Destination guide

Making the most of Nova Scotia vacation rentals

Set on a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia is the multitool of vacation destinations, offering a heady mix of natural attractions, historical sites, and modern galleries. Choose your home away from home from a thousand cozy cottages and spacious vacation rentals, whether you're looking to bed down in the thick of the action in downtown Halifax or wake up with your family in tranquil backcountry surroundings. Wherever you stay, be sure to get a lungful of fresh air in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, see the iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, and sink your teeth into the freshest seafood feasts.


History buff? You've got a long old list of attractions to tick off in Nova Scotia. In downtown Halifax, Fort George is the 4th fortification to be built on Citadel Hill, and you can get even closer to history with seasonal live demonstrations and guided tours. For an even more vivid time-travel experience – with no DeLorean required – make for The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. It faithfully recreates an 18th-century French settlement, complete with costumed actors going about their day like it's the 1700s.

Things to do

Top attractions close to Nova Scotia vacation rentals

The picture-postcard gorgeous community of Peggy's Cove tops most Nova Scotia itineraries; Peggy's Cove Lighthouse has been converted to a post office, and there are plenty of places to grab a bite round about. Downtown Halifax will take you more than a day to explore, thanks to its many museums, galleries, and malls. Nose round historic Citadel Hill, then stop by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – the only national museum in Canada's Atlantic provinces and a well-known entry point for immigrants from the 1930s to the 1950s. If you've got the time, head to the Bay of Fundy for whale-watching trips and the UNESCO-listed Joggins Fossil Cliffs.

How to get around

Getting around Nova Scotia from your vacation rental

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is the primary gateway to Nova Scotia. Once you're in town, getting behind the wheel is the best way to travel around, and you'll find car rental agencies at airports and in the big cities. Otherwise, you can navigate the region via public buses and ferry services. Halifax Railway Station is a stop for Via Rail's Ocean passenger train, which runs between Halifax and Montreal.

Food & drink 

Nova Scotia's must-try dishes for curious foodies

Freshly caught seafood is top of the menu on Nova Scotia's culinary trail. In particular, you'll want to get your teeth around seafood pie, scallops served with tartare sauce, and the ubiquitous lobster rolls. Garlic fingers and the iconic Halifax donair – kind of like a pita – make for tasty snacks, and for dessert, there's the cobbler-like blueberry grunt, which is a lot tastier than it sounds. The Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market – North America's oldest continuously operating farmers' market – is a good spot to gorge yourself on many local treats at once.

Essential info

Essential facts for your Nova Scotia vacation rental stay

Nova Scotia is one of Canada's 3 maritime provinces. Although it's the second smallest province, covering around 55,200 sq km, its population numbers over 920,000. Halifax is the provincial capital and the largest city. The legal drinking age in Nova Scotia is 19. Tipping is customary in Canada; you're expected to tip taxi drivers, tour guides, and porters, and leave a 15% to 20% sweetener at restaurants and bars. Canada's emergency services number is 911.

Where to stay near Nova Scotia?

Our 2019 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 1,314 house rentals near Nova Scotia. From 390 Cottages to 632 Houses, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best place to stay near Nova Scotia for a long holiday or a weekend break is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Nova Scotia?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Nova Scotia. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Halifax: 284 vacation rentals
  • Cape Breton Island: 330 vacation rentals
  • Lunenburg: 285 vacation rentals
  • Mahone Bay: 275 vacation rentals
  • Wolfville: 56 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Nova Scotia! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Nova Scotia?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Nova Scotia:

  • Halifax: 284 rentals
  • Lunenburg: 285 rentals
  • Mahone Bay: 275 rentals
  • Wolfville: 56 rentals
  • Hubbards: 159 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when travelling by plane to Nova Scotia?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of lodging choices in Nova Scotia are:

  • Halifax, NS (YWF-Downtown Waterfront Heliport): 258 home rentals
  • Halifax International Airport (YHZ): 200 home rentals
  • Port Hawkesbury, NS (YPS): 30 home rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in Nova Scotia?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in Nova Scotia. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Carter's Beach: 64 vacation homes
  • Melmerby Beach Provincial Park: 34 vacation homes
  • Martinique Beach Provincial Park: 38 vacation homes
  • Lawrencetown Beach: 219 vacation homes
  • Summerville Beach Provincial Park: 61 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around Nova Scotia listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Nova Scotia

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