Nova Scotia’s “South Shore” – Halifax and South

As Dave and I left Cape Breton Island (sadly) and headed toward Halifax, we stopped in Antigonish, NS on the central north side.  A college town, it was near Cape George Lighthouse and boasts lots of surrounding hiking trails.  After waiting for the rain to stop, we had a blustery but fun hike in the mountains.  Judging by Murphy’s smile as we hiked, he would probably rank it as one of his top 5 hikes.  PS – You can enlarge any of the pictures below by clicking on them.

Our next stop was the Halifax area which is considered the “south shore” of Nova Scotia.  We were staying near a town named Peggy’s Cove, so we ventured over after setting up camp.   We had no idea it was such a picturesque town, including the home of one of the most photographed lighthouses.  I’m no photographer and even my pictures came out pretty good, especially of the town.  If only there weren’t all of those people hanging on the rocks around the lighthouse in the pictures! 

We ventured further south the next day, over to the towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenberg, both highly rated “must see” stops.  We walked around Mahone Bay and had coffee/chai tea and pastries at The Barn Coffee and Social House.  Excellent cinnamon rolls!  Next, we drove to Lunenberg, which is a much larger town on Mahone Bay   Lunenberg is the second largest fish processing location in Canada with quite a history.  It definitely capitalizes on the tourist trade in the summer.   You can ride a horse drawn carriage, sail on the Bluenose II Schooner, visit the Fisheries Museum, shop to your hearts content, and eat at one of the many very large waterfront restaurants.  Whew!

Dave and I chose to head back to the town of Mahone Bay for an early dinner and had a scrumptious meal at Rebecca’s Restaurant.   Fresh scallops, mussels, lobster mac n cheese, plus homemade coconut lime cheesecake.  It was all so good!  We enjoyed chatting with the servers (who all had to give Murphy some love).  Many of them live full-time in the area and collect unemployment when the season is over.  Their unemployment pays 55% of the area’s minimum wage.   That’s a tough way to live when their “season” is only 10 to 12 weeks long.   We stayed too long touring the area and missed stopping by the North American Hooked Rug Museum in a nearby town.   We loved the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.  I guess we will just have to come back!

The next day we were off to explore Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia.  With close over 470,000 residents, it was quite a large city.   The city has developed a wonderful waterfront area with shops, restaurants, museums, and you can take a ferry across the bay to George’s Island (a National Historic Site).    Halifax’s Citadel is just up the hill from the waterfront, with a large clock tower, keeping time since 1803.  We walked up to check out the view from the Citadel and found the streets lined with spectators.  They were waiting for a parade as one of their hometown hockey players played on the Colorado Avalanche, who won the Stanley Cup trophy (National Hockey League) this year.  Since the Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, we didn’t want to hang around and watch it.   The Avalanche stopped the Lightning from winning the Stanley Cup three years in a row.   Darn them.

Dave and I stopped for lunch on the Halifax waterfront and had one of our best meals to date.  Why you ask?   For one reason…their French fries!  (Actually, the entire meal was especially scrumptious as well as the exceptional service.)   Prince Edward Island (PEI) is known to have the best French fries from their home-grown potatoes and we supposedly had tasted the best French fries while visiting PEI (shared on an earlier blog).  Nope!  The French fries at the Bicycle Thief in Halifax were by far superior.  We asked the server what makes them so good and she said they have a dedicated fryer just for the French fries and they do use PEI potatoes.  I’m not sure what they do, but hands down, these were the best fries I have ever had.  Murphy really enjoyed them too!  Dave’s’ Lobster Tagliatelle was delicious, my fish cakes were moist and packed with fresh fish (halibut, haddock, and salmon), and the dessert, a Butterscotch Caramel cake, was divine.  I was definitely in the “I ate too much” state for many hours.  It was all so good I couldn’t leave a morsel behind.  And, to top it off, the restaurant had an adjoining bakery and deli, Pane e Circo.   I couldn’t resist purchasing a loaf of fresh sourdough bread and chocolate and pistachio croissants.  The croissants were AMAZING!  During our Great Loop adventure, we had the best chocolate croissants from the Evergrain Bread Company in Chestertown, MD just off of the Chesapeake.  Sorry, Evergrain, I think Pane e Circo may have you by a sliver of a flaky croissant.

While in the area, we also enjoyed a bike ride on a rails-to-trails route on St. Margaret’s Bay.  Once again, just gorgeous scenery along the well-maintained gravel trail and Dave spied a chocolate lab puppy and had to stop to say Hi.

This week has been another awesome experience.  Great food, great scenery, and gracious hospitality from all we met. 


Thanks for following along on our summer RV travels. 


In heaven over French fries Brenda,  OMG I ate too much Dave, and if there’s water I’m swimming Murphy.

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