Things to do in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Stuart Forster looks at things to do in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

Mahone Bay is an attractive small town on the scenic Lighthouse Route that skirts Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

Thanks the to the narrowness of the inlet leading from the North Atlantic and the dense woodland surrounding this town of less than 1,000 residents you could be forgiven for thinking Mahone Bay sits by the shore of a lake.

Yet like so many Nova Scotian towns, Mahone Bay has a maritime heritage. It once had a reputation for ship and boat building.

The story of that industry and the settlement of the area, from the 1750s onwards, is told in the Mahone Bay Museum.

The museum building, Begin House, dates from 1875. It shares an architectural element with many other heritage buildings in the vicinity, the Lunenburg Bump. It’s said that the wives of sea captains used to await the return of their man sitting by the windows of the dormers, which are located above the front entrances of houses.

The town is a pleasant place to stroll in summer, when it comes alive as a tourist destination. It’s known across Canada thanks to the much photographed churches down by the waterfront.

One of the famous three churches, St John's Church on the waterfront of Nova Scotia's South Shore at Mahone Bay
One of the famous three churches, St John’s Church on the waterfront of Nova Scotia’s South Shore at Mahone Bay.

Don’t miss…

The famous view of Mahone Bay’s three waterfront churches. On bright summer days you may be lucky enough to see them surrounded by blue, reflecting in the placid water of the bay

The trio of buildings – St James’ Anglican Church, St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and Trinity United Church – stand on the logically named Edgewater Street.

One of the locals I spoke to mentioned it would be worth returning in autumn, to see the churches set among the gold and red foliage of fall.

The waterfront bandstand at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada
The waterfront bandstand at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada.

How to get here

Stuart flew from London Gatwick (LGW) to Halifax (YHZ) via Keflavik (KEF) with Icelandair.

The drive from Halifax to Mahone Bay takes just under an hour.

Whale sign hangs outside of a store at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada
A whale sign hangs outside of a store at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada.

What to eat and drink

Despite being a small town, Mahone Bay has plenty of places to dine.

For seafood, including fish and chips, head to Oh My Cod (567 Main Street), whose name alone warrants a visit to the restaurant.

Normally I shy away from chains but couldn’t resist popping into Tim Hortons (33 Edgewater Street), a Canadian institution, for a cup of filter coffee and to pick up a box of 20 Timbits. Described to me as ‘the holes from doughnuts’ the golf ball sized snacks come in flavoured glazes. They are delicious (particularly the cinnamon Timbits) and ideal from sharing during a road trip.

Cans of Haskap Cider, Balsam Blue, Crustacean Elation ale and Nun on the Run pale ale, products of the Saltbox Brewing Company
Cans of Haskap Cider, Balsam Blue, Crustacean Elation ale and Nun on the Run pale ale, products of the Saltbox Brewing Company.

Where to stay

Why not boast to friends that you spent a night in the Fisherman’s Daughter (97 Edgewater Street, tel. +1 902 624 0660)? This family-run B&B is a heritage building constructed during the mid-19th century. The cosy Captain’s Quarter, one of the Fisherman’s Daughter’s four guestrooms, gives you views of the bay plus an original claw foot bathtub to steep in.

Figure of a fisherman wearing a souwester hat at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada
Figure of a fisherman wearing a souwester hat at Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Further information

Find out more about on the town on the Mahone Bay website.

Take a look at the Tourism Nova Scotia page for ideas about things to see and do in the Province.

The Explore Canada site holds information about Nova Scotia and destinations throughout the country.

Thanks for visiting Go Eat Do and reading this post about things to do in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. If you like craft beer, check out the town’s Saltbox Brewing Company.

Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.

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