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Travel to Nova Scotia: Canada's New England

If you're on a budget, tired of crowded beaches and packed hotels, love seafood, and have a 19th-century mindset, then Nova Scotia is for you.

Think New England, and vivid images come to mind: of lighthouses and fishing boats, charming coastal towns, lobster and crab, Victorian homes and rich history. It has always been an intriguing region, steeped in truth and in fiction by the novels of Stephen King. If you like New England, you'll love Nova Scotia, Canada's second smallest province.

Find Nova Scotia on a map -- in the North Atlantic, east of the state of Maine -- and "vacation hotspot" won't be the first thing that comes to mind. But don't let Nova Scotia's northern location fool. Summertime is comfortable and winters are milder and less snowy than in many northern states. Situated just two hours from New York City or Boston, Nova Scotia feels a world away...as if you've stepped back in time. Largely underdeveloped and rich in natural beauty, history and culture, this hidden has a lot to offer: pristine beaches, resort, spas, B&Bs and country inns, rustic lodges, world-class golf and whale watching.

Just picture England, Ireland or Scotland 100 years ago, and you get a idea of what Nova Scotia is like. Almost an island, it is best known for its picturesque coastline, sleepy fishing villages and friendly people. The province's gem is Cape Breton Island, an area deeply steeped in Scottish heritage. The island's breathtaking Cape


Breton Highlands National Parkand the Bras d'Or Lake (pronounced "bra door") are popular with Canadian and foreign travelers alike.

Not only is Nova Scotia a prime tourist destination, but cheap real estate and a reasonable cost of living make it an attractive second home. 1-acre oceanfront lots sale for as little as $15,000, while a three-bedroom home on a few acres can be had for as little as $60,000. It's no wonder that Hollywood heavyweights such as Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore have snapped up summer homes here.

Considering its close proximity, not many Americans make it to Nova Scotia. Of those who do, few are disappointed.

Why not go see for yourself?

RESOURCES If you go, stay at Stern's Mansion Victorian Bed & Breakfast. It's charming and conveniently located. See: www.sternsmansion.com

Nova Scotia's Best Private Guide While a well-informed, open-minded guide can improve your trip by 100 percent, a bad one can completely ruin it. Mrs. Chiassaon is the kind of person you need at your side when traveling in Nova Scotia. She is one of the most competent tour guides in Nova Scotia. She is familiar with the entire province and offers guided tours tailored to your individual preferences and tastes. She may be contacted at: kjchiasson@eastlink.ca
About the Author

Phillip Townsend is the author of Passport to Canada: The Complete Guide to Living and Retiring in Nova Scotia. His website is www.nsliving.info.