The Best Waterfront Resorts in Nova Scotia

White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotias South Shore is a haven of waterfront activities and relaxation; nine holes of golf, a spa, and boathouse await you, alongside beautifully furnished suites and cottages
White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotia's South Shore is a haven of waterfront activities and relaxation; nine holes of golf, a spa, and boathouse await you, alongside beautifully furnished suites and cottages | Courtesy of White Point Beach Resort / Expedia
Alex Allen

If you’re looking for a back-to-nature adventure with all the creature comforts, Nova Scotia’s got the answer, with its dense pine forests surrounded by sea, stalked by moose and bears. This Canadian idyll unites sun-flecked fishing villages and lonely lighthouses with some of the best food and drink in the land: locally-produced wine, whiskey and lobster suppers are yours at every turn – not to mention beautiful places to stay. Here are the best waterfront hotels in Nova Scotia.

1. Oceanstone Seaside Resort

Resort, Inn, Cottages

Oceanstone Seaside Resort outdoor decking with lawns
Courtesy of Oceanstone Seaside Resort / Expedia

Peggy’s Cove appears after a 45-minute drive across countryside from Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital. It’s a postcard-pretty fishing village clustered around a jade-green inlet. Minutes up the road is the Oceanstone Seaside Resort with its standalone cottages; each a unique vignette of seaside-chic with white-painted floorboards, cast-iron log burners, and oil paintings hanging from the timber walls. The suites are equally elegant with plenty of weathered-effect wood, time warp furniture, and a refreshing marine palette.

2. White Point Beach Resort

Resort, Hotel, Lodge, Cottages

White Point Beach Resort lounge and restaurant with traditional decor
Courtesy of White Point Beach Resort / Expedia

Almost a century old, this rambling resort is unique on the island; barely two hours south of Halifax, and 10 minutes from the cute-as-a-button town of Liverpool (on the banks of the Mersey River, no less). It’s not a place for idling, with its indoor swimming pool, boathouse (for kayak and paddleboard rental), and a nine-hole golf course. Then again, given the eclectic mix of cozy, beachy hotel rooms, standalone cottages and larger lodges, it’s sufficiently homely to induce indolence if you’re that way inclined.

3. Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa

Resort, Cottages

Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa exterior with carpark and lawns
Courtesy of Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa / Expedia
On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, overlooking the moody Annapolis Basin, this Norman chateau-style hotel delivers solid, old-school comfort in landscaped grounds. An immaculately groomed 18-hole championship golf course should keep incurable players satisfied, while an outdoor heated pool and spa are alternative options for the less sporty. Whatever you do, don’t leave without tucking into the locally sourced Digby scallops at the in-house Spokes Bistro: they’re as plump as marshmallows and quite unforgettable.

4. Fox Harb’r Golf Resort

Resort

Fox Harb’r exterior with bridge and pond, extensive lawns
Courtesy of Fox Harb’r / Expedia
Check in here and you’re all set to live out your wholesome dreams at this sprawling, contemporary country pile. Standing on the calm northeastern shore of the province, directly across the Northumberland Strait from Prince Edward Island (which is just an hour and a half’s drive away) take your pick from horse riding, fly fishing, yachting and pheasant-shooting on 350 acres (140ha) of private hunting reserve. This resort is your oyster – and so are the oysters: freshly plucked and shucked from the Northumberland Strait, and tongue-tinglingly good.

5. Pictou Lodge Beachfront Resort

Resort, Lodge

Pictou Lodge Beachfront Resort restaurant overlooking outdoor terrace with wood beam ceiling
Courtesy of Pictou Lodge Beachfront Resort / Expedia
On the water’s edge overlooking the Northumberland Strait is this rustic resort of log cabins skirted by wooden decking. Rooms in the main lodge are cozy and spartanly decorated. We recommend the one-bedroom cottages – a significant upgrade for a modest cost – with thick timber walls, a kitchen, and living room. You can huddle round your own log-burning stove and laze on the antique furniture. Activities here are charmingly Victorian: think horseshoe throwing, giant checkerboards, and bicycles for hire.

6. Oak Island Resort

Resort

Atlantica Oak Island Resort exterior with small boat dock
Courtesy of Oak Island Resort / Expedia
Spoiler alert: this nautical-themed hotel isn’t actually on an island, but opposite one. In fact, it’s opposite a number of them, peppered about Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, an hour from Halifax. It’s a sheltered spot that’s ideal for yachties looking to moor their boats – and the soft clinking of halyards against masts will lull you to sleep each night. Not that the soundtrack is necessary; beds in all rooms are marshmallow-soft slumber aids.

7. Star of the Sea Bed and Breakfast

Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Inn

Star of the Sea Bed and Breakfast decking with seats and wine overlooking sea
Courtesy of Star of the Sea Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

In a converted 19th-century chapel on the shore of Fergusons Cove, this three-suite B&B feels much further-flung than it is. A mere five-minute drive out of Halifax you’ve left behind any traces of urbanity for a world of thick woodland, gravel roads, and tucked-away clapboard cottages. Suites at the Star of the Sea are all different but unified by their period details: arched church windows, ceiling beams, and the wood-and-white elegance of the decor. Hosts Tom and Eva are experts on the local area, so be sure to tap them up for the inside track.

8. Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel

Hotel

Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel terrace with view of skyline and sofas
Courtesy of Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel / Expedia

You can’t beat this redbrick business traveler’s classic for location. Smack in the midst of Halifax’s bustling waterfront, you’re just a couple of blocks from the city’s Old Town where the best boutique shops and restaurants are found. You’re even closer to the ferry terminal that’ll transport you across the bay to the younger, village-vibe suburb of Dartmouth. Be sure to head there for buzzy independent cafes, micro-breweries and galleries.

9. Larinda’s Landing Oceanfront Cottages

Hotel, Cottages

Larinda’s Landing Oceanfront Cottages with small beach and forest behind
Courtesy of Larinda’s Landing Oceanfront Cottages / Expedia

We challenge you to find a better name for a holiday cottage than Sneezewort’s Shanty; or Baldmoney’s Boathouse for that matter. With Victorian-style charm to match their Dickensian monikers, these eight standalone cottages form a delightful hamlet on the gently sloped shores of Saint Margaret’s Bay, a 30-minute drive from Halifax. Interiors are similarly quaint across the range, with creaky wooden floorboards, maritime art, and log-burning stoves to warm your cockles after an afternoon of bracing wind and sea spray.

10. The Lake House Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

The Lake House B&B outdoor pool with decking with lake and forest beyond
Courtesy of The Lake House B&B / Expedia

You can feel yourself relaxing as you pull off the rural road onto the dirt track that winds through pine forest to Eel Lake in remote southwestern Nova Scotia. This is the kind of spot you’d only ever find on purpose; it’s so tucked away you’ll have forgotten what cities sound like by the time you settle in for the first night in your quiet, cottage-cozy room. Owners Elaine and Ray make this B&B feel as much like your home as theirs – with farm-fresh eggs at breakfast, and a kayak you can borrow to explore the lake.

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