Let me show you around my backyard....
I grew up in Nova Scotia, along the shores of Cape Breton Island. While I no longer live there, it still has a warm spot in my heart and I never hesitate to passionately recommend my favourite spots to visitors. Whether you're visiting the province for the first time or the 10th, here are three incredible scenic spots you shouldn't miss.
The Digby Shore
To get a sense of the region's history, you can read the famous Longfellow poem Evangeline or, one of my favourites, The Birth House by Ami MacKay, which tells the story of an Acadian midwife. Perfect for a little shore-side reading! Just make sure to look up and keep an eye out for the whales! This area is famous for ocean life small and large.
The Cabot Trail
And you'll love more than just the jaw-dropping scenery. This is a fantastic area for spotting whales and rare seabirds - even moose make an occasional appearance! The area is also famous for its hospitality, musical talent, and delicious food. (PS: My secret pro tip to the Cabot Trail is to keep an eye out for Aucoin's Bakery, based in Cheticamp. Shops all over the island carry bread and old fashioned baked goods from this traditional Acadian bakery. Its one of my favourites!)
The Cabot Trail isn't a drive for the faint of heart, with high cliffs and sharp turns. If this makes you uncomfortable, it's a good idea to go with an organized tour so you can relax and enjoy the scenery.
Chester to Lunenburg and Mahone Bay
But most visitors take a shine to Lunenberg, as the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Their shipyard is legendary as the home of the famed Bluenose racing schooner and remains an important port for fishing and commerical activities. And as you make your way between the villages you'll get gorgeous glimpses of the coast, complete with tiny fishing boats.