Looking for things to do in Windsor, Nova Scotia? Here’s our top suggestions on what to see, where to eat and where to stay when you are visiting Windsor, Nova Scotia.
While Windsor is considered to be the gateway to the Annapolis Valley, it’s also known as “the little town of big firsts” and proudly claims to be the Birthplace of Hockey in Canada. It’s also on the 45th parallel, which is the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole and home to the world’s largest pumpkins!
Whether you are staying for awhile or stopping in for the day, here are the best things to do in Windsor, Nova Scotia, plus where to eat and stay while you are in the area.
About Windsor, Nova Scotia
Originally inhabited by the Mik’maq people, who hunted and fished along the shores of the Bay of Fundy, the area was then settled by Acadians who farmed the land. A century later, the English arrived, developing the area into a town and establishing an important shipbuilding industry. Fort Edward was built, establishing the English in the area and serving as a mid-way point between Halifax and Annapolis Royal.
Today, Windsor is a small community about 40 minutes drive from Halifax. It’s a perfect spot to stop on your way to explore the Annapolis Valley, or to use as a base while you explore the area and the southern Fundy shore.
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Best Things to Do in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Hockey Heritage Museum
Windsor holds the claim to being the birthplace of hockey, so why not stop by the Hockey Heritage Museum?
Located inside Haliburton House (see below), the Hockey Heritage Museum is full of historical and interesting information about the game of hockey.
Wander through the Trophy Room, learn about the origins of hockey and how the Mi’kmaq carved yellow birch to make the first hockey sticks and then marvel at the gear and equipment used throughout hockey’s history.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, mid-June until the beginning of October.
Haliburton House was the home of Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canada’s first international best-selling author who created the character of Sam Slick. He coined many famous sayings, such as “quick as a wink”, “city slicker” and “raining cats and dogs”.
Wander through this Victorian-era house which is filled with many of Haliburton’s own possessions, before heading out to explore the grounds of his large estate. The Hockey Heritage Museum is located inside the house.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, mid-June until the beginning of October. There is an entrance fee (free if you have the Nova Scotia Museum Pass).
Howard Dill’s Pumpkin Farm
Home to some HUGE pumpkins, the farm is open from Mid-August to October. Stroll around the farm, choose a pumpkin (or a few!) and pick up some fresh veggies, pumpkin seeds or other treats at the store.
A National Historic Site, Fort Edward was built in 1750 to protect the route from Halifax to the Annapolis Valley and to allow the British access to the Bay of Fundy.
The fort was an important base for many years, including during the War of 1812. Today, all that remains is the blockhouse, which is the oldest in Canada. Hike along the 1km trail or wander the grounds at your leisure.
**Entrance is free
Walk along the Riverview Trail that runs along the waterfront in downtown Windsor.
Stop along the way, relax in a Red Chair, watch the action at the Skateboard Park, or have a snack at the picnic tables along the path.
The trail starts at a set of stairs near River Street and continues along the waterfront to Star Brides Park, where you continue across the bridge and complete a full loop around the lake.
Mermaid Theatre is a well-known children’s theatre group that creates stage adaptations of classic children’s stories through the art of puppetry.
When not on tour, they perform shows at the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, located in downtown Windsor. Check their website for upcoming shows and events.
Places to Eat and Drink in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Gerrish & Gray
This recent addition to Windsor’s restaurant scene is not to be missed! What originally started as a coffee shop is now a cafe, serving breakfast, lunch and snacks plus grab and go options seven days a week.
Located on the corner of Gerrish and Gray, the building dates from the early 1900’s, with high ceilings, plenty of room inside and a small patio outside. Be sure to stop in!
Thursday to Saturday, Gerrish & Gray offers dinner options and is open until 8pm.
What originally began as a hobby in the basement of an old, but restored schoolhouse, the Schoolhouse Brewery now serves up quality craft brews in a school-themed setting in downtown Windsor.
Try a sample flight of the brews or relax on the patio with a cold glass and snacks from the kitchen.
The Spitfire Arms
Located on Water Street at the heart of downtown Windsor, The Spitfire Arms serves up classic Canadian and British pub foods, along with a diverse drink menu.
Stop in and have a pint, try the fish tacos and enjoy live music every Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon.
This popular wine bar offers a variety of Nova Scotia wines, as well as wines from other parts of the world.
Choose from a menu of locally-sourced food to accompany your wine and round out your dining experience!
Open Thursday to Sunday, Winegrunt is located downtown on Water Street.
Things to Do Around Windsor, Nova Scotia
The Landscape of Grand Pre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an excellent example of how the French settlers, known as Acadians, adapted to the conditions on the North American Atlantic coast by building dykes to develop the farmland.
The Grand-Pré National Historic Site is located at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the settlement of the area and the Acadian way of life as well what is known as the Grand Dérangement, where the Acadians were deported and forced to settle and rebuild in other areas of the world.
The Visitor Center and Interpretive Center explain the story of the Acadians, and then wander the grounds with beautiful gardens, a church and a recreated Black Smith Shop. Be sure to stop and take in the phenomenal views of the valley!
Sainte-Famille Winery (Falmouth)
Sainte-Famille Wines is an award-winning winery in Falmouth, just across the Avon River from Windsor.
Home to some of the oldest wines in the province, it’s one of the warmest vineyards in Nova Scotia.
They produce several different wines, including the Tidal Bay wine, which is Nova Scotia’s signature white wine. Daily tours are offered from June to October.
Burntcoat Provincial Park
While the Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, Burntcoat Head Park is home to the world’s highest recorded tide. Time your visit when the tide is low and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the ocean floor.
For adventure lovers, OnTree is the place to go!
Featuring ziplines, high rope courses, kids courses and a wheelchair accessible course, there is something for everyone!
Kids over the age of 5 can participate, as long as they meet height requirements.
Adult and junior climber rates include 3 hours of climbing, children aged 5-7 include 2 hours of climbing. Adults must accompany children under 13 years of age.
More information, rates and times can be found here.
Just a few minutes from Windsor, Ski Martock is one of the best places to ski and snowboard in Nova Scotia.
With multiple trails and two terrain parks, as well as a dedicated beginner and kids’ areas, it makes for a great place to visit with the family!
Windsor makes a great starting point to explore the Annapolis Valley. The Annapolis Valley is one of the most important fruit-growing regions in Canada and runs from Windsor to Digby.
Where to Stay in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Super 8 Windsor
While Super 8 is known as a budget hotel, this was one of the BEST hotels we have stayed at! Located right off the highway, it’s a short drive (or walk) into town.
Featuring a hot tub and pool with a large waterslide, it’s great for families. There are also family rooms available, with bunk beds and a blackout curtain to allow for privacy when the kids go to bed.
We stayed here almost a week (while we waited for our car to be fixed) and can highly recommend it. The staff were excellent and very helpful, even offering the boys colouring pages when we checked in. Breakfast was included (and had healthy options!) and there is a Superstore, NSLC, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons just down the street. Check here for availability on booking.com.
The Clockmaker’s Inn
The Clockmaker’s Inn is an elegant Victorian Inn dating from 1894. Stay in one of the 8 themed suites and enjoy a full, hot breakfast in the morning. Relax on the porch, in the sitting rooms or in the gardens. Visit their website for information on booking – no online booking available at this time.
Check for other accommodations around Windsor here.