A beautiful 35 minute (53Km) drive from Antigonish will take you to Cape George Lighthouse overlooking St. George’s Bay. Highway 337 winds through rolling agricultural lands and along the coast. Scenic views abound and this drive is sometimes called the “Mini Cape” or the “Mini Cabot Trail” and is part of the Sunrise Trail.
On a sunny day, enjoy views of Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island in the distance. Perhaps you will see an eagle soaring above or below you and sea birds skimming along the ocean below the cliffs.
View from Cape George Lighthouse
Cape George, Antigonish County
Imagine what it was like back in the day as the lighthouse keeper with his family living up here with his wife and children in all seasons.
The original lighthouse was built in 1861. The iconic white and red lighthouse style is similar to what you would see at Peggy’s Cove. The current lighthouse is the 3rd on this spot.
Nearby is a trailhead for Cape George Heritage Trail system.
The Antigonish Farmers Market is an experience not to be missed. It is known as one of the best Farmers Markets in Nova Scotia. Fresh local greens, veggies and fruits in season often picked the same morning from local farmers. You will find hand crafted local cheeses and sausages, preserves, honey, Scottish oatcakes, cookies and cakes, Peace by Chocolate, Steinhart award winning spirits and more. Buy a spicy burrito or Indian lunch to eat in or take out.
The market is a great place to find unique gifts of hand made jewelry, knitted and crocheted items, photographs, wooden toys, leather goods, stained glass sun catchers, dream catchers, silver and metalwork, soaps and lotions.
A visit to the Antigonish Farmers Market (2017)
A variety of entertainers add to the atmosphere. The market is a great place to meet and chat with the locals.
The Antigonish Farmers Market is just a short walk from StFX on James Street.
Weekly on Saturday 8:30AM – 1PM
Arisaig is a small picturesque fishing community on the Northumberland Shore, just a 25 min drive from Antigonish on Hwy 245.
Watch the fishing boats and the gulls. May and June are the lobster fishing season but some boats continue to fish during the summer months.
Crescent beach Arisaig
Fishing boats Arisaig
Arisaig Lighthouse Canteen
Enjoy an ice cream at the Lighthouse Canteen while you explore the colorful rocky cove – or at low tide walk on the sand of the crescent beach and go for a swim. From July 1 to end of August the Dockside Café has a light menu. Learn interesting facts about lobsters in the interpretive centre in the café.
There are other interesting things to do in the area to be explored in another post. Stay tuned.
Arisaig Community Website https://arisaigns.com/
Directions – take Hawthorne Street at the lights next to Pannizzza on Main Street Antigonish. Continue on Hwy 245. Turn left when you reach the shore at Malignant Cove.
Where can you enjoy a great breakfast, entertainment and a chance to browse and buy from local vendors on your visit to Halifax? The Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is just the spot.
We visited on a Saturday morning when everything was in full swing. The “Dispossessed” entertained with their Appalachian music and children dancing. There’s a great view of George’s Island and the lighthouse. After enjoying a great cup of coffee and mini quiche with friends on the second floor overlooking the market below we explored the local goodies. The market has artisans and local vendors with arts and crafts, jewelry and locally produced items like soaps and beauty products. I was most interested in the local produce and always look for something new to try out.
My most exotic find was a Lions Mane mushroom from Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms just outside of Halifax. With the variety of shapes and colors of mushrooms it was difficult to choose. The Lions Mane mushroom looks like a fuzzy ball. I got instructions on how to cook it and couldn’t wait to try it out when we got home. I also found local multi-colored carrots, basil and baby spinach and another new veggie for me – celery root.
Here are photos of the veggies including the Lions Mane – and the recipe I cooked up with it and baby spinach. Yummm
The market is located on the Halifax waterfront, not far from Pier 21 and behind Via Rail. It is open (winter hours) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Market will be reopening on Mondays starting April 30.
Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre’s 2018 season will be sure to delight audiences with comedy, drama and music. Festival Antigonish has been running since 1987 and we always look forward to the summer theatre at the Bauer Theatre on the StFX Campus.
Bauer Theatre, StFX. Photo courtesy Trip Advisor
The 2018 season shows in July and August include Lunenburg, Burnin’ Love, Hope and Gravity, Being Hank & Patsy and Big Sister, Little Brother.
Festival Antigonish 2018 Season Trailer
Head to Columbus Field for outdoor recreation for the whole family. The walking / running track is a great place to get your exercise in a pleasant outdoor environment. Enjoy the water park and playground with the kids. Surrounding the field are “Pipers Glen” with shaded areas for walking, or contemplating nature by the river. Play a game of tennis. Relax at the picnic tables and benches.
The park is located at the eastern end of Main Street. It is also the venue for the Antigonish Highland Games and many other events in Antigonish.
Columbus Field – 121 Main Street, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Google Maps
A great place to learn about the history and culture of Antigonish is to visit the Antigonish Heritage Museum. Artifacts and photos of the settling of the town and county will give you a greater appreciation of the original inhabitants, the Mi’kmaq and the many settlers who have come over the years bringing their culture and traditions. Of course we think of the Scots but we have the Irish, French, Dutch and others.
If you are interested in genealogy the helpful and knowledgeable staff will guide you on the local resources. The museum is housed in the old train station which will be of interest to train buffs.
During the summer months the Summer Ceilidh features local musicians and story tellers — a great way to spend the evening enjoying traditional music of the fiddle, piano, pipes, guitar and song.
Antigonish Heritage Museum Ceilidh
For More Information
Address: 20 East Main Street, Antigonish, at the East end of Main Street before the railway tracks.
Pomquet Beach is a great way to enjoy a beach outing just a short drive from Antigonish and a favorite with locals and visitors.
The three kilometers of sand and pebbles stretches along the Northumberland Shore and in summer the waters warm up to reach the same temperature as the air.
This is a great swimming beach with lifeguards posted on a marked stretch of the beach. In the distance on a clear day you can see Cape Breton.
Whether you enjoy swimming or beach walking this beach has lots to explore. Build sand castles, search for shells and colorful stones, and breathe in the bracing sea air. Sometimes the water is calm and flat. Other times you will find a small surf.
Boardwalks lead up to the beach and over the dunes giving a lovely view of the waving sea grasses that help to stabilize the sand dunes. Take the boardwalk trail and learn about the different vegetation and history of the area with interpretive signs. You will see blueberries and cranberries, mosses, a tidal estuary, old and new growth forest. The plants here are adapted to the salt environment. Some areas are protected for the piping plover when they are nesting.
Facilities include changing rooms and toilets. Be sure to bring your own water, sunscreen, snacks and anything to enjoy your day at the beach.
Pomquet Beach Provincial Park, is located north east of Antigonish off Highway 104 through the village of Pomquet.
For more information
A great place to start your exploration of downtown Antigonish is to drop into The People’s Place – Antigonish Town and County Library on Main Street. This is a hub of community life in Antigonish.
The Bistro Area displays art where you can sit and relax, read the newspaper and enjoy your drink or snack that you bring in with you. Find tourism information and maps on the area, play a board game or chat with friends. If you have small children, enjoy the children’s room with books, toys and games.
Ask the friendly library staff any questions. They are a wealth of information. Public computers are available for you to go online. Check the meeting board for what’s on that day. There are often films, lectures and activities open to the public.
Check the big bulletin board at the entrance for posters on what’s on in and around town.
Sit and chat by the fireplace or read the wide variety of magazines.
The People’s Place is a great place to meet the locals, join in on activities or just sit back and relax and read or study on your own.
The People’s Place Bistro Gallery
The People’s Place
For more information
See hours, programming and contact information
Antigonish Town and County Library “The People’s Place” http://parl.ns.ca/locations/antigonish.php
283 Main St. Antigonish, NS B2G 2C3
Getting outdoors in nature is just a few steps away. The Antigonish Landing is great for a walk, run, biking or walking the dog. Two elevated platforms look over the wetlands to the farmlands on the Williams Point area.
The trail is accessible in every season. In the winter enjoy snow shoeing (Snowshoes available at the Town Hall and the People’s Place Library). Enjoy a hike or biking (bike rentals available from the Highland Bike Shop on Main Street).
Each season brings its own special enjoyment – spring buds, summer flowers and bird song, apples and berries in the fall. Each turn in the trail brings a new view making this a favorite for photographers. Ducks, herons and other water birds nest and feed in this wetland. Chickadees, red wing blackbirds, warblers and seasonal visitors feast on the berries and seeds.
This 2KM trail (4KM return) is on the outskirts of town. The first entrance is just across the railway tracks on the East end of town, on Adams Street. The 2nd entrance is off Hwy 337 just past Tony’s Meats on the Landing Road.
Photos by Denise Davies
Antigonish Landing Map from MapCarta