Lunenburg is a must-see when exploring Nova Scotia, especially the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The Old Town of Lunenburg is recognized as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic District. Lunenburg is one of the best-preserved colonial settlements in North America.
Picture-perfect Lunenburg is a fishing village with brightly painted British Colonial Buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. You can still see about seventy percent of the original colonial buildings. Formerly the town was a rum-running and ship ship-building port town. The waterfront, with its colourful buildings, is very distinct. The charming town invites strolling through the colourful facades and discovering the many great restaurants, distilleries, artisans and unique shops.
Lunenburg is also the home port of the Bluenose II - Canada's beloved world-renowned sailing ship! For much of the year, the Bluenose II is tied up at the Lunenburg wharf and summer activities include onboard tours, harbour cruises and deckhand experiences.
If you're looking for the ultimate mix of culture and tranquility, make River Ridge Lodge your next getaway. Nestled on Nova Scotia's scenic South Shore, it's just a short 20-minute drive to Lunenburg that should be atop every traveler’s must-see list. Plus, with nearby Mahone Bay, there are plenty more attractions within easy striking distance. Also, check out the top hotels in and near Lunenburg.
Take a mesmerizing journey above Lunenburg and Blue Rocks through drone footage, offering breathtaking perspectives of charming wharfs, bustling boats, and the enchanting shoreline.
Nestled on Lunenburg's lively waterfront lies a treasure trove of knowledge - The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Take a journey through history and explore life at sea! From living fish exhibits to vessels galore, this amazing museum has something for everyone in any weather. Pop into the Ice House Theatre if you'd like to watch some captivating films – an ideal activity for adults and kids alike!
St John's Anglican Church, the spiritual and social heart of Old Town Lunenburg, has a long history. Built in 1753, it is attractive due to its Gothic architecture, which earned it National Heritage status as well as being included on Canada’s list of Historic Places. Unfortunately, back in 2001 there was an arson attack leaving much devastation. But restoration works over 4 years returned this majestic church to its former glory so that visitors can again bask in admiration at both stories within and unique architectural design outside this special place! Not just providing a peaceful sanctuary but also a home for choirs & concerts plus seasonal music & meditation during summer months too!
Exploring the picturesque Old Town Lunenburg Historic District is like stepping back in history - complete with colonial gridiron layout and 18th century houses. Established way back when in 1753, Lunenburg was amongst Britain's first attempts to colonize North America for Protestant settlers. These days it serves as a reminder of simpler times; take a stroll along the harbourfront to soak up all its beauty! But this destination isn't just about looks – at one point, Luneburg relied heavily on an offshore fishery that continues powering their economy until today.
Lunenburg's beloved bandstand - an exact replica of the 1889 original - stands proudly in all its glory at Cumberland and King Street. Seamlessly blending with this vibrant town, not only is it a great spot to view outdoor concerts but also provides that extra aesthetic charm that beautifies Old Town! Make sure you keep tabs on upcoming events here by checking out the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society website for concert updates.
Stroll through the enchanting streets of Lunenburg and explore its irreplaceable UNESCO World Heritage Sites with an expertly-guided tour from Lunenburg Walking Tours. Their knowledgeable staff will captivate you with stories about historically significant sites, amusing anecdotes, and fascinating local folklore.
Choose between three different tours available from June to October:
When you book with us, we have special rates available – plus, make sure to check out Lunenburg Walking Tours on our Enhance Your Stay page for even more inspiration.
Get ready for an immersive experience at the historic and beloved Lunenburg Academy! Built in 1895 to replace a building destroyed by fire, this remarkable structure has been a part of town life since its inception. Designated as a National Historic Site in 1983, it's now home base to a library and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) - one of Canada's most innovative post-graduate music schools that also hosts regular concerts with intimate vibes that you won't want to miss. Have your pick from the LAMP website concert schedule and be serenaded right away!
The Bluenose II visits ports throughout Nova Scotia and North America. The historic vessel is a living reminder of the glorious sailing era. It is regularly open to the public for onboard deck access and cruises. The Bluenose II was built after the original Bluenose, a former Grand Banks fishing and racing schooner struck a reef. The Bluenose II serves as Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador and is an enduring symbol of the province, adorning the Canadian, three postage stamps, and the Nova Scotia license plate.
You can check the Bluenose II Schedule here; that shows when the vessel is in port, and the decks are open to the public and for cruises. Once the schedule is up, there is also a link for online reservations.
Blue Rocks, a small picturesque village only about a six-minute drive from the Town of Lunenburg, feels like a different world and untouched by time and is a must-visit when visiting the South Shore Nova Scotia. A pristine natural environment and a history deeply rooted in fishing traditions, it is still a working fishing village with blue slate rocks on the edge of the ocean.
The hamlet of Blue Rocks is a hidden gem and has been an inspiration for artists and photographers for generations.
The little community of Blue Rocks is advertised as “Lunenburg’s answer to Peggy’s Cove” and owes its name to the blue slate rocks on the edge of the ocean that makes Blue Rocks an artisan and photographer's muse. If you like to get away from the crowds at Peggy's Cove but would still like to discover the beauty of Nova Scotia fishing villages, Blue Rocks is the answer.
Ironworks Distillery is a micro-distillery located in the Old Town Lunenburg Historic District. They named the distillery after the 1893 heritage building, a former marine blacksmith shop that produced ironworks for the shipbuilding trade.
They craft their spirits with traditional methods, and you can take a 45-minute guided tasting tour: Spirits with a Story.
Check out the Ironworks Distillery website for more information or to book a tour. Or just drop by to see what they are up to.
2 Kempt St., Lunenburg - (902) 640-2424
A great way to get your bearings around Lunenburg, Blue Rocks and neighbouring tiny hamlet Stonehurst is by taking the Hidden Gem Tours with Seaweed Tours.
Nancy, the owner and tour guide, tells real first-hand stories and will take you off the beaten path to explore the places usually only locals know about. You will see breathtaking views and have lots of photo opportunities.
Farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia never seem to have a problem gathering crowds. Nova Scotians love to support their local artisans and planters by getting up early once a week and visiting what is always a lively farmers' market experience full of awesome music and delicious food.
the Lunenburg Farmers Market is every Thursday from 8 am - 12 pm all year.
Below is a list of all South Shore farmers' markets that are close to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg:
Lunenburg (17 Green St) - Thu 8 am-12 pm (all year)
Bridgewater (123 Empire St) - Sat 9 am-1 pm (Jun-Oct)
Hubbards (57 Hwy 3) - Sat 8 am-12 pm (May-Oct)
New Ross (5024 Hwy 12) - Sat 9 am-12 pm (Jun-Thanksgiving)
The Lunenburg Bluenose Golf Club is all designed around the view.
River Ridge Lodge is centred between three golf courses, all within 24 km:
Bluenose Golf Club in Lunenburg - 19 km
Chester Golf Club in Chester - 20.4 km
Osprey Ridge Golf Club near Bridgewater - 23.5 km
Why not stay a while and play all three.
The distance between Halifax and Lunenburg is 100 km (60 miles).
In the 2021 Census of Population, Lunenburg had a population of 2,396. From 2016 to 2021, the population increased by 5.9%. The Lunenburgs’ average age is significantly higher than the provincial average, age 58 for Lunenburg, compared to 46 for Nova Scotia. The majority of the Lunenburg population is English-speaking Canadian Protestants.
The town was called Lunenburg in honour of King George II, the Duke of Brunswick- Lüneburg. Lüneburg is a prominent Hanse city in North Germany, in Lower Saxony and was the capital of the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1235 to 1369.
The captains of fishing vessels painted their homes the same bright colours as their boats in the 1800s. It was a practical matter of using surplus paint, and the colour scheme allowed the ships to be seen by the boats when sailing into the harbour.
Due to the coastal location, the climate of Lunenburg is moderate, meaning the winters are slightly milder and the summers slightly cooler than most areas at similar latitudes. Spring conditions arrive in Lunenburg late in the season, often not until mid-May due to the cooler ocean temperatures. The summers are comfortable but are getting more hot and humid; the winters are freezing, snowy, and windy. Temperatures typically vary from -7 °C to 23 °C, and it’s rarely below -15 °C or above 28 °C.
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