Authentic 101

Authentic Seacoast 101

There are more that 101 things to do when you visit the Authentic Seacoast™, so whatever your idea of the perfect Nova Scotia vacation is, you can find it starting here in the historic Shiretown of Guysborough. We can keep you on the go for a week, or help you find a quiet place to simply breathe the fresh sea air and relax in the quiet of our nature.

To help you with your Nova Scotia vacation planning, we’ve prepared the Authentic Seacoast 101, our list of more than 100 things to do when you visit the Eastern Shore and southern Cape Breton on your holiday. From our home in Guysborough, you can experience our region’s best beaches, festivals, trails, wharves and more. The Authentic Seacoast 101 has vacation ideas to help you make the most out of your Nova Scotia getaway on the Atlantic coast’s largest bay.

Our local experts have also prepared Top 10 lists for spring, summer, fall and winter to share the best Nova Scotia vacation tips for the each season on Chedabucto Bay. So whatever season you vacation on the Nova Scotia Authentic Seacoast you’ll experience the best our region has to offer.

Activities at DesBarres Manor Inn

Exterior photo of DesBarres Manor Inn, Guysborough

  • Read, A good book on the Inn’s Grand Deck
  • Romantic Dinner, By the 1837 fireplace
  • History, Learn more this historic Guysborough home and family
  • Board Games in the Parlour Room, We have the best ones!
  • Backgammon, With a glass of port
  • Card Games, There’s a rules book if you’re rusty
  • Yoga Mats, Strike a pose indoors or out
  • Cooking Class in the Manor Kitchen
  • High Speed WiFi, Who says there’s no surfing on the Bay

Activities at Osprey Shores


  • Morning Coffee, Benches at Mussel Cove
  • Catch Fireflies, Get a mason jar
  • Launch Your boat, Mussel Cove boat launch
  • Cycling, Take some bikes on the trails around Guysborough
  • High speed WiFi, Surf’s up in the Authentic Seacoast Distillery & Brewery

Live East Coast entertainment

Check the Authentic Seacoast events calendar

Activities at the Authentic Seacoast Distillery & Brewery

Guide tour at the Authentic Seacoast Distillery

Activities in the Shiretown of Guysborough

  • Old Courthouse Museum, Find your family history in the genealogy files
  • Workout, Chedabucto Place Fitness Centre
  • Tennis, Courts at the Fitness Centre
  • Guysborough Main Street Shops, Find unique gifts
  • Afrikan Canadian Heritage Centre, Learn about Nova Scotia’s first Black settlers
  • Jost’s Wharf, Check out the daily catch
  • Community Ceilidh at the Jost Chandlery in the summer
  • Go For a Paddle, Rent a sea kayak or canoe at the Authentic Seacoast Distillery & Brewery and explore the coves of Guysborough Harbour
  • Ride a Bike, Rent a bicycle at theAuthentic Seacoast Distillery & Brewery and tour the village of Guysborough

Festivals & Events

Stanfest Concert at Night with Screen

  • Stanfest, Three day folk fest celebrating the music of Stan Rogers
  • Guysborough Triathlon, Have a trio of fun
  • Antigonish Highland Games, Have a fling
  • Festival Antigonish, Get caught in the act
  • Guysborough Come Home Week, Everyone’s a local
  • Annual Rubber Duck Race, Under the Boylston Bridge
  • Festival Savalette, Acadian Festival in Larry’s River
  • Nicholas Denys Days, Guysborough & St. Peters
  • Celtic Colours International Festival, Cape Breton’s celebration of Celtic Culture

Hikin’ & Bikin’

Biker and hiking family in Guysborough

Get a picnic basket at DesBarres Manor Inn and discover:

  • Trans Canada Trail, Hike or bike the Guysborough leg of the legendary trail
  • Chapel Gully Trail, Hike the easternmost point of mainland Nova Scotia
  • Fox Island Beach, Ask a local how to find the trail to Black Point
  • Preacher’s Trail, Trek from Queensport to Cole Harbour
  • Little Dover Coastal Trail, Hike the boardwalk
  • Trench Road Trail, Hike to Three Mile Lake
  • Geocaching, Nova Scotia’s best caches are on the Bay

Catch the Big One

  • Atlantic Salmon Estuarial Fishing, Mouth of the Salmon River (watch for seals on the rocks)
  • Brown Trout Fishing, Low tide at the Salmon River and Guysborough Harbour
  • Annual Mackerel Derby, Late July
  • Trout Fishing, Donahue Lake

The Best Beaches & Coves

Get a beach bag picnic basket at DesBarres Manor and discover:

  • Secluded Beaches & Coves, Over 600 kilometres of shoreline on the Bay
  • Build a Sandcastle, Bring your bucket!
  • Search for shells, Sand Dollars, Clam Shells, Periwinkle Shells and Polished Beach Glass
  • Bird Watching, Keep a lookout for Bald Eagles, Blue Heron, Osprey, Gannets and other Seabirds
  • Skip Rocks, Your inner kid is waiting
  • Paint, Memorable beach scenes await your canvas
  • Fogerty’s Cove, Whales and dolphins at the place that inspired Stan Rodgers
  • Tor Bay Beach, Expansive breakers and seals playing in the surf
  • Black Duck Cove, Wade in some of the East Coast’s warmest waters
  • Port Shoreham Beach, The best beachcombing

The Best Wharves

  • Whitman’s Wharf, Entrance to the historic town of Canso
  • Little Dover Fisherman’s Wharf, Strike up a conversation with an old salt
  • Canso Fisherman’s Wharf, You might see an 800-pound tuna being landed and dressed
  • Tickle Wharf, View Isle a Bec

Queensport Lighthouse

Shutterbug Alert!

  • Sugar Islands, Molasses Harbour at Port Felix
  • Church at Port Felix, Commanding view of the Atlantic
  • Queensport Lighthouse, Read about its keepers
  • Chedabucto Bay Lookoff, Panoramic views of the Bay at Dort’s Cove

Along the Bay

Get a picnic basket at DesBarres Manor Inn and discover:

  • Cooks Cove, Explore the beach
  • Gaulman’s Point, At the end of Half Island Cove’s Wharf Road, look out on Fogarty Cove
  • Seaman’s Memorial, Pay your respects to those lost at sea on the way into Canso
  • Whitman House Museum, Climb the widow’s walk for panoramic views of Canso Harbor
  • Grassy Island National Historic Site, Take a boat tour to the Island
  • Commercial Cable Trans Atlantic Park, Learn about relaying messages from the Titanic
  • Glasgow Head, Mainland Nova Scotia’s easternmost point
  • Star of the Sea Parish, Overlooking Canso and the wide open Atlantic
  • Sea Kayak, Canso Islands
  • Route 16, What Frommers calls “an uncommonly scenic drive”

Take a Back Road

  • Dickie’s Brook Hydro Electric Station, Drive up the mountain road
  • Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area, Catch the panoramic view from Lundy Fire Tower
  • Pick Blueberries on the Barrens
  • Black Duck Cove, Walk the boardwalk at and spot the native seabirds
  • Larry’s River, Take the Acadian Tour

On the Coast

  • Dover Shrine, Visit at the Catholic Church
  • Cable Ship Faraday Interpretive Display, Tor Bay Provincial Picnic Park
  • Whitehead Island Lighthouse and the old Whitehead Canal
  • Cole Harbour, Walk along the shore and smell the sea air
  • New Harbour Beach, Keep a lookout for the Moose!

Up The Strait

Nova Scotia fishing village

  • Henry Sinclair Memorial, Incredible harbour view from Boylston Park
  • Eddy Point Lighthouse, Entrance to the Canso Strait (don’t forget your cone)
  • Mulgrave Port, See what ships are in for service at North America’s deepest port
  • Dive Tours, Discover the wreck Baleine at Red Head with Causeway Diver Supply
  • Canso Causeway, Cross onto Cape Breton Island
  • Strait Tours, Get on the Strait with Ship Harbour Boat Tours in Port Hawkesbury
  • Arichat, Acadian fishing village on Isle Madame

Don’t Forget To …

  • Watch the sunrise on Chedabucto Bay
  • Take in the star filled sky
  • Breathe the fresh sea air
  • Gaze at the moon reflecting on the Bay
  • Embrace the quiet

For detailed information on planning activities for your Nova Scotia vacation, visit the DesBarres Manor Inn website for more information on touring Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, Cape Breton and Marine Drive as well as special Nova Scotia vacation getaway packages.