Everything you need to know about Nova Scotia's South Shore


103 Reasons to Leave the 103

51. So, you were out partying last night and you need a quick pick-me-up?

Or perhaps the kids have been keeping you up at night during your vacation?

Or maybe you’ve just got a long day ahead of you at work.

Well, whatever the case, the colourful coffee shops that dot Lunenburg and Queens counties have just the right brew to get you perked up, back on your feet and ready to tackle the day.

52. Delicious community suppers: And did we mention the food?

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the restaurant scene, Lunenburg County’s famed community suppers, held in villages and towns throughout the area, are guaranteed to whet your appetite.

Whether you get your grub at a dinner theatre, at a bed and breakfast or at one of Lunenburg County’s famed fire hall dinners, a wide variety of local delicacies are certain to delight.

53. A little less than 20 kilometres north of Highway 103’s Exit 8 lies beautiful, remote Card Lake Park.

A lovely park, hidden under a canopy of aged softwood trees at the edge of Card Lake, the getaway offers a small beach and provides the perfect chance for a quick dip in the cooling fresh water, or the perfect launch for a canoeing excursion.

With 280 acres of public parkland, including extensive walking trails, a picnic area and ideal spots for fishing, Card Lake Park is a simply stunning place to spend a day and truly is one of Lunenburg County’s hidden, lesser-known natural jewels.

54. Lunenburg’s International Dory Races: Lunenburg’s famed International Dory Races have long been a staple of the Fishermen’s Picnic and Reunion. This year, however, that festival has taken off in a new direction, rechristened as the Lunenburg Waterfront & Seafood Festival.

But, fear not, dory race lovers, for the International Dory Races will still grace Lunenburg’s pristine harbour during the late summer, this year as part of the waterfront and seafood festival, which is scheduled to take place on August 18 and 19.

With plenty of fresh seafood, scallop shucking and entertainment galore for the masses, the first waterfront and seafood festival is sure to be a resounding success.

55. There are few hot spots of mystery and intrigue in the world that can conjure the imagination the way that Oak Island does.

Dreams of what secrets may lie locked in flooded limestone caves beneath the isle have driven men and women alike wild for literally centuries now, ever since young Daniel McGinnis first happened upon a depression in the ground back in 1795.

Since then, millions of dollars, and a number of lives, have been expended in search of the treasure the island has kept to itself.

Is it pirate booty? Lost manuscripts belonging to William Shakespeare? A holy relic deposited by the Knights Templar? Or could it be the ill-gotten goods of imperial New World plunderers?

The theories abound, but so far Oak Island has given up only hints of what it may hide.

The Oak Island Tourism Society hosted the Explore Oak Island Days in recent years, which includes public tours of the island. This year, the celebration will be held again, from August 10 to 12.

56. Old Lunenburg — UNESCO World Heritage Site: Many don’t realize it, but the eldest part of the Town of Lunenburg was designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1995.

That’s why you’ll find a UN flag flying in Lunenburg, making the town one of a select few destinations in the world that can stake such a claim.

The old town received its esteemed designation because it is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.

Established in 1753, the old quarter of Lunenburg was able to maintain its original layout and its overall appearance, based on a rectangular pattern conceived of in the home country.

The town’s inhabitants, many of whom have descended from the original foreign Protestants brought to settle the shores of what became the Lunenburg County we know today, have done remarkable work over the centuries in appreciating and preserving the abundance of wooden architecture.

57. The Mahone Bay Settlers Museum is a community museum in the heart of downtown Mahone Bay.

Operated by the Mahone Bay Founders Society, a volunteer, non-profit organization, the museum provides visitors and locals with access to the town’s rich heritage and storied history.

Whether you’re interested in viewing old photographs of Mahone Bay from years gone by during the golden age of sail, or if you would like to read an account of what it was like to grow up in Mahone Bay nearly 100 years ago through the eyes of Ms Clara Quinlan, the Settlers Museum has the resources you’ll need.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday during its regular season, from June through September. Special appointments can be made during the off-season.

School groups of all ages are welcome at the museum and there are special activities to make sure that history comes alive even for the youngest of visitors.

58. Bluenose II: There are few things that conjure up /SouthShoreNow/special_sect/103/images of the days of wooden sail more than that of the freshly sprayed hull of Bluenose II glistening in the dockside sun during those first precious moments of a new day on the Lunenburg waterfront.

Bluenose II was built to honour the legacy of the great age of sail and as a monument and replica of her famed predecessor, the original Bluenose, which had one of the most storied racing careers in marine history.

Bluenose II and her crew are in high demand, making appearances at festivals and regattas throughout the Atlantic world during the summer season, so if you’re lucky enough to catch her while she’s at home in the Lunenburg port, be sure to take advantage of the precious opportunity and take a shipboard harbour cruise.

59. Last year, the Nova Scotia Schooner Association held its annual regattas in the waters off Lunenburg at the Lunenburg Yacht Club.

After the rousing success of that event, the association began plans for the Great Lunenburg Schooner Race, an event that will be held in conjunction with the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic later this summer on August 25.

60. The Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival will be held from August 9 to 12 this year, and it’s sure to attract musicians from throughout each quadrant of North America, plus legions of adoring and appreciative fans, to Lunenburg’s coastal waters.

Each year, literally thousands of people come to Lunenburg to listen to folk music at a variety of sites, including the waterfront, the opera house, the bandstand or the main stage tent on Blockhouse Hill. Among the bevy of performers scheduled to appear at the 2007 show are Al Simmons, Gillian Boucher, Faith Nolan, Tom Chapin, Allison Lupton, Andrew White, Dyad, Sierra Noble and Shauntay Grant.

103 Reasons to Leave the 103
  1. On the cover...
  2. Fun at the South Shore Exhibition
  3. If you’ll recall...
  4. Art galleries
  5. Lighthouse Route scenery
  6. The annual Chester Heritage Society’s...
  7. Canada Day celebrations
  8. Mahone Bay celebrates Scarecrow Festival
  9. If you’re looking...
  10. Community bands
  11. Were you ever picked on?
  12. There are beaches...
  13. Our local libraries
  14. The farm market...
  15. Something for the shopper...
  16. Marinas
  17. The Greenfield Dragway...
  18. An island adventure...
  19. Lunenburg’s unique fish signs
  20. Surf city
  21. A place to lay your head...
  22. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation...
  23. The LaHave cable ferry...
  24. On the way to the Classic Boat Festival
  25. Mahone Bay’s famed three churches
  26. Monthly breakfasts
  27. The Chester and Area Family Resource Centre...
  28. Serene walking trails
  29. Cycling offers an excellent opportunity...
  30. The public washroom...
  31. Antiques galore
  32. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep...
  33. Shop ’til you drop
  34. The New Ross Christmas Tree...
  35. Rissers Beach Provincial Park
  36. Fishing for the big one
  37. The South Shore Exhibition grounds...
  38. The New Ross Community Fair...
  39. Glorious green space
  40. sightseeing underwater...
  41. Birdwatching
  42. Mahone Bay Flea Market...
  43. The Ovens Natural Park...
  44. Greenfield’s planked salmon supper
  45. Paint Mahone Bay...
  46. The LaHave Islands Marine Museum
  47. A summer swim
  48. Fort Point Museum
  49. Indian Falls: hidden beauty
  50. Miller Point Peace Park in Dayspring
  51. Need a quick pick-me-up?
  52. Delicious community suppers
  53. Card Lake Park
  54. Lunenburg’s International Dory Races
  55. Oak Island
  56. Old Lunenburg — UNESCO World Heritage Site
  57. Mahone Bay Settlers Museum
  58. Bluenose II
  59. Great Lunenburg Schooner Race
  60. Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
  61. If you’re in the mood for some horsing around...
  62. Halifax & Southwestern Railway Museum
  63. Lunenburg Academy
  64. St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg
  65. Best opportunities for paddlers...
  66. Parkdale-Maplewood Community Museum
  67. Let’s have some wine!
  68. Lunenburg Festival of Crafts
  69. DesBrisay Museum
  70. Paint Sea on Site in Lunenburg
  71. Chester Playhouse
  72. If sailing is your passion...
  73. The Founders' Monument
  74. Knaut-Rhuland House
  75. Luxurious beaches
  76. Lake Mush-a-Mush
  77. Dances featuring the absolute best...
  78. Starlight Theatre
  79. The former HMCS Fraser
  80. Gus Vickers Memorial Field
  81. Make Sail for Lunenburg
  82. Queens County SeaFest
  83. Lordly House Museum
  84. Graves Island Provincial Park
  85. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
  86. Mackerel Snappers Picnic
  87. Flower Show and Tea
  88. Shipyards Landing
  89. Riverport Rumrunners Sea Festival
  90. The Herring Choker’s Picnic
  91. World Tuna Flat Races
  92. Love of a fine automobile...
  93. Hubbards Barn Association
  94. Wile Carding Mill
  95. Farms, nurseries and greenhouses...
  96. Excellent golfing
  97. Bayswater Family Fun Day
  98. On the water during Chester Race Week
  99. Veterans’ Memorial Park, Bridgewater
  100. Lunenburg Summer Opera Festival
  101. Ross Farm Museum
  102. Walking tour of Lunenburg...
  103. Bert Corkum Memorial 5-mile Road Race
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