Nova Scotia is well known for its stunning waterfronts and lighthouses. But, there are many hidden Nova Scotia photography locations that are a little off the beaten path and finding them can be a challenge. Whether you are exploring the expansive Cape Breton Highlands or the beauty of the Annapolis valley this is a list of the best places to take pictures. Don’t forget to explore even more on our Nova Scotia Photography Locations Map and we have even more in the free PIXEO Photography Locations App.

1. Cabot Trail

Skyline Trail End by Ronnie Kinnie
Skyline Trail End by Ronnie Kinnie

The Cabot Trail packs an incredible nature photography punch along its 300 km circumference. Arguably one of the most scenic drives in North America, its views are as varied as they are beautiful. A good third of the roadway winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and the route is world renown for shots of the winding road clinging to the cliff’s edge. Black Brook Beach, Broad Cove and Ingonish bay are just a few of the many spots to stop and capture the region’s scenic beauty. Forests, breathtaking coastal scenery and a rich Scottish-Canadian heritage make this one of the most photogenic parts of the province. Don’t miss this fantastic Nova Scotia Photography Location.

2. Mahone Bay

Mahone Bay Three Churches-Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Mahone Bay Three Churches-Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Mahone Bay is a popular day trip destination from the city of Halifax. A classic Nova Scotia fishing community, it consists of a winding seaside drive peppered with adorable shops, coffee houses and bars. This little town has something to offer all year round, and for a real bit of pleasure, be sure to visit during the annual scarecrow festival. As Nova Scotia Photography locations go, this is a must-visit. Most photographers make their way down here to shoot the famous three churches that reflect beautifully in the still waters of the bay. This view is especially good at sunrise, so get up early and head to this picture-perfect destination.

3. Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove Harbour by John Ronson
Peggy’s Cove Harbour by John Ronson

You can’t talk about Nova Scotia photography locations without mentioning Peggys Cove. This small fishing village perched on smooth undulating granite is easily the most photographed location in the province. It is best known for the iconic white and red Peggys Cove Lighthouse, but the village has more to offer than just this icon of Canadiana. The fishing village is picturesque in its own right with dories and fishing boats tied at docks in its sheltered bay. It also is home to a cute little church, which is quite photogenic in its own right. Finally, there are the Inuksuk gardens where visitors build and maintain rock sculptures, each more complicated than the last. Even if there are tourist buses full of people taking snaps, Peggys Cove lives up to its picture-perfect reputation. We must insist, however, that no matter how good a swimmer you are, please stay off the black rocks. The sea will take you to your watery grave, and you won’t be the first or the last.

4. Cape Split

Cape Split Nova Scotia - Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Cape Split Nova Scotia - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Cape Split is one of our favourite hidden gem photography locations in the Bay of Fundy. Sharp basalt rock formations jut into the bay waters like a dragon rising from its slumber. The location itself is a fair hike to get to, so expect a 5km walk in (mostly uphill) and the same back (though a bit easier coming down). Most visitors will see the rock formations from the clifftop. Be careful up there, as the winds here are strong, and a fall from here will certainly kill you. There are no safety fences or other stupid people protectors at this location, so visit at your own risk. There is a trail to get down to Little Split Cove about a kilometre or two back from the end of the trail. If you head down to the rocky beaches, be sure to check the tide tables. The Bay of Fundy is the fastest tide in the world, and before you know it, you may be trapped, or worse, swimming back to safety between the jagged rocks.

5. Burntcoat Head Park

Burntcoat Head Park-Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Burntcoat Head Park-Photo by Shawn M. Kent

A spectacular place to see and experience the power and speed of the tides, Burntcoat Head Park is a lovely green space and geological wonder. Formerly a peninsula and sometimes an island, the geology of this park is beautiful to behold. Twice each day, 160 billion tonnes of water rush in and out of the Bay of Fundy and this is the place to experience it. You will also discover a small lighthouse, a pleasant little park and walking trails. This place is an excellent spot for a picnic before or after snapping a few pics.

6. Cape Forchu Lighthouse

Cape Forchu Lighthouse-Photo by Joseph Morris
Cape Forchu Lighthouse-Photo by Joseph Morris

The lighthouse in Peggys Cove gets all the attention when people talk about Nova Scotia photography spots. But, when it comes to unique and historic lighthouses, few in the maritimes can hold a candle to Cape Forchu. There’s a pun there, by the way, because Cape Forchu is a candle-style lighthouse on the southwest coast of Nova Scotia with a fantastic scenic setting. So, take the trip out to the Cape Forchu lighthouse to take some photos, you won’t be disappointed.

7. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Citadel Hill Clocktower- Photo by Enrique Hoyos
Citadel Hill Clocktower- Photo by Enrique Hoyos

Of course, we’re adding Nova Scotia’s capital city to our list of great places to take pictures in Nova Scotia. Few Canadian cities are photogenic as this maritime city. Halifax is steeped in history, and at every turn, you will discover new and fantastic photo opportunities. We recommend exploring the waterfront, heading up Spring Garden Road, and of course, a visit to Citadel Hill. Few places in Canada are as much of a photographer’s paradise as our beloved Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Editor’s note: if you’re into burgers, do yourself a favour and visit Darrell’s Restaurant. The best burgers in town, and maybe even North America!

8. Lunenburg

Lunenburg Academy-Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Lunenburg Academy-Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Lunenburg is a famous destination in Nova Scotia. A day’s drive from Halifax, this fishing town is one of the most authentic maritime towns in the world. Home to the famous Bluenose II, Lunenburg Academy and Fisheries Museum, it is a fantastic photographer destination. Explore the steep narrow streets, adorable shops, and enjoy some authentic seafood while looking out over the beautiful Lunenburg harbour.

9. Blue Rocks

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia- Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Blue Rocks Nova Scotia- Photo by Shawn M. Kent

If you make your way down to Lunenburg, do yourself a favour and visit Blue Rocks. Blue Rocks village is a short 10-minute drive from Lunenburg and far less filled with tourists. A photographer’s paradise, this tiny little village gets its name from the unique colour of the granite rocks upon which the fishing village is built. So park your car, grab your camera and go for a wander in this tiny little hidden gem along Nova Scotia’s south shore. Because this is more an actual fishing village than a tourist destination, please be respectful when visiting. It’s a hidden gem for a reason.

10. Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock-Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Balancing Rock-Photo by Shawn M. Kent

The Balancing Rock is one of the most interesting geological wonders in Nova Scotia. This massive basalt column appears to defy gravity as it sits precariously perched on the coastline of Nova Scotia. The column has been a popular destination for photographers to take a trip off the beaten path and head down the series of islands that shelter St. Mary’s Bay. Photographers can easily find the Balancing Rock on Long Island, and there are several photo opportunities along the way. It is a beautiful drive, and the hike to the Balancing Rock and highly recommended.

Explore More Nova Scotia Photo Spots

So, that wraps up our picks for the top ten Nova Scotia photo spots, but there are so many more great places to take pictures in Nova Scotia. Be sure to check out the Nova Scotia Photo Map to discover more. We also have hundreds of spots in the PIXEO App that you can browse for free when you’re in Nova Scotia and on the go.

Finally, if you know of photo spots that we don’t have and want a chance to win prizes in our monthly contests, upload your best photo spots by clicking the button below.

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