Tag Archives: Eastern Shore

Exploring Guysborough on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore

 

The Road Less Travelled

Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore may seem a bit remote, but in reality, it’s just a couple of hours from Halifax, Antigonish or Cape Breton. And it’s worth the drive—the highway along the shore offers spectacular views as it meanders along past bays, coves, inlets, tidal marshes, pristine beaches and rugged coastline. Coastal islands dot the nearby waters, and all of it offers hikers, nature lovers, paddlers, history buffs and photographers much to enjoy.

Arriving in Guysborough, NS, a town that was settled in 1629, feels like stepping into the past; many of the lovely multi-coloured wooden houses date from the 1800s.

The town’s famed Rare Bird Pub and Eatery is in the bright pink building that itself dates from 1866, when it was a general store. Its recently-restored woodwork and original tin plate ceilings, in addition to the onsite brewery and deck overlooking the marina, make it a great spot to unwind.

Slideshow

Photos by Denise Davies

You’ll find the Skipping Stone Café and Store right above the marina, in the historic Jost Building on the Guysborough waterfront. The café sells freshly roasted organic, fair trade coffee from Full Steam Coffee Co. The café’s courtyard overlooks the harbour and you can rent sea kayaks, canoes and bicycles for exploring the land and the sea.

DesBarres Manor Inn is an elegant and comfortable Victorian inn built as a home in 1837 for Justice W.F. DesBarres. The outdoor gazebo deck has a spectacular view of the valley and is a popular wedding venue. Upstairs, the bedrooms are spacious, luxurious and welcoming. An antique writing desk in the master bedroom offers a view of the back lawn and the valley below (with the modern convenience of a Wi-Fi connection) is a writer’s delight.

Dinner at DesBarres is a memorable experience. For dinner we enjoyed a five-course meal which had a creative flair; each beautifully presented dish offers unique flavour combinations and local ingredients. My meal featured his light Poutine appetizer; Seared Scallops; Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Truffles, Foie Gras and Walnuts; succulent Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Mushrooms; and was topped off with bite-sized Banana Bread Pudding with three kinds of homemade ice cream.

For a short hike, the grassy Shoreline Trail starts at the end of Guysborough’s Main Street and winds along Chedabucto Bay. Trail signs describe the history dating back to the 1600s when the area was buzzing with ship building and a large, vibrant port. For a longer hike, the Trans Canada Trail runs through Guysborough.

On the edge of town, the Osprey Shores Golf Resort offers brilliant greens and gorgeous water views. Comfortable accommodations, a swimming pool and a bonfire area make it an ideal family holiday setting.

Keep in mind that, because the Eastern Shore is off the beaten path, some of the back roads in this region are not in pristine condition; caution is recommended if you’re driving an RV. But that’s in keeping with the flavour of the region, anyway. It’s best enjoyed if you slow down and enjoy the scenery.

How to get there

MAP

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Guysborough Nova Scotia Map directions

Guysborough Nova Scotia Map directions

From Antigonish or Cape Breton, take exit 37 off Highway 104 at Monastery; travel south from Highway 4 onto Highway 16, through Boylston to Guysborough.

From Halifax, travel east and follow Marine Drive. Watch for signs indicating the status of the Country Harbour Ferry connecting Port Bickerton with Isaac’s Harbour North across Country Harbour.  If it is open, take Highway 211 just past Sherbrooke; if it is not operating, continue on Highway 7, turn right at Melrose Country Harbour Road and again onto Guysborough Country Harbour Road at Cross Roads Country Harbour; follow the signs to Guysborough.

Map Guysborough with points of interest

Map Guysborough with points of interest

More Information

Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores Nova Scotia

Eastern and Northumberland Shores

DEANS press release, Feb 23, 2016

Two videos featuring the Northumberland and Eastern Shores have recently been launched by the regional tourism association, Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS) with the goal to promote the beauty and character of the region to visitors. The Northumberland Shore clip features stunning beaches, cobalt blue waters and golden shores as well as a rich Scottish and industrial history along with lush meadows and scenic waterways, while the Eastern Shore video highlights breathtaking panoramic coastal shots, outdoor adventure, unique event and heritage experiences.

The smiling faces in the videos are actual residents of the two shores who are proud to be ambassadors for their communities and province and pleased to showcase diverse tourism experiences and amenities awaiting visitors. They each offer a warm invitation to uncover the unspoiled beauty of rural Nova Scotia and a chance to meet and connect with those who love life in this part of the world.

“Nova Scotia is known around the world for its beautiful world class icons but there is even more for visitors to uncover. Rural communities such as those along our two shores offer memorable authentic experiences that speak to our Nova Scotia way of life,” says Cindy MacKinnon, DEANS Managing Director. “In this region you will find unspoiled shorelines, warm waters and night skies that are filled with stars. We have a pristine beauty that others want to not only see, but experience. There are also many outdoor activities for those visitors who want soft adventure and to explore and truly understand life by the sea as well as the chance to savour the stories, music and cuisine that are part of our coastal communities and charming, historic towns. These two shores have a lot to offer-opportunities to experience the natural beauty of miles of coastline, rivers and lakes as well as stirring music and inspiring arts and culture. There are quality products and experiences being offered along both shores by tourism industry leaders and our communities that include outdoor exploration, amazing bounty harvested from both land and sea, opportunities to take a step back in time, uplifting fun filled festivals and delectable cuisine from innovative chefs as well as home spun cooking/baking in our restaurants and accommodations from recipes that have stood the test of time, from generation to generation.

Visit DEANS Facebook Pages

Karen Wenaus, Chair of DEANS and Wes Surrett, Chair of the DEANS Marketing Committee, are also property managers of two destination accommodations on each of the shores, and both agree that many visitors to Nova Scotia appreciate the opportunity to get off the beaten path. They explain that the tourists they meet are eager to make new discoveries at their own pace and also want to meet locals who are so interesting, friendly, genuine and talented.

“There is something to be said for a change in pace, picturesque vistas, rugged shorelines and the serenity and tranquility of our shores,” says Wenaus. “It is easy for us to take sandy beaches and wide open spaces for granted but for many, it is chance to nourish the soul,” adds Surrett.

The videos were produced by Proptonics, a Nova Scotia video production company that is dedicated to servicing corporate, commercial and small businesses.