Western Zone: Annapolis Valley, South Shore, and South West
The best of the land matched with the best of the sea. Of anywhere in Nova Scotia, the Western Zone may best represent this wonderfully intriguing – and tasty – marriage. Between the countless lighthouses that dot the coastline, authentic fishing villages bring in their catch. And thanks to the valley’s fertile soil, and dedicated vintners, a glass of world-class wine can always accompany your fresh seafood.
The Western Zone is home to three regional hospitals – in Bridgewater, Yarmouth, and Kentville –five community hospitals, two community health centres and one Collaborative Emergency Centre. Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville is the regional referral centre for Annapolis Valley and beyond, offering a wide range of health care services, including medicine, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, intensive care, emergency, psychiatry, and addictions.
Nova Scotia’s Valley
You’d be forgiven for confusing the Annapolis for the Napa. In the summer, at least! Planted between two small mountain ranges that hug the Bay of Fundy, the Annapolis Valley is the agricultural heartland of the province – well known for its bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. As rich in history and culture as it is in soil, this region has cultivated an award-winning wine industry, and features countless charming communities.
Highest Tides in the world
There is literally no other place like this. A stunningly beautiful ecological area, the Bay of Fundy is home to the rarest of whales, dinosaur fossils, and – most famously – the highest tides on earth. Twice each day, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy – more than the combined flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers. No wonder it’s been named one of the 7 wonders of North America.
Fruits of our labour
Locals enjoy their Nova Scotia seafood with a glass of wine crafted from the grapes of one of 70 growers in the province. The unique terroir of this region offers soil with all the nutrients necessary to create some of the best wines in the country. The province’s warm summers and long falls create crisp wines with bright acidity and complex aromatics.
The South Shore
Fishing. Ship-building. Lighthouses. This region of the province just might be what visitors imagine most before their trip. Home to historic communities such as Lunenburg (home base for the Bluenose II Schooner), Liverpool, and Mahone Bay, this area has also become rich territory for award winning breweries, distilleries, wineries, and wonderful dining and shopping.
A sailor’s paradise
The trade, and subsequent wealth, made possible by sail defines the economic history of Nova Scotia. Today, sailing is as much a part of the province’s culture as ever – except it tends to be of the recreational variety. Life in this part of the province revolves around the sea, and enjoying time out on the water quickly becomes an obsession.
Spin your wheels
The inlets and peninsulas of Nova Scotia’s South Shore are perhaps best experienced on two wheels. The roads and trails of this region feature gentle slopes and quiet coastal routes that follow the water’s edge. Between the sandy beaches and fishing villages, find award-winning restaurants and folk artist shops, perfect excuses for rest stops.
Our South West
Between vibrant seaside communities is a rugged and charming coastline, dotted with lighthouses, and rich in history. This part of the province is ground zero for the intersection of two founding cultures in Nova Scotia, the French-speaking Acadie and English-speaking communities. Roots here go back over 400 years, creating modern communities of great character and warmth.
Kejimkujik: A National Treasure
When Nova Scotians talk about a camping adventure, this is almost always what they mean. Generations of families have paddled, hiked and camped at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site (just “Keji” to locals). Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is a separate protected wilderness on the coast, with pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters, wildflowers, and coastal wildlife.
Dark Sky Preserve
Keji was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2010, so the use of artificial light is restricted in most of the park. In other words, this is a stargazer’s paradise. On clear nights, views of the moon, constellations, and planets...unreal! And “star sightings” are also commonplace in Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores, home to North America’s first Starlight Tourist Destination by the Starlight Foundation.