The community's efforts to restore and promote their village as a tourist destination have made Annapolis Royal one of the most delightful places to visit in the region. At the time of writing, it remained one of the only well-trodden towns in the province without a ubiquitous Tim Horton's coffee and donut franchise.
Nestled in a protected inlet off the Bay of Fundy, Digby is known for its scallops, mild climate and daily ferry to Saint John, NB. Settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1783, it's now home to the largest fleet of scallop boats in the world. Emigration in recent years has been hard on Digby, parts of which are looking a little rough around the edges.
Bear River is a delightful riverside enclave popular with artists and those who moved here from larger centers for a tree-change. There's a strong Mi'kmaq presence mixed in with Scottish roots, giving Bear River a unique vibe. Some buildings near the river are on stilts, while other historic homes nestle on the steep hills of the valley.
The long and narrow strip of land that resembles a giraffe's neck craning out to take a peek into the Bay of Fundy is known as Digby Neck. At the far western end of this appendage, Long Island, and then Brier Island, are connected by ferry with the rest of the peninsula. The entire area is a haven for whale and seabird watchers.
Brier Island bills itself as a top ecotourism destination. The island was home to Joshua Slocum who, in 1895, became the first man to sail solo around the world. Westport, Brier Island's only permanent settlement, is a quaint fishing village and a good base to explore the numerous excellent, if rugged and windy, hiking trails around the island.