On the opposite side of HRM at its extreme southwestern edge, the Surfside Inn overlooks St. Margaret’s Bay from a rise beside Queensland Beach. It’s a country inn restored to its former Victorian grace. Just a few kilometres away, Pleasant View B&B is perched on a hill with grand views of the same St. Margaret’s Bay and within walking distance of a couple of small beaches. Pleasant View is a large, modern and airy B&B with weathered cedar shingles in a wooded setting. In nearby Hubbards, the bright blue Dauphinee Inn claims to have the finest waterside patio in Nova Scotia. It puts on weekly music at the dock where the Inn rents ten berths for those travelling by or with a boat.
Surfside, Pleasant View and the Dauphinee Inn make great jumping off points for exploring the western fringes of HRM. From these comfortable stays, it’s a leisurely and scenic coastal drive along St. Margaret’s Bay to Nova Scotia’s most famous village, Peggy’s Cove. Walk the narrow streets to the wharves where small fishing boats bob and on to the lighthouse – it once doubled as a post office – that stands tall on a shoreline of solid rock worn smooth by eons of waves. On the road in and out of the village, look for the stone carving on a 30-metre long exposed granite rock face memorializing hardworking Nova Scotia fishermen. Some 32 fishermen and their families are depicted in a line, many at work with fishing gear.
Further along the coast, other lesser known villages like Dover, Prospect and Terence Bay are also worth exploring. From the city side of this peninsula, it’s worth a drive out to Sambro as well. No coastal road links Peggy’s Cove and Sambro. On both sides of the peninsula, there are walking trails, tiny harbours, islands, and lighthouses to discover.
Cocktails and dinner back at the Tuna Blue Bar and Grill inside the Dauphinee Inn make a great ending to a day of exploring, no matter which of the three accommodations you choose for your stay. Fresh local fish dominates the menu, of course, including seafood chowder, lobster rolls, and fried local haddock. Some of the dishes are prepared with a Portuguese touch like the fishcakes but are fused with traditional Maritime foods, in this case with a side of homemade baked beans. Tuck in at Tuna Blue, then retire to one of these quiet and comfortable B&Bs for some down east hospitality in its largest city.