The Getaway
10 Best Day Trips from Halifax

Tucked along the rough coastline of Nova Scotia, Halifax is a city filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. But venture beyond its borders, and you'll discover a whole new world waiting to be explored. From charming fishing villages to stunning parks and everything in between, the area surrounding Halifax is a treasure trove of hidden gems just waiting to be uncovered. So why not hop in the car and embark on a day trip adventure? Whether you're a local looking for a new weekend getaway or a visitor eager to soak up all the region has to offer, these 10 best day trips from Halifax are sure to delight you. Get ready to experience the picturesque landscapes, friendly locals, and unique attractions that make Nova Scotia such a special place. Your unforgettable journey starts now!

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01 Peggy's Cove

Aerial drone view of Peggy's Cove lighthouse and the newly completed accessible observation deck & walkways. shaunl / Getty Images

Peggy's Cove is a must-visit destination on any day trip from Halifax. This iconic fishing village, just a 45-minute drive away, is known for its picturesque lighthouse and rugged, rocky coastline. Check out the colorful homes, art galleries, and souvenir stores scattered around, and make sure to visit the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial to honor those lost. When hunger strikes, enjoy fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. For the best experience, visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds, and wear sturdy shoes as the rocks can be slippery.

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02 Lunenburg

The beautiful and historic town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in the fall. Boats drift in the harbour and the amazing colours of the buildings in this picturesque seaside town add to the scene. This image was taken across the harbour from town on a gorgeous fall morning. Lunenburg is located approximately an hour from Halifax. ImagineGolf / Getty Images

Lunenburg, a charming historic town and UNESCO World Heritage Site is a perfect day trip destination from Halifax, just an hour's drive away. Stroll through the streets and admire the colorful Victorian architecture that makes this town so picturesque. Visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the area's rich maritime history and see historic vessels up close. For a unique perspective, take a boat tour or go kayaking in the harbor to appreciate Lunenburg's beauty from the water. Be sure to try the local specialty, the Lunenburg Bump, a delicious type of rum cake. To avoid crowds, plan your visit on a weekday.

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03 Annapolis Valley

Canada, Nova Scotia, Annapolis Valley, Wolfville. Local vineyard.

Located in the central part of Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley is a beautiful area famous for its wineries, orchards, and farms, making it a perfect spot for a day trip from Halifax. About a 1.5-hour drive away, the valley offers a perfect blend of history, nature, and culinary delights. Visit historic sites like Fort Anne and the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens to immerse yourself in the area's rich past. Sample local wines and ciders at one of the many vineyards, but be sure to book tours and tastings in advance. Fall is an especially great time to visit, as you can witness the apple harvest and stunning foliage.

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04 Mahone Bay

Mahoney Bay, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia - Aerial views of the iconic and most famous three churches of Mahone Bay. UNESCO. St James Anglican Church. St John's Evangelical Lutheran. Trinity United Church

Mahone Bay, a charming coastal town just an hour's drive from Halifax, is known for its picturesque trio of historic churches that line the shore. Stroll along Main Street and browse the unique shops, galleries, and cafes that give this town its artistic character. For a different perspective, take a scenic boat tour of the bay or visit nearby Oak Island, famous for its mysterious treasure hunt dating back to 1795. If you're visiting in autumn, don't miss the annual Scarecrow Festival, a beloved event that showcases the community's creativity. Be sure to stop by the Amos Pewter store to watch skilled artisans craft beautiful pewter pieces right before your eyes. With its blend of history, art, and small-town charm, Mahone Bay is a delightful destination for a day trip from Halifax.

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05 Cape Breton Island

Scenic view of Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada on a sunny summer day flyzone / Getty Images

Cape Breton Island, a stunning gem just a 4-hour drive from Halifax, is a must-visit for its breathtaking landscapes and rich Celtic heritage. Start your picturesque drive on the well-known Cabot Trail, which curves around the rugged shores and green highlands of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Stop at lookout points to marvel at the sweeping vistas and snap unforgettable photos. For history buffs, the Fortress of Louisbourg is a fascinating reconstructed 18th-century French fortress that offers a glimpse into the island's past.

To make the most of your visit, plan for a long day or even an overnight stay. Summer and fall are the best seasons to explore Cape Breton Island, with mild weather and stunning foliage. In the evenings, immerse yourself in the island's vibrant culture by attending a traditional ceilidh, where you can experience lively Cape Breton music and dance. With its unparalleled natural beauty and warm, welcoming community, Cape Breton Island is an unforgettable destination that will leave you longing to return.

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06 Kejimkujik National Park

Located in the center of Nova Scotia, Kejimkujik National Park is a perfect wilderness area that attracts those who love nature and outdoor activities. About a 2.5-hour drive from Halifax, this stunning park features lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and a variety of wildlife. Hike the well-maintained trails to find hidden waterfalls and breathtaking vistas, or take to the water in a canoe or kayak to explore the park's serene lakes and rivers.

For a truly unique experience, visit the Dark Sky Preserve at night to marvel at the star-studded sky, unobscured by light pollution. Kejimkujik also offers a fascinating glimpse into Mi'kmaq culture and history at the park's visitor center. The park provides camping options, but it's a good idea to book ahead during the popular summer months. Don't forget to pack insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be prevalent in the warmer months. Whether you're seeking adventure or simply a peaceful escape into nature, Kejimkujik National Park promises an unforgettable day trip from Halifax.

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07 Hall's Harbour

Hall's Harbour is a charming fishing village located about a 1.5-hour drive from Halifax, known for its dramatic tides and delicious seafood. Watch the fishing boats come in and out with the changing tides, which can vary up to an impressive 40 feet. The best way to experience the tidal changes is to check the tide schedule before your visit and plan accordingly.

After witnessing the incredible power of the Bay of Fundy, indulge in fresh lobster or other seafood delicacies at one of the local restaurants. For breathtaking views of the surrounding area, take a short hike on the nearby Lookoff Trail. This vantage point offers stunning panoramas of the Bay of Fundy and the lush Annapolis Valley.

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08 Wolfville

Canada, Nova Scotia, Annapolis Valley, Wolfville. Local vineyard.

Wolfville, a charming university town nestled in the heart of the Annapolis Valley, is a perfect day trip destination just an hour's drive from Halifax. Stroll through the picturesque downtown area and explore the unique boutiques, cozy cafes, and the vibrant farmers' market, where you can sample local produce and artisanal goods. Wolfville is also home to Acadia University, which contributes to the town's lively atmosphere and youthful energy.

For outdoor enthusiasts, nearby Cape Split offers stunning hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Bay of Fundy. You could also visit some of the numerous wineries nearby to try out some of the best wines from Nova Scotia and take in the gorgeous views. After a day of exploration, unwind at one of Wolfville's craft breweries or pubs, where you can taste locally brewed beers and mingle with friendly locals. With its perfect blend of small-town charm, natural beauty, and culinary delights, Wolfville is a must-visit destination on your day trip from Halifax.

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09 Chester

Chester, a picturesque coastal town just a 45-minute drive from Halifax, is known for its rich sailing culture and beautifully preserved historic homes. Stroll along Pleasant Street and the waterfront to explore the charming shops and galleries, or visit the Chester Playhouse for a delightful theatrical experience. For sailing enthusiasts, consider taking a lesson at the Chester Yacht Club or plan your visit during the famous Chester Race Week in August, when the town comes alive with exciting sailing regattas.

If you're looking to cool off, head to the nearby Chester Basin for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities. With its blend of maritime heritage, artistic flair, and stunning coastal scenery, Chester offers a perfect day trip escape from the hustle and bustle of Halifax.

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10 Burntcoat Head Park

Burntcoat Head Park, located about a 2-hour drive from Halifax, is a must-visit destination for those seeking to witness the world's highest tides. This coastal park offers a unique opportunity to walk on the ocean floor during low tide, exploring the fascinating tidal pools and rock formations that are usually hidden beneath the water. The tides here can reach an astonishing 50 feet (15 meters), making it a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Before embarking on your journey, be sure to check the tide schedule and plan your arrival during low tide for the best experience. The park's visitor center provides valuable information about the tides and the area's unique geology, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this natural wonder. As you venture out onto the ocean floor, wear sturdy, waterproof shoes to navigate the muddy and slippery terrain safely. Burntcoat Head Park offers a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases the raw power and beauty of the Bay of Fundy, making it an unforgettable day trip from Halifax.

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