read More:

Welcome to The Skyline Trail – The Most Scenic Hike on an Epic Drive
The Best Road Trips in the World
Nova Scotia Accommodations: Where to Stay on the South Shore
Kayaking in Nova Scotia with a Lobster Feast
Peggy’s Cove: The Famous Landmark from land and sea

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

14 thoughts on “Explore the Nova Scotia South Shore – Halifax to Yarmouth”

  1. Hi Dave and Deb, hats off to you both for taking that giant leap 8 years ago with your new adventure in life and travel site.
    Looking forward to seeing your new adventures for 2018. If you ever get a chance to come back to Nova Scotia then please check out the Annapolis Valley region of the Province.

    Reply
  2. Hi I’m from England and would just like to say that my father was born in Nova Scotia in Sidney Mines in 1926. My grandfather sailed over to work in the mines and my grandmother and their first child sailed over to join him. My Aunt my dads youngest sister was also born out there. Maybe one day I will try and come over to see where my father was born

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    • Wow! Thanks for sharing your story. You must visit. You will be surprised just how similar the East Coast of Canada is to parts of the UK and Ireland.

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    • Glad we could inspire you to add Nova Scotia on your list. It’s an amazing destination filled with adventure, beautiful scenery and culture.

      Reply
  3. I’m from Nova Scotia, and always love reading blog posts about home. The South Shore is beautiful. When I was a kid I would go to visit my grandparents in Mill Village. I always remember coming up Wake Up Hill, and then down the other side, sliding into Mahone Bay. That was ‘the land of the churches.” 🙂

    Reply
  4. Love Nova Scotia. I’d say Newfoundland should be a first stop for a starting point in the east, but definitely hit Nova Scotia. I did the Skyline Drive I think it was there while road tripping to TBEX in Toronto where I saw ya. Need to do more of the area though.

    Reply
  5. Nice writing !! Your writings and images make me inspired to travel to Nova Scotia very soon. You will be wonder after knowing that, when I have come to your website, I found a text in the header part that is “adventure couple”, This text inspired me a lot. I hope i could make a couple like you. Best of luck Dave and Deb.

    Reply
  6. Those skies look so clear and crisp! I can almost smell the freshness of them. It must have been a wonderful experience breathing in all that splendor!

    Reply