How often do we look so forward to summer and then-whoosh.It’s gone. It’s May and then September already.
How the hell does that happen?
I’ll tell you how. We don’t plan.
I am the first to admit I love spontaneity. However, as much fun as that can be, without some sort of a plan in place, the months just sort of slip by.
I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you this summer.
Here are activities and adventures for every weekend of the summer, should you choose to accept the challenge of summery fun.
You do? Great!
Key to cost:
$: $1 to $100
$$: $100 to $200
$$$:$200 and up
- Dip a paddle in our coastal waters.
Try East Coast Outfitters in Prospect for a guided paddle along the Atlantic coastline. They offer half day, full day, sunset and private tours as well as tours with hikes, tours with BBQ, ladies nights and lessons. (look for Hello Weekend to offer a group outing there this summer)
East Coast Outfitters 2017 Lower Prospect Rd, Lower Prospect, NS
Not too out-of-your-way: Polly’s Cove Hiking Trail (27.6 km) & Peggy’s Cove (30.6km
- Option 2 for paddling is along the incredible Bay of Fundy with Nova Shore Sea Kayaking.
This photo of the Three Sisters is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Located in Advocate Harbour, you can choose from a day tour or a 1, 2 or 3 day tours, and there is even a kayak tour with yoga and brunch included.
Nova Shore Sea Kayaking
37 School Lane, Advocate Harbour,NS
Not too out-of-your-way: Cape Chignecto Provincial Park (3.7 km) & Fundy Geological Museum(47.2 km)
- Take the Ferry to Big Tancook.
This is the best bang for your buck you’ll ever get at $7 pp (cash)round trip. The William G Ernst runs daily on a schedule-make sure you catch it on a run when it returns to Chester- the last sailing remains in Tancook. It’s less than an hour sailing and lots to see on the way. This is mainly a passenger ferry so be prepared to walk around and sightsee.Or bring your bike on board. Parking is at a premium in Chester so allow time to find a parking space before the ferry leaves. You can pack a picnic,or grab a bite at Carolyn’s Cafe just up the hill from the wharf, rent a bike, hunt for fossils and for sure, stop in at Wishing Stones Gallery.
Tancook Island Ferry
Ferry Contact: 902.275.7885
Not too out-of-your-way: Chester Playhouse (.5 from Chester terminal) & Graves Island (5km)
- Spot some whales in their summer home on a Briar Island Whale and Seabird Adventure.
From June to October these majestic beasts inhabit the Bay of Fundy waters off Digby Neck . Plan for at least at least a day-tours run for at 3 hours or more, plus travel time down the neck from Digby and back. Pack a snack, water and a warm sweater. You’ll need to take two ferries from the mainland to get to Briar Island-the schedule for that is here. Factor that time into your travel time. There are other good whale watch companies nearby, but I like this one-crew is so knowledgeable. Whale watching is best in the Bay of Fundy,with Humpback Whale, Minke Whale,Finback Whale, and occasionally even endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, Pilot Whales, Sei Whales and White-beaked Dolphins are spotted.
Briar Island Whale and Seabird Cruises
Not too out-of-your-way: Lake Midway Provincial Park (42 km) Briar Island Lighthouse (4.3 km)
- Take in one of the Dark Sky Adventures at Keji
Try the Spirit of the Settlers Night Hike evening theatre hike or the Wild Ride night bike tour. Register at the Park’s Visitor Centre. Check suitability on website for kids. If you are planning on camping , weekends are busy at this popular park, book ahead.
$ plus park entry fee. And camping fee if you’re doing that.
Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site
Not too out-of-your-way: Keji has plenty to keep you busy, but for a change of pace, head to Annapolis Royal (47.6 km) for the Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings, or the renown Historic Gardens.
- Visiting Haute Isle in the Bay of Fundy
Haute Island is on my own personal bucket list and here’s a chance to enjoy it up close and personal. Advocate Boat Tours have several options-including one where you take a boat ride to the Island, have a paddle, hike and picnic and camp overnight. Advocate Boat Tours accept cash and cheques only.
Advocate Boat Tours
3838 Hwy 209
PO Box 6, Advocate Harbour,NS
Not too out-of-your-way: Cape D’or Lighthouse (7km) Spencer’s Island (5.5 km)
- Taste the best of the Valley and leave the driving to the Magic Winery bus-a classic British double-decker bus.The hop on and hop off at will tour includes visits at 5 Valley wineries, guide and a tasting at each winery.Want lunch? it’s extra.. Allow an hour for each winery, and jump back on the bus ,Gus, when you are ready for the next one.Please be sure to arrive 30 minutes prior to your departure time. Final bus pick up loop is between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
Magic Winery Bus
This photo of Wolfville Magic Winery Bus is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Pick up and drop off at
Wolfville Visitor Information Centre 11 Willow Avenue.
Not too out-of-your-way: Harriet Irving Botanical Centre (1.4 km) Reservoir Park Trail (2.1 Km)
- Hike the Skyline Trail Cape Breton .
As with many trails, the jewel is at the end of the hike-and it’s stunning. Keep your eyes peeled for moose-in fact, last October we had to curtail our plans to hike this trail again due to aggressive moose behavior.( Don’t worry, there will be signage and warnings posted if this is a concern-usually only in late fall) No dogs are allowed on the trail,unfortunately, but there is a highly recommended kennel in Cheticamp-the Groom Room.
There are 2 options for the easy trail-a 7km and a 9km. It’s fairly flat until you get to the steps at then endAllow at least 3-4 hrs. Bring your camera!
19685 Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Free except for Park entry fee
Not too out-of-your-way: Love hiking and waterfalls, try the Coney Brook Trail.(5.2km) Or,explore the Acadian fishing village of Cheticamp (27.7km)
- Tidal Bore Rafting along the Shubenacadie River.
This photo of Shubenacadie River Runners is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The tidal bore itself is a unique phenomenon in Nova scotia and while it’s height itself may not meet expectations, the speed at which it travels (as fast as a running horse) and the rocks beds and sand bars which create the rapids more than make up for it.This is wet, salty fun. I have had several trips over the years with Shubenacadie River Runners-they offer 2 and 3 hour tours.Bring dry clothes and shower stuff-you’ll be chilly before you return and a hot shower will be delightful. There are several more reputable rafting companies nearby- this is just the one I know best.
Shubenacadie River Runners
8681 Highway 215
Not too out-of-your-way: Lawrence House Museum is just across the road. Burntcoat Head Park is the site of the world’s highest recorded tides.(26.3km)As alway, before wandering tidal beaches, check tide times.
- Sail on an icon. Or you can be a deckhand for a day.
The Bluenose offers 2 two hour cruises a day in Lunenburg or other scheduled ports. Unfortunately for us Nova Scotians, it looks as if she will be away from her home berths in Lunenburg and Halifax from mid June to early September Bahh! Better book early.
I am way too old to be a deckhand apparently, but if you’re 19-30 years of age this may be for you. They do offer a chance any adult to be one for a day-but you pay dearly for that privilege.
121 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg, NS
Not too out-of-your-way: Well, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is right there. And you may enjoy a drive to Blue Rocks which is beautiful too (6.5) See featured photo.
- Canoe to Frozen Ocean with Whynot Adventures.
1507 Main Park Way
Kejimkujik National Park, NS
Not too out-of-your-way: Need a little culture to balance out your nature fix? head to Bridgewater (66 km)to visit the Debrisy and Wile Carding Mill Museums.An dif you’re hangering a honking plate of fish and chips, try the Blarney Stone in Hebbs Cross It’s right on Hwy 103, take care turning into the parking lot. (7.8km from Bridgewater