A day trip from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove is essential if you’re visiting Halifax. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the world and after visiting myself, it’s easy to see why. There are lots of lighthouses on Canada’s East Coast, but what sets Peggy’s Cove apart is the beautiful landscape that surrounds it. Peggy’s Cove and the UNESCO Town of Lunenburg were both at the top of my Canada travel bucket list, and thanks to Ford Canada I got to make the trip in the 2019 Ford Expedition. It was my first trip to the east coast, and also included touring Prince Edward Island and exploring Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I always do my research before visiting a new place, and love to ask for recommendations from my Instagram followers – it turns out many live on the east coast! I’ve included some great information for your visit and suggestions on places to stop along the way + a few photography tips for Peggy’s Cove lighthouse and Lunenburg.
Halifax to Peggy’s Cove & Lunenburg Day Trip Guide
There are a couple of different ways to visit Peggy’s Cove. While I know that you’re very excited to visit Peggy’s Cove (it was really hard for me to drive past it) I have to say that we loved visiting Lunenburg first and then visiting Peggy’s Cove for sunset. That said, you can go in whatever order you prefer! Here’s how to go on a Halifax to Peggy’s Cove day trip:
Peggy’s Cove Tour Companies
There are a few tour companies that offer trips to Peggy’s Cove if you prefer not to drive yourself.
- Visit Peggy’s Cove to explore the town and see the lighthouse for a good price on this single-stop tour with Viator.
- Enjoy a full day visiting Lunenburg and Peggy’s Cove with Anchor Tours.
- Catch the morning light at Peggy’s Cove with Picture Perfect Tours.
- Check out more tour options here. There are lots!
Taxi to Peggy’s Cove
Halifax taxi company Casino Taxi offers Peggy’s Cove tours that are flexible. Get driven there, explore for an hour, the drive back to the city for flat rate of $150. There is a charge of $26.80 per extra hour if you wish to stay longer.
Driving to Peggy’s Cove
There are a few ways to reach Peggy’s Cove, but I suggest taking HWY-103 (from Halifax) and then Peggy’s Cove Road. It’s a beautiful drive along the coast and there are some nice stops along the way. If you visit Lunenburg first, then coming via Peggy’s Cove Road is the fastest way. Coming from Halifax it adds 10 minutes, but it’s the most beautiful drive.
The great thing about driving to Peggy’s Cove yourself is that you can stay as long as you like and make stops along the way. I drove to Peggy’s Cove in the 2019 Ford Expedition, and used the voice-activated navigation to get there. I thought it was very cool that all I had to say was “Peggy’s Cove” – no address needed! It found most places without an address. We were only 2 people, but the vehicle can hold up to 7 people very comfortably so it’s great for large groups too.
Suggested Driving Route
Recommended stops: Acadian Maple Products, Peggy of the Cove Museum (didn’t actually make this stop but it comes recommended), Rhubarb Café (we went for dinner, it was excellent). Past Peggy’s Point you will also find Polly’s Cove, a great place if you feel like going for a hike and getting unique views of the lighthouse.
Tip: if you’re visit solo then early morning or after 4PM is best. Organized tours (according to the locals) typically arrive between 8AM and 4PM).
The parking lot at Peggy’s Cove was really full, so initially I was nervous about parking and then getting out of the lot again with such a large vehicle in the small spots available. Happily for me (I usually drive a little car!) Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology includes features like park-assist, rear view cameras, and pre-collision detection so it guided me in and out easily.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
The lighthouse is the main event at Peggy’s Cove. It’s the most photographed lighthouse in the world, so go ahead and get in on the experience by bringing your favourite photography equipment.
The best spot that I found to photograph the lighthouse was on the rocks by where you first drive in. There is a sort of roundabout entrance to the parking lot, and the area just in front of that is great for photos. What makes Peggy’s Cove unique is the landscape, so get further back from the lighthouse for amazing photos.
If you want to photograph in different lights, then I suggest arriving 2 hours before sunset. Earlier than that and the sun is right behind the lighthouse and will wash out your photos on a sunny day. The last 2 hours of daylight will give you soft yellow light and take you in to pink and purple skies. Bring a tripod so that you can get use slower shutter speeds as the sun goes down. If you do it this way, you can get a later start to your Halifax to Peggy’s Cove day trip.
We stayed until about 20 minutes after sunset, so we drove back in the dark. On route we discovered that the Ford Expedition has automatic high beam control. When it gets dark, the high beams turn on automatically but when an approaching vehicle or street lights are detected the high beams turn off. No distractions to other drivers!
Peggy’s Cove Village
Explore the village of Peggy’s Cove. The story goes that Peggy’s Cove is named for the survivor of a shipwreck who married a local. The town itself is a beautiful setting for photos and there are some cute shops. We didn’t have any ourselves, but we did see lots of people getting ice cream. The only restaurant in town is Sou’wester, but there are others nearby like Ryer Lobster or Rhubarb (which is where we went for dinner).
Nearby in Whalesback,, visit the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial It’s a memorial to 229 men, women, and children who died in a plane crash off the shore of Peggy’s Cove in 1998.
Old Town Lunenburg
The beautiful seaside town of Lunenburg is designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO’s World Heritage, because it’s considered the best surviving example of a British colonial policy “model-town” being imposed to create a new settlement. The settlement was first formed in 1753, and now, more than a couple hundred years later, original houses still stand. I believe that no Halifax to Peggy’s Cove day trip is complete without a stop in this historic town.
Lununberg Walking Tour
Go on a tour to learn more about this amazing town! My friend and I loved the Essential Lunenburg Tour by Lunenburg Walking Tours. It’s only an hour long so it’s easy to fit in to your day and still have lots of time to explore. You will learn loads about the town and come to understand it’s historical significance.
The Ironworks Distillery is Nova Scotia’s first micro-distillery. Pop in to their building on Montague Street and sample delicious gin, brandy, and vodka made on site. Get your favourite to go! Go behind the scenes at this historic building on a guided tour. Check the website for times. Daily tours are offered at 1PM and 3PM in the summer.
Bluenose Golf Club Photo-Op
The best photo-op in Lunenburg is from the Bluenose Golf Club. Go around the bay of Lunenburg from where the restaurants are to the other side of the water. We parked the Ford Expedition on the side of the road right before the golf club entrance, and then walked along the edge by the water (and the golf club clearly knows that people do this, all good). From here, you have a view of the colourful town of Lunenburg from across the harbour.
Bonus: I found out while double-checking the map that there’s a piece of the Berlin Wall in Lunenburg too! You will pass it on your way to the golf course.
Have lunch overlooking the Lunenburg harbour. There are lots of great restaurant options with views of the waterfront. We enjoyed our lunch at The South Shore Fish Shack.
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
Right on the waterfront, visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to delve in to the fishing heritage that is so important to Lunenburg’s success. This museum is set inside a former fish processing plant, so you’re really getting the full experience. Discover exhibits about marine life, the First Nations people of the area, fishing, and other spin-off industries.
The Ford Expedition 2019
I think this is the ultimate group / family road trip vehicle. I only drove to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg and around Halifax in the 2019 Ford Expedition, but this gave me a chance to try out some of the features. It was clear that this vehicle is meant for big adventures. The back row of seats fold down flawlessly, so it would be easy to fit sport or camping equipment in the back, or even a couple of bikes. With the seats folded up 7 adults fit easily in the vehicle (tried and tested going out for dinner with friends in Halifax). There’s an even built-in Wi-Fi and an in-vehicle entertainment system so passengers in the back seats can comfortably watch movies on a long drive.
While I mentioned it before, my favourite features remains the voice-activated navigation system and the Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology. The navigation system is so simple to use and it got us to all of our stops during our Halifax to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg day trip. The Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology allowed me to pull in to tight parking spots and navigate narrow roads without any worries about collisions.
Thank you to Ford Canada for providing the 2019 Ford Expedition for this adventure!