Historic Lunenburg and Mahone Bay: A Visitor's Guide
Lunenburg is a little fishing port on the Nova Scotia coast between the town of Mahone Bay and the mouth of the LaHave River. Colorful wooden homes, heritage waterfront warehouses, and elegant churches fill the hilly town. At the waterfront, wharves are busy with fishing boats off-loading the daily catch, boat shops building dorie, and chandlery stores selling gear. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich fishing traditions and a popular summertime tourist attraction.
Founded in 1753 as a Protestant settlement, Lunenburg got its name from the many settlers from Lüneburg in northern Germany. The social and cultural life of the town, as well as its traditions and townscape, still bear the imprint of those early northern European settlers.
Because of its geographical position, the town has two harbors, Back Harbour in the North and the main Lunenburg Harbour. The community's claim to fame is the legendary "Bluenose" schooner, built here in 1921. The vessel was the world's best racing schooner, and the winner of many international races. It can still be seen today on one side of Canada's ten-cent coin, or when the replica Bluenose II is in her homeport. The sailing ship used in the film "Mutiny on the Bounty" was also built in the Lunenburg shipyard.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Lunenburg
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, in a former fish factory on the waterfront, is well worth a visit. The museum tells the history of sailing and fishing along eastern Canada's coasts, enlivened by old prints, photographs, illustrations of fishing methods and equipment old and new. Spread over three floors, it also has a touch-aquarium, souvenir shop and restaurant.
The museum's star attractions, moored in the port, are the "Cape Sable" trawler, and the "Theresa E Connor", a 1938 schooner, where the museum staff vividly demonstrate the traditional methods of cod fishing and what life was like on board.
Address: 68 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg
Set along the coast between Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg, Mahone Bay is a popular stop for those driving the scenic Lighthouse Route. Its waterfront Three Churches are a postcard picture, and the town has a few brightly colored buildings similar to those in Lunenburg.
The Mahone Bay Settlers Museum is on the town's main street in the old Begin House, built in 1855 and featuring an architectural detail called the "Lunenburg Bump". The museum collections focus on the early years of the town, which was founded in 1754.
Address: 578 Main Street, Mahone Bay