3 of the best cool climate destinations to visit this summer
Nova Scotia, Canada
With more than 4,300 miles of inlet, cove and harbour-dotted coastline, maritime heritage and delicious seafood concoctions, Nova Scotia is a cool choice for summer cruising. Plus, it’s a strategic destination for expeditions headed to Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Passage and Greenland, as well as a worthy extension to New England and Maine cruising itineraries.
Begin in Halifax, on Nova Scotia’s east coast. Spend your first day around the historic waterfront. Stroll one of the world’s longest (2.5 miles) downtown boardwalks, which hugs 10 city blocks, and visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. You can add to your yacht’s provisions at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and indulge in a bowl of seafood chowder at Waterfront Warehouse or a plate of lobster poutine at The Grill at CUT. Then end the day with live music at the Lower Deck Bar & Grill or Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill.
The next morning, leave the yacht and drive an hour northwest to the Annapolis Valley wine region, the perfect place for wine tasting you will sample L’Acadie blanc, the signature white grape of Nova Scotia. Later, pause for lobster and scallop chowder, Nova Scotia mussels and shrimp cakes at the Grand Pré Winery’s Le Caveau Restaurant before returning to Halifax.
From here, cruise southwest, passing the red-and-white-striped Sambro Island Lighthouse, the oldest standing and operating lighthouse in the Americas. Overnight in pretty Lunenburg, wandering its World Heritage-listed Old Town, North America’s best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement, and checking out the historic Bluenose II (Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador).
Finally, cruise northeast to the Northumberland Shore via the Canso Causeway and spend a couple of days enjoying the view from scenic, seaside golf courses and exploring Pictou, known as the “Birthplace of New Scotland.”
On December 6, 1917, a miscommunication between two ships in the Halifax harbour resulted in a terrible explosion that killed 2,000 people, injured 9,000 people and reduced the city to ruins. Halifax’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic maintains a permanent exhibit, “Halifax Wrecked,” covering this dark day in the city’s history. Other exhibits explore Halifax’s somber connection to the Titanic.
At Lunenburg’s Fleur de Sel, award-winning chef and proprietor Martin Ruiz Salvador — a lover of classical French cuisine — creates five- and seven-course tasting menus inspired by the sea. Opt for the pan-seared Adams & Knickle scallops, as well as the Nova Scotia Bluefin tuna.
Factor in some ocean breezes with Halifax’s 71-degree Fahrenheit July high temps, and you’ll hardly break a sweat.
Halifax hosts numerous summertime festivals and events, including the Eastern Shore Cold Waters Seafood Festival (June 4-5), Canada Day (July 1), the Maritime Fiddle Festival (July 8-11), the Halifax International Busker Festival (July 27-August 1) and the Halifax Seaport Beerfest (August 5-6).