This small, seaside escape in southern Nova Scotia, just off the Gulf of Maine, might seem sleepy from the outset, but the city is positively bursting with colorful Victorian buildings, tons of art, and lots of flavor. Located right in the heart of the world’s largest lobster fishing grounds, Yarmouth receives the most lobster landings each year. The city is also known for being the gateway to Nova Scotia and subsequently Canada, and what a friendly introduction to the country it is! Full of friendly people, beautiful architecture, a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere, and delicious and fresh seafood, Yarmouth is a great place to spend an unwinding weekend.
Located on the South Shore region of Nova Scotia just over a three-hour drive from Halifax, Yarmouth is accessible through the Yarmouth Airport and by ferry from Portland, Maine.
Called by many names – the Cape Forchu Light, the Beacon to Canada, the Yarmouth Light – this apple-core shaped light station was erected in 1840, back when the town of Yarmouth was a booming seaport. Rising 75 feet above its perch on picturesque volcanic rock and cliffs, the stately lighthouse offers visitors opportunities to have a picnic on their 19 acres of groomed grounds, stop inside the light station for afternoon tea and a lobster sandwich, stroll through the museum, all while enjoying the stunning view of the coast, beaches, vessels and fishing villages.
Located in the stunning Gothic Revival-style building that was once home to the Tabernacle Congregational Church, the Yarmouth County Museum features 12,360 square feet of granite walls surrounding over 20,000 artifacts devoted to the history of the county that dates back to prehistory – visitors can at once visit the famed 400 pound Runic Stone as well as peruse the museum’s colorful collection of 19th century clothing, electric cars, stage coaches and tons of maritime-centric objects and art pieces.
Photo via their official website.
The two-story Victorian Commercial style granite and sandstone building built in 1913 used to be a Royal Bank of Canada building, but now its gone from commerce to art: the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Yarmouth branch exhibits homegrown folk art, tapestries, prints and watercolors along with international artists to continue their mandate of bringing International art to Yarmouth and Yarmouth art to the world. Visitors are encouraged to stop into this beautiful gallery to see the folklore and everyday life of native Nova Scotians interpreted through fine pieces of modern and classic art.
The only brewpub on the South Shore of Nova Scotia is also a beloved local hangout, a beautiful place to dine with a large, sunny patio and one of the best places to try out some unique maritime seafood favorites. Six beers are offered on tap (for those who like enough to take it home, the Rudder offers large 1.9-liter reusable growlers) and the menu boasts some of the most extraordinary seafood this side of, well, Nova Scotia. Hungry visitors can try a Canadian classic with a maritime twist, the lobster poutine, made with large chunks of creamed lobster topped with mozzarella, and lemon-fresh Nova Scotia oysters with a house marinara sauce.