We were taking our time traveling from Halifax to Shelburne, so we stopped in Lunenburg for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. The village was settled in the mid 1700s and quickly became known as a first-class fishing and shipbuilding town. As well as small two man dories, large schooners were built to sail the Grand Banks in search of cod. In 1921 The Bluenose schooner was built. It became such a symbol of Canada that its silhouette is engraved on the back of the Canadian dime. In 1963 the Bluenose II was also built here and it is sometimes available for harbour cruises when in port. During our stay there was a full crew working to get it ready for racing competitions.
In 1995, Old Town was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and many of the buildings along the waterfront have been restored and now house restaurants, gift shops and galleries. Large homes, some dating from the late 1700s, have been lovingly preserved and a drive through the residential areas is a treat for the eyes if you like Victorian architecture.
One of Lunenburg’s most popular attractions is The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic located at the water’s edge. This large red wooden building is filled with displays and exhibits on the history of the Maritime fishing industry. There are touch tanks filled with marine life, information on the history of the Bluenose, and lots of interactive displays and activities to keep kids of all ages happy and busy. Entrance is through the large gift shop which stocks a good variety of souvenirs and Nova Scotian made gifts. Nearby, the Fishermens’ Memorial pays tribute to all who died in the sea.
Tip: Many of Lunenburg’s streets are one way so it’s easiest to just park and wander through town. There is a large lot beside the Fisheries Museum but it’s just for museum patrons and those going on boat