The Most Non-Touristy Experiences in Nova Scotia

Weird Harbour | Courtesy of Weird Harbour Espresso Bar
Weird Harbour | Courtesy of Weird Harbour Espresso Bar
Photo of Kate Horodyski
12 September 2017
Weird Harbour | Courtesy of Weird Harbour Espresso Bar

Flipping through a guidebook, you’re guaranteed to hear about the classic Nova Scotia destinations like Peggy’s Cove, the Cabot Trail and Halifax’s Citadel Hill. These are all great spots, but what about all the hidden gems that the locals enjoy? We’ve got you covered for the best and most non-touristy experiences in Nova Scotia.

Hang out at a Halifax Coffee Shop

Restaurants and bars are always filled with tourists during the summer months, but the cafés and coffee shops are generally frequented by locals. Take in the local scene with a great cup of coffee and a pastry at one of our favourite spots in the city.

The Valley Drive-In

Skip the mega theaters and head to the drive-in theater in the Annapolis Valley. Open May to October, the drive-in will transport you back to a simpler time and is a great evening adventure!

Apple Picking

In the fall, the Annapolis Valley is practically mobbed with locals of all ages going apple picking and taking in the gorgeous fall scenery. Round out the day with a trip to the Valley’s many farmers markets and then stop into Wolfville for a visit to the picturesque university town.

Rent a Cottage

While tourists may also enjoy renting cottages, it’s a summer essential for locals! Every weekend, you’ll find streams of Haligonians leaving the city for their rented or owned cottages. And can you blame them? Nothing beats enjoying a cold drink on your own private dock on the lake.

Check out Three Pools Waterfall

A hidden gem near Wolfville, Three Pools is a bit of a hike to get to, but it’s well worth the trip! You’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii rather than Nova Scotia at this gorgeous set of waterfalls! There are also a number of cool falls around the province, so don’t limit yourself to Three Pools!

#threepoolswaterfall #hellsgate #novascotia #summer

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Thrift Shopping

Taking a thrift shopping road trip is a popular activity for locals and makes for a great mini vacation! While Halifax is full of cool spots, there are also lots of great spots around the province. Frenchy’s is a particularly popular chain and can be found in a number of towns including Shelburne, Digby and Bridgewater.

Visit the Parks

While national and provincial parks like Kejimkujik and Cape Breton Highlands are popular with tourists, many of the city parks are more local hotspots. In Halifax, you’ll find Point Pleasant Park filled with locals from morning until dusk.