What to see and do

Tourists began arriving in Yarmouth back in the 1880s (see What Might Have Been Is Not What Is), attracted by the warm, sunny summer days and cool evenings. Even the occasional fog was a welcome respite for those travellers who had sweltered under the hot sun in the American cities along the eastern seaboard, sans air conditioning! Those attracted to a temperate climate with easy winters have made Yarmouth their home.

The Yarmouth and Acadian Shores area is a designated provincial tourism region as Yarmouth Town and County is surrounded by two other municipal units, the primarily French Acadian regions of Clare and Argyle.

Enveloping you will be three cultures: English (our first English settlers were from Massachusetts in the 1760s); Acadian (who initially landed from France in the early 1600s); and the Mi’kmaq nation, who have called the Yarmouth area home for 10,000 years.

Two main calendars of festivals and events can be found at Yarmouth and Acadian Shores and at Destination Southwest Nova Scotia. Depending on what and where you choose to explore on a day trip, the latter site will require you to venture a bit more further a field, as the region includes Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties in Nova Scotia.

However, there are lots of things to do and see right here in Yarmouth. A trip to the Cape Forchu Lightstation, voted in 2012 by the Canadian Institute of Planners as the country’s number one outdoor attraction, is an absolute must. And along the way, at John’s Cove, you’ll find an authentic lobster-eating on the beach experience at Stanley Lobster Company, run by two brothers who know all there is to know about the crustacean!

Right in central Yarmouth are three museums of note: the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, with its 20,000 artifacts showcasing the area’s marine history since 1761; the W. Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum which profiles one family’s worldwide business in all things nautical; and the Firefighter’s Museum, where you can see the types of fire engines used from the 1800's to the 1930's.

If outdoor activities are of interest, there are several golf courses in and around the Yarmouth and Acadian Shore region.

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