For locals and tourists alike, Halifax is a fabulous home base. From Nova Scotia’s capital, signature east coast adventures are hugely accessible. Day trips and weekend getaways abound, whether to the south shore, the Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, or the many places in between. But in my house the car is not our friend, and an hour of driving is really all we can take. For families with children, driving lasts only as long as a good car game, or the time between bathroom breaks! So when I go for a ‘road trip’, I’m looking for an hour, or 90 minutes, maximum.
But just because we don’t like the car, doesn’t mean there isn’t anywhere to go! Here are my top six One Hour-(ish) Getaways from Halifax:
- Burntcoat Head Park (~1h 16m drive) From Halifax, take highway 101 north, and turn onto the 354 to Burntcoat Road. The nearest town is Noel, and the park is at the end of an unpaved road. If the tide is out, walk on the ocean floor and watch the Bay of Fundy fill with the world’s highest tides.
- Lunenburg and the South Shore (~1h 11m drive) Cute shops, so many places to eat, and a perfect spot for sailing, Lunenburg is a dream destination to escape the big city. The whole town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a book-lover’s dream, with three bookshops, and a quaint public library. There is no shortage of places to stay in Lunenburg, so don’t hesitate to spend the night.
- Summerville (~1h drive) Summerville, NS, is a perfect place to check out the Avon River, and have a picnic on its banks. For a more refined day out, head to The Flying Apron for a night in their inn, or for locally-sourced, seasonal menu of lunch, dinner, or brunch items. The Flying Apron offers cooking classes too!
- Peggys Cove (~48m drive) Although walking on the black rocks is a really superb way to ruin a day at Peggys Cove, there are ways to have a splendid time (they mainly involve staying off the black rocks, and as a result not getting swept away into the ocean). Take in the fishing boats and cottages, have an ice cream cone, and enjoy the view and the lighthouse. Although a little touristy on a nice day, aim to head out in the morning or evening for a less crowded experience.
- Wolfville (~1h drive) Although the Annapolis Valley is full of great places to visit, Wolfville offers restaurants, nature walks, art galleries, shopping, winery tours and a hugely popular farmers market. Take a jaunt through Reservoir Park, watch the rising tides at Waterfront Park, and ride the Magic Winery Bus to experience the Valley’s growing wine industry. Home to Acadia University, Wolfville has all the amenities of a big city, but in miniature!