Also on the south shore of Nova Scotia are the towns of Chester and Mahone Bay. Both are picturesque and
attract artists and photographers to their pretty lanes and waterfront views. Both have craft shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes and you can spend a few hours in each as a combined trip from the city.
Chester comes first as you head down Highway 103 (or pick up the pretty coastal road, Highway 3 from around exit 5). Chester has a large marina and has annual festivities such as a classic car and boat show in the summer as well as a large regatta, the famed Chester Race Week. You can also take a ferry to Tancook Island though it's mainly for the scenery and hiking/biking there thought there is also a little museum featuring artifacts from the local area. Chester has an arts center and a playhouse and a small museum as well. It's main attractions are the scenery and craft shops. There's golfing in the area and three marinas. Other events in summer include a garden tour and a heritage house tour and an art festival.
Mahone Bay is a little further along the road, from Chester follow Highway 3 and you'll drive right into it. Mahone Bay holds annual festivals including the Wooden Boat festival and the autumn Scarecrow Festival which is brilliant! Scarecrows of all shapes and sizes are found all along the waterfront streets and properties. The town is a pretty spot along a bay. There are three churches that dot the shoreline of the bay and this view from across the bay is the one you see on all the postcards. The churches feature free music concerts all summer long.
There are lots of pretty craft shops along the main road and some nice restaurants with scenic views. There's a farmer's market and flea markets on various weekends. Do check out the Settler's museum in a historic house on the main street. You can even get up close and personal with some seals on boating and kayak tours.
The south shore of Nova Scotia is very pretty with lots of little towns and villages dotting the coastal route 3. Chester and Mahone bay are only about an hour drive down the highway 103, a bit longer if you take the scenic route and stop at the antique and craft shops along the way. We like to do that on the way down and spin back up the highway at the end of a day with good seafood under our belt. Lunenburg is only about 15 minutes further south from Mahone Bay and the larger town of Bridgwater is about a half hour drive. There are larger shops and restaurants there and the views along the LaHave River are nice too.