Go to Nova Scotia if you want to hear spoken Gaelic. The small Maritime Province cherishes and tries to preserve all the cultures that have influenced its history. Mi’ kmaq aboriginal cultures, the cultures of escaped slaves, and the transplant Scottish Highland culture have all influenced the distinctive art and music of Nova Scotia, the current incarnations of which wait to be discovered along sandy, rocky, and foggy beaches.
The Lunenberg Folk Harbour Festival has been celebrating the music of the province’s founding peoples for over 25 years in Lunenberg, just south of the provincial capital of Halifax. The Celtic Colours International Festival held at Cape Breton, near Nova Scotia’s eastern tip, highlights fiddle playing, Gaelic dancing and the language of the old country. Those are just two festivals in a province fully aware of, and appreciative of, its history.
Skilled artisans practice and perfect traditional crafts around the province and the seafood is fresh all over. So shopping and dining throughout Nova Scotia is a treat. Add wine from the local vineyards and Nova Scotia might just seem to be a self-sustaining wonder.
Not necessarily a relaxing destination, travelers after adventure will find kayaking, rafting and surfing just a few of the many athletic pleasures the Nova Scotia coast offers. Inland Nova Scotia is a fine place to play golf and hike. From cliffs along the coast, visitors can see light houses challenge time in the Atlantic surf, watch sailboats float elegantly by, and maybe get lucky enough to see a whale break the water.
Nova Scotia is a very pleasant destination in the summer with temperatures hovering around the mid to high 70s° F., with an ocean breeze. The province can be cold in the winter but is generally not frigid. However the northern part of province can get a little colder than the rest.
Halifax has an international airport, though regional airlines are more likely to fly into it daily, so getting to Nova Scotia by air may require a connection from most North American cities. Driving to the province is easy as highways in Canada and the U.S. meet up with the Trans Canada Highway in New Brunswick, which leads into Nova Scotia. Otherwise, hop on a cruise boat or raise a sail and get to Nova Scotia by sea. Then listen up for some Gaelic; it is more common in Nova Scotia than in northern Britain.