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Destination guide

Making the most of Nova Scotia vacation rentals

Set on a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia is the multitool of vacation destinations, offering a heady mix of natural attractions, historical sites, and modern galleries. Choose your home away from home from a thousand cozy cottages and spacious vacation rentals, whether you're looking to bed down in the thick of the action in downtown Halifax or wake up with your family in tranquil backcountry surroundings. Wherever you stay, be sure to get a lungful of fresh air in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, see the iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, and sink your teeth into the freshest seafood feasts.

History

History buff? You've got a long old list of attractions to tick off in Nova Scotia. In downtown Halifax, Fort George is the 4th fortification to be built on Citadel Hill, and you can get even closer to history with seasonal live demonstrations and guided tours. For an even more vivid time-travel experience – with no DeLorean required – make for The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. It faithfully recreates an 18th-century French settlement, complete with costumed actors going about their day like it's the 1700s.

Things to do

Top attractions close to Nova Scotia vacation rentals

The picture-postcard gorgeous community of Peggy's Cove tops most Nova Scotia itineraries; Peggy's Cove Lighthouse has been converted to a post office, and there are plenty of places to grab a bite round about. Downtown Halifax will take you more than a day to explore, thanks to its many museums, galleries, and malls. Nose round historic Citadel Hill, then stop by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – the only national museum in Canada's Atlantic provinces and a well-known entry point for immigrants from the 1930s to the 1950s. If you've got the time, head to the Bay of Fundy for whale-watching trips and the UNESCO-listed Joggins Fossil Cliffs.

How to get around

Getting around Nova Scotia from your vacation rental

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is the primary gateway to Nova Scotia. Once you're in town, getting behind the wheel is the best way to travel around, and you'll find car rental agencies at airports and in the big cities. Otherwise, you can navigate the region via public buses and ferry services. Halifax Railway Station is a stop for Via Rail's Ocean passenger train, which runs between Halifax and Montreal.

Food & drink 

Nova Scotia's must-try dishes for curious foodies

Freshly caught seafood is top of the menu on Nova Scotia's culinary trail. In particular, you'll want to get your teeth around seafood pie, scallops served with tartare sauce, and the ubiquitous lobster rolls. Garlic fingers and the iconic Halifax donair – kind of like a pita – make for tasty snacks, and for dessert, there's the cobbler-like blueberry grunt, which is a lot tastier than it sounds. The Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market – North America's oldest continuously operating farmers' market – is a good spot to gorge yourself on many local treats at once.

Essential info

Essential facts for your Nova Scotia vacation rental stay

Nova Scotia is one of Canada's 3 maritime provinces. Although it's the second smallest province, covering around 55,200 sq km, its population numbers over 920,000. Halifax is the provincial capital and the largest city. The legal drinking age in Nova Scotia is 19. Tipping is customary in Canada; you're expected to tip taxi drivers, tour guides, and porters, and leave a 15% to 20% sweetener at restaurants and bars. Canada's emergency services number is 911.

How many vacation rentals are available around Nova Scotia?

Our 2020 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 1,363 house rentals around Nova Scotia. From 388 Cottages to 388 Cabins, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay around Nova Scotia is on HomeAway.