Sustainable travel is becoming a more popular way of travel, although it can be challenging to do. I recently followed one of Discover Halifax’s sustainable travel itineraries to the Eastern Shore of Halifax to explore what I could see and do while traveling consciously through the area. If you would like to do the same then enjoy my detailed itinerary for a sustainable trip to Halifax’s Eastern Shore.
Table of Contents
Visit the Deanery Project
The Deanery Project is a unique environmental and arts learning centre and non-profit cooperative located on Halifax’s Eastern Shore in Lower Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia. In 2011 they took over an old youth summer camp and worked with volunteers to fix up the property. The Deanery Project also often works with Dalhousie Architecture students to create more buildings and sustainable structures on site. “A key goal for the organization is that all buildings on site should model low impact, energy efficient construction.”
The buildings on site are solar powered as much as possible, everything is recycled and reused and the opportunity for education is everywhere. Along with local residents, artists, environmental educators and more the site continues to grow and they have created things like a solar kiln, a cob oven, a tiny home, a bicycle repair shop and more. The property is also filled with unique pieces of art and hiking trails, and there is an ocean-front wharf and a small beach that you can canoe or kayak from.
To visit the Deanery Project sign up for a retreat or one of their workshops like a stained glass workshop. Or you can pre-arrange a tour of the site for yourself or a group and spend the day exploring. You can also become a member of the Deanery Project for only $25 a year and help support them in their future goals of teaching everyone more sustainable ways of life. New volunteers are always welcome.
Enjoy the Beaches and Nature
The Eastern Shore of Halifax is home to some of the province’s best beaches. Lawrencetown Beach and Martinique Beach are both great spots for surfing year-round with the best waves in the winter months. Clam Harbour Beach is a great beach for surfing, boogey boarding, walking and running. The annual Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle Festival is a popular draw to the area.
Along with beaches there are several provincial parks and lots of great spots for hiking. Check out the Musquodoboit Trailway, and the Gaetz Brook Greenway, both part of the Trans-Canada Trail. There are also many great cycling routes in this area, including the Clam Harbour Bike Loop.
Enjoy Sustainably Sourced Food
In Musquodoboit Harbour there are a few great spots to enjoy some sustainably sourced food. For a farm-to-table meal make a reservation at Lupin Dining and Pantry. Their menu consists of locally sourced seasonal produce and locally grown and raised Nova Scotian products. At the restaurant they even have a large garden from where they often source many items. Lupin also has a pantry that you can shop from to buy even more local products like preserves, soups, chowders, meal kits, charcuterie boards, desserts, granola, spices and more.
Another option is the Uprooted Market & Cafe. Stop in for some fresh veggies, frozen pre-prepared food items, local art, fair trade organic coffee and more. You can also sit and enjoy a sandwich, soup or salad made with local items. “Uprooted Market & Café is focused on improving the accessibility of locally grown and locally produced goods to residents and visitors of Nova Scotia’s beautiful Eastern Shore.“
To get your pastry fix and to support local stop by the Martinique Desserterie a new bakery, café and gift shop. You can get everything here from cupcakes to donuts, croissant sandwiches, cruffins, loaves of bread, and a variety of drinks.
Halifax’s Eastern Shore is also a great place to shop sustainably at vintage stores, antique shops, and farmers markets. A great vintage shop Fancy Lucky Vintage is located in the MacDonald House right at Lawrencetown Beach. They sell vintage clothes and accessories, jewelry, shoes, vinyl records and more. In the same building you’ll find Lawrencetown Beach Café and a small store selling locally made pottery and art.
A great antique shop on the Eastern Shore is Old Times, Old Friends Antique Collectables and Dolls. Located in the garage and lower portion of the owner’s house, this antique shop is stuffed to the brim with unique finds. From lots of old plates, dishes and tea cup sets to antique jewelry, vintage dolls, collectables and so much more. Visit and give a second life to something old. Even if you aren’t interested in buying anything it is a very cool place to visit and check out.
If you are a big reader then the Steeple Green Bookstore is a must. Located inside an old repurposed church this shop not only brings new life to an old building but also gives a second chance to unloved books. The owner purchases books that have been returned to bookstores and otherwise would be returned to the publishers or destroyed and sells them for a better price. Steeple Green is also a gift shop with some vintage items for sale and is a live event venue for the community.
Another excellent option for sustainable shopping is of course the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmer’s Market which occurs every Sunday year round from 10am to 2pm. In the summer months the farmers market takes place outdoors by the Railway Museum and in the winter months is located inside the Eastern Shore Community Centre.
Connect with the Animals
Another great way to include sustainable activities in your travels is by visiting animal sanctuaries and educational farms. There are two great places to visit in this area of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. The first is the French Duck Farm which is a small hobby farm. They offer farm tours, goat yoga, and kids camps. On the property there are goats, chickens, horses, tiny horses, ducks, bunnies, turkeys, peacocks, etc. Farm tours are offered every Saturday or contact them directly to visit.
Hope For Wildlife is located in Seaforth just outside of Musquodoboit Harbour, and is another popular educational place to visit. Known as a charitable wildlife rehabilitation and education organization they take in and help injured wildlife from around the province. They have taken in and cared for 80,000+ animals from over 250 different species. Animals they care for vary from owls to chinchillas, raccoons, rabbits, various birds, skunks, porcupines and more. Hope For Wildlife offers visits, tours and educational presentations. Admission is free at Hope for Wildlife and you can visit every Saturday year round from noon to 3pm.
Where to stay on the Eastern Shore
If you really want to stay in a sustainable accommodation while visiting the Eastern Shore then inquire with the Deanery Project for their tiny home or hostel dorm rooms on site. There are also some great campgrounds nearby like Norse Cove and Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean. Otherwise there are accommodations such as Jeddore Lodge & Cabins and the Salmon River County Inn.
While visiting I stayed at the Ocean Bay View Luxury Guesthouse. This is a gorgeous large guest house on an oceanfront property where you can book one room or the whole five bedroom property with a hot tub, sauna and steam room. There is also a large common area and shared kitchen with continental breakfast included.
Getting to the Eastern Shore of Halifax
Halifax transit offers a basic commuter bus on weekdays as far as Porter’s Lake on the Eastern Shore. There isn’t public transit currently taking people any further than that though unfortunately. However if you bring a bunch of friends, drive an electric vehicle or even try a car share app you can try to make your journey more sustainable.
If you are a cyclist you could take the bus to Porter’s Lake and then bike the rest of the way. However, due to the bus schedule this wouldn’t be possible for just a day trip. Also that would be 1hr on the bus from the city then another 3+hours on your bike to get as far as the Deanery Project. Hopefully in the coming years we will see more sustainable travel options expanding in Nova Scotia.
Follow along with this itinerary and you should have a great couple of days on a sustainable trip to Halifax’s Eastern Shore. If you have any more suggestions to add please leave a comment below. Also tell us other places you sustainably travel to in Nova Scotia!
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