5-Day Nova Scotia Road Trip Itinerary

Travel Advisor Isabel Smallman walking through vineyards in an all white outfit with a tan hat.
Curated By

Isabel Smallman

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  • Canada

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Adventure Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Fresh Seafood

  • Coastal

  • Hidden Gems

clear blue day on the coast
Curator’s statement

Nova Scotia is a unique escape that captures traveler's hearts through its scenic landscape, famous high tides, fresh seafood, and picturesque fishing villages. It is a destination that is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offers plenty of adventure, shopping, relaxing, and dining. A place that gives its visitors a "best of both worlds" through its vibrant city life in Halifax as well as its quaint, rural towns that showcase its stunning oceanic views. The province's wine country, beaches, national parks, and multitude of lighthouses are not one to miss during the warmer summer months!

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Where to stay

Shoreline Suites

Located along the Annapolis Basin in Digby, Nova Scotia, this humble motel overlooks the fishing pier on the bay.

Smugglers Cove Inn

This historic inn with cozy rooms is conveniently situated in the heart of the quaint coastal town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Sutton Place Hotel Halifax

Spacious rooms, fitness center, and concierge services in Downtown Halifax, just a short drive to the Waterfront Boardwalk and Dartmouth Crossing.

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Day 1: Land in the Scallop Capital of the World

harbor on the calm waters of a bay

You're likely to arrive by ferry from midday or early evening. Check into your hotel in Digby and take a stroll along the waterfront as you work up an appetite. Digby is famous for the delicious taste of its historical scallops and you can't move on until you've tried them seared, fried, or in a chowder...the combinations are endless! I recommend The Crow's Nest for a water view with great options.

Day 2: Explore the coast

colorful shanty town harbor

Wake up early and grab a coffee before heading 40 minutes south to Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Center. It offers some historical insight into the life of the Acadians immigrating into Canada with some trails onsite to explore the coast.

Next, drive 20 minutes to Cape Saint Mary Lighthouse Park to enjoy scenic views and the cliffs of St. Mary's Bay. Smuggler's Cove was also a unique pitstop along the way to sit atop stunning coastal cliffs.

If you're hungry by now, drive a quick 45 minutes to Captain Kat's Lobster Shack for lunch in the lobster capital of Canada. I recommend the Lobster Fondue!

Take a 1.5 hour drive further south to digest and stop along the way for a bottle of wine before pulling over to Summerville beach. The beach has beautiful white sand and is the perfect place to take a quick swim on a warm, sunny day.

For dinner, I recommend Lane's Privateer Inn in Liverpool before heading to Lunenburg for a night's stay.

Day 3: Lunenburg and Halifax

lighthouse on rocky shore

Wake up at your leisure and drive 15 minutes along the coastal route to Mahone Bay to browse quaint shops, grab breakfast (I recommend Barn Coffee), and stop at the Blue Rocks Fishing Village for a beautiful scenic backdrop.

Drive back to Lunenburg for a one-hour walking tour midday and enjoy a seafood lunch on the water. Shipwright was an excellent brewery right on the water if you are looking for a craft beer or two!

Drive a little over an hour to Peggy's Cove to walk along the granite boulders and take photos of its iconic lighthouse.

Make your way to Halifax and have dinner at Five Fishermen Restaurant and Grill. Delicious cocktails and entrees in a fancy setting downtown.

Day 4: Explore Halifax

coastal city with central park

Grab some breakfast in downtown Halifax and visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration (known as the Ellis Island of Canada) right on the waterfront. The boardwalk is about 2.5 miles long, so take some time to stroll along the waterfront.

Grab Salty's for lunch right on the boardwalk and ask to be on the top floor for a view.

If you're a beer drinker, be sure to stop at Alexander Keith's Brewery for a tour. It is one of the oldest breweries in North America (200 years old)!

Take in the stunning views atop the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site for sunset.

Head to Argyle Street for nightlife or a vibrant Mexican dinner at Antojo Tacos + Tequila.

Day 5: Wolfville

"beer and lobster enough said sign on the side of the street

Sleep in and drive an hour to Wolfville for a Wine and Lunch Escape Tour at four different vineyards. NS Wine Tours was excellent and fed us a delicious lunch.

Drive to Hall's Harbour Pound for an authentic lobster dinner (if you're not sick of seafood yet!) and overlook some stunning cliff views on the quieter side of the island.

From Wolfville, drive 1.5 hours back to Digby and take the 11am ferry back to the mainland and good luck with the rest of your journey!

Travel Advisor Isabel Smallman walking through vineyards in an all white outfit with a tan hat.

Travel Advisor

Isabel Smallman

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Canada.