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Authentic Seacoast 101

There are more that 101 things to do when you visit the Authentic Seacoast™, so whatever your idea of the perfect Nova Scotia vacation is, you can find it starting here in the historic Shiretown of Guysborough. We can keep you on the go for a week, or help you find a quiet place to simply breathe the fresh sea air and relax in the quiet of our nature.

To help you with your Nova Scotia vacation planning, we’ve prepared the Authentic Seacoast 101, our list of more than 100 things to do when you visit the Eastern Shore and southern Cape Breton on your holiday. From our home in Guysborough, you can experience our region’s best beaches, festivals, trails, wharves and more. The Authentic Seacoast 101 has vacation ideas to help you make the most out of your Nova Scotia getaway on the Atlantic coast’s largest bay.

Our local experts have also prepared Top 10 lists for spring, summer, fall and winter to share the best Nova Scotia vacation tips for the each season on Chedabucto Bay. So whatever season you vacation on the Nova Scotia Authentic Seacoast you’ll experience the best our region has to offer.

Activities at DesBarres Manor Inn

Skipping Stone Cafe & Store - click to enlarge image
Enlarge Image

Croquet, On the Manor lawn
Read, A good book on the Inn’s Grand Deck
Romantic Dinner, By the 1837 fireplace
History, Learn more this historic Guysborough home and family
Afternoon Tea, In your spacious room
Board Games in the Parlour Room, We have the best ones!
Backgammon, With a glass of port
Card Games, There’s a rules book if you’re rusty
Wine Tasting, With our cellar keeper
Yoga Mats, Strike a pose indoors or out
Private Yoga Class, For two in your superior room
Aromatherapy, Nap at the Chef’s organic herb garden
Cooking Class in the Manor Kitchen
High Speed WiFi, Who says there’s no surfing on the Bay

Activities at Osprey Shores Resort

Image of a red fox

Golf, Ocean views from every fairway
Shot Alert, Ball stealing foxes on the sixth green
Ring the Bell, The sixth tee
Volleyball, On the lawn
Badminton, With your buddy
Horseshoe Pitching, Are you a ringer?
Night Golf, Helps your handicap
S’mores and More, Mussel Cove bonfire pit
Morning Coffee, Benches at Mussel Cove
Catch Fireflies, Get a mason jar
Launch Your boat, Mussel Cove boat launch
Cycling, Take some bikes on the trails around Guysborough
High speed WiFi, Surf’s up in the Clubhouse

Activities at the Rare Bird Pub & Eatery

Image of Dave Gunning at the Rare Bird Pub

Tap your toes at the weekly summer Ceilidh Kitchen Party
Watch the boats having lunch from the deck
Board games in the window nook overlooking the Guysborough harbour
Catch the Big Game on the Big Screen
Taste the Catch of the Day, lunch or dinner
Drink a handcrafted Rare Bird Craft Beer from Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company
Toast the day with Authentic Seacoast Distilling Company’s GLYNNEVAN Whisky, Sea Fever Rum and Fortress Rum

Activities at the Skipping Stone Cafe & Store

Skipping Stone Cafe & Store - click to enlarge image

Let it ride, rent one of Skipping Stone bicycles and tour the village and its trails
Go surfing, complimentary WiFi for Skipping Stone's guests
Full Steam ahead, savour a Full Steam Coffee Co. beverage and pick up a bag of Full Steam coffee beans to take home
Paddle your cares away, get a sea kayak or canoe rental explore the coves of Guysborough harbour

Activities at the Authentic Seacoast Distilling Company

Authentic Seacoast Distillery building

Opening in 2016, a new distillery and brewery at Osprey Shores Golf Resort.
Learn about Nova Scotia's rum trading history with our Sea Fever Rum
Create a new tradition with our GLYNNEVAN Whisky
Learn about the French in Nova Scotia with our Fortress Rum

Activities in the Shiretown of Guysborough

Old Courthouse Museum, Find your family history in the genealogy files
Workout, Chedabucto Place Fitness Centre
Tennis, Courts at the Fitness Centre
Guysborough Main Street Shops, Find unique gifts
Afrikan Canadian Heritage Centre, Learn about Nova Scotia’s first Black settlers
Nova Scotia Crafts, Skipping Stone Cafe & Store
Jost’s Wharf, Check out the daily catch
Community Ceilidh at the Jost Chandlery in the summer
Go For a Paddle, Rent a sea kayak or canoe at Skipping Stone Cafe & Store and explore the coves of Guysborough Harbour
Ride a Bike, Rent a bicycle at the Skipping Stone Cafe & Store and tour the village of Guysborough

Festivals & Events

Image of a Chocolates

Stanfest, Three day folk fest celebrating the music of Stan Rogers
Guysborough Triathlon, Have a trio of fun
Antigonish Highland Games, Have a fling
Festival Antigonish, Get caught in the act
Guysborough Come Home Week, Everyone’s a local
Annual Rubber Duck Race, Under the Boylston Bridge
Festival Savalette, Acadian Festival in Larry's River
Nicholas Denys Days, Guysborough & St. Peters
Celtic Colours International Festival, Cape Breton’s celebration of Celtic Culture

Hikin’ & Bikin’

Guysborough Trans Canada Trail

Get a picnic basket at Skipping Stone Cafe & Store or DesBarres Manor Inn and discover:
Trans Canada Trail, Hike or bike the Guysborough leg of the legendary trail
Chapel Gully Trail, Hike the easternmost point of mainland Nova Scotia
Fox Island Beach, Ask a local how to find the trail to Black Point
Preacher’s Trail, Trek from Queensport to Cole Harbour
Little Dover Coastal Trail, Hike the boardwalk
Trench Road Trail, Hike to Three Mile Lake
Geocaching, Nova Scotia’s best caches are on the Bay

Catch the Big One

Image of a Fly Fishing Lure

Atlantic Salmon Estuarial Fishing, Mouth of the Salmon River (watch for seals on the rocks)
Brown Trout Fishing, Low tide at the Salmon River and Guysborough Harbour
Annual Mackerel Derby, Late July
Trout Fishing, Donahue Lake

The Best Beaches & Coves

Get a beach bag picnic basket at DesBarres Manor and discover:
Secluded Beaches & Coves, Over 600 kilometres of shoreline on the Bay
Build a Sandcastle, Buckets at Skipping Stone Crafts & Gallery
Search for shells, Sand Dollars, Clam Shells, Periwinkle Shells and Polished Beach Glass
Bird Watching, Keep a lookout for Bald Eagles, Blue Heron, Osprey, Gannets and other Seabirds
Skip Rocks, Your inner kid is waiting
Paint, Memorable beach scenes await your canvas
Fogerty’s Cove, Whales and dolphins at the place that inspired Stan Rodgers
Tor Bay Beach , Expansive breakers and seals playing in the surf
Black Duck Cove, Wade in some of the East Coast’s warmest waters
Port Shoreham Beach, The best beachcombing

The Best Wharves

Whitman’s Wharf, Entrance to the historic town of Canso
Little Dover Fisherman’s Wharf, Strike up a conversation with an old salt
Canso Fisherman’s Wharf, You might see an 800 pound tuna being landed and dressed
Tickle Wharf, View Isle a Bec

Image of Queensport Lighthouse

Shutterbug Alert!

Sugar Islands, Molasses Harbour at Port Felix
Church at Port Felix, Commanding view of the Atlantic
Queensport Lighthouse, Read about its keepers
Chedabucto Bay Lookoff, Panoramic views of the Bay at Dort’s Cove

Along the Bay

Get a picnic basket at DesBarres Manor Inn or Skipping Stone Cafe & Store and discover:
Cooks Cove, Explore the beach
Gaulman’s Point, At the end of Half Island Cove’s Wharf Road, look out on Fogarty Cove
Seaman’s Memorial, Pay your respects to those lost at sea on the way into Canso
Whitman House Museum, Climb the widow’s walk for panoramic views of Canso Harbor
Grassy Island National Historic Site, Take a boat tour to the Island
Image of a picnic basketCommercial Cable Trans Atlantic Park , Learn about relaying messages from the Titanic
Glasgow Head, Mainland Nova Scotia’s easternmost point
Star of the Sea Parish, Overlooking Canso and the wide open Atlantic
Sea Kayak, Canso Islands

Route 16, What Frommers calls “an uncommonly scenic drive”

Take a Back Road

Image of blueberries

Dickie’s Brook Hydro Electric Station, Drive up the mountain road
Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area, Catch the panoramic view from Lundy Fire Tower
Pick Blueberries on the Barrens
Black Duck Cove, Walk the boardwalk at and spot the native seabirds
Larry’s River, Take the Acadian Tour

On the Coast

Image of moose crossing sign

Dover Shrine, Visit at the Catholic Church
Cable Ship Faraday Interpretive Display, Tor Bay Provincial Picnic Park
Whitehead Island Lighthouse and the old Whitehead Canal
Cole Harbour , Walk along the shore and smell the sea air
New Harbour Beach, Keep a lookout for the Moose!   

Up The Strait

Nova Scotia fishing village

Henry Sinclair Memorial, Incredible harbour view from Boylston Park
Eddy Point Lighthouse, Entrance to the Canso Strait (don’t forget your cone)
Mulgrave Port, See what ships are in for service at North America’s deepest port
Dive Tours, Discover the wreck Baleine at Red Head with Causeway Diver Supply
Canso Causeway, Cross onto Cape Breton Island
Strait Tours, Get on the Strait with Ship Harbour Boat Tours in Port Hawkesbury
Arichat, Acadian fishing village on Isle Madame

Pile of weathered stonesDon’t Forget To …

Watch the sunrise on Chedabucto Bay
Take in the star filled sky
Breathe the fresh sea air
Gaze at the moon reflecting on the Bay
Embrace the quiet

For detailed information on planning activities for your Nova Scotia vacation, visit the DesBarres Manor Inn website for more information on touring Nova Scotia’s Authentic Seacoast from the luxury traveller perspective or visit the Osprey Shores Golf Resort website for information on great holiday ideas on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, Cape Breton and Marine Drive.