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Nova Scotia may have historical and cultural ties to Scotland – Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland – but many say the province is reminiscent of New England.
Nova Scotia is part of the Maritimes Provinces, along with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Thousands of islands also fall within its borders including some available for sale. Most of the population lives along the coastline in fishing villages and by working seaports.
Halifax is the provincial capital, an important port city and home to about 40 percent of Nova Scotia’s population of one million. Much of its economy is ocean-centric. Halifax is a strategic base for oceanic research institutions, fisheries, shipbuilding and marine transportation. Operating and labor costs are comparatively low and the government offers incentives for launching, relocating or expanding a business. For international companies, Halifax is the closest North American destination to Europe by air.
Nova Scotia is fringed with coastal villages. Locals boast it has some of the best winter surfing in the world. A slate of year-round activities includes skiing, skating, hiking and golf, all of which are set against stunning natural beauty.
On the north coast is the burgeoning wine region of Annapolis Valley and the dramatic 300-foot cliffs of the Bay of Fundy. The bay is famous for its whale-watching, bird-watching and for its tides, recorded to be the highest in the world.
The Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, along the Atlantic coast, is where locals go for the province’s longest sand beach. It is also a year-round surfing destination.
The largest island of Nova Scotia is Cape Breton, connected to the mainland by a causeway. The cape mixes spectacular scenery with Mi‘kmaq First Nations and Gaelic culture. Cape Breton has Canada’s only authentic links golf courses. The Cabot Trail, which has been called one of the most scenic drives on the planet, crosses into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a magnet for hikers with 26 different trails. A route of a different kind is the Artisan Trail featuring the studios of glass artists, jewelers, quilt makers and potters.
The priciest properties are concentrated along the waterfront, although coastal real estate here is among the lowest in the country. Second-home recreation properties on the ocean, lakes and rivers are popular with families. There are no restrictions on international buys, and global investors are attracted to the values as well as the proximity to the United States.