Part 3 of 3 (Continuation of Nova Scotia Summer Vacation)
We checked out of Homewood Suites in Halifax and began the trip to White Point Resort, Nova Scotia. The plan was to take in the sights along the way. The main attraction of the day was to visit Peggy’s Cove, about one hour west of Halifax. It was another beautiful day in Nova Scotia.
When we arrived in Peggy’s Cove, there was already a line of traffic inching along the main road to the lighthouse. Not knowing about the parking situation, we followed cars into the first lot that we came upon. There was no parking available and cars were going in all directions. As soon as feasibly possible, we got out of that lot and did some more inching along to the end of the road. We were glad that we made the decision to search out additional parking. There was a large lot at the top of the road and we soon found parking. This parking was next to the lighthouse, a gift shop and restaurant.
We first decided to check-out the gift shop. Afterwards, we walked over to the cliffs where the lighthouse was located. Along the walkway, there was a bagpipe player playing music.
We climbed the boulders and took pictures. It was pretty clear when we arrived. However, as time progressed, the fog began to roll into the cove. We stopped in at a few of the shops along the way and visited the Welcome Center to read up on the history of Peggy’s Cove. We spent about an hour and a half at this site.
Next, we headed to the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial, about 15 minutes away. There a couple of parking lots were available and it was a very wide open, undeveloped area. A memorial had been erected for those lost in the plane crash of September 2, 1998 off the Nova Scotia coast. All 229 passengers and crew aboard perished. The search and rescue response, crash recovery operation, and investigation by the Government of Canada took over four years. It was determined that flammable material used in the aircraft’s structure allowed a fire to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in the ultimate crash of the aircraft.
When we left the memorial, we decided to drive along the coast, through all the villages along the way. After about two hours though, we decided that if we hoped to get to our destination before dark that we would need to nix the coastal road and take the highway the rest of the way. It was a nice relaxing drive, but we had become a bit eager to reach White Point Resort. Over the years, we had heard what a great vacation destination this resort provided in the exploration of southwest Nova Scotia.
Once we were on the highway, it took about an hour to arrive at the resort. As we drove in, we passed their golf course, the cottages and the boat house, and then arrived at the lodge where check-in is located. The lodge also houses Elliot’s Restaurant, a bar area with live music, a gift shop, the indoor pool and hot tub, a sauna, game room and an outdoor pool. It is a very lovely property overlooking wide expanses of beach and ocean.
Check-in was quick and we were provided with the keys and directions to our cottage . We decided to check with the hostess at Elliot’s to see about making reservations for dinner. Our request was accommodated. It was suggested to us that if we planned to dine each evening at Elliot’s that we should consider making our reservations for the rest of the week. By doing that, we could be assured of a table with an optimal view. We decided to go ahead and reserve for the whole week. At that point, we weren’t sure what our other dining options might be for the week.
Afterwards, we went downstairs to check out the indoor amenities. Then, we walked outside to look at the beach and outdoor pool. There were many cottages that ran along either side of the lodge that were direct oceanfront. Shortly thereafter, we headed back to our car to drive over to our cottage.
The timeshare cottages are tucked away around a lake about half mile from the lodge. It is very quiet and secluded. There are 12 cottages in the White Point Vacation Club. We felt very fortunate to be able to exchange into this resort during July.
As we arrived and parked, Cottage 304 was very private with lots of trees surrounding it. You couldn’t view any of the other cottages from your yard or the back of the cottage where the entry door was located. The cottage had a nice large deck with a gas grill, Adirondack chairs and a fully planted flower box. Over in the back part of the yard was a picnic table.
We were very excited upon entering our cottage and looking around. Though it was just the two of us, there were sleeping areas for up to eight. There were two bedrooms each containing two full size beds. The kitchen was fully equipped. The living area had a nice large sliding glass door and plenty of comfortable furniture for lounging around on. A fireplace was available for use, along with a box outside full of firewood. There was a large dining table that would seat up to six. The cottage had a real homey feel to it and supplied everything that we needed for our week’s stay.
After unpacking and briefly relaxing, we cleaned up and went back to the lodge to have dinner at Elliot’s. When we arrived, we were seated shortly thereafter at a window seat on the side of the building. A daily dinner buffet was offered, which included many items or guests could order off a somewhat limited menu.
The next evening when we dined at Elliot’s we opted for the buffet, which offered breads, appetizers, salads, soups, cheeses, vegetables and potatoes, a fish, a meat and dessert. We enjoyed our meal along with a bottle of wine.
We had one other dinner at Elliot’s during our stay, but chose to cancel the rest of our reservations for the week. We hoped to find other options nearby for dining since the choices at the resort’s restaurant were somewhat limited. The next town over, Liverpool, had a couple of grocery stores and a Subway sandwich shop. We picked up some subs and groceries, which gave us some of the variety that we were looking for that wasn’t available onsite at White Point. We, after all, had a gas grill on our cottage deck that we ended up putting to good use for several meals.
The following day was nice. After picking up groceries and lunch in Liverpool, we headed down to the resort’s beach to spend the afternoon. While the water was too cool for swimming, laying on the beach and enjoying the warm air was quite nice. While we were there, we watched participants of a surfing class offered by the resort out paddling in the water. There were a couple of other folks on the beach enjoying the day.
That evening, we hung out in our cottage, prepared a yummy meal on the grill and kept up-to-date on all the goings on with the primaries on TV. The next day we had plans for a day trip to the seaport town of Lunenburg. A walking tour of the town was offered there by one of the locals that we didn’t want to miss. We find tours are a great way to pack a lot of information in about an area.
We awoke the next morning to another glorious day. We had breakfast and prepared for the day ahead. The temperature was in the low 80’s. It was about an hour’s drive to the town of Lunenburg. On the drive, we found ourselves in the middle of some construction traffic and were unsure whether or not we would be able to make the tour’s start time. As we approached the town, we saw the Welcome Center and quickly stopped in to get directions to the tour site. We drove on, hoping that we could find it easily and make the 1:00 pm start time. We only had about 10 minutes and were told that it was about an eight minute drive. No time for error.
Once we arrived in the area, we had to drive back and forth a bit, but eventually found the meeting spot. The group was already gathered and we could tell the guide had already begun her tour. We ran over and asked if we could join the group of about 12 and we were readily welcomed. The guide was a young woman that had been a life-long resident of Lunenburg.
Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only two such urban sites in North America. The one-hour walking tour offered an educational and fun introduction to the history, architecture, and culture of this fascinating community. The guide made the sites come alive with cultural tidbits like superstitions, folklore, and local facts. She also shared some unique personal stories and offered visitor recommendations for after the tour.
The tour began at the Lunenburg Academy grounds and followed a gentle downhill route to the finale point on the waterfront near the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, shops, art galleries and restaurants. To our small disappointment, the famous Bluenose II was not in port on our visit.
The Bluenose II is a replica schooner of the original Bluenose, an undefeated racing champion and Canadian icon. As Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, Bluenose II is a proud representative of the province and it’s maritime heritage. Bluenose II was launched in 1963 and has visited ports around the world, welcoming visitors and serving as a constant link to the glorious age of sail. During our visit, the schooner was on one such visit.
After the tour, we asked our guide, Ashlee, for recommendations for a casual place offering seafood, overlooking the harbor. She recommended the Fish Shack, which was a couple of blocks away. Neither Steve nor I had ever had Poutine, which is a Canadian dish that originated in Quebec. It’s made with French fries and cheese curds, topped with a light brown gravy. Steve ordered the Poutine and I went with Fish and Chips. We both enjoyed our lunch, seated outside, with views of the harbor.
Afterwards, we checked out some of the shops along the downtown area; then made our way back to White Point Resort.
That evening, we again cooked out on the grill and kept up with the goings on with the election candidates. We anticipated the next day’s trip to Kejimkujik National Park Seaside. The weather was expected to be optimal for a day of hiking and exploring along the coast.
We awoke early to get started. We packed a cooler of water, sandwiches and protein bars since the location was remote with no onsite services. The seaside park was approximately a 45-minute drive to the west from the resort.
There was a graveled road one followed to get to the onsite parking. After gearing up and leaving our vehicle, we wandered over to one of the trail heads with a wooden map at a shelter area showing different area and trails within the park. We headed out from there for our day of hiking. There were cliffs to climb, beaches to explore, woods and fields to hike, and opportunities to enjoy what nature had to offer. We spent several hours and passed few others during our time in the park. We both really enjoy hiking and it was really an enjoyable outing with many varied landscapes and terrain.
We returned back to the cottage for rest and relaxation. It had been an adventurous day. We had a simple meal and went to bed early.
The week was winding down and rapidly coming to an end. However, having such a spectacular day at Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, we were eager to explore the main park located inland. It was approximately two hours away, north of White Point Resort.
Since we planned to hang out at the resort the last day before traveling back home, we decided to head over to the park the next day.
Once again, we awoke to clear skies, warm temperatures, the birds singing and a friendly chipmunk on the porch looking for food. We ate a hardy breakfast, packed a lunch and supplies, and geared up for another full day of adventure.
Driving to the park was an easy and carefree ride. Except for the one day that we encountered construction traffic going to Lunenburg, there was never any traffic delays on any of our road trips to see the surrounding areas.
When we got to the park’s Welcome Center, we spent some time inside looking at information on the history, cultural heritage and wildlife inhabiting the park. The staff were welcoming and ready to assist us with our day’s activities.
“The main part of Kejimkujik was first established as a National Park in 1968, being recognized for its old growth forest, rare wildlife and traditional Mi’kmaq waterways. The park took its name from Kejimkujik Lake, which is a Mi’kmaq word believed to mean “tired muscles” – a reference to the effort it took to canoe across the lake. Keji’s canoe routes had been used by native inhabitants for thousands of years as they traveled between the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Coast. They also made their mark while on those journeys, leaving stone carvings, or petroglyphs, on slate outcroppings along the shore. These Mi’kmaq petroglyphs can be seen on guided tours and contain images of traditional Mi’kmaq life, including hunting, fishing and wildlife. “
Afterwards, we set off through the park, hiking a few of the 15 different trails, through the forests and along waterways. We spent several hours within the park. Like Seaside, due to its vast area, we rarely encountered others on the trails. It was very peaceful. We enjoyed our packed lunch by one of the lakes, then completed our last hike of the day. It was getting late and we wished to return back to the resort before dark.
On our drive back, we encountered a black bear and her two young cubs crossing the road. That was very cool to see. Before I could adjust my camera to take a picture, they were gone into the woods. That was the icing on the cake for a wonderful day in the park.
The next day, we slept in and made it a leisurely day around the cottage. That evening we went up to the lodge and utilized the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. It was the perfect end to a perfect stay at White Point Resort and vacation in Nova Scotia.
Though we traveled to many areas within Nova Scotia, we really saw and experienced only a small portion of this beautiful area. There was still so much more to see and do. We hope to be able to return in the future to take advantage of exploring more of this Canadian jewel. From what we experienced and what we’ve read about the missed areas on this trip, this northern territory deserves a return visit some day.