Nova Scotia, a peninsula and islands on the east coast of Canada, has a long and storied history in its seaside cliffs and fishing boats.
Margie and Joe Richards of Massachusetts spent more than a week exploring the province – a trip they enjoyed thanks to their visiting the AAA Marketplace. The annual travel show offers exclusive vacation deals for members and nonmembers alike.
The longtime AAA members toured Nova Scotia last September. “It was fabulous,” Margie said. “It was a great trip. The accommodations were wonderful.”
The Richardses traveled to the island via the CAT Ferry service from Portland, Maine. They brought their car with them, and relaxed, watched TV and ate on the 5 1/2-hour trip before landing in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. As for crossing into another country, they said getting through customs was a breeze.
They also made sure to stop at Nova Scotia’s many fishing towns. “We ate a lot of fish,” Margie said. “You can’t get any better than fresh fish when you’re on the ocean.”
In one memorable meal, they ate at a restaurant overlooking the Bay of Fundy and watched the tide go out, lowering boats almost to the ground. The Bay of Fundy is famous for its tides, which rise and fall 50 feet twice a day.
Nova Scotia Tourism Attractions
Nova Scotia is full of dozens of museums and historical sites, showcasing the area’s roles in European settlement, 18th century wars and the fishing industry.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, for example, has nautical artifacts spanning centuries, including a pair of shoes from a young Titanic victim. (Nova Scotian ships recovered bodies after the sinking, burying more than 100 in local cemeteries.) AAA members get $1 off admission.
You can go even further back in Nova Scotia history at the Highland Village Museum in Cape Breton, touring an 18th century Gaelic settlement at 11 period buildings overlooking the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake. It’s open from June 1 to Oct. 16. AAA members get 20 percent off regular admission.
For the more physically inclined, Nova Scotia offers hiking trails, canoe trips, camping, fishing and more outdoor activities.
Exploring the Cabot Trail
Margie and Joe also took a few days to tour the Cabot Trail, a scenic highway overlooking the sea and passing through the mountainous Cape Breton Highlands. “On a clear day it has to be breathtaking,” Margie said. “We saw beautiful spots in and out of the fog.” Joe added that drivers should stick to the shore because it’s beautiful.
No matter what, the Richardses encourage encourage travelers to stop at every tourist attraction and museum. Thanks to advice of a local, they stopped at the Church of Saint Pierre off the Cabot Trail. This ornate Catholic church has played a central role in the local French Acadian community for more than a century – and a parish priest is buried in a crypt beneath the church.
Margie and Joe savored their Nova Scotia vacation. As for the couple’s next trip? They will travel to Alaska and the Yukon Territory for their anniversary this summer – on a vacation booked through the AAA Marketplace.
Read our story, “Kicking it Low-Key in Canada,” for more great Canada getaways.
For more information on Nova Scotia tourism and other trips all around the world, visit AAA.com/Travel.