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8 beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia

8 beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia

When you close your eyes and think of North America, chances are you’ll thinking of snow-capped Rocky Mountains, forests, and lakes, not sunny beaches that are a surfer’s paradise. Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and boasts 7,600km of seacoast just aching to be explored.

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces, which makes it an ideal location for anybody who loves being next to the water. It has several white sand beaches that would make you believe you are in California or Australia’s Gold Coast, making it prime real estate for surfers and beach explorers. It’s impossible to be more than 42 miles from the ocean in Nova Scotia, so stay away if you have a fear of water.

For beach lovers everywhere, let’s take a look at some of the most popular and most beautiful beaches on offer at Nova Scotia.

Martinique Beach

Located south of Musquodoboit Harbor on the Eastern Shore, Martinique Beach is the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia, at a little over three miles long. You can take a long stroll down the beach, bring your surfboard and hit the waves, or feel the warm summer winds on your face as you soak up the sun laying on your back. Either way, you are highly unlikely to be disturbed on a beach this long (unless you organize a beach party, that is).

Melmerby Beach

If you mention the word ‘Northumberland’ to anybody from the UK, they will think of beautiful beaches surrounded by castles, but they definitely won’t think of warm waters. However, on the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia, Melmerby Beach has the warmest waters in the province, making it one of the most popular for swimmers. It also hosts a great boardwalk for a perfect sunset stroll and some epic coastal views for romantics and Instagrammers alike.

Lawrencetown Beach

Surfers are known for staking out the best beaches to visit, and they flock to Lawrencetown Beach on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. It has a superb reputation with surfers for being home to the best surf, both locally and nationally, so expect to see some epic moves or have a go yourself. There are plenty of surfing teachers to be found on the beach, at affordable prices. Or, if you’re not feeling up to the challenge, you can commit to the best kind of people-watching and see the pros hit the waves while you soak up some rays on the shore.

Meadow Beach

If you want to take a break from the coastline and the surfers, you can head to any number of stunning freshwater lakes of Nova Scotia, including Meadow Beach at the incredibly popular Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. In between getting some swimming, you can take a number of a hike for some fantastic views or rent a canoe for some relaxing times on the water. Keep an eye out for harbor seals as they love to hang out in the area. There are also plenty of camping opportunities in the area if you want to be at one with nature.

Malvillette Beach

The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is home to a number of beautiful coastal walks, cliff-top views and – down below – some unspoiled, less frequented beaches for the explorer types who prefer to listen to the sound of waves splashing against rocks than tourists and surfers. Malvillette Beach is one such hidden gem, with grass-covered sand dunes and warm waters for you to enjoy.

For some of the best views of the Bay of Fundy beaches, head to the Old Orchard Inn at the Annapolis Valley. It hosts some of the finest panoramic views of the Minas Basin where the Bay of Fundy ends, and you can watch the sun go down with a glass of your favorite wine to cap it off.

Crystal Crescent

Situated just a short drive (approx 30 minutes) from downtown Halifax, Crystal Crescent is home to three beaches and is hugely popular among the locals, who head down at various times of the day to escape the daily grind. It’s a great place to visit if you are mixing visits to the beach with visits to the shops.

It is worth noting that the furthest beach is a nudist beach, so be mindful when taking one of your leisurely strolls along the waterfront. If it’s not your kind of scene, you might get a surprise, although the beach is clearly signposted and extremely popular with naturalists.

Bayswater Beach

Another great option for visitors to the Halifax area, Bayswater Beach is a popular location for young people and families who want to meet up, have a swim, catch some rays and have a BBQ on one of the outdoor barbeques available to use at the beach. If you can stand the sights and smells on display, it’s simply a great beach to watch the sun come down as you unwind from a long day shopping in Halifax.

Baxter’s Harbor

If you’re a fan of ocean rock beaches and rough-and-ready terrain, you can do a lot worse than the beaches at Baxter’s Harbor. Based in the Annapolis Valley, there are great opportunities here for superb scenic photography, hiking and an end-of-day highlight of sitting on the rocks and watching the sun go down on the Bay of Fundy. If sunbathing and swimming isn’t your scene, but you love a good beach, Baxter’s Harbor is the perfect getaway for the surfers and bathers.

There aren’t many places on earth to host such a wide range of beaches, and for them to be surrounded by a mixture of landscapes. If you want a beach holiday with a difference, Nova Scotia is one of the wonders of the world. Whether with friends or family, you can make the most of any break by heading to one of these beaches. Grab your flip-flops and a towel and give it a try. You won’t regret it.

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