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Edition 43: March 12, 2004

In the 43rd issue of the Bed and Breakfast Traveller, we take you to the beautiful Maritime province of Nova Scotia, a vacation destination no matter what the season..

The Nova Scotia Association of Unique Country Inns invites you to explore Canada’s Seacoast. With 7400 km (4625 miles) of coastline, when you are in Nova Scotia you are never more than 56km (35 miles) from the sea. This proximity to the sea has shaped the lives and traditions of the people of Nova Scotia. Mi’kmag, French (Acadian), English, Scottish, Irish, German and African cultures have all come together over the centuries to form the rich mosaic of Nova Scotians today.

Nature has blessed Nova Scotia. The province boasts a variety of scenic coastlines made up of beaches and cliffs, as well as the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy. The spectacular Cape Breton Highlands offer the Cabot Trail, which has been acknowledged as one of North America’s most scenic drives. The beauty of Nova Scotia is not limited to the coast; further inland the province has more than 5400 lakes to offer.

Driving Nova Scotia’s ten unique scenic trails, each filled with their own history and charm, is a venture of discovery. Along the way the breathtaking landscapes range from rocky shores to sandy beaches, from solitary lighthouses to quaint fishing villages or beautiful towns and from fossil rich seabeds to the lush fruit orchards and vegetable farms located throughout the Annapolis Valley.

Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are limitless in Nova Scotia: cycling along the coastline, canoeing the pristine lakes, birding in salt marshes, sea kayaking, rafting the tidal bore, sailing the Atlantic, whale watching, scuba diving, walking on the ocean floor after the 40 foot tides have receded and hiking in national parks are but a few. And let’s not forget the province’s more than 60 golf courses, some of which are rated amongst the top in the world.

Nova Scotians have earned an international reputation as a relaxed, friendly, warm and welcoming people who love to share their rich cultural traditions with visitors. These traditions include language, crafts, music and food (especially food from the sea!).

Nova Scotians have always shared an intimate relationship with the sea. From this a legacy of famous sailors, shipbuilders and schooners was born. Experience some of the authentic living history of Nova Scotia and its place in Canada by visiting such places as:

  • Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest reconstructed 18th century French fortified town in North America.
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic site, a star-shaped hilltop fortress surrounded by the city of Halifax.
  • Pier 21 National Historic Site, which from 1928 to 1971 acted as Canada’s front door to over one million immigrants, wartime evacuees, refugees, troops and war brides and their children.
  • “Old Town” Lunenburg, a 250 year old fishing town on Nova Scotia’s Lighthouse Route. As home of the world famous schooner Bluenose, numerous wooden churches and Georgian and Victorian architecture, it is the only town in North America to have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck.
  • Annapolis Royal National Historic District.
  • Fort Anne National Historic Site, the oldest National Historic site in Canada.

Along with these sites, Nova Scotia’s Provincial Family of Museums, consisting of 26 museums of varying sizes throughout the province, acts to preserve and celebrate the warm rich culture, heritage and traditions of our forefathers’ ways of life on land and sea.

Nova Scotians love to celebrate! Throughout the year more than 800 festivals and events in cities, towns and villages across the province capture the excitement of Nova Scotia’s wide variety of maritime and cultural traditions. A few of the special events happening this year include:

  • La Fete Champlain, May 7th to 9th. Join this celebration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of French explorers, including Samuel de Champlain, on the shore of North America near what today is Lahave, Nova Scotia
  • Annapolis Valley Apply Blossom Festival, May 26th - 31st.
  • Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Halifax, June 29th - July 7th. See a military and civilian extravaganza featuring over 2000 International and Canadian performers. This is the world’s largest annual indoor show.
  • Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Canso , July 2nd - 4th. Fifty acts come from around the world to perform 100 shows on six festival stages.
  • Tall Ships 2004, Halifax , July 29th - August 4th. This tall ships flotilla of at least 35 proud sailing ships from around the world includes our own Bluenose II.
  • The 3rd Congres mondial acadien, July 31st - August 15th. Experience the vibrant Acadian spirit and culture in the very place it all began 400 years ago. Hundreds of activities and festivals throughout the province including family reunions will await visitors from around the world. A new interpretive centre, which celebrates the history of French settlement and Acadian expulsion at the Grand Pre National Historic Site, will be the centre of a number of official events.
  • Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival August 5th - 8th. Four days of music, dancing, folklore and workshops await you at the seaside. This event features top traditional and contemporary folk musicians with their collections of fiddle, folk, bluegrass, gospel and jazz.
  • Halifax International Busker Festival, August 5th -15th. These talented entertainers include jugglers, actors, magicians, comedians and musicians, all of whom practice the art of street performing or street theatre.
  • Celtic Colours International Festival, Cape Breton, October 8th-16th. This is a Cape Breton-wide festival featuring over 300 Celtic artists from around the world. There are 30 venues for the nightly events and daily workshops all of which are set against a background of spectacular fall colours.

These are but a few of the many reasons to visit Nova Scotia, especially in 2004. The members of the Nova Scotia Association of Unique Country Inns are professional innkeepers conveniently located around the province. We invite you to stay with our members while in Nova Scotia for a truly unique taste of warm Nova Scotian hospitality.

Nova Scotia Association of Unique Country Inns
http://www.bbcanada.com/associations/uniqueinns/

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