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The Ultimate Nova Scotia Road Trip: A One-week Itinerary


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Ina Lefevre



Welcome to the ultimate Nova Scotia road trip! If you’re longing for breathtaking landscapes, charming coastal towns, and a taste of Canadian maritime culture, then this one-week itinerary through Nova Scotia is perfect for you. From the vibrant city of Halifax to the rugged beauty of Cape Breton Island, and everything in between, this road trip will take you on an unforgettable adventure.


Located on Canada’s east coast, the province of Nova Scotia is known for its stunning coastline, picturesque fishing villages, and rich history. With a vast array of natural wonders, delicious seafood, and warm-hearted locals, this Atlantic province offers a unique and authentic Canadian experience.


Before you embark on your journey, be sure to rent a car in Halifax so you can have the freedom to explore at your own pace. Take note that most of the attractions and accommodations on this itinerary are located in remote areas, so having your own transportation is crucial.


Now, let’s dive into the details of this one-week Nova Scotia road trip itinerary, where you’ll discover the best of what this beautiful province has to offer! Get ready to embark on an adventure filled with scenic drives, picturesque lighthouses, hiking trails, and plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture.


Day 1: Halifax

Your Nova Scotia road trip begins in the capital city of Halifax, a vibrant and historic city with a charming waterfront and a thriving arts and culinary scene.


Start your day with a visit to the historic Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. This star-shaped fortress offers stunning panoramic views of the city and provides insight into Halifax’s military past. Take a guided tour and learn about the fort’s role in Canadian history.


Afterward, head to the waterfront boardwalk, where you can stroll along the harbor, soak in the lively atmosphere, and indulge in delicious seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to try some local specialties like lobster rolls or Digby scallops.


Continue your exploration by visiting the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which chronicles the region’s rich maritime history. Here, you can learn about the tragic sinking of the Titanic and the role Halifax played in the aftermath of the disaster.


No trip to Halifax is complete without a visit to the charming and colorful Peggy’s Cove. Located just a short drive from the city, Peggy’s Cove is home to one of the most iconic lighthouses in the world. Capture the breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and granite rock formations, and take a stroll through the quaint fishing village.


In the evening, immerse yourself in Halifax’s thriving arts scene by attending a live performance at Neptune Theatre or checking out one of the many art galleries in the downtown area.


For dinner, head to one of Halifax’s top-notch restaurants and savor the local flavors. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, farm-to-table cuisine, or international fare, Halifax has something to satisfy every palate.


After a full day of exploring Halifax’s culture and history, rest up at one of the city’s comfortable accommodations. From charming boutique hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your preferences.


Day 1 sets the stage for your Nova Scotia adventure, offering a taste of the province’s history and allowing you to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Halifax. Get ready for the next leg of your journey as you embark on an exploration of the stunning landscapes and charming towns that await you in the days to come.


Day 2: Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg

On day 2 of your Nova Scotia road trip, prepare to be amazed by the picturesque beauty of Peggy’s Cove and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg.


Start your day early and make your way to Peggy’s Cove, a charming fishing village known for its iconic lighthouse and rugged coastal scenery. As you arrive, you’ll instantly be captivated by the dramatic granite rocks and crashing waves that surround the lighthouse. Take your time to explore the village, wander along the boardwalk, and capture some incredible photos to commemorate your visit.


From Peggy’s Cove, continue your journey to Lunenburg, approximately a 1.5-hour drive away. This historic town is renowned for its colorful buildings, narrow streets, and strong seafaring heritage. Stroll through the UNESCO-listed Old Town, where you can admire the well-preserved architecture and visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the town’s maritime history.


While in Lunenburg, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a delicious seafood meal at one of the local restaurants. Catches of the day, lobster, and scallops are among the region’s specialties, so be sure to treat your taste buds to these delectable dishes.


After lunch, consider taking a boat tour to explore the waters around Lunenburg. Whether you choose a scenic harbor cruise or a fishing excursion, you’ll have the chance to appreciate the beauty of the coastline and maybe even spot some marine wildlife.


As the sun begins to set, make your way back to Halifax or spend the night in Lunenburg to fully immerse yourself in the town’s charm. There are a variety of accommodation options available, including cozy inns and bed and breakfasts that will make your stay memorable.


Day 2 showcases the unique coastal beauty of Peggy’s Cove and the historic charm of Lunenburg. From lighthouse vistas to exploring a UNESCO World Heritage site, this day is sure to leave you with lasting memories of Nova Scotia’s captivating landscapes and rich cultural history.


Day 3: Kejimkujik National Park and Annapolis Valley

Day 3 of your Nova Scotia road trip takes you to the natural wonders of Kejimkujik National Park and the scenic beauty of the Annapolis Valley.


Begin your day by heading to Kejimkujik National Park, a pristine wilderness area known for its lush forests, tranquil lakes, and abundant wildlife. Explore the park’s network of hiking trails, which range from easy walks to more challenging treks. The Hemlocks and Hardwoods Trail is a popular choice, leading you through a picturesque forest of towering trees and offering glimpses of the park’s diverse flora and fauna.


While at Kejimkujik, take the opportunity to rent a kayak or canoe and paddle along the calm waters of Kejimkujik Lake. Surrounded by pristine nature, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility as you immerse yourself in the serenity of the park.


After a morning of outdoor adventure, make your way to the Annapolis Valley, a region known for its fertile farmland, vineyards, and charming towns. Start by exploring the town of Wolfville, home to Acadia University and a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the town, browse the local shops, and stop by a café for a taste of the renowned Annapolis Valley apples.


Continuing your journey through the Annapolis Valley, visit one of the many wineries that dot the countryside. Sample award-winning wines made from locally grown grapes and learn about the winemaking process. The gentle slopes and microclimate of the valley create the perfect conditions for vineyards to thrive, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.


As the day comes to a close, savor a farm-to-table dinner at one of the region’s delightful restaurants. Many establishments in the Annapolis Valley take pride in using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a fresh, flavorful dining experience.


If you wish to extend your stay in the Annapolis Valley, there are numerous accommodation options, including charming bed and breakfasts and country inns that offer a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.


Day 3 allows you to connect with nature at Kejimkujik National Park and experience the picturesque charm of the Annapolis Valley. From hiking through pristine wilderness to indulging in local wine and cuisine, this day offers a delightful blend of outdoor exploration and cultural immersion.


Day 4: Cape Breton Island

Day 4 of your Nova Scotia road trip takes you to the enchanting Cape Breton Island, famous for its rugged coastline, stunning landscapes, and rich Celtic heritage.


Start your day by driving along the scenic Cabot Trail, one of Canada’s most iconic drives. As you wind along the cliffside roads, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, soaring cliffs, and lush forests. Be sure to make plenty of stops along the way to admire the vistas and take memorable photos.


As you continue your journey on the Cabot Trail, make a visit to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This expansive park is a hiker’s paradise, offering a range of trails that cater to all skill levels. Whether you choose to hike to the summit of Franey Mountain for sweeping views or explore the rugged coastline on the Skyline Trail, you’ll be immersed in the unparalleled beauty of the park.


As you traverse the Cabot Trail, take the time to explore some of the charming coastal communities along the way. In the village of Baddeck, you can visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, where you’ll learn about the life and inventions of the famous inventor. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, grab a bite to eat, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.


As the day winds down, head to Bras d’Or Lake, a vast inland sea known for its tranquil waters and picturesque landscapes. Consider taking a boat tour to fully appreciate its beauty or simply relax on the shores and watch the sunset over the water.


For dinner, indulge in some local specialties like seafood chowder or freshly caught lobster at one of the charming restaurants in the area.


To fully immerse yourself in the Cape Breton experience, spend the night at one of the cozy accommodations available in the region, whether it’s a quaint inn or a charming bed and breakfast.


Day 4 showcases the natural wonders of Cape Breton Island and allows you to explore its awe-inspiring landscapes along the Cabot Trail. From dramatic cliffs to tranquil lakes, this day offers a true taste of the island’s breathtaking beauty and Celtic heritage.


Day 5: Cabot Trail

Day 5 of your Nova Scotia road trip is dedicated to fully experiencing the renowned Cabot Trail. This scenic drive offers some of the most breathtaking views in Atlantic Canada and takes you through the heart of Cape Breton Island’s natural beauty.


Start your day by continuing your journey along the Cabot Trail, taking in the captivating coastal vistas and lush mountain landscapes that surround you. Be prepared for frequent photo stops and moments of awe as you navigate the winding roads.


One of the highlights of the Cabot Trail is the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and today’s focus is on exploring this incredible park in more depth. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on one of the park’s many trails. From the challenging hike up Franey Mountain to the scenic Skyline Trail, there are options for every level of fitness and interest. Revel in the stunning views of the rugged coastline, dense forests, and possibly spot some wildlife along the way, such as moose or bald eagles.


If you’re not in the mood for hiking, consider taking a scenic drive through the park, stopping at overlooks and viewpoints to admire the panoramic vistas. Watch for hidden waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and the vibrant display of fall colors if you’re visiting during autumn.


As you drive through the Margaree Valley, a region known for its beautiful river and lush farmland, consider stopping by one of the local establishments for a taste of Cape Breton’s musical heritage. You may be fortunate enough to catch a traditional Celtic music session, where locals gather to play fiddles, guitars, and bagpipes.


As the day draws to a close, head back to the starting point of the Cabot Trail loop, whether it’s in Baddeck or another nearby town. Treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood dishes or indulge in a hearty Cape Breton pub fare.


Rest up for the night, recharging your energy for the remaining days of your Nova Scotia adventure. There are a variety of accommodations available along the trail, ranging from cozy cottages to comfortable hotels, ensuring a restful night’s sleep.


Day 5 allows you to fully immerse yourself in the splendor of the Cabot Trail and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. With its awe-inspiring landscapes and opportunities for outdoor exploration, this day promises to be a highlight of your Nova Scotia road trip.


Day 6: Baddeck and Bras d’Or Lake

Day 6 of your Nova Scotia road trip takes you to the charming town of Baddeck and the serene beauty of Bras d’Or Lake. Prepare to be enchanted by the peaceful atmosphere and captivating landscapes of this picturesque region.


Start your day in Baddeck, a quaint waterfront town located on the shores of Bras d’Or Lake. Explore the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, dedicated to the life and achievements of the famous inventor. Discover Bell’s inventions, including the telephone, and learn about his love for the region as you explore the exhibits and exhibits.


After immersing yourself in history, take a stroll through the town and visit the local shops, where you can find unique souvenirs and local crafts. Stop by the Baddeck Boardwalk and enjoy the scenic views of the lake while soaking in the peaceful ambiance.


As you venture out onto Bras d’Or Lake, consider embarking on a sailing or boating excursion. Glide across the tranquil waters, surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque islands. Enjoy the serenity and the possibility of spotting eagles, ospreys, or even seals in the distance.


If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding on the lake. These activities allow you to explore the quiet coves and hidden bays, providing a unique perspective on the beauty of the area.


For lunch, indulge in a meal at one of the local restaurants, where you can savor the flavors of the region, including fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy a leisurely meal while taking in the scenic views of the lake.


In the afternoon, visit the Bras d’Or Lake Interpretive Centre, where you can learn more about the ecological importance of the lake and the efforts being made to preserve its pristine condition. Marvel at the exhibits showcasing the abundance of wildlife and the unique ecosystems found within and around the lake.


As the day comes to a close, consider taking in the sunset views from one of the scenic lookout points overlooking Bras d’Or Lake. Capture the beauty of the changing colors reflecting off the water and cherish the tranquility of the moment.


Retire for the night in one of Baddeck’s cozy accommodations, whether it’s a charming inn or a lakeside cottage, where you can recharge for the adventures that await you on the final day of your Nova Scotia road trip.


Day 6 offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and relaxation as you explore the town of Baddeck and bask in the serenity of Bras d’Or Lake. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this coastal gem, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


Day 7: Eastern Shore and Halifax

On the final day of your Nova Scotia road trip, journey along the Eastern Shore back to Halifax, taking in the rugged coastline and hidden gems along the way.


Begin your day by following the scenic Marine Drive, which winds along the picturesque Eastern Shore. As you drive, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of cliffs, beaches, and quaint fishing villages. Take your time to explore some of these coastal communities, such as Sheet Harbour or Sherbrooke, where you can soak in the laid-back atmosphere and learn about the region’s seafaring history.


Continue your drive along the Eastern Shore until you reach Taylor Head Provincial Park. This hidden gem offers pristine beaches, hiking trails, and panoramic views of the coastline. Take a leisurely stroll on the beach, explore the walking trails, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature.


As you make your way back to Halifax, consider stopping by the Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte. Step back in time as you wander through this living history museum, which recreates a rural Nova Scotian village from the 1940s.


Upon returning to Halifax, take some time to explore any sights you may have missed during your first day. Visit the iconic Halifax Waterfront once again, and perhaps take a boat tour to get a different perspective of the city from the water.


For your final evening, indulge in a memorable dinner at one of Halifax’s renowned restaurants. Treat your taste buds to a culinary journey, sampling the city’s diverse flavors and fresh seafood offerings.


As the night descends, reflect on your incredible Nova Scotia road trip, filled with adventures, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Cherish the memories you’ve made and bask in the knowledge that you’ve discovered some of the best of what this wonderful province has to offer.


Rest up for the night at your Halifax accommodation, knowing that your journey through Nova Scotia has come to a close but that the memories will stay with you forever.


Day 7 marks the end of your epic road trip along the Eastern Shore, bringing you back to Halifax. As you bid farewell to this beautiful province, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable landscapes, friendly communities, and rich cultural heritage that you have encountered along the way.



Congratulations! You have completed your ultimate Nova Scotia road trip and experienced the best that this stunning Canadian province has to offer. From the vibrant city of Halifax to the breathtaking landscapes of Cape Breton Island and the hidden gems along the Eastern Shore, you have journeyed through a diverse array of natural wonders, charming coastal towns, and rich cultural heritage.


Throughout your adventure, you marveled at the historic Halifax Citadel, captured photos of the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse, explored the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg, hiked the trails of Kejimkujik National Park, and immersed yourself in the scenic beauty of the Cabot Trail. You soaked in the tranquility of Bras d’Or Lake, indulged in local cuisine, and experienced the warmth and hospitality of the local communities.


Nova Scotia has welcomed you with open arms, introducing you to its authentic maritime culture, delicious seafood, and breathtaking landscapes. You have witnessed the fusion of Celtic and Acadian influences, heard the melodies of traditional music, and discovered the deep connection between the people and their land.


As you reflect on your journey, the memories of exploring historic sites, watching stunning sunsets, and taking in the fresh sea breeze will remain etched in your mind. You have witnessed the beauty of rugged coastlines, pristine lakes, and rolling hills, highlighting the remarkable natural diversity of Nova Scotia.


But your adventure doesn’t have to end here. Nova Scotia offers even more to explore, from the rugged shores of the South Shore to the remote beauty of the province’s northern regions. The province is also known for its vibrant festivals, lively music scenes, and opportunities for outdoor activities such as whale watching, kayaking, and hiking.


Whether you choose to return to Nova Scotia in the future or embark on new adventures elsewhere, the memories and experiences gained from this road trip will stay with you. Nova Scotia’s beauty, charm, and warm-hearted locals have left a lasting impression, making it a destination that holds a special place in your heart.


Thank you for joining us on this ultimate Nova Scotia road trip. We hope you had an unforgettable journey and that this itinerary has inspired you to continue exploring the world’s hidden gems. Until next time, happy travels!