Haute Fall Escapes from Boston: Nova Scotia

Nova ScotiaPhoto Credit: Nova Scotia

There are so many great weekend getaways throughout New England that are a short drive from Boston. One of the most memorable escapes from the hustle and bustle of city life is with a quick visit to the gorgeous, untouched region of Nova Scotia filled with seaside restaurants, historic lighthouses and unforgettable natural beauty. Drive north to Portland, Maine, which is less than two hours from Boston and book a cruise aboard Nova Star Cruises direct to Yarmouth.

Getting there:

Nova Star CruisesPhoto Credit: Nova Star Cruises

Nova Star Cruises is one of the easiest ways to visit Nova Scotia directly from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth. The overnight cruise line that accommodates car transports offers daily service June to October from Portland departing at 8 p.m. Nova Star features all of the modern amenities of a cruise line, including a full service spa, Novatique retail store for duty-free shopping, a variety of lounges, entertainment (think movie showings, pianists and wine tastings) and even a casino. Currents restaurant offers a formal dining experience complete with wines from Nova Scotia’s regional wineries. Since the cruise arrives in Yarmouth at 8 a.m. the following day, be sure to book a stay in a corner owner’s suite or deluxe ocean view suite, which is large enough for four adults.

Getting around:

Petite Riviere VineyardsPhoto Credit: Petite Riviere Vineyards

When you arrive in Yarmouth, simply drive off the Nova Star Cruise and spend a few hours exploring the area. A visit to the Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum is a must to learn more about the area’s marine heritage (the floor here is constructed of authentic wharf planks) while the Firefighters’ Museum of Nova Scotia features Canada’s oldest horse-drawn steam engine on display. Take a scenic drive along the South Shore and stop along the way to visit the seaside area of Pubnico, Mahone Bay, a lighthouse in West Head and Hawk Beach on Cape Sable Island. The Petite Riviere Vineyards in Crousetown offers daily tours and wine tastings (ask for Kelly or Maureen (who is also from Boston). From here, head to the region of Digby known as “the scallop capital of the world.” Located in the southwestern portion of the province, Digby has beautiful sunrises over the Annapolis Basin and breathtaking sunsets over the Bay of Fundy. Take a walk along the waterfront Admirals Walk and visit the full service marina complete with the Admiral Digby Museum and fisherman’s wharf.

Where to stay:

Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa Photo Credit: Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa

Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa has everything you need for a luxury stay. Located on the Bay of Fundy, the beautiful resort features an 18-hole Stanley Thompson golf course, full service spa, fitness center, outdoor heated swimming pool, two tennis courts, a croquet field and on-site hiking and biking trails. Dinner at Churchill’s Restaurant and Lounge, the property’s upscale restaurant, is a must. We recommend starting with the smoked haddock and bacon chowder before moving onto a hearty dish of lobster risotto or their specialty pan seared Digby scallops with Yukon Gold hash browns, carrot tarragon mash and buttered green beans.