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Halifax Outdoors

McNab’s Island
This island at the harbor’s mouth is easily accessible by a short boat ride booked on the waterfront. McNab’s and Lawlor Islands were made a Provincial Park in 2002 to preserve the area’s natural habitat and historical value – there are forts on McNab’s dating to the early 19th century. There are guided nature and history tours, camping can be arranged through the department of Natural Resources, and fall foliage tours make McNab’s an easy escape from the Halifax while affording a seldom-seen view of the city. Lawlor Island is closed to the public.

Peggy’s Cove
This tiny fishing village is an iconic image of Nova Scotia, and among the most photographed sites in Canada. The 45-minute drive to the village is itself stunning, as it winds along an increasingly barren landscape. The lighthouse on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove, with a sweeping view of the ocean, is breathtaking, particularly if you are lucky enough to catch a sunset without fog. Visitors are wise to heed the warnings about slippery rocks, lest they join the handfuls of people who have ended their visit tragically. On the way to or from the lighthouse, the homage to fisherman carved in some of the natural exposed rock is worth a look.

Sherbrooke Village
Though approximately 2.5 hours from Halifax, Sherbrooke Village is an interesting trek for those interested in Nova Scotian life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Affiliated with the Nova Scotia museum, over 25 of its 80 restored buildings are open to the public seasonably and with an admission fee. Historical interpreters in period dress recreate town life, with blacksmith and other such demonstrations.

The South Shore
The towns of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia ‘s south shore are picturesque, deservedly popular tourist destinations. Home to the famous schooner the Bluenose, Lunenburg’s remarkable conservation of its shipbuilding and fishing heritage is recognized in its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Mahone Bay is an even smaller town, with lovely small boutiques, the fabulous La Have Bakery, and three charming wood churches that make a beautiful photo from across the bay. If you have a car you can easily visit both towns from Halifax within a day.

York Redoubt National Historic Site
York Redoubt is yet another old fortification that only takes about half a day out of town to visit. Positioned on a bluff at the harbor’s entrance, you can wander about the armaments, take in a wonderful view, and breath in some salty sea air, without paying an entrance fee. If you continue along Herring Cove Road , you eventually come to Duncan ‘s Cove, which is quiet, rocky, windswept, and a great place to walk several kilometers along the coast.


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