Culture Enthusiast Itinerary
Atlantic Canada is steeped in maritime culture, shaped by its people and the sea, and celebrated in our plays, movies, music and art. From Titanic displays to Acadian history, to local artist exhibits and eclectic musical festivals, there are endless cultural attractions throughout the Maritimes.
We invite you to discover the scenic beauty, rich heritage and vibrant culture of Atlantic Canada on the Maritime Ferry Trail with the Culture Enthusiast Itinerary.
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Yarmouth and Acadian Shores, Nova Scotia
Your first stop on this culture-rich tour of the Maritimes is Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Small, but mighty – the satellite branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is home to some of the most beautiful works of art from the provinces most talented artists. It’s active fishing community plays an important part in the culture of the community. Tour the area by fishing boat with Tusket Island Tours, where you will learn how to haul a real lobster trap, visit a private fishing shanty and fishing workshops, eat local seafood chowder made from a traditional recipe passed on through the generations and enjoy live entertainment on the sail. Staying an extra night? Take in a performance at TH’YARC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is the culture capital of Nova Scotia. Both day and night, the city is alive with things to do, and sights to take in. By day, explore the province’s artistic side with a tour of the main Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (which includes a wonderful exhibit on famous folk artist Maud Lewis) and visit some of the smaller working studios and galleries around the city like Argyle Fine Art and Gallery Page and Strange. Maybe you’ll even find a piece to bring home as a souvenir!
If you’ve brought along children, they will love a visit to Nova Scotia’s Museum of Natural History. Along with a rotating selection of temporary exhibits, the museum is home to a fascinating selection of permanent exhibits, including its newest on Sable Island. Don’t forget to say hello to Gus, a 90-year-old tortoise who lives at the museum.
Discover Nova Scotia’s seafaring history with a trip to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. A favourite exhibit among visitors is its Titanic displays which house over 50 pieces, including wreckwood from the ship and a pair of children’s shoes.
As daylight comes to an end it’s time to explore Halifax’s thriving nightlife. Go back in time and get a glimpse of what Halifax was like in 1863 with a Alexander Keith’s Brewery Tour. At the end of the tour, there’s time to sample the brewery’s famous India Pale Ale. On Argyle Street, you’ll find Neptune Theatre – a local theatre company that puts on world-class performances. Check their schedule to see what’s playing during your visit. Looking for dinner and a show? Attend the long-running Grafton Street Dinner Theatre and over the course of an evening, you’ll be treated to comedy, music and a delicious 3-course meal.
Prince Edward Island
Only a ferry ride away, Canada’s smallest province Prince Edward Island packs in a lot of fun from spring to fall with its many festivals and events – a perfect way to embrace the Island’s culture. The PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls gets summer started with a province-wide cultural celebration followed by many great events including the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Rollo Bay Bluegrass Festival, Jazz & Blues Festival, PEI Fiddle Camp, the Victoria Playhouse Festival, the Scotchfort Pow Wow, Canada Day festivities, Charlottetown Summerfest, and more.
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved characters from her Anne of Green Gables books come alive with two incredible musical productions: Anne of Green Gables – The Musical has been performed as part of The Charlottetown Festival for 52 years and has cemented itself as a classic piece of Canadian musical theatre. Since it’s debut in 2005, Anne and Gilbert: The Musical has quickly become a favourite as crowds of adoring fans from all over the world watch the Island’s most famous couple fall in love. If you have the time, visit Green Gables in Cavendish PEI – the setting that inspired the book series.
There is plenty of arts and culture to be found along the Bay of Fundy in Saint John, New Brunswick. Hop aboard a Harbour Tour, explore the city by boat, and see the world-famous Reversing Rapids where the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy. At the New Brunswick Museum you’ll find a wonderful selection of exhibits covering Canadian Art, New Brunswick Art Farmer’s Market, New Brunswick Industry, the Hall of Great Whales and much more.
No visit to Saint John is complete without a visit to the Saint John City Market. This National Historic Site is Canada’s oldest continuing farmer’s market. Inside you’ll find delightful vendors selling produce, prepared food and pastries, gifts and more. The market is open six days a week.
Digby, Nova Scotia
Upon arriving by ferry in Digby, Nova Scotia don’t miss out on the opportunity to stroll along the Admirals Walk on the waterfront. Walk out to the docks and view the fleet of ships responsible for catching the delicious seafood Digby is world-famous for. Along the drive back to Yarmouth, stop and visit the Maude Lewis Memorial, where you’ll find a replica sculpture of the artist’s tiny, ten by twelve foot home.