At Trout Point Lodge, Cajun cooking fundamentals are taught in style. Built with massive spruce logs, the lodge overlooks the untouched Tusket River – ask about guided fishing excursions – and borders the UNESCO-designated Southwest Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve. After a soak in the wooden hot tub, we took a tour of the custom-built smokehouse. “As far as I’m concerned, the seafood here is the best in the world,” says Louisiana-born co-owner Vaughn Perret, who traces his Cajun roots back to Nova Scotia. A breakfast of Perret’s smoked local salmon with our eggs proved his point.
Mavillette Beach Provincial Park is not generally on the tourist radar – we had it all to ourselves. An old rope fence borders the vast, flat expanse of sandy beach and boardwalks that straddle the saltwater marshes and grassy dunes. The beach is a prime spot for a picnic while watching the sun set over the Bay of Fundy.
After wandering among the 160-year-old wooden buildings on Shelburne’s waterfront, we grabbed a table on the terrace and snacked on local mushroom-and-roast garlic pâté at Charlotte Lane Restaurant and Craft Gallery, prepared by Swiss chef and co-owner Roland Glauser. The shop offers Maritime-made ceramics, pewter and the restaurant’s own cookbook.
Yarmouth’s Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Western Branch, in a former bank building, hosts readings by local poets and playwrights and exhibits works by celebrated artists like Christopher Pratt. This month the gallery has an exhibit of pieces by New York-born, Lunenburg-based ceramicist Walter Ostrom. (You can also find his work in the Canadian Museum of Civilization.)
At Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa, a sprawling former Canadian Pacific Railway hotel, the retro aura of the dining room – all soaring ceilings and ocean views – was the backdrop for our freshly caught supper of sautéed Digby scallops with carrot and orange sauce.
Golfers hit the Stanley Thompson-designed course and then recover at the spa with its professional golf massage, which targets all the muscles you used on the fairway.
PHOTOS: NOVA SCOTIA TOURISM (SHELBURNE, BENCH, ROLAND GLAUSER, SUNCATCHERS); NSCAD (CERAMIC)