Nova Scotia Wonders
Latin for New Scotland, Nova Scotia is Canada's second smallest
province and sits on the southeastern tip of Canada. The capital
and main economic area is Halifax, which sits right on the
Atlantic and hence is involved in the fishing industry. With a
population of less than 1 million, Nova Scotia relies on the
natural resources of its land, however, since the mid 20th
century, it has developed other industries besides the
agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining that has carried it
through the years. With people traveling all over the world,
many countries including Nova Scotia are becoming tourist
oriented; it also has had growth in finance, film and music.
When the first Europeans arrived in 1604, Micmacs already
occupied much of the land, including parts of Maine, the
Maritimes, the Gaspe Peninsula and Newfoundland. The French
started the first encampment north of Florida at Port Royal,
which later became Acadia. In the 18th century, the British
forced their way in and began a new capital at Halifax in 1749,
then when the Canadian Confederation was formed in 1867, Nova
Scotia became a founding province with New Brunswick and the
Canadian Province (and these eventually became Quebec and
Ontario). Included in the province of Nova Scotia is the island
of Cape Breton, which is a fair sized island to the northeast and
Sable Island which is 110 miles from the southern coast; infamous
for the ships that wreck along its shoals.
The province is almost
completely surrounded by water, which helps to adjust the
The waters that surround most of the province are the Atlantic on the
east and south, Bay of Fundy on the west and the Gulf of St. Lawrence
on the north. Thus causing it to have warm summers and cold winters.
Also the proximity of the waters cause fog to roll in quite often and
Halifax averages 196 days of fog each year. The water also help Nova
Scotia to be the warmest of Canada’s provinces. Since it does sit out
in the ocean, it is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes coming
up from the south, usually in the later summer and early autumn. They
have had 33 storms since starting to keep records in 1871; with Hurricane
Kyle in 2008 and Tropical Storm Noel in 2007, as Noel was downgraded before
it hit the province.
About 11,000 years ago, the Paleo-Indians hunted and lived in
the area, and the MicMacs are believed to have been their
descendants. John Cabot was thought to be the first European to
visit the area in 1497 and the French started their colony over
100 years later at Acadia. The Plymouth Council for New England
decided that the entire shoreline of the east coast from Nova
Scotia to the Chesapeake Bay would become New England in 1620.
In 1621, King James VI gave William Alexander the charter for a
Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia and the next year settlers
left Scotland for the new land. The first group failed because
they didn't have enough skilled people, so 2 years later, the
king created the order of baronets. This order stated that each
applicant must include 6 men skilled, with arms, clothes and
supplies to live for 2 years in the new world. No one was
interested, so the king ordered someone to do it.
Over the next 150 years, the province was the scene of upheaval
as the English and French fought for control. Finally, around
the time of the American Revolution, many English sympathists
immigrated there to stay away from the conflict. Today, the
province is a melting pot of ethnic groups including; German,
French, Scot-Gaelic, Micmac, and African-Nova Scotian (freed
slaves deposited to the province from ships caught by the Royal
Navy). While it continues to try to get immigrants to come
there, it has met with limited success; although large numbers
of Arabs and Eastern Europeans have arrived to stay.
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Nova Scotia Tours
As for touring the land and sea areas of Nova Scotia, you will be
surprised at the wonderful amount of things to do and see here. One
such interesting and unusual tour is the
puffin boat tours that will take you by boat to the puffins island,
on the way catching sights like eagles, seals and many different sea
birds. This is a bird watching tour that will excite you like no
If you enjoy sailing and having the wind and sun in your face, then
try one of the sailing vessels that will take you on a tour or day
cruise. You will embark on one of the sailing vessels docked at the
Lunenburg wharf, which is home to many exciting and historic
opportunities itself. On some of the sailboats you can take part in
the sailing of the vessel by hoisting the sails, taking over the
helm and thrill in the adventure of sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.
There are lighthouses, seals, porpoises, Smith and Ruland shipyard
where many ships have been built, including the tall ships Bounty
and Rose, the Bluenose and Bluenose II; which ferry between here and
Bar Harbor, Maine. As you pass the big factory ships belonging to
the scallop fleet, you will see the world's 2nd biggest fish
In Lunenburg, over 200 years of marine industries, ship building and
fishing have driven the local economy.
The town was settled after Halifax in the 1700s and has many
industries still going on today as it did then. The sections of the
old town contain many beautifully designed Georgian homes built in
the 1700s and part of the historic World Heritage Site. The German
heritage has been saved and much of it can be seen in the Fisheries
Museum of the Atlantic.
For the wine lovers, the tour at the Domaine de Grand Pre is a
wonderful experience to visit and learn about this marvelous
vineyard. It is world renown, with specialty wines and the tour is
one of a kind. You will learn all about the process, growth and
selection of the grapes that have been specifically developed for
this area. The scenery is beautiful with an excellent dining area on
the vineyard and after tasting the wines, you can relax in this
cordial environment and enjoy your meal with an excellent local
One of the most thrilling awesome adventures of your life will
happen to you on the Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises. This
magnificent tour will take you by ferry to the island where you will
be startled delightfully by humpback, right and finback whales as
they frolic in the ocean. The group keeps records and information
for scientific studies about the whales, dolphins and porpoises; as
well as many seabirds. A truly memorable experience well worth your
time. Depending on the tour company you take, the area may be
different and the experience somewhat, however, you will love
watching and catching the mammals on film and memory.
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Things to do
One of the best ways to view this beautiful province is to drive
by car. This way you will be able to see the fantastic sights along
the Cabot Trail as it curves around the rocky magnificence of the
Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This spectacular highway is
carved out of the sides of mountains ascending from the brilliant
blue waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Look out points along the
way allow you to stop and gaze at the incredible coastline where
whales can occasionally be seen off the shore and bald eagles rise
high above the ocean's winds. The highlands are a mosaic of colors
seen in the land, woods and bogs along the way; where, if you are
lucky, you can see moose grazing in the distance by the serene lakes
and streams. The park's 25 trails offer 20 minute walks to hard
hikes through the awesome mountains and seaside scenery. These can
be guided or self guided walks or hikes with the option of camping
in some of the best areas in the country.
For the very best excitement of your life, try sea kayaking midst
the tallest tides on the earth. You will paddle through the Bay of
Fundy, explore Cape Chignecto Park and be amazed at the waterfall
flowing down from the cliffs overlooking the bay, with sea stacks,
arches and caves to come back and explore at length.
A kayaker's dream come true.
At the Alexander Keith Brewery, you can enjoy some home grown
local beer as well as tour the factory and learn about its history.
The Chedabucto Bay Brewery Company has been brewing over 300 years
and believed to be one of the first commercial breweries in the
There are many kayaking companies located in Nova Scotia, especially
along the coast, which actually covers about 75 percent of the land.
While kayaking is the same per se, the locale makes the difference
and where you want to go and what you want to see will help you
decide which one to take. You can always enjoy one of each, along
the rivers and streams or the thrill of the sea. It is up to you,
but whichever one you do take, they all will give you the best, most
breathtaking moments and sights of your life. Skill levels don't
matter, as the guides or outfitters will be most enthusiastic to
Many places are located here to rent bikes to ride over the
fantastic countryside or explore along the majestic coastlines.
There is so much scenery here overpowering your senses and making
you feel alive with the natural order and beauty of it all. You can
bike to various places, then kayak to others or swim, fish and raft.
They have tubing and hiking through all kinds of terrains,
difficult, almost impossible or lessons for the beginners. It is all
wide open for your choice. You will see animals in their natural
habitats, incredible views from look-off or outs, like the one at
the Devil's Bend almost 500 feet above the Economy River. Visit the
300 year hemlock forest or go find fossils at the Joggins Fossil
Cliffs near the Bay of Fundy. Walk or hike along the longest path in
Nova Scotia, or see the Liberty Lake Trail in the Kejimkujik
National Park. This land is your land for the visiting or vacation.
An absolutely awesome adventure.