Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
About Mahone Bay
Settled in 1754 and founded on the shipbuilding and logging industries, the history of Mahone Bay is rich in tradition. Discover the story at the Settlers Museum and pick up a free historic walking tour pamphlet, then find your favourite spot along the historic harbourfront to capture one of the most photographed views in Nova Scotia, the Three Churches of Mahone Bay.
Mahone Bay is open year round and boasts a simple yet extraordinary quality of life. You will want to experience it all from, history, to unique shops, artisans and culinary experiences, to outdoor adventures. Recently named as one of Canada’s top ten most beautiful towns by culturetrip.com, Mahone Bay is a must-see town on the coast of Nova Scotia.
Located on Nova Scotia’s spectacular South Shore, Mahone Bay is situated 50 minutes from downtown Halifax and the Annapolis Valley and is just 15 minutes from the town of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mahone Bay is also located an approximate 2 hour drive from both the Yarmouth, NS to Portland, Maine ferry and the Digby to Saint John, NB ferry.
Things to See and Do in Mahone Bay
Festivals & Events
- The Mahone Bay Home and Garden Tour: A warm Mahone Bay welcome awaits as homeowners open the front doors and garden gates to greet you at selected properties for this self-guided tour in support of the Mahone Bay Settlers Museum. Ship’s captains are on hand at the municipal wharf for visitors to board and view their vessels.
- Great Scarecrow Festival and Antique Fair: Each October, the town comes alive with more than 150 handmade life-size scarecrows, created by local artists, to delight and amuse visitors of all ages. At the same time, the largest antique show in the Maritimes fills three venues with respected and sought-after vendors.
- Father Christmas Festival: Late November and early December Mahone Bay comes to live with family friendly and beautiful larger than life-sized Father Christmas figures, horse drawn rides through town, a tree lighting ceremony with bell ringers, gingerbread decorating, and Father Christmas and carolers strolling the streets.
The calm waters of Mahone Bay are home to hundreds of islands and a wealth of bird and sea life. Paddle the sheltered waters of the bay and its islands. Take a guided tour with South Shore Boat Tours that departs daily from the Civic Marina (in season). Experience guided tours around the beautiful islands within Mahone Bay with Cape LaHave Adventures or rent your own kayak at their storefront on Main Street in Mahone Bay.
Kayak and paddleboard rentals are also available at the nearby Atlantic Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre in Western Shore.
Stroll our seaside Main Street abundant with unique shops and artisans. Explore destination shops such as:
- Mahone Bay Trading Co.: a destination for high quality shoes.
- The Teazer: Nova Scotia’s longest running and the South Shore's largest gift store.
- Northern Sun Gallery and Gifts: Carrying a select range of jewelry, pottery and handcrafts, many products are made right here in the Maritimes, handcrafted by skilled artisans.
- Haskapa: A team of ‘Berry Inventors’ are busy in the kitchens creating tempting new haskapa goodies to tempt you with. So far they’ve created over one hundred innovative recipes with plenty more to come!
- Suttles and Seawinds: Fashion and Nova Scotia quilted treasures and quilting fabics.
Artists at work
- Amos Pewter: Shop for handcrafted pewter and meet the artisans while visiting the store. Amos Pewter is a member of the international Economuseum network.
- Birdsall-Worthington: Unique, hand crafted pottery creations
- Seamist Studios: Pearl & leather jewelry Inspired by the sea and handmade with love!
- Spruce Top Rug Hooking Studio: A variety of rug hooking and braiding related services including dying and custom designs. Spruce Top is a member of the international Economuseum network.
Oak Island Treasure
Discover the story behind Canada's longest and costliest treasure hunt on a Walk the Mystery walking tour of Oak Island. Tickets must be purchased ahead of the tour.
Fresh and Local Places to Eat
- LaHave Bakery: Breads are traditionally made using locally-grown, fresh milled grains. Granola, and home-style baked sweets such as muffins, cakes, cookies, croissants and a variety of squares, can also be found here.
- Tea Brewery: enjoy artisan small-batch tea selections.
- Mateus Bistro: delivers deliciously fresh and exciting dishes using local produce, heightened with a European style.
- Rebecca's Restaurant: experience food, fun and live music.
- The Biscuit Eater: Delectable meals, coffees, teas, desserts, and award-winning wines.
- Kedy’s Inlet: Where the view, great food, and friendly people meet!
- Mug and Anchor Pub: Pub culture, beers on tap, maritime music, a favourite for locals and visitors.
Cozy accommodations in Mahone Bay provide a perfect base to explore the town and the South Shore. Choose from romantic inns and bed and breakfasts, to a family friendly resort, cottages or campground.
- Bayview Pines Country Inn: A charming seaside Inn with lovely views overlooking Mahone Bay.
- Fisherman's Daughter B&B: Your seaside escape, this designated heritage home sits on the shores of picturesque Mahone Bay and is regarded by many respected lodging reviewers as "a perfect choice for a memorable stay!"
- Heart's Desire B&B: Located in a classic four square home, overlooking Mahone Bay. In addition to cozy bed and breakfast rooms, the Garden Hideaway also offers a cottage accommodation.
- Mahone Bay B&B: Stay at a five star B&B in a 152 year old lovingly preserved and restored house with service described as old fashioned hospitality.
- Atlantica Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre: Open year round with spa, family recreation, conference facilities and Taste of Nova Scotia dining. Locally imagined and seasonally inspired. Located just a 10 minute drive from Mahone Bay.
Photos of Mahone Bay
Picturesque Mahone Bay
Picturesque Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia's South Shore is home to artisan shops, locally inspired restaurants, and one of the most photographed spots in the province - Mahone Bay's Three Churches.
View of Mahone Bay's Three Churches
One of the most photographed views of Mahone Bay is of the Three Churches that overlook Mahone Bay on the main street. Depending on the time of year, you may see three, four, or five church steeples in your photo.
Pumpkin Path jack-o-lanterns at the Mahone Bay Great Scarecrow Festival
Be sure to take a stroll along the Pumpkin Path during the Great Scarecrow Festival & Antique Fair in Mahone Bay.
Annual Great Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay
Be sure to visit Mahone Bay the first weekend in October each year for the Annual Great Scarecrow Festival & Antique Fair. Scarecrows of Hollywood actors and actresses, famous musicians, politicans and even British royalty are a sight to behold.
Sunrise over Mahone Bay
Sunrise over Mahone Bay.
Photos of Mahone Bay
Visit Mahone Bay near the end of November and into the first of December during the annual Mahone Bay Father Christmas Festival to take in the festivities and to view the creative Father Christmases that appear throughout the town.