Eastern Shore Family Fun

We haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the Eastern Shore, south of Dartmouth, so we decided to take a family day trip and check it out!

Porters Lake

Our first stop was Porters Lake.
Porters Lake is located on the Eastern Shore near Dartmouth. We passed by the Mic Mac Mall to get there.
This was a 1.5 hour easy drive from Kentville.

Our first stop was Piper and Max clothing consignment store located at 4888 Highway 7, on the main drag in Porters Lake.


The store offers new and used clothing, footwear, maternity wear.


It has a wide selection of clothes at great prices, and we all walked away with a new pair of shoes.


It just happens to be owned by my cousin Joanne, so we had a bonus visit as well!
If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a visit!

Porters Lake also has all your amenities including a Subway, Tim Hortons, Gazoo’s take out (fish and chips, hamburgers, ice cream etc) and a few sit down restaurants. Plus, there is a great playground at the community centre, shaped like a castle!

Porters Lake Provincial Park

From here, we went to the Porters Lake Provincial Park for a picnic lunch.
When you drive in to the park there is a picnic ground to the right (follow the signs) or a nicer area if you follow the signs to the campground.


I have had a few friends who love camping here. The campground is very flat, so the kids can easily bike around.
There are no formal hiking trails, but many paths that lead to the water so you can swim.


The campground has few amenities (no playground, no hiking trails) but there are lots of places to swim and launch a boat.

Hope Animal Wildlife Centre

We then backtracked a few minutes towards Porters Lake, and cut across on Bellefontaine Road to get to West Chezzetcook and Route 207. We followed Route 207 to the right, until we came to the community of Seaforth and to the Hope Animal Wildlife Centre located at 5909 Hwy 207, Seaforth.

This was the highlight of our visit!

Read about our experience here.

Hope for Wildlife Centre, Eastern Shore with ValleyFamilyFun.ca

Lawrencetown Beach

No trip to the Eastern Shore is complete without a stop at the Lawrenncetown Beach Provincial Park. Apparently, it is known for some of the best surfing in North America.


This popular sand and cobble beach is noted for its surf. Strong rip tides and currents are common; swimmers and surfers must exercise caution. The park has supervised swimming areas in July and August. Park features include ramped board walks, change houses, showers, and toilets.


It’s cold but there are always lots of people there, keep an eye on the waves though for under tow. Don’t swim where the waves aren’t coming directly towards shore.

During the summer months, there is a lifeguard on duty, and you should only swim in the section between the flags.


Even though it was a cold day, the boys still braved it and went body surfing in the waves.
There were quite a few surfers out as well, but not enough waves to really surf.

Atlantic Dutch Shop

Keep an eye out as you drive from Hope for Wildlife to the Lawrencetown Beach. There is a road on the left called Horshoe Turn. There is a cute shop called the Atlantic Dutch Shop that has tons of Dutch food, sweets and cheese. Worth stopping and taking a look!

Explore Eastern Shore with ValleyFamilyFun.ca

Biking Trail

We brought our bikes with us, and decided to try out the Atlantic View Point Trail from the beach parking lot.


The beach park connects to a walking trail on a former railbed and is part of the larger Cole Harbour-Lawrencetown Provincial Park.


Because it is a point-to-point, you can go as far as you want, and then turn around and come back. The trail is flat, made of crushed gravel and is well sign-posted.

We rode for about 5 km towards Cole Harbour and went through some beautiful scenery along the coast. It was a beautiful ride. There are quite a few picnic tables and benches along the way for rest stops.


Had we not had an aging dog running with us and two complaining boys, we probably would have gone a lot farther!

Memory Lane 1940s Heritage Village

Further down the Eastern Shore is the 1940s Heritage Village called Memory Lane. This was definitely one of our top summer fun activities! There is nothing the kids can’t touch, so it’s an ultimate hands-on experience that families will love. There is a great cookhouse, too!

Read more about our experience here.


Clam Harbour Provincial Park and Beach

On our way home from Memory Lane, we stopped spontaneously at the Clam Harbour Provincial Beach.

This is an incredible sandy beach that is supervised in the summer, and makes the perfect beach day!



Martinique Beach

This is probably our new favourite beach. Known for being Nova Scotia’s longest sandy beach at 5km, Martinique Beach provincial park has huge waves for kids to play in, people to try surfing, lots of white sand, and all the amenities. 

Explore the Eastern Shore of NS

This will be our new stopping place every summer! 

Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

As you head back towards Dartmouth, take time to visit the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum! There are lots of activities for kids and a great tea room.

Read about our experiences here!

Heading home

We followed Route 207 back through Cole Harbour and headed home, exhausted, sandy and satisfied after another full day of adventures.

The Eastern Shore is definitely a place that I would like to explore more, and find a cabin to rent in the area. Can’t wait to experience more!



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