A favorite retreat of Nova Scotians and home to thriving artistic communities, the Annapolis Valley, green with orchards and brushed by Bay of Fundy breezes, has a rural lure year round. Northwest from Halifax, a trip to this region promises picturesque shore-side villages, charming farmer's markets, antique boutiques, and sweeping seascapes, all set in pastoral calm.
Wolfville, a university town, is a good place to start area explorations. Don't miss the back roads on your tour: stretch your legs out with a bike ride in the countryside. There's no missing the dramatic tides in the Bay of Fundy, but some of the better views - like Delap's Cove Wilderness Trail - require a bit of a hike.
Wineries dot the region, as do historic sites and great seafood restaurants. Try Grand Pre National Historic Site just beyond Wolfville for Acadian history (the Acadians were early French settlers), stopping for a lobster lunch in Hall's Harbour before tackling more local history at the Old King's Courthouse Museum in Kentville or whiling away an afternoon of wine tasting at one of the area vineyards.
Annapolis Royal lies north of Kejimkujik National Park. In addition to the lovely sprawl of the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, this city plays host to a number of artists and a range of cultural activity. Don't be dismayed if you miss the Farmers' and Traders' Market: spend instead a few hours exploring the Fort Anne National Historic Site or the O'Dell House Museum. If you're after more regional history, pay a visit to the Bear River First Nation Heritage & Cultural Center or Port Royal National Historic Site.
Annapolis Royal 71 miles from Wolfville, and 127 miles from Halifax.