If you’re planning to visit Nova Scotia for the first time and wondering what to see or where to go, here are the top 5 places you must see in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia is a fantastic province located in Eastern Canada that offers incredible natural scenery and plenty of activities for visitors. With stunning coastlines and gorgeous beaches, Nova Scotia is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There are also plenty of historical sites and cultural attractions to explore in Nova Scotia, and of course, delicious seafood to enjoy!

While there are plenty of things to do in the province, we realize you can’t see everything, so we’ll highlight the top 5 places you must see in Nova Scotia while you’re here.

Pin for this post - 5 must see places in Nova Scotia
Pin this post for later

While Nova Scotia may be the 2nd smallest province in Canada, it’s a province with a lot to offer visitors. From incredible natural scenery to historical sites, quaint fishing villages and delicious seafood, there’s something for everyone in Nova Scotia.

See the highest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy, relax on the gorgeous beaches on the Eastern Shore or take in the dramatic scenery of Cape Breton. Wherever you choose to go in Nova Scotia, you’re sure to be amazed.

And I bet you’ll be planning a return visit before you even leave the province. 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link,
I may make a commission – at no extra cost to you.
Please read the disclosure for more information.

Why only 5 Places to See in Nova Scotia?

There are so many great places to see in Nova Scotia – honestly, it’s an amazing province.

And yes, we’re a little biased, as we now call Nova Scotia home, but once you visit, I’m sure you’ll see why! 

I could easily make this a list of 55, or even 75 places to see in Nova Scotia. It wouldn’t be hard to keep adding to the list.

But I realize many people don’t have the luxury of spending weeks and months exploring the province and you’re trying to see as much as you can in the time you have!

So that’s where this post comes in.

We’re highlighting the top 5 places to see in Nova Scotia, and within these areas or places, we’ve suggested a few places you might want to visit. If you have the time, fit as many as you can into your itinerary.

But if you’re short on time, pick and choose from each area so you can see a bit of everything in Nova Scotia. 

Top 5 Places to See in Nova Scotia


As the capital city of Nova Scotia, there are plenty of things to do in Halifax. Whether you ’re visiting for a few days or a week, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.

Start by exploring downtown Halifax and checking out the Historic Properties along the waterfront. Then head to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, one of the most popular Nova Scotia attractions, which offers incredible views of the city.

view of Halifax skyline from the harbour
Halifax view from the harbour

If you’re interested in learning more about Nova Scotia’s history, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a must-see. For some great photo ops, head to the Public Gardens or take the ferry across the harbour for a great view of the Halifax skyline.

No matter what you do while you’re in Halifax, you’re sure to have a great time!

While in Halifax, here are some things not to miss:

  • Visit the Citadel and hear the noon cannon
  • Stroll along the waterfront boardwalk
  • Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
  • Explore the Halifax Public Gardens
  • Cross the Harbour and explore some of the things to do in Downtown Dartmouth
  • Dine at any of one of the delicious restaurants in Downtown Halifax
  • Visit Fisherman’s Cove, a working fishing village across the harbour from Halifax

Lunenburg and the South Shore

Nova Scotia’s South Shore is home to charming towns and quaint fishing villages.

One of the most charming and picturesque towns along the South Shore is Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to explore the historic streets, check out the unique shops and enjoy the fresh seafood.


The South Shore is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia. So if you’re looking to relax on the beach, take a hike or just enjoy the incredible scenery, the South Shore is the place to be.

While on the South Shore, here are some things not go miss:

  • Visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg
  • Explore the quaint fishing village of Mahone Bay
  • Visit the picturesque town of Chester
  • Dine on fresh delicious seafood
  • Kayak or paddle at Blue Rocks
  • Relax on a beach – Carter’s Beach looks like it’s right out of the Caribbean
  • Visit the iconic lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove

Annapollis Valley

The Annapolis Valley is home to stunning scenery, quaint towns, farmers markets and some of the best vineyards in Nova Scotia. It’s also one of the oldest settled areas in North America, so there’s plenty of history to explore.

view of the fields in the Annapolis Valley and fog coming from the bay of Fundy

The Annapolis Valley is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the slower pace of life. But there’s also plenty to keep you busy, from exploring historic sites and museums to hiking, biking and kayaking.

While in the Annapolis Valley, here are some things not to miss:

  • Visit one of the many wineries in the valley
  • Explore the historic town of Annapolis Royal and the gorgeous Annapolis Royal Historical Gardens
  • Stroll through the quaint town of Wolfville
  • Pick up fresh produce at the local farmers markets
  • Visit the Landscape of Grand Pre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy fresh scallops in Digby

Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tides in the world and some of the most unique and diverse coastline. Twice a day, the water flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy, exposing the ocean floor and creating a unique landscape. It’s an impressive sight to see.

low tide exposes the ocean floor in the bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia

While New Brunswick is better known for seeing the tides and exploring the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia is a great place to experience this well. In fact, the highest recorded tides were actually in Nova Scotia, at Burntcoat Head Park.

And Nova Scotia is the only place to go tidal bore rafting!

You can experience the tides all along the coast from Digby and Annapolis Royal to Windsor, as well as Advocate Harbour, Parrsboro and Five Islands on the other side of the Minas Basin.

While in the Bay of Fundy, here are some things not to miss:

  • Walk on the ocean floor at low tide
  • Visit Burntcoat Head Park where the highest recorded tides are
  • Explore the Fundy Geological Museum
  • Visit the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Admire the Bay of Fundy from the Blomidon Look Off
  • Try Tidal Bore Rafting on the Shubenacadie River

Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton is an island off the eastern end of the province and it’s one of the most beautiful places in Nova Scotia. With its rugged coastline, stunning beaches, quaint villages and incredible scenery, it’s no wonder Cape Breton is a popular tourist destination.

view of The Cabot Trail on cape Breton island
The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island

There’s plenty to do on the island, from driving the world-famous Cabot Trail to hiking the many trails or exploring the small towns and villages. It’s also one of the best places in Nova Scotia to go whale watching in the summer months.

And don’t forget to sample the delicious seafood!

While on Cape Breton, here are some things not to miss:

  • Drive the world-famous Cabot Trail
  • Visit the Fortress of Louisbourg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore the small town of Cheticamp
  • Hike the Skyline Trail or Franey Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • See the world’s largest fiddle in Sydney
  • Visit Baddeck and take advantage of the many activities on Bras d’Or Lake

A Few Other Must See Places in Nova Scotia

Beaches of the Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the province.

With its sandy beaches, crystal-clear water and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder this area is a popular spot to visit.

Martinique Beach is the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia while Lawrencetown Beach is a popular spot for surfing and windsurfing and Rainbow Haven, our personal favourite, is a popular beach near Halifax that’s perfect for families to spend the day at.

Kejimkujik National Park

Kejimkujik National Park is a beautiful National Park located in the southwest of Nova Scotia. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, deer, beavers and bald eagles. There are also many hiking trails and over 200 lakes in the park, making it a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

The park is also home to a dark sky preserve, making it one of the best places in Nova Scotia to stargaze.

Final Thoughts: 5 Places to See in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is an incredible province with so much to see and do. And while this definitely isn’t all that Nova Scotia has to offer, these are a few of the best places and things to see in Nova Scotia.

We hope you enjoy your time exploring Nova Scotia!

pin image with lighthouse - 5 must-see places to see in Nova Scotia

Accommodations: Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia
Rental Car: Discover Cars
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Tours and Activities: Viator | Get Your Guide
eSIM: Airalo

For more ideas and inspiration on the best things to do and great places to visit in Nova Scotia, be sure to check out these posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.