Northumberland Shore Staycation

The boardwalk into the sunset at rushtons beach

Nova Scotia has so much to offer and the Northumberland Shore is no exception! With more warm-water beaches than anywhere else in Atlantic Canada, it’s no wonder people call this shore beach country!

This staycation guide features a combination of North Shore destinations, from restaurants to distilleries, chocolate shops and more, that we think you’ll love just as much as we do. We’ve also marked each participating Nova Scotia Culinary Trail stop location — don’t forget to check in on the Taste of Nova Scotia app.

Day 1: Amherst & Malagash

Amherst Shore Country Inn

Kick off your staycation at the Amherst Shore Country Inn. In a dining room overlooking the Northumberland Strait, the Laceby family has been serving an everchanging menu of regionally inspired cuisine since 1980. At the pre-dinner cocktail hour, try a range of locally inspired cocktails, craft beers, spirits and Nova Scotia wines. Be sure to book early as dining is by advance reservation only.

Bay Enterprises Limited

Next, stop by Bay Enterprises Limited to pick up some oysters. Bay Enterprises was founded in 1974, but the Purdy family has been growing oysters in Malagash since 1867, making them the oldest oyster farm in Canada! Their Tatamagouche Bay, Tata and Malagash Oysters are available throughout Canada, internationally and at the store in Malagash.

Jost Vineyards & Seagrape Café

With their fireside lounge and the gorgeous view from their open-air patio, Jost Vineyards & Seagrape Café is a pioneer of the local wine industry. Their distinctive wines have even won many awards nationally and internationally! With daily wine tastings, vineyard tours and a shop with their broad selection of wine and merchandise, you won’t want to miss this stop!

Fox Harb’r Resort

With floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a stunning view of the golf courses, Fox Harb’r Resort is a great place to end your day! Ask staff to recommend a wine to enhance your meal and add to this five-star dining experience. Top it off with a remarkable sunset and you’re sure to have an amazing experience.

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails:  While at Jost Vineyards & Seagrape Café, make sure to collect your stamp on the Good Cheer Trail!

Day 2:  Earltown & Tatamagouche

Sugar Moon Farm

Start your second day with a trip to Sugar Moon Farm where you’ll experience an authentic handcrafted maple adventure. A recipient of many local and provincial awards, this is a must-see destination. Their maple syrup farm and log restaurant are open year-round for you to discover the sweet, savoury and smokey possibilities of maple.

Tatamagouche Brewing Co.

Next, head over to Tatamagouche Brewing Co. In this old butcher shop that has been converted into a community brewery and taproom, you can enjoy craft beer samples and pints. All their beer is also sold to go, including brews exclusive to their store.

Tatamagouche Railway Dining Car

The Tatamagouche Railway Dining Car located at the Train Station Inn will offer an unique dining experience for your trip. This dining car has been restored to reflect the charm and nostalgia of the past. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this is a must-stop!

Tatamagouche Ice Creamery

Home to the 2021 Taste of Nova Scotia Product of the Year, Tatamagouche Ice Creamery is the perfect spot to stop for dessert! The ingredients used to make their ultra-premium handcrafted ice cream are grown or produced in Nova Scotia whenever possible. Their retail store is a destination on its own, as well as a perfect complement to the surrounding warm waters and beautiful beaches, golf courses, vineyards and craft breweries.

Bonnyman’s Wild Blueberries & Natural Products Ltd.

Growing wild blueberries in Northern Nova Scotia since 1971, Bonnyman’s Wild Blueberries is the next stop! These 200+ acres of wild blueberries are grown with care, while their fields also provide a home to many native pollinators thanks to the diversity of flowers that grow amongst the blueberry plants.

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails:  While at Tatamagouche Brewing Co., make sure to collect your stamp on the Good Cheer Trail!

Day 3:  Pictou & Area

a bowl of chowder from pictou lodge as someone spoons some out

The Pork Shop

With over 70 products to choose from, The Pork Shop is the next stop! Their products include smoked chops, gluten-free sausages, roasts and spiced capicola steak or jams, honey, maple, products, cheese, pasta and olive oils if pork and beef aren’t for you. With over two decades of experience and a world-class reputation for quality, they sure won’t disappoint!

Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads

Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads has been crafting delicious shortbreads since 2004. Their classic Scottish Shortbread, made from a generations-old family recipe, is the heart of their yummy shortbread varieties — including Canadian Maple, Lavender & Lemon, Chocolate and more. You’ll want to be sure to stop in for these cookies that will melt in your mouth.

Chapel Cove Chocolate

After getting your shortbreads, don’t forget to stop into Chapel Cove Chocolate for some extra sweetness. These chocolatiers in Pictou County use fair trade-certified chocolate to make sweet memories come to life. They make maritime-themed products, special dietary products, chocolate bars, and chocolate creations for weddings, seasonal gifts, corporate events, and just plain enjoyment. Stop in at their production facility and shop for a treat for all ages.

Caldera Distilling Inc.

Now that you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, stop into Caldera Distilling Inc. for a drink. They craft their products using traditional, non-GMO, grains grown on their estate farm. Their award-winning Hurricane 5 whisky is shaped by the land and offers an approachable smoothness, unique character, and authenticity. Stop in for tours, tastings and shopping at their distillery and estate farm where they believe in celebrating heritage that inspires conversation.

Pictou Lodge Beach Resort

Authentic log cabin architecture and a large beach stone fireplace surround you at Pictou Lodge Beach Resort. This oceanside dining experience is perfect for an intimate dinner for two or a family gathering. After dinner, enjoy their large selection of scotch and Nova Scotia craft beer and wines in their fireside lounge with an inviting ambiance and superb service.

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails:  While at Caldera Distilling Inc., make sure you collect your stamp for the Good Cheer Trail!

Day 4:  Arisaig

A photo of a group of four people at Steinhart Distillery looking at owner/distiller Thomas Steinhart as he shows off one of their stills.

Knoydart Cheese House & Farm

The only grass-fed, certified organic dairy farm east of Quebec, Knoydart Cheese House & Farm‘s cheese recipes use only organic milk from their farm, giving their cheeses uniquely local flavours from the land. Purchase their flavoured cheddars, aged, Dummaglass and their famous Farmhouse Cheddar fresh curds to take with you.

Steinhart Distillery

Overlooking the Arisaig wharf, Steinhart Distillery has a breathtaking view. Enjoy a delicious local craft beer, wine, cider, and of course their internationally award-winning spirits with schnitzels and pasta dishes made from scratch on their patio. Steinhart Distillery offers tours and tastings, or you can book a distilling session and try your hand at the distilling process!

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails:  While at Steinhart Distillery, make sure you collect your stamp for the Good Cheer Trail!

Day 5:  Antigonish

Snow Queen

Stop at the Snow Queen for that classic down-home food you miss while you’re on the road. Serving locals and visitors alike since 1962, they work hand in hand with local farmers, butchers and food artisans to ensure top quality ingredients for their traditional favourites.

Gabrieau’s Bistro

With menus featuring the best of local produce, Gabrieau’s Bistro has something for everyone. The recipient of many provincial and national awards, along with being recognized for 22 years in Where to Eat in Canada, they invite you to enjoy an evening of gourmet dining and savour the cuisine of Chef Mark Gabrieau.

The Townhouse

With a seasonal menu curated around Nova Scotia’s finest ingredients, The Townhouse highlights the produce and farmed goods of the area. With an everchanging selection of Nova Scotia craft beer, crafted cocktails and their natural wine list, you won’t run out of beverage options to accompany your freshly shucked east coast oysters.

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails:  While at Snow Queen and Gabrieau’s Bistro, make sure to stamp both your Nova Scotia Lobster Trail passport and your Nova Scotia Chowder Trail Passport!

Take the Northumberland Shore Home with You!

Photo of Fleur de Sel by Tidal Salt

If you’re looking to spice up your cooking at home, you can bring some of the amazing Northumberland Shore products, like Big Cove Foods spices or Tidal Salt sea salts, home with you! If you love donairs, pick up some donair meat from “The Original” Mr. Donair Tony’s Meats and try making your own. Finally, if you can’t make it to the Northumberland Shore, pick up some Oxford Frozen Foods blueberries on your next trip to the grocery store.

Don’t forget to log on to your digital passport to collect stamps on the Nova Scotia Good CheerLobster, and Chowder Trail. Follow the trails. Capture the moments. Collect the stamps. Get the prizes.

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