While there is so much to explore in our area, don’t forget to rejuvenate right here in Smith’s Cove.
Feeling active? Take a game of tennis or pickleball on our newly resurfaced court. Enjoy a summer swim, or just relax by the pool as you gaze over the Annapolis Basin
Take a leisurely walk through the forest in which our local cottage community is nestled. The Harbourview loop is about a 20-minute walk in delightful shade.
The rail trail is a disused railway line that now serves as a walking path. Follow the trail towards the mouth of Bear River for about 35 minutes, and find the Winchester Lighthouse hidden amongst a lush undergrowth. From here you can experience a magnificent view over the Annapolis Basin.
Smith’s Cove is a small community, but we have our very own craft brewery. Lazy Bear sits atop a glorious vista with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s open Thursday and Friday evenings and Tuesday & Wednesday afternoons during the summer. Enjoy live music and tacos with a cold beer and great company.
The Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Basin are rich in aquatic life and scenic beauty.
Soulful, magnificent. The Bay of Fundy is renowned for its variety of whales. Humpbacks, Minke, Finbacks as well as Porpoises gather from late spring to early fall. Whale watching season runs from June to October. Visit our partners:
https://brierislandwhalewatch.com/ https://www.oceanexplorations.ca/ https://www.novascotiawhalewatching.ca/
Enjoy a fishing excursion with a highly experienced guide on a 23-foot Carolina Skiff with full safety equipment. They can help you find the best spots to make your catch. Sunset/sunrise tours offer a chance for adventure, romance, or just a great photo.
Charter plans are dependent on weather and the famous Fundy Tides, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, it's not possible to advance book. Let us know your interest on arrival and we'll help you make the necessary arrangements.
DIGBY – SCALLOP CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Home to a large scallop and lobster fishing fleet and known worldwide for their famous Digby scallops, visit the town of Digby for a colourful photo of fishing boats in the harbour and sample scallops at one of the many restaurants in the town.
Buy fresh fish from the docks as the boats come in. Enjoy a lunch at one of the many restaurants on the waterfront. Take in the weekly markets on the waterfront stroll. Or watch spectacular sunsets as you enjoy a drink and a meal on a restaurant deck overlooking the harbour.
Digby is the scallop capital of the world. Don’t leave without trying them. There are many restaurants in Digby, offering a wide variety of foods besides scallops. You won’t suffer for choice. Watch spectacular sunsets over the harbour while enjoying your meal or drink on one of restaurant decks. .
Maud Lewis lived with Everett in a tiny house from 1938 until her death in 1970. Maud painted on any surface she could - walls, mirrors, wallpaper and household items such as bread boxes and tea canisters; she even painted their cast-iron stove! She sold paintings to raise money for income, so the house itself (the original now residing at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) is seen as the one work of art Maud painted for herself. The replica house is true-to-scale and is just outside Digby, near her where the original home stood.
One of Canada’s largest bike rallies, the Wharf Rat Rally is an annual five-day event beginning the Wednesday prior to Labour Day Weekend and continuing until Sunday evening. The heart of the rally is in Digby with a variety of including vendors, raffles, 50/50, watersport demonstrations, guided tours, live bands, stunt riders, demonstrations, custom bikes, ride-outs, and workshops.
Annapolis Royal may be small but it offers much more than expected. There is more history here than in almost all Canada with so much to discover about our country’s origins and culture. But it is also a place of beauty and variety, worth taking time to explore.
Fort Anne is a four-bastion fort built to protect the harbour of Annapolis Royal. The fort repelled all French attacks during the early stages of King George's War. Now designated a National Historic Site of Canada, it is managed by Parks Canada.
Beautiful and historical. In a beautiful setting overlooking a tidal river valley, the Historic Gardens is a premiere Nova Scotia attraction showcasing gardening methods, designs and materials representing more than four hundred years of local history, including a reconstructed Acadian House showcasing Acadian building methods discovered from local archaeological excavations
Port-Royal National Historic Site features a reconstruction of the Habitation, an enclosed wooden compound. Costumed interpreters will help you understand the challenges faced by the French as they carved out a new settlement in Mi’kmaq land.
Let’s face it, one of the best things about Annapolis Royal is just strolling around and taking in the town. Cafes, restaurants, bars, markets, art and gift shops all beckon. Don’t go without popping into the Crooked Floor shop of gifts and nick-nacks, and don’t miss the Saturday morning farmer’s market in the summer.
Bear River is noted for its picturesque old buildings on stilts along the tidal river. The scenery has made it popular with photographers and a tourism destination. Bear River is affectionately known as “the Switzerland of Nova Scotia” because of the steep hills which surround the village. Go to Bear River to meander, or to visit some special places.
Bear River is an artist community, home to a number of artists' studios. The Flight of Fancy is a must-see shop, filled with a careful selection of wonderful local art pieces from paintings to sculptures to pottery and books.
Visit our gorgeous local winery, Bear River Vineyards. Take a tour and enjoy tasting their extraordinarily good wines. Or pay a visit to Casa Nova wines for ciders and fruit wines.
LOCAL SITES AND ATTRACTIONS
Follow the 101 south and explore Digby Neck or the Fundy Shore towards Clare district. You will be amazed at the sites to be seen.
Called "Nature's Time Post", the Balancing Rock is a narrow vertical column of basalt, balanced on its tip. It is the most-photographed of Long Island's striking basalt formations. There is a well-groomed 2.5-km trail (5km there and back), with a 235-step staircase at the end leading to a platform with views of St. Mary's Bay and the Balancing Rock. Along the trail are interpretive panels and rest areas.
This large, granite church is a prime example of early twentieth-century gothic architecture. Construction on the church began in 1910 and took thirty-two years to complete. An art expo featuring local artists is held in the sacristy during July and August.
There are 8 lighthouses in the Digby area. Lighthouses provide a unique feel of the Maritimes, with crashing waves, unique rock formations, aquatic bird life and the experience of lighthouse architecture. Below are just two of our best known. Others would include Boars Head, Winchester Point, Digby Pier, Grand Passage, Brier Island, Belliveau’s Cove.
Overlooking the Bay of Fundy right at the entrance to the “Digby Gut”, the currents are an awesome sight. It is also a spot where seals, porpoises and whales are regularly sighted right from shore. You will find several shorter hiking trails, or you can choose to hike along the rocky shore for a bit. The rock formations are quite unique.
Gilbert’s Cove just 18 – 20 km west of Digby on the 101 Highway is a charming spot. Stopping there on a hot summer’s day and feeling that pleasant ocean breeze is like coming upon an oasis. If you enjoy historic buildings, you can wonder around inside the old lighthouse itself. It was built in 1904 and had only two light-keepers, both from the same family.
BEACHES & PARKS
For those who think the Fundy Shore is just about whales and scallops, it may come as a surprise to learn we have some beautiful beaches within walking or driving distance.
Just a two-minute walk from the Inn, Harbourview beach curves around the edge of the Annapolis Basin for miles. Clam diggers are a common sight. At low tide, a sandbar appears that can be walked across to Bear Island – but be aware of the rising tide to avoid getting trapped there!
Sandy Cove is a picturesque village along Digby Neck, with a wide and sweeping sandy beach. Take the Sandy Cove Coastal walk for scenic views.
Mavillette Beach Provincial Park is a long sandy beach backed by fragile marram grass-covered dunes protected by boardwalks. Low tide exposes sand flats and the hot sand warms the water. The park facilities include change houses, vault toilets, fresh water taps, bird watching platforms, interpretive panels, and a parking area and boardwalks to access the beach. The Cape Saint Mary Lighthouse next door offers spectacular cliff-side views. This area is known as one of the foggiest parts of Nova Scotia, which makes for dramatic strolls along the beach with the foghorn in the background.
Savary Provincial Park, located in Plympton on the Fundy Shore, is an open and hardwood-treed picnic area overlooking St Mary’s Bay. At low tide, you can beach comb along the rocky shoreline. Savary Park is a perfect place for a picnic.
FOR THE LOVE OF NATURE
The area straddling Fundy Shore and Digby Neck south of Smith’s Cove is rich in natural beauty. For the adventurous, a number of trails exist that take you to lovely and at time dramatic scenic spots.
Go to the spot where 18th-century pirate “Cut Throat” Gulliver used to lie in wait with his crew for unsuspecting ships to sail by and plunder. Gulliver’s Cove is at the base of Digby Neck and offers two trails. The first is a 10-minute easy walk ending in picnic benches and a view of soaring cliffs where Gulliver hid his plundered treasures. A second trail takes you up a dirt road, and then around to the cliff edge so you can peer out across the Bay of Fundy and be at eye level with nesting eagles. This loop takes you down to view the cliff from the opposite side and allows you to really appreciate this rugged terrain only suitable for raiding bands of pirates. A map can be found on the Digby Trails website: http://www.digbytrails.ca/gullivers-cove.html.
The Van Tassel Lake Trails are just outside of Digby on 550 acres of woodlands. A 5km loop takes you around the entire lake and a number of side trails branch off to take you by abandoned cars, building foundations, a small reservoir, and a look-out point. Inspirational quotes decorate various trees along the way, giving you the motivation to keep climbing. The trailhead can be found at 859 Culloden Road in Mount Pleasant, and a map can be found on the AllTrails phone app or on the Digby Trails website: http://www.digbytrails.ca/van-tassel-lake.html.
Just off Highway 1 in Clementsport, by the bridge over Moose River, are monuments to the Annapolis Iron Mining Company and to the Rawding family of sea captains. Park here and head south to 1584 Evangeline Trail, and to the right of a small white house with green trim is the entrance to the trail leading up a steep hill. Follow this trail up and 10-20 minutes later you’ll arrive at Clementsport Waterfall – a 60-foot sheer drop down into a deep pool. This trail is on private property so be respectful, take with you what you bring in and no camping or ATVs allowed.
Another hidden gem on Digby Neck, tourists to the area have been climbing up Mount Shubel as early as the 1800s. Access is on private land, so be respectful when visiting this beautiful trail. Drive down Digby Neck on highway 217, and just passed the Digby Neck Fire Hall, before you get to the town of Sandy Cove you’ll head down a hill. Partway down the hill is a very small cottage close to the road. Drive up the driveway and park alongside the trail entrance. This is a steep path but ropes are set up to help you on your way. It’s only a 20-minute hike, but the steepness of the path makes it difficult. When you reach the end, you’ll be at the edge of Mount Shubel with a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Sandy Cove. You can see each side of Digby Neck from Saint Mary’s Bay to the Bay of Fundy.