The elusive Nova Scotia spring season is officially here. Each year it seems we are brimming with more excitement and anticipation over getting out and grasping this newfound climate for all that its worth. Whether that be a literal temperature climate, or simply a new emotional climate, that first warm ray of spring sunshine that touches down instills us with a new energy and attitude; we are ready to jump in the car, put it in drive, and explore the province. What new adventures will this spring present to you? Here is a selective list of some provincial highlights (conveniently including a couple of my favourites) that I’ve put together.
Whether you’re already a supporter of local produce or aren’t sure where to start – heading to the Annapolis valley or nearby farms to buy fresh from the source is a great way to familiarize with Nova Scotia produce.
A wonderful spring daytrip to the Annapolis Valley can include visiting cheese producer Fox Hill Cheese House in Port Williams to sample one of their 20 varieties of cow’s milk cheeses, farm fresh milk, in-store gelato or other dairy products. You can even peer in behind the glass and see them making the cheese onsite.
- Should goat’s cheese be more up your alley, head to nearby Aylesford to visit Ran-Cher Acres farm and purchase one of their many goat dairy products. Ran-Cher Acres’ cheeses are one of my all-time favourites, and I am sure to visit their booth at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market each week to grab some Italian herb cream chevre or marinated feta.
Head to Greenwich and stop at Noggins Corner Farm Market for a fix of fruit and veggies. Affordable, beautiful and seasonal Nova Scotia produce, grown on-site, will fill your shopping basket. Succulent homemade jams, preserves and sweet apple cider will round out your shopping experience with a little indulgence.
You absolutely cannot leave the Annapolis Valley without visiting an award-winning Nova Scotia winery. Check out the beautiful Domaine de Grand Pre and talk with owner Hanspeter Stutz about the future of winemaking in Nova Scotia. Have a tasting in their beautiful gift shop, take a tour, or extend your visit with lunch in the onsite gourmet restaurant Le Caveau. If you’re looking to drive deeper into the valley, make time for Blomidon Estate Winery, situated on a breathtaking site on the edge of the Minas Basin. Purchase a glass of the wine of your choice (after tasting a few) and sit out back on their quaint patio amongst the vines to sip and enjoy.
Of course I can’t mention spring activities in the Annapolis Valley without offering up details of the 78th annual Apple Blossom Festival. The festival runs from May 25th to 30th this year, and is another great reason to visit the area. Concerts, parades and carnivals highlight this wonderful event in one of our most beautiful and fertile regions.
Indulge in locally made maple syrup, while learning about the process, at Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown (near Tatamagouche). Spring is the perfect time to view how they tap the trees, take a hike up the hill to view the historic original sugar camp, enjoy a free guided tour, and have a decadent maple sugar brunch of pancakes in the log cabin restaurant onsite.
Spring into Action
Looking to get messy during the spring thaw? Venture off-road with your ATV, Jeep or four wheel drive vehicle onto one of our many approved Nova Scotia trails and take advantage of that spring mud! Visit one of the many websites to map out your route in advance.
Fly high through the trees and take in some beautiful scenery at Nova Scotia’s first zipline, Anchors Above Zipline in Pictou County. Their highest zipline is 240 feet, dropping six stories and lasting 1,100 feet long! Go with a group to receive a great discount.
The Victoria Day long weekend in May is home to the annual Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon in Halifax. Participate in this great event and help to raise money for a charity of your choice, join a team, or complete a personal goal! Not a runner? You can still join in the excitement during the race by cheering on the participants!
Staying Home is for the Birds
Whatever your interests may be, there is a great reason to get out of the house this spring in Nova Scotia and create your own adventure. Take that dose of Vitamin D and run with it!