O ceanophiles rejoice along the south shore of Nova Scotia. Stretches of stacked rock cliffs, white sand beaches and turquoise water highlight this part of the province. The expanse of shoreline means there's so much to explore—so much that you can do two types of weekend road trip to soak it all in.
SOUTH SHORE TRIP #1
WHERE TO STAY
The Ovens, a privately owned campground, offers accommodation options including traditional campsites and cabins—many of which are right on the water. The park is named for its sea caves, carved into rock by the power of the ocean.
WHAT TO DO
The Ovens sea caves
If you're staying at The Ovens, it's essential to experience its sea caves, and there are two excellent ways to do so. Walk the trail that the campground has constructed—it follows the coastline and features infrastructure like stairs and railings that enable you to see the sea caves from the inside. It's also possible to explore the sea caves by kayak, so that you can admire the view from the water.
A short drive from The Ovens is Hirtle's Beach and Gaff Point. Hirtle's Beach on its own is a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon, but if you're in the mood for more of an adventure, follow the beach to the hiking trail which forms a loop around a small peninsula. Keep your eyes peeled for the secret beach on one side of the trail.
SOUTH SHORE TRIP#2
WHERE TO STAY
For this next road trip, head deeper south to Thomas Raddall Provincial Park to camp and find yourself surrounded by expanses of white sand beach and crystal clear water.
WHAT TO DO
Thomas Raddall's trails and beaches
With 11 kilometres of interconnected trails, and stretches of powder-soft white sand beach, spending a day exploring the park and soaking it in is a must. Watch for deer walking the beach, seals on the rocks in the distance and piping plovers dancing on the shoreline. (And be cautious of piping plovers' nesting areas, as they are endangered).
Featuring two scenic, interconnected trails, Kejimkujik Seaside is an isolated stretch of coastline that's considered an adjunct of the inland Kejimkujik National Park. Hike the Port Joli Head trail, an approximately nine-kilometre return trip, or the Harbour Rocks Trail, which is roughly five-kilometre return. Both lead to a beautiful beach comprised of turquoise water kissing silver sand, and seals and seabirds covering the rocks just offshore.
Building on the theme of pristine beaches—when this postcard-worthy spot is just minutes from your stay, why not stop in to enjoy some sun (and a chilly dip in the Atlantic)?