Nova Scotia: What to do in Nova Scotia on a Family Vacation

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Coastal Getaway: Nova Scotia is a Great Location for a Family Vacation

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There is a seaside city just northeast of Boston that is elegant, beautiful, and sparkling clean, with incredible seafood, delicious wine, and friendly locals. You may have heard the name of this city and even flown over it flying east. It's not a common topic of conversation when discussion vacation spots, but take note: Next time you’re on your way to Europe, about two hours from Newark by plane, look down to the lush Canadian province of Nova Scotia. I would highly suggest making a point to stop there next time.

Culture

The capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax, flies under the radar much of the time. On first glance, it’s a sleepy, coastal city supported by agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, and natural gas extraction. With Scottish/Irish heritage strongly imbued in the region, Haligonians (as they call themselves) celebrate their ancestry with lively music on just about any day of the week. Often, you’ll find rock with Celtic themes at one of the lounges dotting the downtown area, and the whole bar will be singing along. You’ll feel right at home in no time. Incidentally, one musical legend and one legend-to-be both hail from Halifax:  Denny Doherty, the lesser-known male founder of The Mamas and the Papas; and chanteuse Sarah McLachlan.

Festival

If there is any chance you’ll take the leap and go to Nova Scotia soon, try to get there for the Nova Scotia Ice Wine festival, February 2-12. Jost Vineyards is one of my favorites, and they will be participating with their award-winning ice wines. The festival's location is up the highway from Halifax, but with such peaceful, rolling scenery, why not take the drive? Admittedly, when Nova Scotia is awash with the jewel tones of the autumn, it’s more interesting. However, to me, this province is beautiful all year since there are so many sounds, tastes, and sights to take it throughout the area.

Nightlife

Go to Halifax and have a lobster, which is exported by the planeload daily from the area, or fresh mussels at The Five Fisherman. Catch a hockey game at the Halifax Metro Centre with the local fans of the Halifax Mooseheads. Take a walk and wander around the cove. Chat with the locals. From unique boutiques and gift shops to bustling malls and districts, wherever you go in Nova Scotia, you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for to keep the family entertained.

If you love it the way I do, you’ll start making plans to return as soon as you can.

Have you ever visited Nova Scotia? If so, what was your favorite part of your visit?

Kristin works full time for SITA, is a mother of a sweet 2-year-old boy and wife to a fantastic 6th-generation Texan, living in Austin, Texas. Loves: her baby boy, airplanes, airports, classic cars, sports, Italy, and dessert; not necessarily in that order. Never met a cupcake she didn't like. You can reach her via Twitter @AustinKVS or via her blog http://www.twocannoli.com.

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