Western Bay of Fundy – ideas for free time

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Digby is a bustling little town in summer, with most visitors heading off during the day to undertake some wildlife watching. The town itself has a quirky little museum – Admiral Digby Museum – a converted Georgian home which contains exhibits about the town’s maritime history, however the best way to get a feel for the area’s inextricable relationship with the sea is to get out and explore. Just north of the town Annapolis Basin Look Off Provincial Park provides panoramic views over the huge body of water which stretches east to Annapolis Royal, whilst just a short distance further you come out at Prim Point, where a little lighthouse looks out over the much more rugged Fundy coastline. If you are making the drive along Digby Neck for a marine excursion then make a day of it. Whilst the Neck is narrow with one primary road down the middle, there are a few little detours to tiny waterfront villages, sandy coves and rocky bays where you can certainly while away some time beachcombing or enjoying your lunch – we recommend taking a picnic!

The rich and sometimes turbulent history of Annapolis Royal can be assimilated in various ways. The Fort Anne National Historic Site in the town centre is where you can find the remains of the 1635 French fort, along with a small museum depicting the history of the battles through various exhibits and, most impressively, in the form of an enormous, four-panel, hand crafted tapestry. The Port Royal National Historic Site is about 14 kilometres northwest of Annapolis Royal. It is believed to be the site of the first permanent European settlement and it includes a recreation of French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s fur-trading habitation. (Please note that from the beginning of September until the end of June the museums at both these sites are closed on a Sunday and Monday; the grounds are open at all times, entry prices vary).

Finally, the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens is one of the town’s prize attractions, creatively showcase gardening methods, designs and materials of the last 400 years. Though not huge, the gardens include a wide array of plants and thousands of blossoms which make it a delightful place to escape to for a couple of hours.

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