Northumberland Shore Staycation Guide

Photo from Train Station Inn

Looking to satisfy your travel bug this summer? Put Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore on your list of staycation destinations! This region has more warm-water ocean beaches than anywhere else in Atlantic Canada, and if that doesn’t sell you, keep reading to learn even more about this beautiful part of the province. With top-notch restaurants, food and beverage producers, resorts, activities, and a rich history, you may never want to leave!

We’ve put together a guide to your ultimate 5-Day Northumberland Shore getaway. From where to eat, to what to do, and where to stay, this blog has you covered!

Day 1: Amherst & Malagash

Jost Vineyards

The night before: Kick off your tour of the Northumberland Shore the night before your adventure begins by enjoying dinner and an overnight stay at the Amherst Shore Country Inn! Since 1980, the Laceby family has served regionally inspired cuisine, featuring four-course dinners with prix fixe offerings and everything made and baked in-house.

Morning: The next morning, take a drive to the picturesque community of Malagash, home of Bay Enterprises! Visit Canada’s oldest oyster farm, owned by the Purdy family, who began growing oysters in Malagash in 1867.

Afternoon: Once you’re a self-proclaimed oyster expert, you can celebrate with a glass of local wine at Jost Vineyards. They provide daily wine tastings, vineyard tours, and live music on their patio! You can also grab a bite to eat at their Seagrape Café, which offers seasonal fine dining featuring local ingredients.

Evening: Malagash is a quick trip over to Wallace, where the 5-star Fox Harb’r Resort is located! Play a round of golf on their championship course or unwind at their luxurious spa. You can even get the best of both worlds with their Golf & Spa Escape, which also includes a one-night accommodation in an ocean view suite, and a gourmet breakfast in the Cape Cliff Dining Room.

Nova Scotia Culinary Tails: While at Jost Vineyards, make sure to collect your digital stamp on the Good Cheer Trail!

Day 2: Earltown & Tatamagouche

Morning: After enjoying your gourmet breakfast at Fox Harb’r, it’s time to head to the beach! Blue Sea Beach Provincial Park at Malagash Point is a beautiful, sandy beach, with bird watching opportunities, picnic areas, and a boardwalk. The perfect way to spend the morning!

Afternoon: Our suggested lunch destination is a little bit of a drive, but trust us when we say it’s totally worth it. Head to Earltown and indulge in maple-inspired comfort food at Sugar Moon Farm, a family-owned 200-acre maple syrup farm with a cozy log restaurant. This summer, they’re offering pre-ordered takeout with casual outdoor seating and dine in service Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (reservations recommended). After lunch, spend time exploring the Rogart Mountain Trail. The hike is approximately 6.2 km, and easy to complete when fueled by copious amounts of maple syrup.

Evening: Now it’s time to head back up to Tatamagouche, where you can wind down with delicious local beer at Tatamagouche Brewing Company. Raise a glass to a day full of adventures and pure tatamagoodness! Just down the road, spend a relaxing evening at the Tatamagouche Train Station Inn and Railway Dining Car. 

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

Day 3: Pictou

Photo of: Pictou Lodge

Morning: In the morning, you can enjoy a takeout breakfast from Tatamagouche Railway Dining Car. Take your meal and stroll through the gardens, or visit the curiosity gift shop and museum. The charming and nostalgic atmosphere of the inn and dining car is truly unmatched! After a much needed slow morning, it’s time to hit the road again in the direction of Pictou!

Afternoon: From River John, it’s a half hour drive to Pictou, where there’s plenty to do. From the Hector Heritage Quay and the Pictou Waterfront, to the Jitney Walking Trail and Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park, there’s activity options for the history-buff and the explorer!

Evening: Spend the rest of your afternoon and evening at Pictou Lodge Beach Resort. When it’s time for supper, make sure you enjoy their fine onsite dining.

Day 4: Arisaig

Morning: Before leaving Pictou, pop into Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads and get your hands on their melt-in-your-mouth shortbread! It’s also a good idea to grab homemade sandwiches from The Pork Shop for later. Before arriving in Arisaig, be sure to make a pit stop at Knoydart Cheese House and purchase their delicious organic cheddar cheese, made right on the farm!

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Arisaig, we recommend checking out Arisaig Provincial Park. The park is a popular picnic spot overlooking the Northumberland Strait and one of North America’s most continuously exposed sections of Silurian rock, representing 4 million years of earth history. How fitting is it that you now have a car stocked with local sandwiches, cheese, and shortbreads? Sounds like a picnic waiting to happen!

Evening: In order to keep your spirits high, Steinhart Distillery is an essential stop in Arisaig. They offer a Ginstitute by the Sea experience, which includes a private tour, the opportunity to distill your own spirits, overnight stays in their onsite chalets, and more! Enjoy a German-inspired meal for dinner and take the rest of the night easy. Tomorrow you’re up bright and early, on route to Antigonish!

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

Day 5: Antigonish

Town House

Morning: When you reach Antigonish in the morning, be prepared for a day full of delicious local dining, starting off at the Snow Queen for breakfast.

Afternoon: For lunch, try Gabrieau’s Bistro gourmet meals-to-go, and head to Pomquet Beach Provincial Park. Get some sun (hopefully), and take time to reflect on your trip while on this gorgeous warm water beach!

Evening: For supper, head to the Main Street Café, where you can also check in to your final overnight accommodation, at the Maritime Inn Antigonish. After enjoying your meal, head to The Townhouse, a proper local neighbourhood pub, for some evening drinks. Cheers to a truly Nova Scotian staycation, full of learning, adventures, and incredible culinary experiences!

Nova Scotia Culinary Trails: While at the Snow Queen, make sure to collect your digital stamp on the Lobster at Chowder Trailsl! Don’t forget your Chowder Trail stamp at the Main Street Café!

Bring the Northumberland Shore Home

Alas the staycation is over! Don’t worry, you can still enjoy a taste of the Northumberland Shore right at home. Check out our Get Your Hands on Local page for information on where to purchase your favourite local food and beverage products from the Northumberland Shore.

Try whipping up classic donairs using Tony’s Meats donair meat and Big Cove Foods spices, and pair it with this Strawberry Cider Cocktail using Steinhart Distillery Strawberry Vodka.

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

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