Things to do in Annapolis Valley
Uniquely situated, Annapolis Valley is nestled between two mountain ranges in the Nova Scotia region. The region is extremely picturesque and your stay here will be marked by scenic views of lush fields and snow-capped mountains. This region was once the home of the Acadians and there was an influx of Dutch immigration after the 1940s. Annapolis Valley is famously an agricultural region as well as a tourist location. Enjoy scenic fields as you travel through beautiful roads on your way to exquisite wineries.
You will be able to find a lot of things to do while you are here at Annapolis Valley. Enjoy the Apple Blossom Festival in the spring. The Heart of the Valley Festival in July is a reason to go to Middleton. There are many more events that keep happening all over the year, making Annapolis Valley a great place to be.
This article brings to you the best things to do in Annapolis Valley. From the various attractions here to the places you can be at; from what to eat and where to find it, keep reading to find out why Annapolis Valley is a great destination. With no further ado, let us begin.
Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
Not only is the Annapolis Royal Historic Garden a place where you can enjoy the beauty of lovely flora, but it is also a place where you can look for some history and culture. The Gardens are home to the La Maison Acadienne, which is a restoration of a 17th-century Acadian house. The orchards at this place have existed since before the 1700s. What’s more, you will also be able to find the Governor’s Garden where apple trees grow as they did back in the 18th century. This place brings alive a colonial time when the British ruled Nova Scotia, with its Victorian gardens and exotic plants.
However, the more obvious reason to visit the Annapolis Royal Historic Garden is to take in the floral beauty. There are thousands of flowers here and there is a reason why this place is one of the best show gardens in the entire country. Find lilies, rhododendrons, and azaleas among many in the rock garden. From exotic flora to native blossoms, the Annapolis Royal Historic Garden might be a really great start to your tour of Annapolis Valley.
Find the gardens at 441 St. George Street in Annapolis Royal.
Take a trip to Brier Island
A trip to Annapolis Valley is incomplete if one does not arrive at the Bay of Fundy. Take a day trip out to the bay and visit the many fishing villages in its vicinity like Digby and Brier Island. This island is a place of natural beauty, a refuge for birds and animals. Whales, dolphins, and other marine animals make their way to this ecological paradise. This also makes Brier Island a great place for whale-watching cruises.
Depending on what time you visit, Brier Island will provide you with views of these glorious marine animals. In the summer find porpoises, finbacks, and minke whales. The more famous Humpback whales arrive in June and you will also be able to find Belugas and Sperm whales in July.
Brier Island is not just a place for whale watching, but also is home to an iconic landmark known as the Balancing Rock. This is a huge rock that has been balancing on a cliff for over two centuries. Be sure to check out the scenic basalt columns at Green Head. Sign up for the Mariner Cruises for guided tours to Brier Island. Find Brier Island on Google Maps here.
Historic Sites in Annapolis Valley
Annapolis Valley has great historical value to Canada because it hosts a number of Historic Sites that represent the many native cultures and historical events of the region. This section of our article will talk about them all in one go. So, let us begin.
Port-Royal National Historic Site
The Port-Royal National Historic Site is a recreation of the Sieur de Monts. Built-in 17th-century style, this historical site tells the history of the settlers from Europe. There are many attractions within the Port-Royal National Historic Site for a tourist to see. While you are here, be sure to come to the Governor’s Residence. Furthermore, there is also the smithy, a pelt room, and the Priest’s House. There are tour guides on site and costumed interpreters who will tell you all about the history of the region. Another place within the Port-Royal National Historic Site is the house of Louis Hebert, a local apothecary.
The site is located at 53 Historic Lane, Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
Fort Anne National Historic Site
The history of Fort Anne is a history of turmoil. This site has been a battlefield on numerous occasions and for a tourist who is into history, it is a must-visit. Buildings such as the barracks remain along with the walls and ramparts. As a visitor, you should keep your camera ready and explore the Officer’s Quarters and the well-preserved memorials.
The Fort Anne National Historic Site is located at St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.
Grand-Pre National Historic Site
One of the most important Acadian settlements in the region, the Grand-Pre National Historic Site is a memorial to the Acadian lives lost due to the English. This site used to be a village where the people had reclaimed fertile land from the sea and had built around 200 farms. The English settlers used force to drive the natives out and this historical site preserves the memory of the local people. Attractions to see here include a memorial to Henry Longfellow and his poem “Evangeline”. There is also a statue of the same by Acadian artist Philippe Hebert.
The Grand-Pre National Historic Site is located at 2205 Grand Pre Road, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.
Fort Edward National Historic Site
Fort Edward is a rather scenic location at the conjunction of the Avon and St. Croix rivers. This fort was built to defend British territory between Halifax and the Bay of Fundy. It later became a deportation site for the Acadians. Like many other historic sites, you will be able to learn about the rich history of Nova Scotia here. There are many preserved buildings such as the Wooden Blockhouse and also gorgeous views of the surrounding natural beauty. Many places on the walls are marked by graffiti that soldiers stationed here drawn.
The Fort Edward National Historic Site is located at 67 Fort Edward Street in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Museums in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Any region that has a rich history and culture is known to have museums preserving cultural heritage in the form of artifacts. The Annapolis Valley region in Nova Scotia is not only a paradise of natural beauty but is also a location filled to the brim with culture. Local settlers such as the Acadians built a lot of settlements here and their conflicts with the Europeans have shaped the history of Annapolis Valley.
As such, you will be able to find a lot of museums here displaying their cultural artifacts. Not only that, Annapolis Valley is an important geographical region, with preserved fossils and more. In this section, we will explore the best museums you can find in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Let us begin:
Blue Beach Fossil Museum
Blue Beach in Nova Scotia is a well-known region. This was the site where a large number of fossils have been discovered. In fact, it was in Blue Beach that evidence for a relationship between land and sea creatures was discovered. The beach, due to its unique geography, has a large number of fossils that continue to be discovered even today.
The Blue Beach Fossil Museum is located atop a cliff overlooking this scenic beach. Come here to explore the fossilized remains of ancient creatures. This collection is the oldest in the world and therefore extremely special. Coming to the museum makes for a great day trip when you are touring the Annapolis Valley region in Nova Scotia.
After you spend some time at the museum, be sure to come down to the beach. You will be able to have a look at fossils here as well. Although, do not collect them. A scenic location, Blue Beach is a great way to relax and have fun in Nova Scotia. You can explore the beach on your own or take the popular tours that are really educational. This place is especially great for families and people interested in science.
North Hills Museum
The North Hills Museum is one of the best attractions in Annapolis Valley. The museum is located in a building that used to be a farmhouse back in 1764. It has now been restored and displays collections of Georgian and Regency furniture. This museum lets you know how the rich and affluent of the 18th century used to live. There are paintings from various artists in addition to the furniture displays. One of the best things about the North Hills Museum is that admission to it is totally free. Take the guided tour while you are here to really enjoy what the museum has to offer.
Sinclair Inn Museum
The Sinclair Inn Museum is a very special place. It is the oldest Acadian building to have survived. Also, it is the second oldest wooden structure in Canada. This museum shows you how the house changed over the years. They do it by stripping away and revealing the layers of the building, each representing different parts of history. If you are someone who enjoys architecture, you will fall in love with what the Sinclair Inn Museum has to offer. This is one of the more famous attractions in Annapolis Valley and tourists never seem to grow tired of its allure.
Some murals which were painted in the 1800s were discovered quite recently, adding to the collection of the museum. Visit the Painted Room within the museum to know more. There are interactive exhibits on display, most famously the Ghosts exhibit. It lets you interact with the spirits of some ten people who used to live here.
Burntcoat Head Park
The Bay of Fundy is known all over the world because of its tides. Every day, water flows in during high tide and when it leaves, it seems like there was nothing here before. This mesmerizing experience draws in tourists from all over the world to visit the Bay of Fundy.
The Burntcoat Head Park is located within the Minas Basin, where huge amounts of water flow in and out of daily. This accessible park lets you walk directly on the ocean floor, where there were billions of gallons of water only six hours ago. The tide difference is over 16.4 meters. Many people flock to Burntcoat Head where they can witness the changing shapes of nature. The tide leaves behind all manners of sea creatures that you can explore as you walk on the ocean floor.
Take in the natural beauty of this scenic location, and also visit the nearby attraction that is the replica lighthouse. This place will teach you all about the tides and why they happen. There is some very interesting science here.
The Burntcoat Head Park also features a network of trails and you can visit it during both high and low tides. The scenic views of this place not only are gorgeous to look at, but also feature the most beautiful sunsets.
We really hope that you enjoyed reading our article on the best things to do in Annapolis Valley. We have brought all the attractions you can enjoy here all in one place and hope that reading this article will be helpful to you in planning your trip. Annapolis Valley is a really great location and tourists flock to this region in great numbers every year.
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Read more about things to do in Canada. Read about the best things to do in nearby Gaspe and also places in British Columbia. With this, we sign off on our article about the best things to do in Annapolis Valley. Enjoy your travels.