Spring is a special time on Nova Scotia’s Chedabucto Bay as the Atlantic coast’s giant awakes from its slumber. Lobster boats come and go with their catch. Fresh laundry flaps on backyard clotheslines and the easy pace make you feel like you’re a local.
Here are our top 10 spring vacation getaway ideas from the Authentic Seacoast 101, the definitive list of more than 101 things to do along the shores of Chedabucto Bay, the largest bay on the Nova Scotia Atlantic Coast.
1. Chedabucto Bay Lobster Festival
The Nova Scotia Authentic Seacoast is all about lobster in the spring. Lobster season runs from May 1 to June 30 on Chedabucto Bay with boats bringing in daily the best tasting lobster from the deep, cold waters of Chedabucto Bay. The Lobster Festival package at DesBarres Manor Inn gets people in the action with trips to the wharf with the Chef to choose the best of the day’s catch, seafood cooking classes and award winning lobster dinners.
2. Oceanside Golf
The opening of the Osprey Shores golf course is one of the most anticipated days of the year on the Authentic Seacoast. No waits for tee times and fishing boats passing the Osprey Shores peninsula make spring a great time for golf. An added bonus to springtime is the presence of a new litter of foxes which emerge from the behind the sixth green in early-to-mid-May.
3. Coastal Walking Trails
Spring is a nice time for a walk along the sheltered coves and harbours of Chedabucto Bay and no trail is nicer that the walk along the Guysborough harbour. This coastal walking trail is the start of the Trans Canada Trail in mainland Nova Scotia and follows the old Guysborough train line made famous in song by the late Stan Rogers. And if you want to move a little faster on the trails, Skipping Stone Cafe & Store on the Guysborough harbour has bicycle rentals.
4. Nova Scotia Cooking Classes
Spring marks the start of cooking classes at DesBarres Manor Inn and our culinary team enjoys spending time with guests in the kitchen to share some of the techniques behind his award-winning contemporary East Coast Cuisine. You’ll return home ready to impressive your friends with the secrets of great Nova Scotian cooking.
5. Spring Bird Watching
Stretching to the easternmost point of mainland Nova Scotia, the Authentic Seacoast has a reputation as one of the best spots for both breeding and migratory bird watching in Nova Scotia with nearly 140 species during the breeding season. The Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area is a breeding ground for a variety of gulls, cormorants, herons, terns and the Common Eider. Other special breeding birds to watch for include the Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Blackpoll Warbler and Fox Sparrow.
6. Spring Trout and Salmon Fishing
Trout fishing season opens on April 15 and local anglers say the best fishing of the year is during the spring when the coldest water is to be found in the local lakes, brooks, and streams. Local fishing lore says the trout begin biting when the Alder leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear. Spring also marks the start of the estuarial Atlantic salmon fishing season on the renowned Salmon River.
7. Spring Peepers
Frogs that is. Nova Scotia is home to eight species of frogs who gather to mate each spring in the wet habitats along Chedabucto bay. Each species has its own unique mating call and together they create a symphony of sound in communities of the Authentic Seacoast.
8. Fishing Wharves
A trip to the fishing wharf to talk with the old salts bringing in the catch is a must for any visit to the Authentic Seacoast. Spring brings a new enthusiasm to the fishing villages along Chedabucto Bay and a visit to the Canso Fisherman’s Wharf or the Guysborough Wharf to meet the lobster boat is a great experience.
9. Star Gazing
The planets take centre stage in the early spring sky with Jupiter and the Galilean satellites taking a prominent place over Chedabucto Bay. Saturn is also in a very good position in the early spring, a stunning ochre colour as midnight approaches. With binoculars, the Hercules Cluster, also known as M13, is a spectacular sight in the expansive night sky. For stargazing buffs, spring is galaxy season, and our dark skies are the perfect spot for viewing.
10. Sea Kayaking and Canoeing on the Guysborough Harbour
Local kayakers are eager to get out on the Guysborough harbour in the spring and you can join them by renting a sea kayak or canoe at the Skipping Stone Cafe & Store. The friendly folks will set you up for some coastal exploring from the ocean.