8 Fun things to do around your hometown

Staycation: it’s probably about the most underrated S word of all time. 

Staycation.

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.

Offering a multitude of internationally renowned white, rose, sparkling and red wine. Hop on the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus to take a day trip, or stay a few days to enjoy exceptional wines at one of our many beautiful vineyards. 

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.

8. Spend a night at Oceanstone 

Let the chaos and confusion of a busy world fall away; bathe in the fresh air, enjoy the magic of the open Atlantic, smell the delicate perfume of our flower gardens and be charmed by the sweet sounds of nature. A night at Oceanstone is the perfect way to reconnect to the natural world and to yourself. We have a variety of rooms and cabins to make you feel at home and at ease. 

We’re so honoured and excited to have been nominated for Best Staycation Spot and Best Hotel in the 2019 Best of Halifax awards and we’d love it if you would vote for us.  

Click here to cast your vote.

If we told you that we LOVE the ocean, would you be surprised? 😉 

The ocean covers 71 percent of the planet. It’s home to important species and ecosystems- but it’s also home to us. Our resort is nestled on the coast of Nova Scotia overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and we can’t imagine our lives without it. 

The sights, the sounds and the smells of the ocean are three of our favorite things. There’s just something so special about the ocean and the way it makes us all feel a little more calm and grounded.

Unfortunately, the ocean cannot speak for itself and it needs our help. 

Here are five things you can start doing right now to help our oceans.

Enjoying a cup of coffee (in a regular mug!) early morning at one of our ocean front cottages.

1. Use less plastic!

It’s been estimated that more than 17 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—that’s roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non-disposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, opt for no plastic straw (or a reusable straw) and recycle whenever possible.

Peggy's cove lobster selection

2. Make safe, sustainable seafood choices

Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for over-exploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable. Check with your local grocery store to find out which in-store options were sustainably caught, or ask your server where the seafood is sourced from. For a quick reference guide on safe sustainable options, click here. 

A family visiting our property and taking a stroll by the ocean.

3. Take care of the coastlines

Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, hiking or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Better yet, participate in or organize local beach cleanups. Clean Nova Scotia’s Beach Sweep program encourages and engages communities in the removal of trash and debris from shorelines throughout province. Get involved!

Right whale leaping from the ocean.

4. Travel the ocean responsibly

Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have been identified or suspected in the deaths of North Atlantic right whales in recent years. 

Remember, small changes can make a big difference.

We all know the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse – but have you ever stopped to wonder who the heck this Peggy actually is?

The Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

You can ask 50 different people in this area about her and you’ll hear a variety of different stories, most of which originate with the name Margaret.

Did you know: The name Margaret has a variety of different nicknames. Some are obvious, as in Meg, Marg and Maggie, while others are downright strange, like Daisy. But over time, Meg & Maggie morphed into the rhymed forms Peg and Peggy – making peggy, widely known as a nickname for Margaret. 

Saint Margaret’s Bay

The first recorded name of the cove was Eastern Point Harbour or Peggs Harbour in 1766. Many believe that the village is named after Saint Margaret’s Bay, which Samuel de Champlain named after his mother Marguerite. 

Peggy's Cove Sign

Geographically speaking, Peggy’s Cove is located at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay. So the next theory is rather obvious; the cove was once known as Margaret’s Cove because of its location. When shortened, it became known as Peggy’s Cove.

William deGarthe

Another theory derived after local artist William deGarthe wrote the book ‘This is Peggy’s Cove’, which tells the story of a woman named Margaret; the lone survivor of a shipwreck near Halibut Rock, just off the point on which the famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse sits. The schooner washed ashore during a terrible storm on a very dark October night in the 1800’s, everyone on board was lost except for Margaret, who swam ashore and was finally rescued by the people on shore.  Margaret stayed in the area, eventually marrying one of the local men. People from near-by places began to say, “let’s go see Peggy of the Cove,” and as such; Peggy’s Cove was born! 

While deGarthe claims that Margaret was a young woman at the time of the shipwreck, another theory suggests that she was a toddler. Too young to remember her own name, the little girl from the ship was adopted by a local Nova Scotia family who decided to call her Peggy. When she grew older, she married a resident of the cove in 1800 and became known as “Peggy of the Cove”, attracting visitors from around the bay who eventually named the village Peggy’s Cove, after her nickname.

Oceanstone Seaside Resort, located 15 minutes from Peggy's Cove.

No matter how she got her name, one thing is for sure: Peggy’s Cove is a beautiful Nova Scotian treasure. We’re happy to know her – and be located 5 minutes down the road from her. 

We all have those weeks. Things didn’t go right, you’re not feeling yourself, and you can’t wait for the weekend to come. We believe it’s important to embrace these weeks and instead of choosing to find the negative in the week, find the positive in the ending. It’s time to unwind that stress.

Here are 6 ways to unwind after a long week:

1. Indulge in your favorite treat

Wine and chocolate covered strawberries by the fireside at Oceanstone

Food and feelings go together like strawberries and chocolate. 😉 There’s something so gratifying about indulging in your favorite food. Food brings comfort, and after the week you’ve had – comfort is good!

2. Read a good Book

Reading while watching storms brew on the sea in one of Oceanstone's beautiful rustic cottages.

It is a proven fact that reading can help reduce stress – it provides a wonderful escape from reality. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Find a book or magazine that piques your interest, anything from a thrilling paperback, to a gardening magazine, or even a cookbook. Set aside 30 minutes to read in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. It will do your mind good!

3. Spend time with people who make you Happiest

Spending a rainy day playing board games with the kids.

This one seems simple, right?  Far too often, in the midst of stressful situations, we fail to realize that the thing we need most is just time with those that bring us comfort. Your kids, your partner, your parents, your friends, even your pet; take some time to enjoy their company. Like the old saying goes “spend time with people who pull the magic out of you, not the madness.”

4. Meditate

Contemplating the sea at the beach by Oceanstone. Relax, Unwind, and exhale the ocean breeze.

We don’t need to tell you that meditation reduces stress because you already know. But why aren’t you doing it more? Many people are intimidated by meditation; which is the exact opposite of what it’s intended to do. Take 5 minutes to clear your mind and focus on your senses. Sit down somewhere comfortable and close your eyes, what do you see, smell and hear? Pay attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. It’s not about thinking; it’s about being. Being present, being clear and being connected to your inner self.

5. Listen to music

Heather Rankin performing in our Great Hall at Oceanstone.

Tried, tested and true, music improves the quality of our lives. It’s a distraction that can also improve productivity, and help us unwind. It brings people together, and can make time alone even more enjoyable. The best thing about music is, there are many kinds and many ways to enjoy it. Spend time listening to your favorite songs or embark on a journey of discovery to find you new favorite. No matter what you choose, enjoy it. You deserve it.

6. Spend time by the Ocean

Rain or shine, being near the ocean can be a beautiful experience that helps you unwind.

Do not underestimate the healing powers of the ocean. We may be a little biased, but there’s something about the salty air and the sound of the waves crashing that puts us at ease.  Here in Nova Scotia, we are extremely blessed to live so close to the ocean – so take an hour and get yourself to the oceanside. We’re certain you’ll leave calmer than you arrived.

If none of the above works: Book a night at Oceanstone where you can unwind and exhale in our little oasis by the sea!

TRAILS FOR YOUR OCEANSTONE ADVENTURE

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!

Many people stay at Oceanstone to escape the city and recharge. One of the best ways to do this is to spend some time off the grid. These people enjoy the sights and sounds of a hiking trail

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!