Where to Stay in Nova Scotia: Top Picks and Hidden Gems


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Nova Scotia, a picturesque province located on Canada’s east coast, offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. With its rugged coastline and quaint fishing villages, this destination is a must-visit for travelers. When planning a trip to Nova Scotia, it’s essential to know some of the best places to stay to fully immerse yourself in this incredible experience.

From the bustling city of Halifax to the serene landscapes of the South Shore, there are numerous accommodation options catering to a wide range of traveler preferences. In the heart of Halifax, enjoy the convenience of downtown accommodations that place you steps away from the city’s nightlife, shops, and historical sites. Alternatively, you can opt for tranquil stays in more remote locations, offering an opportunity to recharge and connect with nature. Whether you’re seeking luxurious amenities or a cozy, laid-back environment, Nova Scotia has something for every traveler.

Of course, your stay in Nova Scotia would not be complete without exploring the many activities the province has to offer. Unwind by the breathtaking coastline, hike along majestic trails, or savor the incredible local seafood. No matter what you choose, you’re bound to make lasting memories in this Atlantic gem.

Regions of Nova Scotia


Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and unique boutique stays. The city is known for its vibrant art scene, rich history, and delicious seafood. While in Halifax, don’t miss exploring the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, visiting the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, or taking a stroll along the picturesque waterfront.

Fun Fact: Halifax is home to the oldest saltwater Shubenacadie Canal, which dates back to 1761.

Things to do: Explore the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, indulge in local food at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, or join a sea kayaking tour.

Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton Island offers breathtaking views, outdoor adventures, and cozy accommodations ranging from oceanfront cottages to charming bed & breakfasts. Known for its scenic landscapes, Cape Breton is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Experience the famous Cabot Trail, visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park, or learn about the island’s rich cultural heritage at the Fortress of Louisbourg.

Interesting Story: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, had a strong connection to Cape Breton Island and even built a home in the beautiful village of Baddeck.

Things to do: Hike the Skyline Trail, enjoy a whale-watching tour, or attend the Celtic Colours International Festival in October.

South Shore

The South Shore region has picturesque seaside towns, beautiful beaches, and historic sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Town Lunenburg. With accommodation ranging from oceanfront cottages to historic inns, the South Shore offers a relaxed and comfortable stay.

Fun Fact: The South Shore is home to Peggy’s Cove, the site of one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.

Things to do: Visit Mahone Bay, explore Kejimkujik National Park, or take a historic walking tour.

Annapolis Valley

The Annapolis Valley is known for its lush farmland, fertile vineyards, and picturesque orchards. Accommodations in the region feature charming inns, bed & breakfasts, and cottages with stunning views. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore local wineries, farmers’ markets, and historic sites like Grand-Pré National Historic Site.

Fun Fact: The Annapolis Valley is Nova Scotia’s primary wine-producing region, with more than 20 operating wineries.

Things to do: Go on a wine tour, visit the Bay of Fundy’s tidal bore, or explore Fort Anne National Historic Site.

Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore offers serene coastal views, secluded beaches, and a variety of accommodation options, including waterfront cabins and campgrounds. Nature lovers and beachgoers will especially enjoy this less-traveled region of Nova Scotia.

Interesting Story: The Eastern Shore is home to the unique community of Sable River, where wild horses roam free.

Things to do: Hike the Musquodoboit Trailway, visit the Sherbrooke Village, or enjoy a fishing adventure at Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Centre.

Northumberland Shore

Northumberland Shore offers picturesque coastal landscapes, warm-water beaches, and a rich history. Choose from a variety of accommodations, including oceanfront cottages, inns, and resorts. Don’t miss the chance to explore historic Pictou and the Hector Heritage Quay, try lobster fishing, or unwind on one of the region’s beautiful beaches.

Fun Fact: The Northumberland Shore is home to some of the warmest ocean water temperatures in Canada.

Things to do: Visit the Northumberland Fisheries Museum, go for a nature walk at Cape George, or relax at the Pictou Lodge Beachfront Resort.

Accommodation Types

Hotels and Resorts

Nova Scotia offers a wide range of hotel and resort options for travelers wanting a bit more luxury during their stay. With various places to choose from, such as oceanside cottages and five-star resorts, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Bed and Breakfasts

For a more intimate and cozy experience, Nova Scotia is home to numerous charming bed and breakfasts. Staying in a heritage home or quaint B&B will allow you to enjoy a warm atmosphere and a glimpse into the local culture. From antique-filled inns to modern guesthouses, there’s a delightful variety of B&Bs to suit any taste.

Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for more privacy and flexibility during your stay, vacation rentals are a great option. Nova Scotia offers a variety of vacation rentals, including family-sized cabins and unique accommodations. This allows you to enjoy the comforts of home while exploring this beautiful region.

Camping and RV Parks

For the more adventurous traveler, or those who want to connect with nature during their stay, Nova Scotia boasts a selection of scenic campgrounds and RV parks. Whether you prefer backcountry camping or serviced sites, you’ll find the perfect spot to pitch your tent or park your RV.

Fun Fact: The beautiful coastline of Nova Scotia is home to over 130 lighthouses, making it the perfect destination for lighthouse enthusiasts.

Things to do: While in Nova Scotia, be sure to explore the breathtaking Cabot Trail, indulge in fresh seafood at local eateries, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture by visiting museums, galleries, and historical sites.

Budget Considerations

Affordable Accommodation Options

When traveling to Nova Scotia on a budget, you have a variety of affordable accommodation options to choose from. For instance, Airbnb is available all around Nova Scotia, offering private rooms starting around 50-75 CAD per night. However, prices can double or even triple during peak season. Booking an entire home/apartment typically costs around 100 CAD per night, but can go up to 160 CAD or even 200 CAD in Halifax.

In addition to Airbnb, look for budget hotels in popular destinations like Halifax, Truro, Antigonish, and Lunenburg. These budget hotels provide comfortable rooms at affordable rates, helping you save money on your trip.

Saving Money on Your Trip

When planning your visit to Nova Scotia, consider a few cost-saving strategies:

  1. Share accommodations: If you’re traveling with a partner or friend, sharing a room or renting a car can help lower your overall expenses.
  2. Picnic lunches: Organize picnic lunches or find inexpensive places to eat. This will help stretch your budget further while still allowing you to sample local cuisine.
  3. Visit during the off-peak season: Traveling to Nova Scotia outside of the summer months can result in cheaper rates for accommodations and attractions.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Nova Scotia is home to the world’s highest tides? The Bay of Fundy has a tidal range of up to 16 meters (52 feet), offering a unique and fascinating natural phenomenon. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk on the ocean floor during low tide!

Things to do

No trip to Nova Scotia is complete without trying out the numerous activities the province has to offer. Some budget-friendly options include:

  • Exploring the beautiful national and provincial parks.
  • Visiting historic sites and museums, such as the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
  • Enjoying scenic drives along the Cabot Trail or the Lighthouse Route.
  • Attending local events and festivals, like the Nova Scotia Gaelic Mod and the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Remember to have fun and enjoy all that Nova Scotia has to offer while keeping your budget in check!

Unique Stays

Historic Properties

Nova Scotia is home to some truly unique historic properties that offer memorable accommodations. For instance, you can stay in a lighthouse and experience the charm of the past while enjoying modern amenities. If you’re seeking a more traditional stay, consider exploring some of the province’s storied bed and breakfasts set in beautifully restored heritage homes.

Eco-Friendly Options

For those looking to minimize their environmental footprint, Nova Scotia offers a range of eco-friendly accommodations. Dome camping is a popular choice near Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You can also explore unique stays like treehouse accommodations with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story: Did you know that some of the treehouse accommodations in Nova Scotia sit on an elevated deck offering sweeping views of the Atlantic, Bird Islands, and the Cape Breton Highland Hills? It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Things to do: In addition to enjoying your unique accommodations, be sure to explore the rich history and culture of Nova Scotia. Visit places like the historic town of Lunenburg, the breathtaking Cabot Trail, and the vibrant city of Halifax. Don’t forget to indulge in delicious seafood cuisine and experience warm East Coast hospitality as you explore this beautiful province.

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