5 Experiences that are Entirely Nova Scotian






“Humility.” His words replayed in my head. It was 1 am in a small town — seaside in the country on the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia — when we realized … there were NO GAS STATIONS open.

My flight out of Halifax was the next day, and with a tank on “empty,” my heart was filled with joy as a new friend played hero.

Jeremy offered us his truck (that actually had gas), so I could get to the station on time, the next morning. It was too late to get gas tonight, and tomorrow we would need to depart before the gas stations opened.

Caught up with music, food, drinks and good conversation, we hadn’t thought this moment through. A part of the charm of being in the country side is that: no, there aren’t gas stations on every corner and they aren’t open 24/7. This is precisely why Cape Breton felt like such an adventurous escape.

Rewind to just a few days before, while gathered around the fire place, I’d asked Jeremy, “what do you love most about Nova Scotia.”

He’d replied “humility,” and on that late Saturday night, he had showed it.

An underrated destination often shadowed by Canada’s popular destinations (can you say Banff), NS has so much to offer, and a character of its own.

1. Wicked Coastlines

Am I in Big Sur? The cliffs meet the water.

The sunsets don’t need a filter…

And before you know it, I’m caught in a cheeky bonfire by the sea.

Margaree Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

2. Outdoor Adventures

Cape Breton is rich in adventure – from waterfalls to camping, to shooting a bow & arrow a la Hunger Games, Nova Scotia is “New Scotland” and perfect for all-things fresh air.

Hiking at Egyptian Falls, Cape Breton

Camp – You can rent gear at Live in Tents, the company my friends Liam & Lee started.

CB West Stand Up Paddle Boarding & Kayaks (Jeremy’s company)

The Highland Bow & Arrow

This is Jay, she’s an archer and small-business owner in the adventure space!

3. Nautical Charm

Cape Breton, is after all — an island. From Fisherman’s boat parties to women who knit and jokingly call themselves “hookers,” there’s a real fun to our maritime friends.

En route from Halifax to Cape Breton, I suggest the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove (pictured). On the Cabot Trail, a stop at White Point is a must.

4. Good Cheer

In Halifax, I needed a new camera battery, so we stopped at two mom-and-pop photography shops — neither sold a Canon battery, but BOTH had their own, and offered to charge my battery! While in Inverness, a town pre-Uber, we were offered an after hours ride by mutual friends.

Canadians boast a particularly friendly culture, but as shown by Jeremy, Nova Scotians (literally) drive the extra mile.

5. And Big Dreams

I’d met some local Nova Scotians in Croatia (that’s how I ended up visiting friends in Nova Scotia), and was graced with an invite to Gordie Sampson’s Song Circle.

Hosted at the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish, Nova Scotia — Gordie Sampson’s Song Circle is where some of the biggest and up-and-coming songwriters gather to collaborate and produce songs daily.

Gordie Sampson, the Nashville-based songwriter who wrote “God, Your Momma and Me,” by Florida Georgia Line, and “Jesus Take the Wheel,” has been producing hits with country music legends for thirty years,

He is from NOVA SCOTIA.

After the live show, we went back to his Mother’s house, where everyone played instruments and sang around the piano.  Check out this snip from my Instagram story.

And some of my favorites from the night:

  • Dave Sampson
  • Quake Mathews
  • Port Cities

And that’s exactly what Nova Scotia is — a bunch of soul from the South on a beach, by the forest.

Where to Stay in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

In Halifax we did an Airbnb. In Cape Breton, my friends hosted me in a lodge they built themselves. The guys recently put together an adventure company called Live In Tents. You can Airbnb their lodge (pictured), rent camping equipment, and/ or camp in their backyard — it’s an actual campground!

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