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Destination Details

The Annapolis Valley, Canada

Port-Royal National Historic Site

Outside Annapolis Royal, about ten kilometers to the north, stands Port-Royal National Historic Site - the faithfully restored settlement of Sieur des Monts. The plain wooden buildings are in early 17th-century style. There is a Governor's Residence, a Priest's House, a smithy and a room in which First Nations people used to barter their furs for European goods. Most facinating is the house of the apothecary Louis Hébert, the first European farmer in North America who later settled in Quebec.

In the "Habitation" in 1606, Samuel de Champlain founded "L'Ordre de Bon Temps," the first society in North America based on the doctrine of love for one's fellow man.



Grand-Pré National Historic Site

Grand-Pré was one of the main Acadian settlements in the early 18th century. By means of an ingenious system of dams and canals, the Acadians reclaimed fertile land from the sea and laid out large and productive fields for some 200 farms. But in 1755, the English drove out the Acadians, demolishing their homes, taking cattle and parceling the land out to colonists from New England.

The Grand Pré National Historic Site is in memory of the deported Acadian settlers. In the gardens stands a memorial to Henry Longfellow, who in 1847 immortalized the tragic fate of the Acadians in his poem "Evangéline." There is also a statue of his heroine Evangéline. Acadian artist Philippe Hébert sculpted both memorials.


Hall's Harbour

This tidal village is a favorite on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy. At high tide the fishing vessels sit neatly alongside the village wharves. But when the tide lowers, the boats drop to the harbor floor. There's the famous Hall's Harbour Lobster Pound, a restaurant near the sandy beach and park. For an excellent hike, head northeast to Cape Split on the Blomidon Peninsula.


Fort Anne National Historic Site

Fort Anne, the scene of so many battles in the past, is today separated as Fort Anne National Historic Site. The old fortifications, the powder magazine, and the ramparts are all open to visitors. Tall chimneys mark the officers' quarters. There are memorials to Sieur de Monts; Samuel Vetch, Acadia's first governor; and Jean Paul Mascarene. On the fort flies a flag showing the English St. George's Cross and the Scottish St. Andrew's Cross.


The Lookoff

It sounds like an unofficial name, but even on Nova Scotia maps this roadside viewpoint atop North Mountain is simply called The Lookoff. The panoramic scene takes in the sweeping fields, orchards and Bay of Fundy coastlineBlomidon Provincial Park lies to the northeast with Cape Split beyond.



Fort Edward National Historic Site

Near the dyke in Windsor stands Fort Edward, built in the mid-18th century by the English to protect the Halifax to the Bay of Fundy route. It was here, too, that the sad deportation of the French-speaking Acadians was organized. This wooden fort is one of the oldest existing buildings of its kind in Canada.

From the earth-wall surrounding the fort there is a beautiful view of the Avon River valley and the Bay of Fundy.



Tidal Power Station

Outside Annapolis Royal, about ten kilometers to the north, this tidal power station is the first of its kind in North America. It started up in 1984 and utilizes hydro-energy released by the tidal rise, which is the highest in the world. The station harnesses roughly 80 to 100 megawatt hours each day. It is also a pilot plan for a much larger power station based on the same principle.



Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens

To the south of Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal lie some very well tended gardens and reconstructed historic buildings, including a 17th-century-style Acadian house. The Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens are classified by theme to represent different eras. Plantings include the Governor's Garden from the early 18th century, a Victorian Garden, and a very pretty Rose Garden.




The small, but busy fishing town of Digby, famous for its scallops, lies by the link road between the Annapolis Valley and the Bay of Fundy. From Digby, it is possible to take a ferry trip across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John in New Brunswick.

scenic drive cuts along the narrow peninsula and islands of Digby Neck. Small ferries connect out to Brier Island, where there are whale watching tours, historic lighthouses, and coastal parks with hiking paths.



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