Land and the Sea

Life in Nova Scotia has always been closely tied to its geography and the ocean that rings its shores. There are more than 7,600 kilometers of coastline to explore in the province and you are never more than a one hour drive from the ocean anywhere in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has more than 100 publicly accessible beautiful beaches that attract locals and tourists alike, earning the province the reputation as “Canada’s Atlantic Playground”.

The province is a study in contrasts, encompassing a range of geographical features that include the rugged highlands of Cape Breton Island (ranked the 2nd best Tourist Island in the world by National Geographic Magazine), the sweeping seascapes of the South Shore, the peaceful farmland of the Annapolis Valley, and huge areas of forest in the province’s interior. The scenic beauty of the province is one reason Nova Scotia is a favourite destination of tourists from around the globe.

The province’s extensive coastline is a magnet to tourists. CNN Money Magazine lists Nova Scotia as one of the 12 best vacation spots in North America, and each year, more than 2 million tourists come from all parts of the world to visit Nova Scotia, often drawn to the province’s ocean attractions. For example, visitors to Nova Scotia are delighted to discover that they can easily take a short trip offshore in a local boat to watch gigantic whales surfacing, spouting and diving.

In the summer, short cruises of historic Halifax harbour provide a fascinating glimpse into the events and history that have made the city famous around the world. On the other side of the province, visitors can witness the highest ocean tides in the world (over 15 meters) in the Bay of Fundy. Near the UNESCO World Heritage site of the town of Lunenburg, the remarkable natural phenomenon known as the Ovens provides an unforgettable experience as powerful ocean surges are directed upwards into caverns along the shore.

For those more interested in the land, Nova Scotia offers many geographical and geological features that are found in only a few parts of the world. In many parts of the province, there is ample evidence of the mighty glaciers that once swept this area bare and then retreated, leaving boulders balanced on sheets of rock and creating isolated islands of fertile soil known as drumlins.