If you’re in search of a day trip in Nova Scotia this one is for you. About an hour outside of Halifax sits the welcoming town of Chester, Nova Scotia. This quaint little town is just the place to catch the Tancook Ferry over to the island. The ferry ride itself is about fifty minutes and only costs $7 per person roundtrip. The boat has both an indoor and outdoor deck so there’s no worry if it’s windy or rainy. Sit back, relax and enjoy the quick jaunt over to the island. Make sure to check the ferry schedule because there are no B&B’s or hotels on the island – you don’t want to get stuck there overnight. However, it makes for a great day trip adventure.
This island almost transports you back in time. It houses a small population complete with dirt roads and beautiful scenery. It’s a slower, relaxing pace of life and is truly a break from the everyday hustle and bustle. Embrace the slower pace and just go with the flow.
Upon arrival, the first stop was at the “Free Bike Rental” shed. The bicycles are technically free rentals but there’s a small can for donations that I would recommend leaving a few dollars in. The island is accessible by foot and bicycle however the bicycles allow you to tour the island a little quicker. I thoroughly enjoyed having the bicycle even though it didn’t have much traction (I had to walk it up the hills haha). The dirt roads and few cars make it ideal conditions for cycling.
The island is refreshing and the perfect opportunity to spend a little time with nature. We first stopped at the Library/Art Gallery/Museum (yes, it’s all in one) and learned a little about the island’s history. The next stop was the pebbly beach, which is really beautiful. The water was actually super warm, which is strange for Nova Scotia. It was the perfect temperature for a dip in the ocean. The island is also equipped with ‘rest stops’, which are the perfect places to stop for a picnic lunch. These stops have picnic tables; garbage cans and most have an ocean view (bonus!). There are a couple mini cafes on the island that serve your typical fries, burgers, and hot dogs but we opted to bring a picnic. I would recommend packing a picnic lunch and taking advantage of the rest stops. Some fruit, trail mix, hummus, veggies, and crackers should do the trick! Sit back and take in the fresh salty air.
(The photo above was taken inside the museum.)
Most of the day was spent biking around the island, taking in the scenic views and relaxing. It’s a great low-stress day trip. If you’re looking for a slower pace and a break from your everyday hustle: check out Big Tancook Island for a day of R&R. Enjoy!