Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weekends in Nova Scotia

It was Canada Day this past Sunday, but any lovely weekend in Nova Scotia is worthy of a driving adventure.  I thought I'd share our day trip up the Eastern Passage on our hunt for beaches.....

Actually, no matter where you are in this awesome province, you're really only minutes from a beach - sandy, rocky, ocean or lake.

We decided to take a drive up the Eastern Passage, described in the Doers & Dreamers Guide as
Home to the longest sand beach in Nova Scotia, the Eastern Shore is blessed with inlets, rocky outcrops, islands, salt marshes and endless beaches. From the Clam Harbour Sandcastle Contest, to birding, to surfing, there is something for everyone. Days away from the beach can be spent at one of the many museums, like Sherbrooke Village, a step back in time to 1860 for a hands-on history lesson and a pioneer adventure."
First stop...Rainbow Haven Beach (pictured above) less than 30 minutes from our door.  I think the photo is worth a thousand words, so I'll just move along.

We took the scenic Marine Drive that zig zags along the shore line dotted with lakes on the right and ocean  and cove views on the left - breath taking! - with lots of camping, hiking and other outdoor activities - my favorite being eating, but more of that later.

One of my favorite things to do is ... I'll be frank... I'm not athletic, but I love to watch others enjoying surfing and para-sailing or is it paragliding... anyway, next stop was Lawrencetown Provincial Beach  with an awesome riptide and well known for its surfing   The park actually has a couple of beaches linked by a board walk for walking trails.  We ended up along the calmer portion - great for kids to play in the sand and learn to surf... or for those like me, lots of space to walk and just take it all in.
By now we were hungry and in need of a very Nova Scotian treat - lobster rolls and I thought I remembered a spot called The Lobster Shack that we passed last year and never made it back to. Unfortunately, it was closed and we continued along the old highway bypassing one of my very favorite beaches - Martinique Beach Provincial Park with 5km of glorious white sand beaches, dunes and wooded hiking trails for bird watching.  (This photo from an earlier visit).
No lobster rolls yet, but we did get further along the Marine Drive than ever before and stopped at Clam Harbour Beach.  True, we were there at low tide ,  mid afternoon, but check out how far from the grass to the ocean!    
No wonder they have an annual Sand Castle Building competition here every year 
It was truly spectacular - not just the sandy beach that goes on forever, but the hiking trails along bubbling creeks and more.

By now it was after 2 and I was starving.  Note to self:  next "adventure", pack a lunch!  Back in the car and heading towards home.  We stopped at a place we've been to before - a little roadside restaurant with great light meals from the sea.  It's even called Fish & Fries - naturally, I had to have the lobster roll, which definitely met my expectations.
Time to head home and a stop at the Halifax Seaport Market - lucky us - we got there just before all the venders were closing up, which meant no steaks for the BBQ, but lots of ground beef (and a flank steak already marinating for tonight's dinner) from Getaway Farm Meat Mongers, some gorgeous sweet strawberries and aspargus from Noggin Farm Market who graciously gave me a very large sample of Tideview Cider - Sparkling Pear was my choice.... all of it from The Annapolis Valley - another great Nova Scotian day trip
Hamburgers were eaten on the balcony - to compensate for the ridiculous heat wave (35C/95F) and later we had a comfy view of two sets of Fireworks to celebrate Canada Day.   I wonder what next weekend will bring.


Joanne said...

Sounds like a lovely (and tasty!) weekend away!

Ruth Daniels said...

And that was just a day trip!