Fishing is synonymous with the Maritimes, and a trip to Nova Scotia isn’t really complete without a stop at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg. Whether you’re a boat aficionado, curious about marine biology, or just want to touch some fish (yes, really), you’ll find something fascinating here.The Fisheries Museum building is bright red – those bright red buildings along Lunenburg’s harbour are iconic, and were supposedly painted such to allow fishermen returning home in the fog to identify their home berth. In fact, one of Lunenburg’s charms is the vibrant hues of her houses – throughout this UNESCO world heritage site you’ll find beautiful old homes painted every shade of the rainbow… but that’s another post altogether.
The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is home to the Bluenose II, Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador. If she’s there (the ship sails around the world), you can go right on the boat and explore.
In addition to the Bluenose II, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is home to the Theresa E Connor, Canada’s oldest saltbank schooner, and the Cape Sable, a steel hulled side trawler. You can go on board both vessels and check them out for yourselves – a big hit with our little one!
Inside the main building, you’ll discover an aquarium filled with North Atlantic fish. There, I learned (newsflash!) that Cod are not attractive.
The aquarium is on the main floor, and there are three levels filled with exhibits. Older kids and adults will enjoy the static exhibits, but both times we’ve visited with our daughter we’ve stuck to the more interactive exhibits. This is one of the great things about this museum – there’s something for everyone, and all ages can really enjoy a visit here.
One of the big hits with our toddler was the tidal touch tank. [OK, if I’m being honest, it was pretty fun for her parents too ;)] When we last visited, the touch tank was housed on the wharf, but it seems that it’s since moved inside. Get up close and personal with scallops, sea stars, crabs, and other relatively harmless fish here.
Finally, don’t forget to leave yourself time to grab an ice cream and enjoy the ocean view from the boardwalk. After all, ocean views are what Nova Scotia does best. Breathe in the salt air and do a little people watching before you carry on with your South Shore adventure!
Tips & Info
- You’ll find the Fisheries Museum on Lunenburg’s waterfront (68 Bluenose Drive)
- If you’re military or have the CFOne card (ex-military) you’ll get free admission!
- The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is seasonal, and is closed in the winter
- Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic website
- The South Shore of Nova Scotia is one of the world’s most beautiful places. Take some time to explore!