If you visit Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, here are a few things to do:
• Visit Cape Forchu Lighthouse, which guides ships in and out of the harbor. Seven miles from downtown Yarmouth, the lighthouse is connected to a keeper’s house, which is now a museum.
• Swim in John’s Cove, a sandy beach on Cape Forchu, near Cape Forchu Lighthouse.
• Take a self-guided walking tour of Yarmouth’s historical district, with grand homes built in the late 1800s when the town was among Canada’s largest shipbuilding centers. Most of the homes were built for ship owners, merchants and sea captains.
• Tour the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, which houses the largest privately owned genealogical archives in the province and the third-largest ship portrait collection in Canada.
• Drive to Birchtown, a coastal community 56 miles east of Yarmouth. Birchtown was the largest settlement in Canada for former black slaves from the American colonies who joined the British during the American Revolution in return for promises of freedom. The Black Loyalist Old School House Museum houses artifacts from the archaeological digs and items donated by community members.
• Ride a shuttle bus or drive to Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia and home of one the world’s great natural harbors. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, on the downtown waterfront, features exhibits related to the sinking of the Titanic and the devastating 1917 Halifax explosion. The blast, which occurred when a French munitions ship caught fire, killed more than 1,800 people.
• Public transportation: Cloud Nine Shuttle Service offers rides to Halifax for $75 one-way: (902) 742-3992. The trip takes 3½ hours.
• Bike rentals: The Wheelhouse Surrey and Bike Rentals: (902) 742-2387.