Are you ready to explore the beauty of the Annapolis Valley?
Most people recognize the Annapolis Valley for its stunning wineries. But there are many other attractions that make this region of Nova Scotia worth visiting. For example, the Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tidal ranges in the world.
From challenging obstacle courses to historical sites, the Valley’s activities will keep you busy all day. Let’s take a quick look at 10 family outings you can’t miss when visiting Annapolis Valley!
1. Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
If you’re into gardening, Annapolis Royal Gardens offers plenty of inspiration. However, walking through the garden is a rewarding experience for anyone who appreciates nature.
The Victorian section is worth the visit alone, but the sheer variety of flowers will blow you away. There are benches for those who want to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Aside from the breathtaking flowers, you can also marvel at a replica of a 17th-century Acadian cottage. Consider stopping by the Elm Tree Cafe and enjoy some tasty sweets, coffee, or a bowl of home-cooked soup.
2. ONTREE Fun & Adventure Park
This park is for the adventurous types looking to get some adrenaline pumping.
You and your family will have nothing but fun at ONTREE. There are 14 adult rope courses, each with zip lines, and 2 children’s course. You can also experience an exhilarating 50-foot base jump.
The clear-cut level system allows you to choose the right courses for everyone in your family. Plus, despite the challenging courses, the park prioritizes safety above all else.
3. Port-Royal National Historic Site
The French built the original settlement in 1605. But the British demolished it just 8 years later. After locating the approximate site, Canada began constructing a replica in 1939.
By walking through the Habitation at Port-Royal, you catch a glimpse of what life was like for families who lived there during the 17th century. The guides wear period costumes, which further immerses you into the experience.
Also, since the Habitation is right next to the water, you and your family can enjoy a spectacular view.
4. Hall’s Harbour
Are you looking for a place to eat lunch with your family in the Annapolis Valley? Fresh lobster and fish await at this small but picturesque fishing village.
Along with your meal, you can also enjoy the scenery. Hall’s Harbour gives you one of the best views of the Bay of Fundy. If you’ve ever wanted to discover the mystery of the bay’s tides, now’s your chance.
Before leaving, don’t forget to hike the two eco trails.
5. Fort Anne National Historic Site
Fort Anne has one of the richest histories of any historic site in Nova Scotia.
The Scots built this fort in 1629 during their colonization of Nova Scotia. Just three years later, it changed hands to the French. It then changed back and forth between the French and the British after 1710.
Today, the fort is the same one that the French built in 1702. Each room is jam-packed with interesting facts, and there are even interactive exhibits.
6. Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Farm
The seeds for the biggest pumpkins in the world originated from Howard Dill’s farm in Windsor. While the original giant pumpkins were just under 500 lbs, the largest pumpkins now weigh over 1 ton.
The experience you’ll have at Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Farm is truly one of a kind. You can take a walk around the farm and see pumpkins of every size and shape.
To top it all off, Long Pond, located on Dill’s Farm, is the site of the first hockey game ever. This gives you a chance to visit the birthplace of Canada’s most popular sport.
7. The Lookoff
For some of the most awe-inspiring views in the Annapolis Valley, make a quick stop at The Lookoff. You’re bound to take plenty of photos.
Much like its name implies, The Lookoff isn’t anything more than a viewpoint atop a mountain. But on clear days, you can see most of the Valley from up there, including wineries and orchards. The Lookoff is also visable from the Old Orchard Inn main hotel rooms.
If you’re looking for some treats for the kids, feel free to get ice cream from across the street.
8. Cape Split Trail
If you need an easy-moderate difficulty coastal hiking trail, look no further than Cape Split Trail. It’s a trail that even most inexperienced hikers can handle.
The trail mostly travels through the forest. It takes a while to get to the meadow, but the final view is well worth the effort. The grassy area at the top is also a great place for a family picnic.
Cape Split Trail is a 16 km round trip. It will take you anywhere between 4 and 5 hours to complete.
9. Grand-Pre National Historic Site
Consider visiting the Grand-Pre National Historic Site if you want to learn about the Expulsion of the Acadians.
This site offers a moving experience that you’re unlikely to forget. Start with the museum and walk through the park as you make your way past the duck ponds to the chapel. The statue of Evangeline is worth admiring as well.
You’ll often find yourself getting lost in the natural beauty of the landscape. The giant willow trees will catch your attention immediately.
10. Fort Edward National Historic Site
If you want to get a look at an important part of history, you should make a brief stop at the oldest military blockhouse in North America.
Built by Charles Lawrence in the 18th century, Fort Edward was vital for the English. They used it to guard the road to Halifax. The site was later used as a prison during the Expulsion of the Acadians.
There are also few restaurants in the area if you get hungry, or you can enjoy a picnic nearby.
Experiencing the Best the Annapolis Valley Has to Offer
The family outings listed above will keep both kids and adults equally entertained.
If you have some time to spare, stop by Digby as well. The small fishing town is renowned for its mouth-watering scallops. The Shore Line Restaurant in Digby also serves a memorable chowder.
Looking for an inviting place to stay during your trip to Annapolis Valley? If so, make sure to contact us for reservations!