A Detailed Guide to Best Beaches of Nova Scotia

Lawrencetown Beach - Nova Scotia - Click Maple

Nova Scotia is situated on the shores of Atlantic and houses a stretch of about 7500 kilometers of coastline. Despite its location in the North, it enjoys some of the warmest waters and is a popular holiday destination for tourists. It is practically impossible to be more than 67 kilometers away from the ocean in Nova Scotia. 

The beaches of Nova Scotia are famous for their white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and impeccable surfing conditions. Along with surfing, some of the beaches even provide services of campgrounds along the beach. There are beachside resort accommodations available with the picturesque view of the horizon where the blues of the ocean and the sky meet. Here we are discussing the best features of 10 popular and off-bit beaches of the province.

1. SUMMERVILLE BEACH – 

Situated on the South Shore, the Summerville Beach Provincial Part is one of the best sandy beaches in the province. 

Description: It is stretched to about a kilometer and the light sand beach dunes near the shore are nesting areas for Piping Plovers. There is also an open salt marsh. 

How to Get There: Making a road trip out of the journey is preferred by the visitors there. To get to Summerville Center Beach and Provincial Park, you can take the Highway 130 and avail Exit 20. You can then turn onto Highway 3 and follow the road signs to the beach. There is a spacious parking lot right before you get to the famous Quarterdeck Restaurant.

Accommodation Facilities: The River End Cottage is in walking distance from the beach, there is a wooded trail you can follow to get to the sandy beach. Other than that there are Moose Harbour View Cottage, The Samuel Fairbanks House, Sea Star Cottage and Willow Cove Cottage within a short drive to the beach.

Attractions: Picnic tables installed on the open beach provides the occasion for enjoying family time with food with the ocean in the backdrop. There are washrooms and changing rooms on the beach to add to your convenience. Restaurants overlooking the beach serve delicious local cuisine as well as provide fine dining experiences. The busiest season is from May to October, but the beach is operational all round the year. From bird watching adventures to beachcombing, hiking and biking, sailing and kayaking, there are lots of activities to make the vacation enjoyable for you and your family.

2. CARTER’S BEACH – 

It is arguably the most beautiful beach in Nova Scotia situated on the South Shore. 

Description: Carter’s Beach essentially denotes three beaches in one, with three crescent areas one following the other. It is the perfect beach to find that sunny spot out of the wind. The three semi-circular white sand beaches are contrasted with clear green Caribbean waters. The unspoiled, undiscovered and uncommercialized element of the landscape makes you feel closer to nature. The seaside beach villages are home to fishermen. 

How to Get There: The nearest town to the beach is Liverpool, about 20 kilometers from the beach. The beach is well connected through the Carters Beach Road. 

Accommodation Facilities: Sea Star Cottage in Port Mouton is the closest to the beach. Other than that, The Samuel Fairbanks House and Moose Harbour View Cottage in Liverpool are also close by.

Attractions: The first beach is a gentle crescent that is fairly shallow that is boarded by the sand dunes along the back. The next beach is rougher and has a tidal river running through it. The fishermen provide fresh seafood to the restaurants. You can taste the delicacies cooked with traditional recipes. The water is perfect for snorkeling and you can experience the amazing underwater world to its full extent. The warm beaches combined with the turquoise water gives the feeling of a tropical vacation.

3. SEAL BAY – 

The isolated Seal Bay beach is the biggest of a group of five islands. 

Description: The Seal Bay is a small beach consisting mainly of rocks and pebbles. The slight pink hue of the beach is common to the area. The isolated nature of the accentuates its unspoiled beauty. The spectacular sunsets are the added bonus to the view. 

How to Get There: It is located on Nova Scotia’s northern Bay of Fundy coastline. The beach is a little harder to reach. It is only accessible through boats, kayaks or the Cape Chignecto Coastal Trail. The latter is a 51kilometer circular hike, overlooking the ever-changing Bay of Fundy. The nearest town is Advocate Harbour which is approximately 4kilometer to the east of Cape Chingnecto Provincial Park. 

Accommodation Facilities: The island does not offer great options when it comes to accommodations. It is recommended that you find accommodations on the mainland. 

Attractions: Whale watching, seal and bird watching are among the most prominent adventures of the island. Enjoying the serene atmosphere away from the hustle of the busy urban life makes the visit memorable. There is a designated lighthouse on the headland above Seal Bay Beach which is famous among the kayakers. 

4. TERENCE BAY BEACH –

The small beach remains a favorite among the tourist with its clear and calm waters of the Atlantic. 

Description: The beach is bordered by purple roses. The beach is filled with golden sand which enhances the beauty of the picturesque sunsets. 

How to Get There: The scenic route of the lighthouse is most popular among tourists. It is a small fishing community which is about a 30minute drive from Halifax. The beach is situated at the end of Sandy Cove Road, right after the SS Heritage Park Society Visitor Centre. 

Accommodation Facilities: The accommodation facilities are not in abundance in the bay beach. As a small beach, it is quite secluded and it adds to the charm of the place. 

Attractions: The Terence Bay Lighthouse lies a short walk away from the beach. It an exact image of the one further west at Peggy’s Cove. The height of the lighthouse is quite short but the view is by no means any less gorgeous. Whale watching is a popular pastime here. The freezing waters of the bay help calm the tourists in the hot and humid weather. 

5. MARTINIQUE BEACH –

The longest beach of Nova Scotia, Martinique Beach is stretched along the eastern coast of the province. 

Description: The beach is the exotic location of the province with its white sand beach that goes on for 5kilometers. Located an hour away from downtown Halifax, the beach offers great surfing conditions. The beach and the park, are protected areas for the endangered Piping Plovers, so the tourists are advised to stay on the marked routes along the trails. 

How to Get There: The journey along Highway 107 will take you to Musquodoboit Harbour. From there you can head south and follow the road signs to the beach park. 

Accommodation Facilities: Usually the tourists find accommodation in Halifax. Camping facilities on the beach are not available. 8 small parking lots dot the entrance to the beach. 

Attractions: The surfing conditions are huge attractions for both local people and tourists. The place is perfect for spending a hot summer afternoon outside the city. The summer months are more popular as the surf remains at a consistent 2-4 feet. Facilities like a picnic area, outhouse and change houses are available on the beach. The family-friendly beach has lifeguard protection during the months of July and August from 10AM to 6PM. 

6. POND COVE BEACH –

The hidden gem of the province in Pond Cove Beach. The beach is famous for unusually shaped pebbles and glittering rocks. 

Description: The pretty cove has wildflowers bordering it. The wonderful sight is accentuated by the clear blue water of the ocean. Brier Island, where the beach is situated is popular for migrating birds. The essentially secluded place offers a quiet vacation. You can experience the true marine eco-system here. A winding walk through the sand dunes leads to the spectacular beach. It is sandy in the low tide and rocky in the high tide. The treasure trove of natural wonders is untouched by civilization.

How to Get There: The beach is situated at the southern end of Brier Island. You can get there by availing two ferry rides or a 70kilometer drive from Digby. The small island’s Westport settlement is about 3 to 4kilometers away from the beach.

Accommodation Facilities: There are car parking facilities, an information center and conservatories near the beach. The preserve is kept secluded to prevent its natural elements from perishing.

Attractions: The adventures and activities of the beach include swimming, sightseeing, beachcombing at low tide, ATV riding, hiking, biking, floral expedition, bird watching, whale watching and many more.

7. RISSERS BEACH –

With its golden sand beach, wide walkway and waterfront campground, the beach is one of the most famous beaches of the province.

Description: Maintained by the Nova Scotia Provincial Parks, the beach is kept clean considering its heavy footfall. The waters are extremely safe, thus, popular as a family beach destination. The water temperature is known to change suddenly. Dogs are permitted on the beach on a leash. 

How to Get There: You can take the 331 W along the LaHave River from Bridgewater. After traveling about 25kilometers, you can follow the road signs to the beach and campground. Both the camper registration office and public beach parking is away from the water to your right as you approach the beach. 

Accommodation Facilities: The beach has large picnic areas and supervised beaches, with bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, and a canteen. The camping ground includes 93 sites with 19 services sites. There are front camping areas with outhouses and sheltered camping areas with well-equipped showers and bathroom facilities. 

Attractions: The convenient location, just off the main highway, has made the beach extremely popular among tourists. The amazing views of the coastline from the campsites are sights to behold. During the months of July- August, getting reservations are quite difficult. The oceanfront campsites provide a unique experience of living with the roaring sea in the front. 

8. HAWK BEACH –

Located at the southern edge of Nova Scotia, the Hawk Beach is a beautiful white sand beach with a surprise at low tide. A 1500-year-old drowned forest reveals itself at low tide and hundreds of petrified tree stumps appear from the sea bed. It is an excitingly unique sight. The area is famous for bird watching. It houses the tallest lighthouse of Nova Scotia.

On the southern shore of Nova Scotia, at the end of Cape Sable Island, Hawk Beach can be found. A causeway connects the island to the mainland. It is a twenty-minute drive from Shag Harbour.

9. INVERNESS BEACH –

Located at the edge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Inverness Beach is a family-friendly beach. The water is quite warmer than the usual Atlantic current. The location is convenient as it is on your way to or from the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. 

The beach adorns the western coast of Cape Breton Island. It is a two-hour drive from Sydney which is Cape Breton’s largest town, to Inverness. It takes about four hours to reach Inverness from Halifax. 

10. FISHING COVE BEACH –

Among the popular places, Fishing Cove Beach can provide some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to relax on your vacation. It was once a Scottish fishing community. The tiny village still houses fishermen for the most part. It is a 6kilometer trail leading away from the highway. The pebble beach offers one of the best sunsets of Nova Scotia. It is also the only designated place for camping in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The tranquility of the beach is perfect for swims and cooling off after a rigorous hiking adventure.

It is only accessible through boat or a 12kilometer return hike. A trailhead and a parking lot are situated on the Cabot Trail which is a fifteen-minute drive south of Pleasant Bay. To hike to the Cove, you require a Cape Breton Highlands National Park Pass. 

Other than the mentioned beaches, Borgles Island Sandbar, Crystal Crescent Beach, Bayswater Beach, Melmerby Beach, Lawrencetown Beach, Conrad’s Beach, Clam Harbour Beach, Rainbow Haven Beach, White Point Beach & Kejimjujik National Park Seaside are popular among the tourists. But the beaches discussed here offer the balance between popular locations and quaint relaxing destinations, which can help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Nova Scotia as a lot to offer but its beaches are the spectacular attractions of the place. With picturesque sunsets and a wide variety of sand and pebble beaches, the seaside offers the best in the province. You can enjoy the fresh cuisines right out of the ocean prepared in the coastal restaurants and experience the culture of the native people through various events and festivals with your family. 

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