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


103 Reasons to Leave the 103

81. The Town of Lunenburg will play host to “Make Sail for Lunenburg: Climb Your Family Tree,” a gathering designed to encourage a love and celebration of family history on June 8 and 9.

Local residents and those from out of province whose roots lie in Lunenburg are invited to descend upon the town to celebrate their own personal histories during Family History Week.

“Make Sail for Lunenburg” is possible thanks to a partnership between the South Shore Genealogical Society, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and the Lunenburg Heritage Society.

Special events will include, on June 8, an educational program, complete with presentations by Ralph Getson, curator of the fisheries museum, and renowned genealogist Terry Punch, an acclaimed author and CBC’s family history expert.

Billed as the largest family history gathering in Lunenburg since the Grand Family Reunion in 2003, inquiries have already been received from as far away as New York.

82. If you know anything about the history of Queens County, then you know that even before European settlement began hundreds of years ago, the area around what would become the community of Brooklyn has been a hot spot for fishing and all things ocean related.

That’s why it should come as no surprise that this August, Brooklyn will play host to the Queens County SeaFest.

The three-day celebration runs from August 24 to 26 at the Brooklyn Waterfront Park & Marina.

Highlights to look for at this year’s event include live entertainment all weekend, plenty of fun activities for kids and adults alike, a number of food vendors, a licenced entertainment tent and a tasty planked salmon supper.

Most importantly, of course, is the fishing derby, which will offer great prizes for those who bring in the best catches from off the Queens County coastline.

83. Lordly House Museum: Lordly House Museum is the historic centre of the Village of Chester.

Located on Central Street, the museum sits on a full block of protected property, and was originally the home of Chester’s first municipal clerk, Charles Lordly. The house was originally known as Evergreen Hall by the community’s early residents and was built in 1806.

The residence was purchased by the Chester Municipal Heritage Society in July of 1996 and preparations immediately began for its development as a museum.

Today, in addition to hosting a museum, Lordly House is also home to a Community Access Program (C@P) computer site and the community’s bandstand sits on the property below the hilltop house.

Lordly House Museum opens its doors six days a week beginning each May. The museum can also be visited by special appointment during the off-season.

84. Graves Island Provincial Park: Graves Island Provincial Park is an ideal spot for a nice, relaxing afternoon.

The isle, joined to the mainland by a short causeway, offers an oceanside campground and makes an excellent starting point for anyone interested in kayaking the local waters or having an on-foot hiking adventure around the island.

The park is open from mid-May through early October and has a 78-site campground, picnic and swimming areas, a playground and a boat launch.

In June of last year, a plaque was unveiled on the island to commemorate the placement of Canada’s first geocache in East River Provincial Park in 2000.

Aside from being a beautiful stopping point, Graves Island Provincial Park also offers quick access to a number of local points of interest, not the least of which includes the Village of Chester and Ross Farm Museum in New Ross.

85. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic: The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is a wonder to behold.

With a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts linked to the seafaring history of Lunenburg, including the dockside ships the Theresa E. Connor, the side trawler Cape Sable and the wheelhouse and captain’s cabin of the old side trawler Cape North.

Inside the museum, you’ll find a fascinating aquarium, a First Peoples/Mi’kmaq fishing exhibit and other dynamic displays on marine engines, whaling and whales, boat building, the Bank fishery and the age of sail.

On the third floor, the Ice House Theatre, a rum-running exhibit and a host of artifacts depicting life in the fishing communities of yesterday will make you feel as though you’ve stepped through a portal and into the past.

And, should you have any questions, if museum curator Ralph Getson doesn’t know the answer, he’ll darned sure know where to find it.

86. The Mackerel Snappers Picnic, held annually at Graves Island Provincial Park in East Chester, has been the destination of fish fanatics for nearly three decades.

Most years, as many as 1,000 people receive a traditional mackerel fish supper, including sides of potato, cucumber salad, a roll, pie for dessert and a beverage.

In addition to the great grub, there’s also regular entertainment offered on stage, games for kids, face painting, wheels of chance and a mini bingo.

The picnic originally began as a two-picnic-table event, when three East Chester residents hauled an old wood stove and the two newly built tables to Graves Island to cook some mackerel. The commotion eventually drew a crowd of about 200 people and quickly became a community tradition.

The picnic is a fundraiser for the East Chester Recreation Association, with proceeds used to cover operating costs and assist charitable causes.

87. Whether you’re taking a drive along landscaped streets or participating in an organized tour designed to enjoy the colourful gardens that dot our summertime landscape, you will be amazed at the array of flora we have here on the South Shore.

Events are scheduled to view the best of the bloomers throughout the summer, including the Chester Garden Club’s annual Flower Show and Tea, which will take place at the Chester Legion on August 2, from 2 to 6 p.m.

The theme of this year’s show is “Flowers for all generations,” and entries in floral arrangements and specimens are invited from members and non-members alike.

88. Shipyards Landing: For years, Bridgewater’s riverfront was the focus of its shipping and ship-building economy. The wharves, rafts and riverside buildings were the hub of a significant exporting centre, especially when it came to lumber, during the 19th century.

Today, locals and visitors alike can get a sense of the grandeur and importance of the LaHave River in the course of Bridgewater’s development, as well as a relaxing outdoor experience, by visiting Shipyards Landing on King Street.

The landing features a picnic area, a boat launch and a brand-new bandstand, which is home to the Bridgewater Fire Department Band’s annual summer concert series.

89. The sixth annual Riverport Rumrunners Sea Festival will take place this August and will bring a weekend of fun to the scenic seaside community.

The literally hundreds of tourists and area residents in attendance will get to see, and maybe even participate in, an array of fun activities built around competitive groundfishing.

The focal point for the event is the Kraut Point Wharf and festival boats, where there’s something for people of all ages, including entertainment, a poker challenge, a dance and food booths.

The event is one-part fishing derby and one-part community gala, and it serves as an important fundraiser for the Riverport and district fire department, as well as several other local community-based organizations, from the Girl Guides to the Lions Club.

90. The Herring Choker’s Picnic: The Herring Choker’s Picnic and Heritage Day has been a fantastic way for a pair of seaside communities to celebrate their heritage and some delightful dishes for the past number of years.

Both Blandford and Tancook Island host picnics during the summer months, the former’s usually taking place in mid-July, while the latter’s takes place in August.

The event includes flea markets, live music, plenty of fun and a meal of salt herring, potatoes, cucumber salad, a bevy of baked beans and a special sweet treat for dessert.

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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