Things To Do Near Amherst, Nova Scotia: Top Attractions and Activities
In the heart of the Maritimes, Amherst, Nova Scotia offers a picturesque landscape and abundant visitor activities. With its rich history, diverse culture, and delightful scenery, you'll find no shortage of things to do in and around this charming town. Whether you're a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to unwind with local cuisine, there's something for everyone in Amherst and its surrounding areas.
Historic sites abound in the region, offering glimpses into the past with preserved landmarks and beautifully maintained buildings. Outdoor enthusiasts will revel in the natural beauty of the Northumberland Strait, and the trails to be found along the isthmus of Chignecto. Meanwhile, art galleries and cultural attractions showcase the creative spirit of the local community, inviting you to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene.
- Discover Amherst's rich history through its plethora of historical sites
- Explore the natural beauty of the Northumberland Strait and its many outdoor activities
- Immerse yourself in the local arts and culture scene at galleries and cultural attractions
When visiting Amherst, Nova Scotia, schedule some time to explore Fort Cumberland. This National Historic Site is just a 10-minute drive away and offers an intriguing glimpse into the 18th-century struggle between France and Britain over Acadie. As you tour the ruins of this star-shaped fort, you'll discover fascinating artifacts and exhibits that share poignant stories of resilient settlers, soldiers, and American sympathizers.
Amherst Heritage Trust
Another point of interest for history enthusiasts is the Amherst Heritage Trust. This organization works to preserve and promote the cultural and architectural riches of the region. While in Amherst, take the opportunity to explore some of the trust's key locations, such as:
- Architectural Walking Tours: These self-guided tours allow you to admire and learn about the historical architecture of Amherst.
- Community Museum: Delve into Amherst's past with interactive displays and rotating exhibits at the community museum, showcasing regional history and art.
- Preserved Historic Buildings: The Trust is actively involved in protecting and restoring several significant structures in the region. As you wander through town, watch for these landmark buildings.
Remember to enjoy your time exploring these historical sites and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Amherst, Nova Scotia.
Northumberland Shore Beaches
While visiting Amherst, Nova Scotia, spend some time on the beautiful beaches of the Northumberland Shore. Offering warm waters and relaxing vistas, these sandy shores are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. A few notable beaches are:
- Heather Beach Provincial Park: This beach boasts warm salt waters and a natural sandstone shoreline, making it an ideal spot for beachcombing and swimming.
- Amherst Shore Provincial Park: Known for its picturesque coastal views and forests, this park offers a perfect beach haven to unwind and explore.
Cumberland County Hiking Trails
If you're interested in exploring the natural beauty of the area, Cumberland County offers a variety of hiking trails to suit hikers of all levels:
- Tidnish Dock Provincial Park: Here, you can experience history and nature as you walk along the trails that lead to a testament of one of Nova Scotia's most ambitious engineering projects - the keystone bridge. The park also has a suspension bridge over the Tidnish River, offering fantastic views.
- Two Islands/Partridge Island Road: Experience the region's beauty with this gentle loop trail that takes you to the scenic marshlands surrounding the two islands: Partridge Island and Grover Island. Keep an eye out for the diverse bird species inhabiting this natural sanctuary.
- Cape Chignecto Provincial Park: For a more challenging hike, Cape Chignecto provides a rugged 53-km coastal loop trail that showcases stunning cliffside views and dense forests. Check the tides and plan to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike.
Arts and Culture
Cumberland County Museum and Archives
Dive into the rich history of Amherst and its surroundings at the Cumberland County Museum and Archives. This former residential school turned cultural institution showcases the area's storied past through exhibits and artifacts. Here, you can explore the unique geology, Indigenous heritage, and various industries contributing to the region's development. As you stroll through the museum, you'll be captivated by collections that include textiles, military history, and local art.
Amherst Artisan Gallery
For a touch of contemporary creativity, visit the Amherst Artisan Gallery. This vibrant space features a variety of locally crafted works that beautifully showcase the talents of Amherst's artistic community. As you peruse the gallery, you will come across various media ranging from paintings and sculptures to ceramics and handcrafted jewelry. Don't be surprised if you find a piece – or several – that perfectly resonates with your taste and adds a touch of Nova Scotia's charm to your collection.
When you're near Amherst, treat yourself to some delicious pizza at LaTorta Pizzeria. This local gem offers a variety of flavorful pizzas with an array of delectable toppings. As a pizza lover, you should enjoy their classic Margherita or get more adventurous with their signature creations. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere provides the perfect setting for a casual meal with friends or family.
- Hours: Tue - Sun: 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM
- Address: 16 Church St, Amherst, NS
You should check out Duncan's Pub if you're in the mood for some scrumptious pub grub and a fun, laid-back atmosphere. Known for its friendly service and extensive beer selection, it is the perfect place to unwind after exploring Amherst. Enjoy classic dishes such as:
- Fish and chips
- Wing night specials on Wednesdays
You can also expect to catch live music performances and weekly events that will keep you entertained while you enjoy your meal.
- Hours: Mon - Sun: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM
- Address: 49 Victoria St E, Amherst, NS
Amherst Blueberry Festival
Every summer, you can enjoy the Amherst Blueberry Festival, a celebration of delicious local fruit. During the festival, you can taste various blueberry-themed dishes, including pies, smoothies, and more. Participate in fun activities such as blueberry baking contests, live music, street fairs, and family-friendly games. The event also features local artisans showcasing their work. Don't miss this chance to soak up Amherst's vibrant atmosphere and enjoy the taste of locally grown blueberries.
Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival
You won't want to miss the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival held in Amherst each fall. This unique event brings together fibre artists, enthusiasts, and anyone interested in textile arts. Take part in workshops led by experienced instructors, focusing on knitting, weaving, crocheting, and felting skills.
Witness unique artistic creations displayed in various exhibits and learn more about the history and techniques of textile arts. Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase handcrafted items from talented artisans, perfect for taking home a special souvenir or picking up a unique gift for loved ones.
Remember to mark your calendar for these annual events in Amherst, Nova Scotia, when planning your visit. They offer a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the region's unique artistic traditions.