Most towns in Nova Scotia are small, and many people touring around the province allocate only a day or so to each place. So what should you see and do if you only have one day in Wolfville?

Start by having coffee at Just Us! next to Al Whittle Theatre (Acadia Cinema). They serve proper Italian-style cappuccinos here, complete with latte art (and they’re fair trade – more on them below). If it’s Saturday, make sure to drop by the Farmers’ Market between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. You can have breakfast here, or grab a little souvenir such as a jar of homemade jam, or an artisanal soap. On the week-end, Rosie’s Restaurant on Front Street offers a brunch menu between 11:00 and 3:00 PM.  They have a patio, and their “Irish Farmhouse Breakfast” is only $6.99!

Wolfville Farmers' Market

Wolfville Farmers’ Market

Wine aficionados will want to take advantage of a unique Wolfville feature: the hop-on/hop-off Wolfville Magic Winery Bus. From Thursday to Sunday, the 1967 British double-decker departs from the Tourist Office at 10:30, 12:30 and 1:30. The bus stops at four different wineries in the area, each offering a short presentation and free tasting (one or two samples). Three of the wineries also have a restaurant. If you want to visit all the wineries and have lunch, you should plan on boarding the first bus. Tickets are $25 ($20 for the 1:30 departure) and you can book them online in advance.

Me at Luckett Vineyards

Me at Luckett Vineyards, part of the Magic Bus tour

If you’re not having lunch at a winery, a couple of restaurants in town make affordable alternatives. The Naked Crepe serves substantial crepes and good pizzas. For super-healthy fare, or if you’re vegan, The Rolled Oats should please, with its various sandwiches, wraps, and noodle bowls. Rosie’s Restaurant also makes a good lunch stop. For something fancier, the top rated restaurants according to TripAdvisor are Privet and Troy (Turkish and Mediterranean food).

Downtown Wolfville is small, only two short streets, but you’ll find several shops and art galleries to browse. I really like Wild Lily, a shop selling gifts, jewelry, and home decor items. Harvest Gallery next to Paddy’s Brew Pub on Main Street, displays paintings from Maritime artists. On Front Street you’ll find a Natural Food Store, and the NSLC (liquor store).

Wild Lily shop, Wolfville

Wild Lily shop, Wolfville

If you’re more into nature than shopping, don’t miss Acadia University Botanical Gardens. More “forest” than “garden”, the native green space is divided into several ecosystems with information signs. You can access the gardens by going up either Westwood Avenue or University Avenue. Admission is free. Across from Westwood Avenue, a trail leads up into the forest.

There are a few other pleasant parks downtown. Waterfront Park can be found at the eastern end of Front street, right by the water. It has panels explaining the building of the dykes to create agricultural land out of marshes. Next to the Tourist Office is Willow Park, from where a dirt trail called Millenium Trail, heads up into the woods to two fresh water reservoirs. The walk should take you about 20 minutes one-way.

Millenium Trail, Wolfville

Millenium Trail, Wolfville

Grab a city map from the Tourist Office to see exactly where these trails and parks are located.

Around Wolfville

If you have a car (and enough time on your hands), two nearby areas deserve a visit.

Port Williams

To the northwest of Wolfville is a small community called Port Williams. FoxHill Cheese House is located here (they also have a branch in the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market) and besides cheese, yoghurt, and milk, they sell delicious gelato. A little further down the road is Planters Ridge, an artisanal winery that opened in 2014 and offers tastings with a view of the rolling countryside.

Prescott House, Port Williams

Prescott House, Port Williams

A few kilometres away, you’ll find Prescott House, a home that belonged to Charles R. Prescott, a prosperous merchant and horticulturist who contributed to the development of the Nova Scotia’s apple industry. The house is now a museum, filled with period furniture, photographs, and mementos. It was occupied most recently by Prescott’s great grand-daughters who also added a small garden at the back. Both the house and garden can be visited for a $3.90 admission fee.

Grand Pré

Grand Pré is a Unesco World Heritage Site and ancient Acadian homeland. Located on a peninsula to the northeast of Wolfville, the area consists mostly of farmland, but you shouldn’t miss the Grand Pré National Historic Site ($7.80 admission) to learn more about the Acadian settlement, the Deportation, and the Acadian memorials, including the Memorial Church rebuilt in 1922 to commemorate the deportation. A statue of Evangeline, the heroine of the fictional work by American writer Henry W. Longfellow stands in front.

Memorial Church, Grand Pré

Memorial Church, Grand Pré

You can also drive to Evangeline Beach to witness the huge tides of the Bay of Fundy and learn about the migratory birds that come here every season.

For a bite to eat, try the café at the Evangeline Inn & Motel. In business for over three decades, it’s famous for its pies and milkshakes. A bit further on Highway 1, Tangled Garden a popular shop that sells jellies, jams, chutneys, vinegars, and liqueurs from herbs grown in its own garden, and fruits from the valley. Continuing on Highway 1, you’ll find Just Us!, the original shop and roastery, with a small museum explaining the fair trade coffee business. Just Us (a play on the word “Justice”) is Canada’s first Fair Trade coffee roaster, established in 1995. Their motto is: “People and the planet before profits”. (Cheers to that!)

Getting to Wolfville

It is possible to get to Wolfville from Halifax without a car, and enjoy what the town has to offer. Maritime Bus runs two or three buses a day between the two for $25.56 CAD. If you do it this way, you’ll probably want to stay at least one night in town to take full advantage of what’s on offer since the first bus won’t roll into Wolfville until 1:40 PM. It will take you about an hour and a half to get here from Halifax by bus, a little less by car.

For information on everything going on in the area, check out ValleyEvents.ca

View of Minas Basin and Cape Blomidon from Millenium Trail

View of Minas Basin and Cape Blomidon from Millenium Trail


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