EMBRACE THE HIGHLAND HEART OF NOVA SCOTIA
The Antigonish Highland Games celebrate the richness of Scottish culture and heritage since 1863. The language, the traditions, music, dances and songs of the Gael, along with feats of strength and excellence continue to flourish every year. Featuring pipe bands, highland dancing, ancient Scottish heavy events and ceilidhs, the Highland Games are the perfect occasion to enjoy the beginning of summer, to escape and take a break from your busy life. In 2018, they will be held from July 6 to 8.
Credit: Wayne Ezekiel
With a history that spans three decades, Festival Antigonish has established an inspiring legacy as a premier summer repertory theatre in Atlantic Canada. With a patron base that includes thousands of Nova Scotians as well as regional, national, and international tourists; an acclaimed reputation as a local economic and cultural anchor; and an artistic commitment to excellence, the summer line-up includes performances you will not want to miss.
StFX Hotel is located only 10 minutes away from the Riverside International Speedway , which will be host to the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend . The IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis is a must do event for Maritime race fans and a bucket list event for fans from throughout North America . It attracts entries from the biggest names in Canadian super late model stock car racing and stars from NASCAR. In 2018, the IWK 250 will take place from July 12 to 15 and will feature Kenny Wallace, one of NASCAR’s most popular personalities. Riverside International Speedway is also home to the only stop in Atlantic Canada for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series .
Credit: Ken MacIsaac via Riverside International Speedway
Nature lovers will enjoy a day-trip to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park , featuring sweeping ocean views along the Cabot Trail . With its picturesque river canyons and valleys, it is also home to wildlife like moose and black bears.
Continue your vacation to the Fortress of Louisbourg after your stay in Antigonish, a National Historic Site of Canada home of the reconstruction of an 18th-century French village. Visit in the summer to feel the ground shake from the blast of the cannon you’ve just fired. Savour soldier’s bread fresh from the stone bakery or the catch of the day in the ambiance of an 18th-century tavern.
The hills and beaches of Antigonish are rich with natural history. Nature lovers enjoy exploring our shores, hiking trails and wildlife filled salt marshes. With over 20kms of multi-use trails, Keppoch Mountain really opens the door to awesome outdoor activities like mountain biking, cross-country skiing, geocaching, trail running, hiking and walking. Included in the trail system is our new accessibility loop so those with mobility challenges can still access the wilderness that the Keppoch has to offer. On the weekends we have our lodge open with inside washrooms and change rooms, after your adventure enjoy a hot chocolate in front of our fireplace.
THE SUNRISE TRAIL
Antigonish is a perfect stop over on the Sunrise Trail. Before your arrival in town, be sure to visit Pictou, the birthplace of Nova Scotia. Discover the Harbour and the history of the first Scottish migrants, enjoy the Hector Heritage Quay and tour the Tall Ship Hector if she is in port! Continue to Antigonish. This area’s wetland is a great spot for bird watching. Bald eagles and osprey are a common sight. One may also see great blue heron and Canada geese, cranes, gulls and little sand pipers. Be prepared to drive across a very cool stretch of road with water on both sides!
Lighthouses have inspired legends and tales everywhere in Nova Scotia, truly embodying the province’s maritime spirit. Nowadays, they continue to dot our coastline. Take time to admire the picturesque cliffs of the Cape George Lighthouse during your time in Antigonish. Immerse yourself in the history of our first sailors or discover one of our peaceful beaches with pristine water quality. Melmerby Beach is one of the warmest and busiest beaches in Nova Scotia. With 2 km of sandy beach, there's lots of room to spread out and enjoy. During the summer, water temperatures average more than 22 degrees Celsius (72F).