The south shore of Nova Scotia was settled by German immigrants. The town of Lunenburg on the South Shore is now a World Heritage Site, due to it's lovely architecture. It's a very good example of a planned British colonial settlement as well. The town is full of Victorian homes, some of which contain wonderful little shops and galleries featuring local artisans' and craftspeople's works. There are many pretty cafes and restaurants as well, some overlooking the waterfront. You can get to Lunenburg by taking exit 11 off the 103 highway or follow the old number 3 highway along the shoreline from Halifax. That's a very pretty drive.
Lunenburg has a fine history of ship building and the famous schooner, The Bluenose was built here. The Bluenose was built in the 1920s as a fishing vessel but was undefeated in schooner racing. She is now commemorated on the Canadian 10 cent coin. In the early 1960s, a replica, the Bluenose II was built, sponsored by a local brewery. It proved so popular that she is maintained and sails to many locations as a Goodwill Ambassador. She always leads the Parade of Sail during any of the Tall Ships visits. She is based in Lunenburg now and when in port, there are 1 - 2 hour sailing trips available to the public.
There are some lovely old wooden churches in Lunenburg. One, St. John's, burned down several years ago and has been rebuilt and restored painstakingly. There's a little Railway museum for train enthusiasts. It has a model railway display as well as artifacts from the old Halifax and Southwestern Railway. It's on Highway 3 up the hill from the waterfront.
On the waterfront is the large red wooden building, the Fisherie's Museum of the Atlantic, also worth a look. There are craft demonstrations, an aquarium, boats and guided tours. The aquarium has eleven salt water and three fresh water tanks including a 7 foot high tank. There's a theatre that shows many films about local history and culture. They have daily talks and there's a boatbuilding house as well. Open during the May to October summer season. Learn all about the fisheries, the age of sail, and the rum runners. Get some hands on craft demonstrations or browse model ships, artifacts and paintings.
Close to Lunenburg is the fishing village of Blue Rocks. It's only a 10 minute drive from Lunenburg. Many people visit Peggy's Cove as an example of a fishing village as it's close to Halifax and has a photogenic lighthouse but for a road less traveled and far fewer tourists, visit Blue Rocks instead. the village is on the coast and has multilayered blue tinged rock formations along the shore. The fishing huts on a pier make for a pretty picture and the village itself is very pretty. Artists and photographers flock here for the views.
Another picturesque place to stop in the Lunenburg area is the Ovens natural park. A privately owned park, it sits on the rocky shores. There are hiking trails and sea caves that you can visit by boat tour. These caves are the "Ovens". There was gold in them there hills in the 1800s and the nearby area was populated by miners. The town is now gone but you can see a small gold rush museum on the site and even try to pan for gold if you feel lucky! There's a swimming pool, restaurant, general store and gift shop too. They have an annual music festival (see website for any activities and schedules). There's also a campsite and cabins for rent if you want to stay in the area. It cost $8 admission for an adult with child and senior discounts and group rates. To get there, pick up the secondary road, 332 that circles Lunenburg and head south following the shorely. Just past Bayport, start looking for the signs for the Ovens, on Feltzen South Rd. which then leads you to the Ovens road. The Ovens is a nice park to visit even on it's own as a day trip from Halifax.