Nova Scotia

7 Escape-worthy Cottages in Nova Scotia with Ocean Views and Serenity

Whether you're looking for a place to bond with a group of friends or simply relax with your significant other, these cottages are just what you need.

Cottaging is as much about sharing experiences with loved ones as it is about disconnecting from the burdens of everyday life. Somehow, it always offers the remedy we most need.

We learn to dive for the first time off the lakeside cottage dock. There’s a fossil during a walk on the seashore. As teenagers, friends host bonfires and sneak beers when we think the grown-ups aren’t paying attention. As adults, we savour waking before dawn to the eerie call of a loon, seizing the opportunity for a quiet moment on the porch, wrapped in a quilt with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. When the temperatures drop, we huddle inside and watch old films or read novels left behind by other visitors.

Undoubtedly, nature is one of Nova Scotia’s best assets and we are all drawn to occasions in which we can wholly immerse ourselves in her beauty: the crystal-clear lakes, the pounding ocean surf, the autumnal foliage, and the comforting silence that accompanies our great snowfalls in the winter.

Nova Scotians love a cottage weekend, but not everyone is lucky enough to have been born into a family with a shared cottage. Luckily, there are plenty of year-round options available for a weekend escape into the woods, whether you come in your flip-flops or pack your snowshoes.

Make a new Spotify playlist and load up the car with plenty of snacks – after all, no one wants to run out of storm chips when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Here’s where we’re off cottaging.

Wind your way to a cottage lobster supper in Hubbards

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Head south out of Halifax, forgoing the Fisherman’s Memorial Highway for the Lighthouse Route, following St.Margaret’s Bay Road straight to Anchorage House & Cottages. Savour the drive, one of the most enjoyable in the province, with smooth asphalt winding you through hairpin turns and expansive views of the dappled turquoise and navy ocean waters to your left.

 

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Weekend Getaways from Halifax

The cottages are located in Hubbards and overlook a small bay dotted with fishing boats bobbing gently in the tide. Nearby, you’ll find a small general shop and a few cafes and restaurants where residents are greeted by name and strangers warmly welcomed into the fold. During the summer, most folks spend their days on the popular Queensland beach renowned for its relatively warm waters and soft sands.

The cottages can accommodate anywhere from two to six people and feature ocean views (in select rooms), BBQs, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs in the bathroom. You can cook up a storm in the fully equipped cottage kitchens, or if you’re visiting during the summer season, plan a visit to coincide with the famous Shore Club lobster suppers – an 82-year-old community gathering which serves freshly caught Atlantic lobsters to communal tables.

Anchorage House & Cottages

8.6 Excellent (124 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
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Quintessential South Shore charm at Bayswater

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The cheery yellow Somerset Cottage, with its screened in porch, is a sharp right off the Lighthouse Route in the rural village of Bayswater. It’s easy to get distracted marvelling at the jewel-toned clapboard houses on the way and miss the turn. If you pass the tiny white wood and black roof church on your right, you’ve driven too far.

The cottage is just a short stroll from Bayswater Beach, busy in the summer with kids wading in the shallow water and blissfully quiet in the offseason with the occasional dog walker or picnickers hiding from the wind among the rocks that border the sand. It’s also a brief drive to the popular South Shore villages of Chester, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg, where you can find shops and restaurants.

Vivid details like the deep porcelain kitchen sink and a clawfoot tub bring period charm to this otherwise modern property that comes with updated necessities like a microwave, coffee maker, and a toaster for making breakfast as well as WiFi, an Apple TV, a DVD player and Bluetooth speakers for winding down with a film in the evening. The cottage also comes supplied with firewood for S’mores – everyone’s fav cottage nighttime snack.

Somerset Cottage - Only A Stroll To The Beach

9.2 Excellent (46 reviews)
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Tucked between the high tides and rolling hills of Harbourville

The Cliffhouse On The Bay of Fundy is nestled between the rolling forested hills of the Annapolis Valley and the salty air of the village of Harbourville, where twice a day fishing ships are left stranded on the ocean floor as the tide pulls the water out.

The cute cottage is well insulated for summer and winter visits and has all the requisite cottage weekend amenities, like a large deck from which you can hear the waves and a toasty fireplace with kindling and firewood for an extra cozy ambiance. The spacious kitchen and BBQ are perfect for indulging in locally sourced produce from nearby farmers’ markets and exciting varieties of internationally acclaimed Valley wines, like the sparkling wines of Benjamin Bridge. Add a fresh lobster bought straight off the village wharf and you’ve got yourself a high-end meal in the homey privacy of your cottage.

Cliffhouse On The Bay Of Fundy

Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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Rustic valley cottage getaway with extra amenities

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Whether you are bringing the extended brood of young cousins to bond over screams on the wooden roller coaster at Upper Clements Park or you’re looking for a quiet weekend alone for two, Upper Clements Cottages suits both getaway styles. The property is well maintained with ample picnic tables and BBQs to accommodate everyone during the busy summer season, plus a playground for the kids, and seasonally heated pool.

The cottages overlook the Annapolis River and the dirt path that follows the water up into the centre of Annapolis Royal and the Charles Fort National Historic Site, about an hour walk away. Each veranda-fronted cottage has two bedrooms and can comfortably sleep up to six guests. Pine walls add rustic charm but you’re not without WiFi, free of charge. If you’re stuck with bad weather, you can borrow books, board games and movies from the library onsite to keep you occupied.

Upper Clements Cottages

8.8 Excellent (50 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Bring everyone together for a cottage weekend near Sable River

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In the rural village of Sable River, with a babbling river at its doorstep, Sable River View Cottages offer a taste of quiet country life. All four cottages are fully furnished with sturdy wooden beds and sofas. You can fully book out the property for a big family reunion or a hunting trip with the boys. There’s even a smokehouse on the property if you’re keen to start curing your catch.

Guests benefit from access to canoes for paddling adventures through the nearby Sable River Bird Sanctuary or bikes for overground exploration. At the end of the day, you’re not without your creature comforts. Soak in the large hot tub or steam in the sauna on site.

Sable River View Cottages

8.3 Very good (12 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
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Bathe in the sunset glow of this sweet loft cottage near New Glasgow

Photo courtesy of Tourism Nova Scotia.

You’re never far from the coast in Nova Scotia, but imagine smelling the ocean air from morning till night at this self-contained loft cottage near New Glasgow. The open-plan loft is above the property owners’ garage and fits in a kitchen with small appliances and a dining table. The living area has a TV but the upholstered chairs are pulled towards the view of the ocean and beach. It’s incredibly quiet at night with only the sound of birds and leaves rustling in the wind. Even the lightest sleepers will enjoy a full night of rest.

You’re a stone’s throw from Melmerby beach, which is popular with families in the summer thanks to its soft sand, warm waters that can reach 22 degrees, and the gentle sloping entry into the ocean that’s great for young kids who need to keep their footing while they are learning to swim. During the winter, you’re likely to have the whole stretch of beach to yourself, sharing only with endangered Piping Plovers and other shorebirds darting in and out of the waves.

Stunning Location – Charming Stay – Ocean Air

8.6 Excellent (23 reviews)
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Glorious mountain and ocean air and views near Ingonish

Photo courtesy of Wally Hayes.

What roundup of cottages in Nova Scotia could be complete without a nod to Cape Breton? Located amid the mountains and ocean in the world-famous Cape Breton Highland National Park, Knotty Pine Cottages are a convivial home base for exploring the magnificent locale. The cottages are pet-friendly, have gas BBQs and kitchenettes as well as free WiFi, which you’ll use for plotting out hiking routes.

Even if you aren’t much of a hiker, you can plop down on the private deck behind the cottages and soak in the view of Ingonish Harbour with the occasional boat driving past and birds circling above the rising forested hills of the highlands. Nearby, you’ll find the golden sands of Ingonish beach and world-class golfing at the Highland Links during the warmer months. Winter brings cross-country skiing trails, wilderness snowshoeing, and a roaring fire warming up all the two-bedroom cottages (numbers 2, 8, 9).

Knotty Pine Cottages

8.5 Excellent (139 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
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Featured image courtesy of Jive Photographic, Tourism Nova Scotia.


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