Driving from Halifax to the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is one of life’s great pleasures.
This twisty two-lane highway is one of the best-maintained in Nova Scotia and winds through some delightful villages, the scenery periodically opening up to panoramic ocean views before twisting and turning back inland.
It’s such a fun and scenic little drive that, of all the wonderful things about the Maritimes, this drive is the thing that Gary or I would inevitably mention wistfully when we were waxing nostalgic during our 4 years in Calgary. (Visiting on my own one year, I took my mother’s Santa Fe down to Peggy’s Cove. Not nearly as fun as the Mini Cooper, I’ll admit.)
If you’re a gearhead with a great car, you’ll enjoy this drive just for the road.
If you’re not a car enthusiast, you’ll still love this drive because it winds through some very quintessential Nova Scotia scenes: there are fishing villages, quiet harbours, ocean waves crashing against the rocks, some forest, and then, just before you hit Peggy’s Cove, an almost alien landscape reveals itself, with glacial erratics perched upon the granite bedrock exposed all around you.Turning off the main road towards the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse, you’ll pass through the fishing village with its working harbour and some small shops and art galleries. Many visitors drive right by these, but they’re definitely worth a stop… in fact, if you arrive in high season you may need to park here and walk up to the lighthouse (don’t worry, it’s a short and scenic walk).
Once you get to the lighthouse: please, please, please heed the warning signs. The ocean is dangerously unpredictable here. People have died from rogue waves sweeping them off the rocks.
Remember to bring a sweater! The temperature on the oceanfront is often much colder than inland.
The lighthouse would be, I suspect, beautiful at sunrise. I’m not a morning person, so have never had the opportunity to find out! If you manage to snap a shot, I’d love to see it.
Once you’ve explored the lighthouse and Peggy’s Cove village, there’s plenty to do in the area, including bouldering, hiking, and – of course! – eating lobster. If you keep going along the Lighthouse Route, all sorts of wonderful sights, shops, restaurants, and activities await you, but since Peggy’s Cove is less than an hour from Halifax, it’s also doable day trip for a Halifax-based vacation.
So hop in your car and enjoy the drive!