Visiting the Canadian Maritimes

This article may contain affiliate links. Read my ABOUT page for more disclosure information.

The Maritimes are some of the most underrated areas in Canada. Half my family live in the area, so I’ve had the pleasure of spending a lot of time visiting the Canadian Maritimes. There are vast expanses in between towns, and a lot of pine trees, but there are some lovely areas between pine trees too.  Behold the long wide flat Beausejour Marsh on the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border – nothin’ but sky!

Beausejour Marsh - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel



Starting at the Nova Scotia side, we have Halifax – the ‘big city’ of the East.  Well, it’s big enough to have an international airport with flights from the UK – so it is useful for me!  I love the Halifax waterfront in the Summer – lots of restaurants spilling out onto the boardwalk, serving big salads and lobster of course.  You can take a tour out on the harbour either on a replica tall-ship, or on the Harbour Hopper (an amphibious vehicle), and the view of the harbour at night is gorgeous.  There is also a busking festival along the waterfront in August every year.

Halifax waterfront - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel
Harbour hopper - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel


The Lighthouse Route

I recommend the beautiful driving the Lighthouse Route around the south shore of Nova Scotia, from Halifax all the way round to Wolfville – the coastline is dotted with cute wooden churches, historic lighthouses and great views.  There is a lot to learn about the history of the area – and there are even pirates (or the stories of them) – so yay!  The first cute-as-all-heck stop is Peggy’s Cove – a gorgeous little fishing village with a fabulous lighthouse.  Stop for a coffee and some local arts and crafts.

Peggys cove - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel

Along the way are the towns of Chester, Mahone Bay, and then on to Lunenburg.  Lunenburg is an absolute picture postcard of a place – and has actually been the backdrop for a number of film and TV shows – such as the sci-fi series ‘Haven’.  The replica tall ship Bluenose II is based out of Lunenburg, and the town prides itself on the conservation of its buildings and history.  The gorgeous Lunenburg Academy sits atop a hill and looks out majestically over the town.  This stunning building was finished in 1895, and is the only surviving 19th century building in Nova Scotia.

Lunenburg Academy - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel

There are some pretty nifty activities geared towards tourists in Lunenburg too – such as horse and carriage rides A Trot In Time.  They provide a really fabulous historic tour of the town, with knowledgable drivers who dotes on their horses – it was a real treat to take this tour.  Our tour horse was called Jessie James – a beautiful Belgian, who sadly passed away at the ripe old age of 21 in 2010.  We had the pleasure of being his passengers in 2007, not long before he retired.  RIP Jessie James.

A Trot in Time - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel


Prince Edward Island

I have toured up into Cape Breton, but have only spent a few nights in Canso, and Sydney, so will leave this part of the blog until I’ve spent more time over that side of the East Coast.  So, let’s chat about Prince Edward Island – yep, the island famous for potatoes and Anne of Green Gables!  It is much more than those two things though!  It is the home of world famous house concerts, amazing music festivals, and some gorgeous beaches, and of course, Confederation Bridge – the 8-mile long bridge that connects PEI with the mainland.  But here’s a picture of the Anne of Green Gables house, cos y’know, it had to be done!

Anne of Green Gables - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel


Mass Town

Heading West now, towards New Brunswick, I have a VERY IMPORTANT tip for you – if you’re driving near Truro, you MUST stop at the Mass Town Market – honestly, it’s a deli, restaurant, grocer all in one – with delicious slaws, breads, big sandwiches and great ice-creams and milkshakes.  Seriously, it’s my favourite road trip stop on the East coast.  Once over the New Brunswick border, you reach the tiny town of Sackville (where some of the family live) – here you will find a couple of really good bars, such as Thunder and Lightning; an authentic diner, a cinema, some marshes, and this covered bridge (like the one in Beetlejuice) – that’s about all really, but it’s super cute!

Covered bridge - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel


If you head directly West from Sackville, on the Trans-Canada Highway, you get 2 hours of road and pine trees… and that’s about it…


New Brunswick road trip - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel



However, if you head south down to Saint John, you get to another funky wee town (famous for its brew houses and reversing falls), but you can also stop off at the stunning Fundy National Park – with easy and some more difficult hiking trails, beaches (with inukshuks), and rivers to wander along.  It is a gorgeous part of the world, and I highly recommend a jaunt down there – even just for an afternoon.  In Saint John, check out the Saint John Ale House, and Backstreet Records – two great places for food and music respectively.

Fundy park - Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel

I tell people that the sky is bigger in Canada, and it truly does appear that way.  If you want to see wildlife, like hiking, and a beautiful coastline, then the Eastern Seaboard is for you – go forth, roadtrip-it!

Check out our adventures in Niagara Falls here


All photos & content © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T3i Rebel + Fuji Finepix; and an iPhone5.

Visiting the Canadian Maritimes - HH Lifestyle Travel

  • 4


  • Danila Caputo says:

    We just had a brief sample of Canada last Fall and fell in love with it. Yet we never really thought of exploring the maritimes before to read your article! Prince Edward Island sounds especially lovely. Music festival, good food, gorgeous beaches? We’re definitely in!

  • danik says:

    Can’t wait to get back to Canada this summer (my 3rd visit) but still to get to new brunswick and nova scotia (and of course pei – cant forget that place). he he. Would love to check out the lighthouse route. got a thing for photographing lighthouses. they is something about them but cant put my finger on it.

  • The Canadian Maritimes is everything I imagine in Canada and more. I’d love to visit prince edward island because of course I remember Anne of Green Gables – but I’d genuinely love to go to some of the other areas. The big skies do sound special and I’ve already heard good things about Peggy’s Cove and some of the food from there. But I’d never heard of Mass Town Market and the eateries there, so more for me to check out

  • Indrani says:

    Good description of prince Edward island. I would definitely want to visit it. And that should be during some festival time. Sad to know about Jessie James.

  • Medha Verma says:

    Driving the lighthouse route sounds like the thing i’d pick to do. i actually didn’t know the area thats referred to as maritimes in canada, so this was an interesting and informative read for me. i’d also love to explore prince edward island and fundy.

  • divyakshi says:

    My heart jumped at the sound of pine trees <3 being a sailors daughter, this write up got me hooked. From the harbour stories to the tall replica of the ship to the lighthouse route! Peggy’s cove certainly looks so cute with all the boats and the lighthouse! Loved the buildings of Lunenburg. Thanks for the heat up for the Mass Town Market. Sounds utterly delicious! A beautiful trip along the coastline indeed!

  • Nisha says:

    Never been to Canada but maritimes looks interesting. Will keep this in mind when I go there.
    Have heard of Halifax a lot and exploring Halifax waterfront would really be nice. It reminds me of Mauritius which has similar waterfront with lots of restaurants and it’s lovely to be there during evenings.

  • Mansoureh says:

    Canada is on my top of list to visit but I don’t want to go there only for one or two weeks, I would love to be there at least for a month. And I take your advice. the Eastern Seaboard is for me, I love hiking, wildlife and spending time in the nature

  • Harbour hopper is a boat jeep? that’s super cute! i haven’t been to canada but of course i really love to go! met some canadians are they’re so cool! as cool as their country! also, that trans canada high way, 2 hours road trip and pine trees? That’s sounds good to me! I’ve heard that canada is such a green country! We also have pine trees in the Philippines but I think This one at trans highway has much much more! the horse photo is lovely!

  • Unfortunately, I have never been to Canada but the Maritimes looks my kind of place. My friend was recently there and he spoke so much about the place, expecially Halifax. I would really love to explore it.

  • Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *