With a local: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Shelah Allen is a native of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, Canada.

She is proud of her roots and represents the seventh generation of her family to live in the colourful coastal town. Shelah is a co-owner of a travel company and a guide on Lunenburg Walking Tours.

As such, she’s perfectly placed to answer our questions and give an introduction to some of the things to do and see in the town:

Why do you think people should visit Lunenburg?

There is so much to do in Lunenburg. People constantly tell us that they wish they’d scheduled more time here. I could easily recommend a week jam-packed with fun.

Of course we want them to do our tours. The Essential Lunenburg tour, taken at the beginning of a visit gives a great foundation for their visit and helps them make the most of their time here. The Haunted Lunenburg tour is a super fun way to spend an evening.

A boat ride or sail is a must. Sailing on Bluenose II is something guests never forget.

The Fisheries Museum is a great. They can’t miss the Ironworks Distillery and all the wonderful galleries and shops.

Just peacefully wandering and taking it all in is part of the magic of Lunenburg.

Barrels at Lunenburg's Ironworks Distillery.
Barrels at Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery.

What is your favourite place in Lunenburg?

Wow, that’s a hard question. I’d say that just being on the waterfront is where I feel most at home.

Sometimes it‘s just the waves lapping at the wharves that I love, but at other times it’s the opportunity to meet so many people, all having new and special experiences.

There’s a real ‘wharf culture’ that I love.

If you were going to take a guest out to lunch or dinner, where in Lunenburg would you choose and why?

Another challenging question. Lunenburg has two dozen great restaurants, each with its own appeal.

Where will you most often find me? Old Fish Factory (68 Bluenose Drive; tel +1 902 634 3333), for the amazing service, fresh seafood, and view—yes, I still love the view even though I live it every day. This is where my family goes for special meals.

I enjoy the Salt Shaker Deli (124 Montague Street; tel. +1 902 640 3434) for the cosy atmosphere and delicious food.

I practically live at Shop on the Corner (23 Lincoln Street) on breaks between tours. They offer just one lunch item daily but it is always healthy and oh-so tasty. The atmosphere is relaxing and welcoming.

And I have to mention the Knot Pub (4 Dufferin Street; +1 902 634 3334). It’s where locals go. The building used to be the bicycle shop where we went for Popsicles on our way to school. For nearly 30 years it has offered consistently awesome food in an authentic community pub setting.

Every Thursday morning, year round, I go to the Farmers’ Market.

Scallops served in Lunenburg.
Scallops served in Lunenburg.

If there is a bar or cafe that you could take guests to in Lunenburg, which would it be and why?

I’ve already mentioned the Knot Pub, where I drink locally crafted Bulwark cider.

At the Old Fish Factory my drink is the much-famed Dark and Stormy (black rum, ginger beer, and lime).

I want to add the Grand Banker Bar and Grill (82 Montague Street; tel +1 902 634 3300, where presenting locally sourced beers and wine is what they do. I love ‘holding court’ on a bar stool as people come and go.

The Old Fish Factory restaurant and Ice House bar in Lunenburg.
The Old Fish Factory restaurant and Ice House bar in Lunenburg.

What is your favourite legend or quirky bit of history associated with Lunenburg?

Lunenburg is all about the stories and the superstitions. Come on a tour and we’ll share them all.

If guests can stay in the area for an extra day, what do you recommend they do and see in Lunenburg?

Well, it will take more than a day to cover everything in town. But if they have time to explore beyond, there are two things I always recommend: the seven-minute drive to gorgeous Blue Rocks, and following route 332. It takes people to Ovens Natural Park, Kingsburg and Hirtle’s Beach. Then taking the LaHave Ferry across to route 331 to LaHAve Bakery, and an array of beautiful vistas, museums, shops and beaches.

Further information

See the Travel Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Explore Canada sites for more information on Lunenburg.

Photos illustrating this post are by Stuart Forster.

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Lunenburg Academy in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Lunenburg Academy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

1 Comment

  • Nim

    July 1, 2016 at 08:27 Reply

    Thanks for sharing that Stuart. Always nice to get an Insiders Take on a place.

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