Travel

Discover Canada: Nova Scotia

Author: Canadian Living

Travel

Discover Canada: Nova Scotia

With the highest tides in the world, colourful harbour fronts, sandy beaches and impressive historical landmarks, Nova Scotia is definitely a great destination for your family's next vacation. To help you plan your trip, we've put together a few of the province's family-friendly highlights.

Upper Clements Park, Annapolis Royal
www.upperclementspark.com
One of Atlantic Canada's largest amusement parks, Upper Clements Park delights with rides and attractions for the whole family. The famous Tree Topper roller coaster provides thrills from above Annapolis Valley's treeline. For younger children, there are plenty of gentler rides, like kiddie bumper boats. You can also enjoy a round of mini-golf or take a cruise through the park in an antique automobile.

Where to stay:
Let the kids tire themselves out at Upper Clements' playground while you barbecue on your veranda (www.upperclementscottages.ca) or get an affordable and air-conditioned sleep at the Slumber Inn (www.slumberinn.ca).

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg
museum.gov.ns.ca/fma
Located on Lunenburg's waterfront, the Fisheries Museum is filled with exhibits, displays and activities that commemorate Atlantic Canada's fishing heritage. Kids will love the chance to touch starfish, sea urchins, crabs, scallops and other marine creatures in the museum's popular viewing tank. From learning to tie knots and splices to mending fishing nets, the museum combines fun and learning for all ages.

Where to stay:
Get comfortable in the spacious family suite at the Homeport Motel (www.homeportmotel.com) or stay right on the waterfront at Dockside Suites (www.docksider.ns.ca).

Ross Farm Museum, South Shore
museum.gov.ns.ca/rfm
Take your family on a trip back to the 1800s at Ross Farm Museum. You'll see daily life as it was in a one-room schoolhouse, stave mill, and blacksmith and cooper shops. There's plenty of hands-on activities for kids, including petting the animals in the barns and fields, making candles and spinning wool.

Where to stay:
You don't have to go far to find a bed for the night. Tuck in the kids at the Gold River Estate Bed & Breakfast, then head downstairs to the sunken lounge area to relax and listen to jazz (www3.ns.sympatico.ca/dmccleary).

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Discovery Centre, Halifax
www.discoverycentre.ns.ca
Science comes to life at the Discovery Centre. With three floors of exhibits, your family can explore science and technology through interactive experiences. Younger kids will love the Room for Small Wonders, where active play takes on a new life.

Where to stay:
Check in at the Holiday Inn Select in the city centre, where kids stay and eat free (www.ichotelsgroup.com), or enjoy the Victorian architecture and gourmet breakfast offered at the Garden View Bed & Breakfast (www.interdesign.ca/gardenview).

Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, Stewiacke
wildlifepark.gov.ns.ca
Explore the wild side of nature at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. Not only is it the only park where you can see the famous Sable Island horses, you can also scout for the 33 species of mammals (including cougars) and 65 species of birds (including peacocks) that roam the park.

Where to stay:
Settle in for the night at the historic Nelson House Bed & Breakfast (www.thenelsonhousebb.com) and check out the famous Tidal Bore in the morning.

Fundy Geological Museum, Parrsboro
museum.gov.ns.ca/fgm
Get to know the creatures that roamed Nova Scotia millions of years ago, including some the world's first reptiles, early dinosaurs and giant dragonflies. While visiting the museum, you can also peek into their research lab and see the technicians examining dinosaur bones that are over 200 million years old.

Where to stay:
Watch the sunset on the veranda at the Maple Inn (www.mapleinn.ca) or paddle around in a canoe at Riverview Cottages (www.riverviewcottages.ca).

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck, Cape Breton
www.pc.gc.ca
Alexander Graham Bell, in addition to inventing the telephone, was also a kite-master. At his namesake historic site, kids can participate in kite-making workshops, dress up in turn-of-the-century clothing and delve into many other hands-on exhibits.

Where to stay:
Enjoy the heated outdoor pool at the Cabot Trail Motel (www.cabottrailmotel.com) or take in the panoramic view from the deck at Silver Dart Lodge (www.maritimeinns.com/silverdart).

Fiddlin' Whale Tours, Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton
www.fiddlinwhaletours.com
In addition to several species of whales in the waters off Nova Scotia, you might just spot dolphins, seals, sea turtles and even sharks on an excursion. Fiddlin' Whale Tours is a family-friendly boat ride and a true Maritime experience -- complete with Celtic music to accompany you on your tour.

Where to stay:
Stay at a new cottage at the Sea Parrot Ocean View Manor (www.seaparrotoceanviewmanor.com) or opt for the family room at the Cabot Trail Hostel (www.cabottrail.com/hostel).

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