This portside college town on the Bay of Fundy has natural beauty, history and some of Nova Scotia’s best wines.
As port towns go, Wolfville is an unusual one. First, it features a very small port, a tiny inlet connected to the Cornwallis River by a shallow channel. Second, it experiences the world’s highest tides—the water level at high tide can be up to 52 feet (16 meters) higher than at low tide. Beyond its strange port, Wolfville is a pleasant college town near some of Nova Scotia’s best natural and historical sites.
The picturesque Acadia University lies at the heart of Wolfville. Take a tour through the 250-acre (100-hectare) campus, built primarily of red brick and containing buildings that date back to 1838. University facilities are open to the public, so swim in the pool or skate on the ice rink. Visit the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, both a public space and a place for student experiments. Admire the landscaping in the walled garden or smell herbs at the medicinal plant garden. Afterward, take a short walk through the nearby forest.
Head to Grand Pré just outside Wolfville. Here you will find a monument to one of the most famous events in Nova Scotia history: the expulsion of the Acadians. These French immigrants settled in the area during the 17th century, but were later expelled by the British and scattered across the southern United States. This history, immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Evangeline, is also remembered in Grand Pré’s small chapel with a statue of Longfellow’s title character.
Take a 40-minute drive up the coastline to reach Blomidon Provincial Park, a 1,875-acre (759-hectare) nature reserve of seaside cliffs, beaches and woods. Hike the Look-Off Trail to see out over the Minas Basin and the striking coastline. Then, return to Wolfville and relax your muscles by taking a tour of the wineries of the Annapolis Valley.
To visit Wolfville, fly into the international airport in Halifax, then drive or take a bus. Visit in autumn, when surrounding forests are brilliantly colored.