Staycation: it’s probably about the most underrated S word of all time.
We all know that it’s important to take days off- from work, from school and from our routines. But why do we always associate vacations with hopping on a plane and leaving?
Here in Nova Scotia, you don’t have to go very far to find something beautiful to see or fun to experience.
Here are 8 fun ways to staycation in Nova Scotia :
1. Visit the Bay of Fundy (Time from Oceanstone: 1:40+)
There is only one place in the entire world that you can see 160 billion tonnes of water move in and out, every day, twice a day. It’s home to more than 12 species of whales AND holds the record for the highest recorded tides in the world – that’s right! We’re talking about the Bay of Fundy.
Not only is it a sight to see, but there are many amazing things you can do on and around the bay of fundy. Go whale watching off Brier Island, Walk on the ocean floor at Burntcoat Head Park or experience the thrill of chasing the waves and go Tidal Bore Rafting.
2. Go Tubing down the Gaspereau River (Time from Oceanstone: 1:30)
Tubing down the Gaspereau River has become a classic summertime tradition and staple activity in the Annapolis Valley.
The float down the 2.5-kilometre stretch of river takes approximately 30 minutes and takes you on a relaxing and blissful ride past scenic farm lands, beautiful landscapes and sometimes even local farm animals.
3. Catch a sunset in Peggy’s Cove (Time from Oceanstone: 0:05)
Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is one of Nova Scotia’s most well-known lighthouses and may be the most photographed in Canada. Located just 5 minutes from Oceanstone – this beauty is a tourist attraction that just never gets old. At the end of the day, watch as the sun meets the ocean and disappears and lights the sky on fire.
4. Take a tour of the Halifax Harbour (Time from Oceanstone: 0:45)
There’s nothing like spending time on the water to make you feel like a tourist – and Halifax has many ways for you to enjoy its beautiful waterfront. From Guided Kayak Tours to Theodore Tugboat to the Halifax Harbour Ferry there are no shortage of ways to enjoy the Halifax harbour.
View a list of the many harbour tours available here.
5. Visit a vineyard (Time from Oceanstone: 1:30+)
Situated on one of the cooler climate limits for vines, Nova Scotia’s soil and mesoclimates create some of the most distinctive premium-quality grapes in North America – which means, we have great wine!
In Nova Scotia, there are over 70 grape growers and more than 800 acres under vine in seven different regions across the province.
6. Have a picnic at Queensland Beach (Time from Oceanstone: 0:35)
Beaches – we love them, and we have a lot of them! One of our favourite beaches is Queensland beach. Located just 35 minutes from our resort, it boasts white sand, fresh air and excellent views. There are food trucks nearby, or grab a lunch at Rhubarb and enjoy it by the sea at Queensland.
Don’t forget your towel!
7. Check off your Halifax Bucket List (Time from Oceanstone: 0:45)
If you’re looking for a cost effective way to do and see as much of the city as possible, check our the Halifax Bucket List Pass. Enjoy brewery tours, museum visits, segway tours and more – for a reduced bundled price.
Choose between a 24 hour, 48 hour or 72 hour pass. These three options mean there is a duration to fit every schedule. You can experience everything you want in an action-packed day, or spread out the fun over several days of wanderings.
I have been dreaming about visiting Oceanstone Resort for such a long time. If you have read my 2018 Travel Bucket list post it was actually included. I am so excited to announce that I have checked off something from that list already! I have been ogling peoples photos of Oceanstone’s on social media for so long, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. Oceanstone is a seaside resort located just minutes away from Peggy’s Cove and about 40 minutes from our home in Halifax. It is one of the top wedding locations in Nova Scotia and the perfect spot to disconnect from the busyness of life. They have rooms, suites, and cottages available and each cottage at Oceanstone is unique.
We stayed in the Captain’s House. This big blue cottage is right on the water. Inside there are three bedrooms. One on the main floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor. The cottage had so much character and it made us long for our own piece of heaven on the ocean. The decor was the perfect mix of old and new, the walls were all painted a crisp white, there was exposed beam ceilings in the living area and a wood stove that we used lots.
I would completely recommend the Captain’s House for a family getaway. With three bedrooms, five beds, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen – it is the perfect place to enjoy time with your family. Allie and I are already trying to figure out who we should bring for a visit in the summer!
I am obsessed with the ocean, I mean look at the name of my blog, and this was the perfect place to connect with the ocean. The view was to die for. From every room, you could see the ocean with its large crashing waves and mist rolling in. READ MORE…
Thirty six hours since I left my amazing weekend at Oceanstone and I think I am still in ultra Zen mode. Actually I know that I am. Honestly, I am going to run you through the awesomeness that was this weekend, but in all the places we have EVER travelled, we can not recall EVER having been as relaxed as we were this weekend. I have always loved Oceanstone, from the first time I photographed a wedding there, and through the many that followed. I also held my first charity event there, my first photography workshop, and it’s where we will be holding this year’s Awesome Life Retreat. Alex and I are going to be apart for over a month and I will be with the kiddos all day everyday. We wanted to rock a winter Staycation locally and to me there was no better choice than Oceanstone Seaside Resort.
The team on site really makes you able to relax and unwind by taking care of everything. We knew we wanted to enjoy some meals at Rhubarb, but we also wanted to stay in our sweats all day and eat in our cottage. Chef Steve stocked our fridge with “Chili and some fixings” and it was a complete feast!
When we arrived on Friday night we came into the lobby and were greeted by the smell of warm cider, a crackling fire and friendly faces. We got checked in quickly and found our way to our cottage. Ok, it wasn’t that difficult for me to find, being as I have photographed people getting ready for their weddings in almost every Cottage on site…
On any given day, we are faced with different priorities that compete for our time. We have the things that we must do. What about the things we really want to do? We tend to trail off as it were…
At Oceanstone, our existence lies in our belief that the best thing anybody can do for themselves is take a day to recharge. A day to focus on the things that put your mind at ease – and to do those things that you really want to do!
Here are three amazing hiking trails within 30 minutes of Oceanstone:
1. Pollys Cove Trail
We all know the famous Peggy, but have you heard of her cousin Polly?
Pollys Cove is one of the hidden gems of the Eastern Shore. Located just 6 minutes from Oceanstone, this trail will reignite your love for the ocean. Directly adjacent to the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, this moderate 3.1 kilometre looped trail features beautiful wild flowers, breathtaking ocean views, old abandoned war bunkers and lots of room for adventure.
This trail is very quiet as many people don’t know about it. If you’ve ever been to Peggy’s Cove or Oceanstone you’ve likely driven right past it without even knowing. It’s an outstanding place to explore, catch a sunset and collect your thoughts.
2. High Head Trail
Located 30 minutes from Oceanstone in the picturesque and beautiful town of Prospect, the High Head Trail (also known as the Dr. Bill Freedman Nature Reserve) is one of the most incredible coastal trails in the province – and one of the best kept secrets!
One of the most unique parts of this trail is that you disappear from any sign of civilization within seconds of starting the hike and you’re soon at the ocean’s edge. In total, this trail is about 8 kilometres in length but is an out-and-back so, you can turn around at any point you’d like. You’ll encounter beautiful wildflowers, various wildlife (anything from deer, to seals!), beach rocks, and exquisite ocean views.
This trail is great for a quick adventure or a long day by the ocean. You decide.
3. Nichols Lake Hiking Trail
Despite some popular advice, DO chase waterfalls, and DO check out Nichols Lake falls – located just 30 minutes from Oceanstone.
This 3 kilometer trail is alive with the sights and sounds of nature, making this the ultimate escape from the city. While the trail itself is mostly gravel, you’ll stumble upon a sandy beach and a waterfall on your travels. Please bear in mind, it is a small waterfall, but it is beautiful and worth the hike. It’s also a great place to meditate, picnic or snap a photo!
All of these trails are all conveniently located nearby Oceanstone Seaside Resort – making it easy to return at the end of the hike for some rest and relaxation at our award winning resort. After all, you deserve it!
A mother-daughter duo have an all out adventure around Peggy’s Cove
Helen and Lucy Early had an amazing adventure down at Peggy’s Cove, and they’re pulling out all the stops (in the travel sense)! It might not be tourist season yet, but these two are having their own staycation. Down by the Cove, it’s beautiful no mater the weather. (Having a cozy fire at night doesn’t hurt either!) Spoiler alert: they were staying in the Pines Cottages
We’ve hosted so many stunning weddings at Oceanstone. Each one has been unique and memorable. We love looking back on the wedding’s we’ve hosted. We’ve asked a few Oceanstone Couples 3 questions to give you a peek inside their special day. Keep reading to find out why each couple chose Oceanstone as their wedding venue, what the favourite memory of their wedding day is, and where they are now.
Dana & Joel
Married Saturday, August 27, 2016
Why Did You Choose Oceanstone for Your Wedding?
“The reason we chose Oceanstone for our venue was because of its amazingly unique and intimate beauty; a true East Coast experience by the ocean. Celebrating our wedding with our closest family and friends was incredibly important to us. Oceanstone allowed us to be in one beautiful location, for a full weekend, where we and our guests were fully able to truly spend time together.”
What Was the Highlight of Your Wedding Day?
“The favourite part of our wedding day was waking up with the sun shining over the ocean and hearing the sound of the waves as they hit the shore line. Our wedding day was sunny and warm and with the breeze of the ocean, we couldn’t have asked for anything more spectacular. Everything from gathering for brunch, to the ceremony, and an evening reception with music, dance, and laughter, created a day full of memories we will always cherish. We are so thankful to all the incredible staff at Oceanstone who truly made everything come together so perfectly!”
What’s New Since Your Wedding? Where are You Now?
“Just over a year later, we are doing well. We moved into our new lakefront home, and loving it. We are still receiving wonderful comments from family and friends about the incredible weekend they enjoyed with us celebrating our wedding at Oceanstone.”
Photographer: Zack Kennedy
Jenni & Michael
Married on February, 25, 2017
There was a HUGE snowstorm the day after Jenni and Michael’s wedding. The couple had an impromptu honeymoon at Oceanstone for a few days since all flight back to Newfoundland we’re cancelled for two days. A true East Coast wedding! Here is what they have to say about their wedding day:
Why Did You Choose Oceanstone for your Wedding?
“We chose Oceanstone because we wanted somewhere we could escape to, that wasn’t too far from home, and allowed us to have more than just the single evening to celebrate with our friends and family. We really liked the idea of a resort style venue, where people could come and go as they pleased if they were staying, but it also wasn’t too far from the city for those who chose not to stay.
I loved that we were able to do everything at Oceanstone – from getting ready, to waking up the next day to have breakfast with all of our friends and family. I loved the variety available at Oceanstone – we had the fireplaces lit, we had games inside, we had the firepit going outside. To top it all off, everyone at Oceanstone made it so easy for us to have a relaxed stay and wedding day. We couldn’t have asked for better.”
“It’s impossible to choose a favourite moment!! We had a wonderful and memorable day!! I loved all of the moments above, I loved the setting. Seeing my husband-to-be in the sunroom area as I was walking down the aisle. It was all very special.”
What’s New Since Your Wedding? Where are You Now?
“We are currently living in Botwood, Newfoundland. We bought our house by the water before the wedding and moved in shortly after the wedding. We’re filling our home with baby furniture in preparation for Baby Godsell in December 2017.”
Elizabeth & Sean
Married April, 28, 2017, Elizabeth and Sean had an intimate 30 person wedding and neither of them had ever been to Oceanstone before they arrived for their wedding weekend.
Why Did You Choose Oceanstone for your Wedding?
“When we were thinking about traveling from Seattle to have our wedding in Nova Scotia and we started looking for venues, Oceanstone met every single requirement. On top of that, it was relatively close to where Sean grew up, and then the reviews sealed the deal. Even after we’d chosen Oceanstone, we knew we’d made the right decision because every vendor we hired had nothing but wonderful things to say about Oceanstone.”
What Was Highlight of Your Wedding Day?
“Other than getting to marry each other, the best part of our wedding day was just how welcoming and warm the entire experience was. There is a never ending list of what made the weekend perfect, and our actual wedding day was everything we could have wished for, in huge part due to the incredible staff. We had guests from all over the US and Canada, and everyone raved about how wonderful the people at Oceanstone were. The venue is beautiful, the food was amazing, the cabins are charming, but the people truly made our day.”
What’s New Since Your Wedding? Where are You Now?
“Shortly after the wedding we moved out of our apartment in downtown Seattle to an old house just outside of downtown. We adopted a puppy named Molly, have been working on making the house a home, and are looking forward to our first holiday season as husband and wife.”
Elyse & Jacob
Married Thursday, August 25, 2016
Why Did You Choose Oceanstone for your Wedding?
“As soon as we arrived at Oceanstone, we knew it was the place where we wanted to exchange our vows. Oceanstone checked off every box for us. It is located right on the Atlantic Ocean coast, so you can smell the salt water in the air. The grounds, gardens and views are breathtaking, making it the ultimate spot for an outdoor ceremony and for wedding photos. The cottages and accommodations are very quaint and cozy and had a very East Coast feel to them. It didn’t hurt to wake up the morning of our wedding to look out and see the beautiful ocean.
All of our guests were extremely happy with how well they were taken care of. The food menu was also amazing. We opted to have a lobster boil and BBQ for the rehearsal dinner outside on the grounds; it was definitely one of the highlights of our wedding. The Oceanstone staff were exceptional. They were there to help us every step of the way. We cannot thank them enough for how easy they made it for us.”
What Was the Best Part of Your Wedding Day?
“The best part of our wedding day was actually being able to enjoy our wedding and spend time with our guests instead of worrying about timing and behind the scenes stuff. The Oceanstone staff kept everything running smoothly.”
What Has Changed Since Your Wedding Day? Where are you now?
“We are currently living and working in Ontario. Since our wedding, we have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy!”
Jesse and Erica
Married on October 1st, 2016
Why Did you Choose Oceanstone for your Wedding?
“Jesse and I are from Ontario and had actually never heard of Oceanstone until we were talking with a friend following our engagement and they mentioned this amazing, romantic spot by Peggy’s Cove. I looked it up and immediately thought “this is perfect, but so far outside the city.” Naturally my mind started to go into planning mode thinking about the logistics of how to transport people, the limited number of guests we could have, how much this is going to cost etc.
Regardless we booked an appointment to come see it and get the scoop. As Jesse and I were driving down from Halifax, he kept saying “this is too far away, where are we even going?” but upon arrival we both fell silent. The grounds were stunning, the air was fresh, the sound of the rolling ocean was soothing to our souls. Oceanstone was it. Worries about logistics, costs, and distance didn’t matter.
Meeting with the Oceanstone staff was the icing on the cake. They were all extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and open to hearing our concerns, providing ideas and accommodating our needs, wants and dreams. Choosing Oceanstone is a decision we would make over and over again!”
What Was the Best Part of your Wedding Day?
“The whole day was truly perfect but I have to expand this to the entire weekend because it really was a wedding weekend. We had guest travelling in from a far, many who came in for the whole weekend and had a great party Friday night around the campfire with our loved ones. I think Jesse and I would agree that having our best friends and family in one spot, by the ocean for an entire weekend was truly the best part of celebrating our marriage. The weather was spectacular for October so we got to enjoy everything that Oceanstone has to offer.
I think back to the wedding day and laugh that I couldn’t muster up a tear for the life of me while Jesse and most of his family, did enough crying for the two of us! I was truly on top of the world and didn’t have stress in the world knowing that the Oceanstone Team would take care of it all.”
Where are you now? What’s new since the wedding?
“The week following our wedding day, Jesse and I took a week long staycation relaxing and exploring Nova Scotia, hiking, ziplining and even swimming in the ocean in October! 6 months later we took our official honeymoon and spent 2 weeks exploring Maui which was a life changing experience!
Fast forward to today, Jesse and I are getting ready to move back into our newly renovated house in the north end of Halifax that makes room to welcome our first baby in less than 3 months! Every chance we get we pop down to Rhubarb for lunch and ensure we walk the grounds of Oceanstone and reminisce about our big day. We will be booking a babymoon getaway in the New Year in our favourite cozy cottage, the Grey Owl.”
The Oceanstone Team is so grateful to have hosted such incredible couples. We hope you enjoyed this little peek inside some of our weddings. Thank you to all of our vendors that make these weddings possible, and a special thanks to Roberta Micaleff, our amazing Wedding & Events Coordinator.
We had the absolute pleasure of a one-night getaway at the Oceanstone Seaside Resort. This lovely resort is located in Indian Harbour, only 40 minutes from Halifax and about 75 minutes from the Annapolis Valley. It’s the ideal location for weddings, corporate meetings and of course a staycation.
The property is stunning! It’s truly a beautiful and magical escape from the stress of everyday life. Oceanstone Seaside Resort is far enough outside of the city to allow for complete relaxation. Plus, it’s right on the ocean! Take a stroll along the beach (the freezing cold temperatures didn’t stop us!) and soak up the salt air. There’s something rejuvenating about being surrounded by nature and within a stone’s throw of the ocean. This getaway will give you the chance to chill out and regroup…