South Shore Summer

Sun, surf and a kick-back sensibility

photo by toque & canoe

The south coast of Nova Scotia – a province that bills itself as Canada’s ocean playground – is, hands down, one of our favourite Canadian summer destinations.

What do we love so much about this area?

Aside from raucous Kingsburg barn parties (beware of taking on the locals in drinking games), windswept fields of wild blueberries (yum) and to-die-for potato bread at the LaHave Bakery (located in an area first settled during the early 1600s) – our attraction to this corner of Canada revolves around beach life and a kick-back sensibility.

Toque – a.k.a. Jen Twyman/co-founder of this site and an ardent enthusiast of the east coast – insists the vibe on the South Shore, especially around Hirtle’s Beach, is like “the anti-buzz. You are obliged to relax!”

And it turns out she’s not the only one who makes regular pilgrimages to this region of Nova Scotia – just an hour and a half south of Halifax.

“People keep coming back because it’s so small-scale here and quiet and quaint. To this day I never get tired of the beauty of the place,” local resident John Duckworth – a former Montrealer – tells us. (Soft words for the guy behind the area’s most rockin’ barn party.)

“We know people from all over who own summer houses here. I’m talking architects, movie producers, writers and musicians from all over Europe, the U.S. and Canada.”

Another reason we’re wild about it here?

How about the fact that after a day of surfing, sun-worshipping, boogie-boarding, swimming, socializing, eating fresh lobster and downing a few Keith’s – you get to hit the sack knowing you can wake up the next morning and do it all over again.

Just another sweet summer’s day on the South Shore.

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  1. Jake commented:

    a very good piece of writing; it catches the flavor you want readers to get “hooked on”….no! more than good…. it’s great. You keep raising the bar….is the best yet to come……


  2. Linda Heinrich commented:

    The spectacular beauty of Nova Scotia took my breath away! Thank you for that! I want to pack my suitcase and head out there.


  3. Julia Howell commented:

    Toque introduced us to Kingsburg last summer — now at the top of the list of memorable family vacations. Yes, the barn parties were a blast but the best part was jogging barefoot, alone and unencumbered, on the shores of Hirtles Beach. Our cottage was perched on a hill above the beach, where the call of the waves just a short stroll away beckoned me every morning.


  4. Mike commented:

    Having lived in Riverport my entire life with the odd seasoning of travel for school, work and pleasure, I can attest that the Riverport area is the most beautiful place on earth. Come down to the sea..


  5. Kimberley Guilmette commented:

    Shhhhh!!!! don’t tell too many people, it will turn into a typical tourist trap…we’ve been vacationing on the South Shore for over a decade…the entire area is spectacular!! walking on the beaches; visiting the LaHave Bakery after a bike ride; sitting and listening to the surf! It’s inspired many of my paintings…love
    the ‘simple’ life, and being surrounded by nature! So keep it a secret, we like it
    that way.


  6. alexandra reid commented:

    agreed shhhh! when i heard you on cbcradio1,yesterday,describing a 150 year old cottage ,i said to myself i know this spot and i was right- have rented the schoolhouse for 2 weeks this summer-have been spent many summers along the south shore…always coming back to ottawa refreshed and missing the sea air more and more


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