If you are even slightly interested in Scotland, Celtic history, whiskey, hiking, beaches, whales and beautiful scenery, then you will be interested in Nova Scotia.  When I told people I was going to Nova Scotia, I heard resounding responses of “I’ve always wanted to go there!”  It’s a place with beauty, history and ice cream served out of an old lighthouse.  You should go.

Brief Overview

We flew into Halifax and drove up north to Cape Breton Island.  We stayed in Cape North.  We stayed at an Airbnb so we could explore the northern part of the island.  We made stops in White Point, Neil’s Harbour, Bay Saint Lawrence and South Harbour.  We also hiked the Skyline Trail and ended the trip flying out of Halifax.

Before we left on our trip, we received our Wifi device from Vision Global.  Our cell service included Canada, so we didn’t necessarily need this device, but it was small and compact.  If I were to travel overseas, I would definitely consider getting one of these.

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Cape Breton Island

We rented an Airbnb on the island in a central location to drive around and visit various places.  The Cabot Trail is word-famous, and staying here meant we got to drive on it and see many of the beautiful parts.  We stayed in Cape North at a beautiful little place owned by the adorable couple and talented musicians: Adrianne & Mike.  We were fortunate to hear them play.  We also downloaded their music on Spotify so we could listen to their awesome music while we drove around the island.  It was cool to hear all the references to Cape Breton Island while we were driving right through them.  (Quite the soundtrack).

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We went to an amazing beach recommended by Adrianne called South Harbour.  We parked on the side of the road (with about 3 other cars) and walked down a path to an oasis.  We enjoyed the beautiful beach with about half a dozen other people.  On our last night, we enjoyed the sunset all to ourselves.  It was amazing.

South Harbour during the day:

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South Harbour at Sunset:

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When I heard there was an ice cream shop inside a lighthouse, I had to try it.  It was in Neil’s Harbour, and it was called Lighthouse Ice Cream Parlour. We got two cones for $5 total.  Of course, I got sea salt caramel, because you know the sea and everything.  The area was so breathtaking.  We enjoyed the beach with our ice cream.

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We did a whale tour with Oshan Whale Watch on Saint Lawrence Bay.  It was $30 a person.  The captain was hilarious and very friendly.  We saw a pod of Pilot whales and some beautiful cliffs.  He also let us ride on top of the boat (because it was the best seat in the house).

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We hiked the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton National Park.  The view was great, but it was heavily trafficked.  There wasn’t a lot of shade, but the views were nice at the end.  After the hike, we ate at the Rusty Anchor.  The fish and chips were amazing, and Jared got the Lobster Roll.  The Lobster Roll was recommended by National Geographic, so you know it’s good.

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On the way back to Halifax, we stopped in a cute coffee place called the Dancing Moose.  We also took the ferry back from the island to the mainland.  It cost $7, it wasn’t scenic by any means.  We thought maybe it’d be longer, but it was pretty short.

Halifax

On our way to Cape Breton Island, we stopped at Glenora Distillery.  We learned so much about the whiskey distillation process.  Did you know that the barrels absorb all the moisture and odors of the air its sitting it?  This place had their barrels sitting in apple orchards.  So the whiskey had a strong apple smell.  There were many more interesting things you can learn on their $7 tour, and the tastings were even better!

We didn’t do a ton of things in Halifax, but we managed to see the amazing library.  Since I just earned my Masters in Library Science, I’m overexcited about libraries.  We visited this place that had five stories, a lot of books and a patio that overlooked the city and the ocean.  They also had a garden on top, and the water runoff was used to flush the toilets.  A pretty amazing library, and it was also the number two rated thing to do on TripAdvisor in Halifax.  (It’s that cool of a library).

 

Nina Thomas

Travel lover and writer

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