7 Things to Do on Day Trip to Bear River & Digby

A short drive from Annapolis Royal, both Bear River and Digby, Nova Scotia, offers a delightful mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. From touring scenic vineyards and exploring local art galleries to delving into the region’s rich maritime history and relaxing on beautiful beaches, these destinations provide a variety of experiences for all interests. Discover the charm and beauty of Bear River and Digby through these seven sites.

Pouring Wine
Bear River Vineyards builds on the heritage of Louis Hébert, who first had a vineyard here in 1611

1. Enjoy Wine at Bear River Vineyards

Spend an afternoon at Bear River Vineyards, where you can tour the vineyards and learn about wine production in this unique tidal river environment. The vineyard’s terraced slopes are home to grape varieties such as L’Acadie Blanc and Marechal Foch, which thrive in the region’s microclimate. According to tradition, the first European grape cultivars were planted here in 1611 by Louis Hébert. Sample some of their award-winning wines while enjoying the picturesque setting of the Bear River valley.

2. Take in the Bear River Artworks Gallery

Visit the Bear River Artworks Gallery to enjoy a vibrant display of local art. This community-run gallery features paintings, sculptures, and crafts by over 20 regional artists, reflecting the diverse artistic talent of the area. It’s an excellent spot to pick up unique souvenirs, including handcrafted jewelry and pottery. The gallery also offers art workshops and special exhibitions throughout the year, fostering a dynamic creative environment.

3. Visit the Admiral Digby Museum

Discover the history of Digby at the Admiral Digby Museum, housed in a mid-19th-century Georgian home. The museum’s exhibits cover various aspects of the town’s history, including its founding by United Empire Loyalists in 1783 and its development as a major scallop fishing hub. Artifacts on display include antique furniture, period clothing, and maritime tools. The museum also features a genealogical research center for those interested in tracing their ancestry.

4. Hike out to Point Prim Lighthouse

Visit Point Prim Lighthouse, one of Nova Scotia’s oldest surviving lighthouses, located near Digby. The first lighthouse here was built in 1804 and stands on a headland offering panoramic views of the Bay of Fundy and the Digby Gut, a deep, narrow channel critical for navigation. The lighthouse is open to the public during the summer months, and visitors can climb to the top for a spectacular view. Interpretive panels around the site provide information about the lighthouse’s history and the marine traffic it has guided for over two centuries.

5. Tour the Maud Lewis Replica House

Stop by the replica of Maud Lewis’s house in Digby, a tribute to the famous Canadian folk artist known for her colourful, whimsical paintings. The tiny house is meticulously decorated to reflect Lewis’s distinctive style, with every surface covered in bright floral and animal motifs. Learn about Maud Lewis’s life and artistic journey, including how she overcame significant physical challenges to create her joyful art.

6. Relax at Smith’s Cove Beach

Spend a relaxing day at Smith’s Cove Beach, just a short drive from Digby. This sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking, with calm waters that are ideal for families with young children. The beach area is known for its striking views of the Bay of Fundy and its warm, shallow waters that are perfect for wading. Nearby amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and parking, making it a convenient and comfortable spot for a day trip.

 

7. Stroll the Digby Waterfront

The Digby waterfront in Nova Scotia is a vibrant area perfect for a leisurely stroll along the scenic boardwalk, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Annapolis Basin and the bustling harbour. Here, you can explore local shops and boutiques offering unique maritime-themed souvenirs, crafts, and gifts. Dining options abound, with several waterfront restaurants and cafes serving fresh, locally caught seafood, including Digby’s famous scallops. The marina is also a hub of activity, offering opportunities for boating, fishing charters, and harbour tours that provide a closer look at the area’s rich maritime heritage. Be sure to try some local seafood at the Crow’s Nest restaurant, a local favourite.

Ship Coming to Port

Whether you’re sampling award-winning wines at Bear River Vineyards, exploring the unique and awe-inspiring village of Bear River itself, or uncovering the maritime history at the Admiral Digby Museum, a day trip to Bear River and Digby promises memorable and enriching experiences. Here, you can explore local shops and boutiques offering unique maritime-themed souvenirs, crafts, and gifts. End your day with a stroll along the Digby waterfront, enjoying fresh seafood and the stunning views, creating lasting memories of Nova Scotia’s hidden gems.

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 •  150 Saint George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

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RYA-2023-24-04111104470229963-150

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Bailey House Inn
150 Saint George Street,
Annapolis Royal, NS B0S 1A0

RYA-2023-24-04111104470229963-150
2024 Bailey House Inn