Everything You Need to Know about Peggy’s Cove
Arguably, there is no site more iconic in Nova Scotia than Peggy’s Cove, the small fishing village just 40 kms from Halifax. The lighthouse perched on top of the rocks, overlooking the rolling waves, is one of the most photographed and visited sites in the country.
This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know for your next (or first!) visit to this landmark site:
History: Who was Peggy anyway?
Legend has it that when a schooner was shipwrecked in the area in the 1800’s, there was a sole survivor; a woman named Margaret. Some say, she married a local man, settled in the village and thus became renowned as “Peggy of the Cove”. Others say that the name comes from the site’s location at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay (Peggy is a common nickname for Margaret).
If you want to learn more, you can visit Ivan Fraser, caretaker of the Peggy of the Cove Museum and author of several books about the area. His colourful, hand-painted murals are not to be missed.
Amenities: Be sure to enjoy a delicious bowl of chowder at the Sou’Wester restaurant (celebrating 50 years in 2017!), or cool down with a homemade ice cream from Dee Dee’s. There are accessible family washrooms on site and plenty of parking.
Things to see: The big attraction here is, of course, the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, built in 1915. But it’s not just the lighthouse, there are plenty of other things to see too: Browse one of the charming gift shops or take a walk among the dozens of inukshuks (a structure of stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by Inuit people as a landmark or a commemorative sign) standing around the property, or even build your own!
Get a workout climbing the massive rocks to get that perfect view of the sea, or find a spot to lie in the sun and let the soothing sounds of the waves wash over you – but not literally! Steer clear of the dark rocks, as they can be extremely slippery, and the sea is unpredictable!
Take a walk up the road to the deGarthe Gallery and Museum. William deGarthe was a Finnish artist who emigrated to Canada in 1926. deGarthe was an accomplished sculptor. The 100-foot long unfinished granite carving in the yard of his summer home is a wonderful tribute to the local fishing community. There are actually many accomplished artists based in this tiny village, and you can get acquainted with all of them at the annual Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts in July.
Tours: There is no public transportation available in the area, so you’ll have to drive or be driven. If you want to give the scenery your full attention you can go with any number of tour or shuttle companies, including Gray Line, Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours, Great Earth Expeditions, Go North Tours, Molega Tours, Aberdeen Tours, and Alternative Routes.
Visitor Information: You can visit Peggy’s Cove year-round, although dressing warmly is recommended regardless of the season – it is usually windy!
No matter how you do it, make sure you add Peggy’s Cove to the itinerary for your next visit to Halifax!