The Eastern Shore is a region on the northeastern coast of Nova Scotia. It is less populated and less touristy than the nearby South Shore, with fewer attractions. It's not without it charm though, with its many small villages and often empty beaches and coastline standing watch over the Atlantic swell. It is home to Acadian and Mi'kmaq communities.
- 1 Canso — a small community on the southern shore of Chedabucto Bay
- 2 Guysborough — home to the Alder Grounds, Boggy Lake, Bonnett Lake Barrens, and Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Areas
- 3 Musquodobit Harbour — where you'll find the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia (5 km)
- 4 Porters Lake — a bedroom community of the Halifax region
The Eastern Shore is a scenic, yet sparsely settled area, hosting dozens of small fishing harbours and communities; the region has become home to many cottages and recreational properties, given the amount of unspoiled sand beaches and dramatic coastlines. The shore also hosts the majority of Nova Scotia's small islands.
Most of the economy along the Eastern Shore is based on fishing, forestry and tourism. The tourism industry is concentrated near popular beaches and provincial parks such as Lawrencetown, Clam Harbour, and Martinique, as well as the centrally-located service communities of Musquodoboit Harbour, Sheet Harbour, Sherbrooke, Canso, Guysborough and Mulgrave. Popular tourist attractions include the Liscombe Lodge resort and conference centre in Liscomb Mills and the Historic Sherbrooke Village in Sherbrooke.
Highway 7 covers the western and central parts of the Eastern Shore, connecting it with Dartmouth to the west and Antigonish to the north. Highway 16, on the east coast, connects Guysborough and Canso with the Trans-Canada Highway.
Highway 344, connects Guysborough and Canso with the Trans-Canada Highway at Aulds Cove and the Canso Causeway, connecting it to Cape Breton Island and Port Hawksbury.
The Marine Drive is a continuous series of coastal routes that wind their way along the unspoiled coast of the Eastern Shore passing through quaint fishing villages and offering unparalleled views of the natural beauty that makes up the Eastern Shore.
The Eastern Shore is made up of many picturesque beaches and, unlike other parts of the province, the beaches tend to be quieter with fewer people, especially the ones that are further from from the Halifax region. Due to the cold waters of the North Atlantic, August and September tend to have the warmest water temperatures, after the summer sun has had a chance to warm it up. Nova Scotia can have fog all year round. The best days for going to a coastal beach is when the wind is not from the ocean, which can keep a heavy bank of fog covering a beach even when it is quite hot inland.
- Black Duck Cove
- Clam Harbour Beach has pristine sand ideal for sand castle building and hosts the annual sand castle competition.
- Conrad's Beach is an undeveloped beach accessible by boardwalk, with limited parking, that is home to the endangered species the piping plover. Conrad's Beach does not have change rooms or washrooms and may not be accessible for people with restricted mobility.
- Martinique isthe longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia.
- Taylorhead has hiking trails and beaches along a peninsula looking out onto the Atlantic ocean.
- Tor Bay
The Fisherman's Life Museum, in Salmon River Bridge, is a traditional house and garden depicting the everyday life of the fishermen who made the Eastern Shore their home.
Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, depicts life along the Eastern Shore in the 1940s.
Sherbrooke Village is a heritage village depicting the village life in Nova Scotia at the turn of the 19th century. It is Nova Scotia's largest provincial museum.
Go surfing at Lawrencetown beach. Within a 30-minute drive of Dartmouth, Lawrencetown beach is a popular local beach for surfers with some of the largest waves in the province. As a provincial beach the location is always free and there is plenty of parking. Equipment can be rented on site through Happy Dudes Surf Emporium.
Take a short scenic boat tour excursion at Murphy's Cove. Experience the Eastern Shore from the water onboard a local fishing boat.
Go sea kayaking in Tangier.
The Eastern Shore has a variety of trails, of varying skill levels, located through out the natural wilderness areas, including Crowbar Trail, and Porters Lake. The Trans-Canada Trail, connecting Dartmouth with the Eastern Shore, is a multi-purpose trail running along the old railway line. It is relatively flat and provides an easy walking, hiking or biking adventure. The trail is broken up into a number of segments of varying lengths and makes a great excursion or day trip from Dartmouth. The Myra Road Trail at Porters Lake is an old logging road to Porters Lake.
The International Sandcastle Contest, held in mid-August on Clam Harbour Beach, has been attracting thousands of people to the Eastern Shore since about 1980.