My mother, Linda would line up my sisters and I every Sunday for family photos. Our father lived and worked on the ocean and experienced world wide adventures. Mom would take these photos to send to him each month, so he could keep track of our growth. Taking family photos were an important family tradition especially when she took us on family adventure trips in her adopted home of Barbados.
My own, multi ethnic, multicultural family now live in Nova Scotia and we have made it our business to circumnavigate Nova Scotia. As we go on our family travel adventures in Nova Scotia, we have a rule: We must have a least one selfie at each stop or adventure. A perfect way to capture our experiences together. There are perfect family photo spots in Nova Scotia around every corner, but these 10 below had better be on your list. Have fun as you capture your family on each of these adventures.
Cape Sable Island Lighthouse
Off the coast of Barrington, Nova Scotia on it’s own serene, mostly misty island is the Cape Sable Lighthouse. With a height of 110 ft, it’s the tallest lighthouse in Nova Scotia. Located a short 10minute boat ride from Cape Sable Island at the southern tip of Nova Scotia’s, Cape Sable. Home to a flock of scraggily, wild sheep and in the summertime, scampering scores of the endangered yet frisky piping plovers.
We adventured to the island via a small motor boat with a local fisherman. We hopped off, and sunk our toes into to powdery soft white sand. What a treat! Just our family of 4 and the birds, a 20 minute walk with the lighthouse in view with a million and one opportunities to take a selfie with your crew. And if you are lucky you may just capture a few wild sheep in your selfie as well.
You can arrange a visit on your own or wait until Cape Days on the second Saturday in August each summer. Cape Days is when the locals of Cape Sable Island and Barrington as well as visitors celebrate the island with revelry, food and music. There are free boat rides to and from the island all day and lots to explore.
Burntcoat Head Provincial Park
Burntcoat Head Provincial Park in Noel, Nova Scotia is part of the Fundy Shore tidal system. It is such a gorgeous park that you can’t take a bad picture with your family there. Bring your family to the park to experience the power of the Bay of Fundy tides, the highest in the world.
At high tide, line up at the picket fenced areas for a gorgeous panoramic view, of millions of gallons of water filling up the shore up to 44ft and surrounding the feature rock island, the sweet centrepiece. At low tide the island is majestic, you and your family can walk around it and take beautiful selfies from every angle, climb into slippery rock coves and water eroded sea caves.
Better yet, get down low and take interesting photos of the exposed ocean life at low tide. Bring a paper bag lunch and enjoy it on a boulder that is usually at the bottom of the ocean. It can be slippery out there, bring shoes with a good grip and check the tide times before you go.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most visited lighthouses in Canada! Family travel in Nova Scotia is becoming increasingly popular and each summer millions of families visit Peggy’s Cove. You have got to have a winter selfie with Peggy. After a fresh snow, Peggy’s Cove is glamorous and charming. Be sure to come dressed in winter gear however, it’s going to be cold. But it’s worth the frozen fingers, to see Peggy’s Cove with her sweet new ramp and accessible area, brand spanking new bathrooms, and freshly painted lighthouse. Like a beautiful ice princess, with your family upfront and centre in the camera lens. A memory they won’t soon forget.
Rails to Trails and Ice Cream!
Ice cream and selfies, go perfect together! How about ice cream, biking, and a family selfie? The perfect spot is the Rails to Trails biking and walking trail, 119 kms of pure natural beauty! The B.L.T. Rails to Trails section is a 13km stretch and is one of Halifax’s top trail destinations. It is also part of the Western Loop of the Trans Canada Trail. While biking and enjoying nature, stop to wade on a lake side, cross over old railway bridges or clamber up waterfall areas to enjoy a secluded spot for a break. There are lots of great spots for that perfect family shot! But it’s the little convenience store along the trail, Fitzgerald’s Grocery on St. Margaret’s Bay Road, that hits the ice cream spot. Go there!
Grand Pre National Historic Site
If you don’t take a selfie with the statue of Evangeline, patron lady and heroine of the Grande Pre National Historic Site and the historic chapel, then we are not sure you can claim you have enjoyed Grande Pre. In 2022 the landscape of Grand Pre is celebrating its 10th anniversary of being a UNESCO Heritage Site. The area is full of stories, history and culture of the Acadian people dating back to 1682.
The spectacular gardens grounds surrounding the chapel are perfect for picnicking, hide and seek and of course a family photo. With exotic local and international flowers it’s a feast for sore eyes. Make time to visit and view the museum across the street to witness how Acadians built the dyke systems that made way for the Acadian Valley to become the breadbasket of Nova Scotia.
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Mill Falls, Kejimkujik National Park is a spot you shouldn’t miss! You can’t put into the words how gorgeous, powerful, and delightful this area is. We could spend hours wandering along the Mill Falls trail. Every view point was more beautiful than the last and there were so many perfect spots for a photo op. The boulder bridge that juts out into the falls, the Parks Canada red Adirondack chairs, or best of all the new swing bridge are all spectacular spots for selfies. We found it hard to choose and you will too. If you have the chance be sure to visit in the fall as the leaves change colours and illuminate the area in magnificent colours.
Georges Island National Historic Site
Georges Island National Historic Site is located in the heart of Halifax harbour. This one of the newest destinations open for family travel in Nova Scotia as it just started allowing visitors in the summer of 2020. Enjoy scenic views from a new perspective and immerse yourself in the rich history of Halifax. Love a good family adventure? This one is terrific. The ferry ride to the island really got the family excited to explore.
Georges Island has much to offer for kids of all ages. Whether it’s enjoying the view of downtown Halifax from across the harbour, or meeting the small slugs on the Island (all named George), or climbing deep down into the fort to witness the large cannons and defense systems that were meant to keep enemies at bay. The interpretive guides will keep you riveted with their stories.
Don’t leave without taking selfies of you and your crew standing in the very spots Canadian Forces of old would have stood watch. History demands it!
Oy Vey – Martinique Beach is something awesome to behold. Spectacular! Majestic! Powerful! The longest stretch of white sand beach in Nova Scotia with a view and surrounding landscape too breathtaking for words. It is selfie heaven. The contrast of grassland, sand dunes, and seascapes with the tremendous rolling ocean waves and the cerulean blue of the sky is stunning. You really can’t take a bad photo here. Plan to play in the surf while you are there, you won’t regret it! Also make sure your phone is fully charged for all of the awesome family photos you will take.
Martinique Beach is just one of the many perfect beach destinations for family travel in Nova Scotia. Not all beaches have lifeguards however so be sure to always swim in pairs and keep an eye on each other. Also please remember to clean up after yourselves and don’t remove shells, rocks, sand, etc. from the beaches so we can keep them beautiful for generations of families to enjoy.
Millbrook Heritage Centre
When we arrived in Nova Scotia to live a few years ago one of most of the most striking features on our car ride from New York City and Quebec, was the mammoth statue of Kluscap (Glooscap) at the Millbrook Heritage Centre You can’t miss him!. We can safely say, it’s a surreal experience to stand at the base of the statue and try to capture it in its entirety. To get to Kluscap, you must pass through the Heritage Centre. Do stop and take in the story of the Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia. Learn about their story of survival, success, see their beautiful art, artifacts and more. Visiting Kluscap and learning about him is definitely something to write home about!
Highland Village Museum, Cape Breton
We literally broke into song on arrival at the Highland Village Museum. We embodied Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music – The hills are alive with the sound of music… The whole property was just the gorgeous. The majestic chapel, the views, the stone house with mysterious upright sleeping closets, and the stories of the families who lived, worked and built up that highland area of Cape Breton. The village is the perfect cherry on the family selfie cake. Take the whole family, experience the wonder of an age gone by. Go now or go later. Just don’t miss it!
Whew! What a selfie journey that will be. As you survey Nova Scotia remember that you and your family help make Nova Scotia the beauty that she is – take photos, take selfies, for fun, to share as memories, don’t miss a thing. And for years to come, that historic spot, the water falls, that ferry ride, giant statue, etc. will play an important part in the telling of your story. Go enjoy Nova Scotia!
Where is your favourite spot for family travel in Nova Scotia? Tell us in the comments below!
Natalie Frederick-Wilson is a lover of adventure. She has circumnavigated Nova Scotia and Cape Breton with her family, “Nova Scotia’s Wandering Wilsons“. They hike, walk, trek and drive across Nova Scotia collecting beautiful memories and experiencing all the adventures Nova Scotia has to offer to their family!