Fall in Nova Scotia is one of the prettiest times of year to visit with all of the leaves changing colours. There are also tons of fun fall outdoor activities to see and do making it one of the best times of year to visit Nova Scotia. Specifically Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. The Annapolis Valley is home to numerous farms, vineyards, apple and pear orchards, pumpkin patches and more. It is also a great spot for delicious food, hiking, craft beer tasting and so many fun fall activities. Here is the ultimate guide for fall in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.
Enjoy the Craft Beer Scene
Nova Scotia has been brewing many great craft beers since at least the beginning of the 1990’s. Over the past few years more and more craft beer breweries have been popping up all over Nova Scotia, but especially in the Annapolis Valley. Stop by one of the many craft beer breweries in the area for a tour to learn a bit about how these delicious beers are brewed and of course for a taste test or two as well.
Craft Beer Breweries not to be missed in the Annapolis Valley:
Church Brewing Co. – Built inside of an old church, Church Brewing Co. is also a great restaurant that always seems to have a line going out the door. Enjoy a flight of beers in the sun on the patio and be sure to grab a bite. The Southern chicken sandwich is definitely recommended.
Sea Level Brewing – Located in Port Williams, Nova Scotia Sea Level Brewing has a storefront attached to the Port Pub and inside the Pub you can also find them on tap. Not too far away in Canning, Nova Scotia you can also find the Millstone Harvest Brewhouse which is also Sea Level Brewing. They have lots of great beers to try and if you are visiting in the fall season you MUST try their Pumpkin Ale served with a pumpkin spiced sugar rimmed glass.
Horton Ridge Malthouse – The Horton Ridge Malthouse is the only Malthouse in Atlantic Canada. Stop in to enjoy a drink or flight at the bar, or to pick up some cans or a growler to go. Behind the bar there is a viewing window to see the malt drying and the friendly bar tenders will tell you all about the process.
Wayfarers Ale Craft Brewery – Also located in Port Williams, the Wayfarers Ale Craft Brewery has a great tasting room overlooking the Cornwallis River flowing into the Minas Basin. They have great craft beers with funky art work on their cans. There is also a tasty menu of food to chose from as well.
Smokehouse Nano Brewery – This is the tiniest brewery I have ever seen. Located in Berwick, Nova Scotia in a tiny old smokehouse in the owners backyard. They are soon moving to a new location however so they will be slightly less nano then but still small. The brewery is only open for purchases to go, as it is too small for a bar or seats and tables. There are however many different options to choose from like the Punch Hill Porter, the Erdbeere Pilsner, and the Cottage Cream Ale.
Enjoy the Views from the Lookoff
You can’t visit the Annapolis Valley and not enjoy the views from the famous Look Off on top of North Mountain. From the Look Off you can see across the valley for miles and miles. You can see the Minas Basin, farmers fields, the town of Wolfville and more. The views are stunning and not to be missed no matter the time of year.
Hike Around Blomidon Provincial Park
Located not too far from the Look Off is the Blomidon Provincial Park, a popular spot to go hiking in the area. There are a few trails that you can take that offer some great views over the ocean. The park overlooks part of the Minas Basin which is a part of the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. You can also walk along the beach here at low tide but be sure to keep the tide times in mind so you don’t get stuck. You can also camp in the park overnight in designated camping spots.
Shop at a Road Side Stand
While driving around the Annapolis Valley be sure to have cash and small change in your pocket. Often you will come by roadside fruit and vegetable stands with the chance to buy some fresh and tasty Nova Scotian produce. In the fall these roadside stands are also some of the best spots to grab your pumpkin for Halloween or your decorative gourds for Thanksgiving. Many of the stands go by the honour system with prices listed and a coin box for you to leave your money in.
Drink a lot of Apple Cider
The Annapolis Valley is FULL of apple orchards. There are apples for miles and miles. With so many apples Nova Scotia is also home to the largest apple cold storage system in North America. Along with craft beer breweries in the area there are also a lot of craft apple cideries to visit.
Craft Apple Cideries not to be missed in the Annapolis Valley are:
Annapolis Valley Cider Co. – Located on Main St. in Wolfville is the Annapolis Valley Cider Co. . They have an outdoor patio and small tasting area inside. They also have large storefront selling all of their ciders and merch. Stop in a for a flight with a side of tasty corn nuts or grab some cider to go. They have some constant favourite flavours and also have a rotating selection year round.
Maritime Express Cider Co. – The Maritime Express Cider Company can be found in Kentville in the newly named Main Street Station. (Previously known as the Cornwallis Inn.) They have a full selection of ciders on tap great for a flight or a few pints paired with their great food menu. Sit back and relax in this old train station building and enjoy the atmosphere.
Meander River Farm and Brewery – Located just outside of Windsor, Nova Scotia, the Meander River Farm and Brewery is a great place to stop and enjoy a delicious locally made cider. However they offer so much more than just cider. On their property they grow their own hops and also raise pigs, chickens and turkeys. They also have a huge field of lavender from which they make a bunch of different products with including a lavender cider. There is also a gorgeous sunflower patch in the fall that you can explore. Visit for a tour and enjoy a flight of their delicious ciders or craft beers or grab some to go.
NOTE: Don’t worry for those of you who don’t drink alcohol, there are also many options for alcohol free apple cider. You can also find lots of things like apple cider vinegar and even apple cider slushies.
Visit the Valley Mural
Located in the parking lot of Maritime Express Cider Co. is a large and colourful mural that says “Annapolis Valley” and features many beautiful apple blossoms and apples. Kentville, Nova Scotia where you will find this mural is popular for their apple blossom festival and parade that takes place each year celebrating the spring. This is one of the many great Instagram photo spots that is not to be missed in the valley.
Spend an Afternoon at the Dempsey Corner Orchards Farm
The Dempsey Corner Orchards Farm is definitely a must visit if you are going to the Annapolis Valley in the fall. The best time to visit is probably late September and early October. The farm only costs $2 per person to visit and then you can pay for extra activities like fruit and vegetable picking, feeding the animals, hay rides and more.
After a busy day of cow petting and apple picking there is also a cafe where you can grab lunch, a snack or even ice cream. The Dempsey Corner Orchards also has a market store where you can buy other items like jams, cookies and bread. Whatever you decide to do at the farm be sure to bring your camera to capture all of the fun.
Learn all about Bees and Honey at Wood’N’Hive
Wood’n’Hive is not only an adorable shop with all of the bee and honey things that you could imagine, but it is also a fully functioning apiary and honey making facility. The owners have bees in farms all around the valley and even some in the backyard of the shop. The honey is extracted in the fall and pumped into huge vats to be stored and sold. Visit to buy some delicious local honey sold in various sized jars and bottles, as well as creamed honey, and even honey comb. Wood’n’Hive also sells various beeswax products like candles, wrap, lip-balms and even lotion. While visiting you can also get a chance to see how the honey goes from comb to jar.
Shop at a Local Bakery
Stop by a local bakery for fresh bread, cookies and treats. I am a big fan of oat cakes which are popular all over Nova Scotia. Driving around the Annapolis Valley you can find many different types of oat cakes for sale. I recommend buying them all.
Grab Fresh Food at a Local Farm Market
The Annapolis Valley is full of farmers market with local fresh produce and locally made items to buy. Notable markets to visit are Stirling Farm Market, Elderkin’s Farm Market, Noggins Corner Farm Market and Hennigar’s Farm Market. At these farm markets you can find everything from fresh apples, pears, berries and vegetables to locally made baked goods. As well as cider, locally roasted coffee, meats, cheeses and more. They are the perfect place to grab supplies for a picnic at the Look Off or in an apple orchard.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
A fun fall activity in the valley is going into corn mazes. Fun for all ages of course as long as you don’t get lost. However getting lost can also be the best part. Be sure to take a friend or two with you so at least you don’t get lost on your own.
Pick the Very Best Pumpkin
Aside from road side farm stands and farmers markets the valley also has a few pumpkin patches where you can pick the very best pumpkin. Large, small, fat, orange, yellow, pink, blue, smooth, full of warts you name it. Any and all types of pumpkins can be found in the valley. Visit Howard Dill’s famous pumpkins in Windsor to see some of the biggest in the world.
Enjoy some Fine Dining
The Annapolis Valley isn’t all just craft beer, pubs and farmers markets, there are also a lot of great spots to enjoy fine dining. All of the restaurants are supplied by the local producers so they have the best and freshest foods on offer as well. Juniper on Main St. in Wolfville is a fantastic restaurant to enjoy a fancy meal. Be sure to call ahead for reservations and don’t forget to ask for the specials. If available I highly recommend the schnitzel and brussels sprout caesar salad with the dark chocolate marquis dessert with house made malted ice cream.
Another great fine dining restaurant to check out is Le Caveau at the Domaine de Grand Pré Vineyard. Delicious meals that perfectly pair with their wines brought to you by chef Jason Lynch. If you are visiting with friends inquire in advance about the private chefs table dining in the vineyards farm house. They require 8-10 guests for a booking and you can watch the chefs prepare your meal right before your eyes.
Search for the Kentville Pumpkin People
Every October the streets of Kentville are filled with pumpkin people. In 2020 there were over 300 pumpkin people around the town dressed up for the theme of Fables, Folklore & Fantasy. There were aliens, Trekkies, characters from Star Wars, dragons, a king and queen, and even Goldilocks and the three bears. Jump in the car and see if you can find them all.
Visit a Tasting Room
There are 12 vineyards and wineries in the Annapolis Valley and pretty much all of them have tasting rooms. Visit your favourite or stop in to enjoy wines from a vineyard you haven’t tried before. All of the tasting rooms also have their wine available for purchase. Enjoy a few samples or stop and select a flight of wines to enjoy. Popular in Nova Scotia is Tidal Bay which is the provinces own appellation and not to be missed. Always be sure to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.
Take a Wine Tour
If none of your friends want to be the designated driver or you are curious in learning a lot more about Nova Scotia and our wines then taking a wine tour of the Annapolis Valley is your best bet. Wine tours can either pick you up in Halifax for a day trip to the valley or can pick you up in the valley if you are already there. There are wine tours of various sizes available as well. For example the Stella Rose B&B offers personal private wine tours for their guests hosted by one of the owners. You can also check out the Taste Your Own Adventure tours that offer private tours around the valley. From restaurants to vineyards, craft beer breweries, cideries and more all catered to your interests and tastes.
There are also a few bus tours available like the Magic Winery Bus. In “normal” years the Magic Winery Bus offers a hop on hop off bus tour to several vineyards in the valley. This is a great way to tour around the vineyards at your own pace. In 2020 the tours were offered with 4 vineyard stops and a one hour stop at each. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy the included samples and food at each stop as well as offering time to shop and grab a few more drinks of your favourites. All tours are socially distanced with masks required as of 2020.
Go to a U-Pick and Pick Apples
Picking apples in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia is one of the areas most popular activities for visitors. In the fall months it is also the perfect spot to pick pumpkins too. Aside from apples and pumpkins however there are a bunch of other things for you to pick in the valley. From blueberries to raspberries, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and even pears. It might sound like hard work but it actually can be a lot of fun and can save you a few dollars from buying them at a store. Also you know how fresh they are too. Be sure to always research the best times for picking before you go. Most tend to be in late summer early fall.
Stay in an Adorable Bed & Breakfast
The Annapolis Valley is filled with gorgeous B&B’s and unique Airbnb’s to stay in. The Blomidon Inn is one of the most popular but also one of the biggest. For a smaller more intimate experience I recommend staying in a bed and breakfast like the Stella Rose Bed and Breakfast in Wolfville. Owned by a lovely husband and wife couple who are very accommodating. The rooms are spacious and even included wine fridges to keep your wine you purchase at the nearby vineyards at the right temperature. They also offer private vineyard tours catered to your interests. Breakfast time is at your choosing and they are very accommodating and can make almost anything you desire. The husband is British so his speciality is a delicious English Breakfast that is not to be missed.
What are your recommendations for a fun fall experience in the Annapolis Valley? Leave your tips and suggestions in the comments below!
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This post was created with support by the Nova Scotia Tourism Board. All opinions and views expressed are my own.