Nova Scotia’s Unrivaled Beauty and Charm
by Moira Sherman
Companies planning a reward or motivational trip for their employees will often first think of destinations outside of Canada. But have you considered the advantages of planning a memorable incentive trip here in our own inspiring country? Besides the unbeatable natural beauty, this is a great way to stretch your budget as event dollars can go further in Canada. Savings on your program can translate into more fun and frills for participants or more for your bottom line, you decide. Groups coming from outside of Canada may be eligible for certain tax incentives as well.
Nova Scotia offers a wealth of options for Incentive groups. The East Coast is famous for the warmth of its people – centuries-old maritime culture combines a distinct mix of Mi’kmaq, British, Scottish, Gaelic and French. Stunning natural attractions, outdoor adventures and trendy cultural experiences are perfectly suited to create an unforgettable incentive program. You’re never more than 67 kilometres away from the ocean in Nova Scotia and always close to a fresh, salty sea breeze. The province is known for its fresh, incomparable seafood. Dine on fresh, succulent lobster right on the beach while sipping award-winning sparkling wines, ciders and craft beer. The Craic is sure to be mighty once your group joins in a not-to-be-missed Ceilidh, which gets everyone up on their feet – an unforgettable bonding experience!
Halifax is the coastal capital city and is also Atlantic Canada's premier meeting and convention destination. Flights are a quick 2 hours from Toronto or Boston and 3 hours from New York City. Non-stop air service is offered May to October from 22 Canadian city-centers, New York (LGA), Newark, Boston and Orlando. Plenty of options in this lively port city for the MICE market with first-class accommodations, unique offsite venues and excursions to enjoy while you soak up the maritime heritage and history. Halifax was a well-known port for privateers operating out of Nova Scotia at the height of the American Revolution, as sung about in the well-covered song “Barrett’s Privateers” by Canadian folk musician Stan Rogers. If you can sing along to the chorus of this modern sea shanty, you’re considered part of the crew!
Explore shops and galleries, dine-around at some of the city’s best restaurants and take in the energy of the bustling waterfront, thriving pub culture and local music scene. Host a fabulous event highlighting Nova Scotia’s seafaring history at one of the various museums including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Tour of one of the oldest surviving breweries on the continent, Alexander Keith’s Brewery and learn about the history and brewing techniques of beloved Canadian ‘Keith’s’ beer on a guided tour led by actors in period costumes. Your participants can be soldiers for a day at The Halifax Citadel, the hilltop star-shaped fort where you can don a uniform, learn to drill and fire a rifle. This national historic site also offers excellent event facilities with a historical flare along with modern conveniences and some of the best views of Halifax.
Around an hour’s drive from Halifax, Nova Scotia’s wine country is divided into 4 regions: Annapolis Valley, Gaspereau Valley, South Shore, and the Malagash Peninsula. It is the only place on earth that produces tidal bay wines. Private barrel cellar dining is a great way for groups to enjoy an intimate tasting event and to showcase locally grown and crafted foods.
Atlantic Canada is often referred to as the ocean’s playground. Summer and early fall are prime time for whale and seabird watching in Nova Scotia. Not only is there the chance to see 12 species of whales, you may also see dolphins, porpoises, seals, puffins and seabirds. Whale watching tours should be at the top of your list of group activities. They can be found throughout the province, but one of the best whale watching spots is along Cape Breton’s world famous Cabot Trail.
Cape Breton Island, home to the world-renowned Cabot Trail, is one of the world’s must-see islands, according to Travel + Leisure magazine with its breathtaking coastal views and highland scenery. Known as one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Cabot Trail weaves through the Cape Breton Highlands, displaying unrivaled natural beauty. Play a round of golf at the famous Highlands Links or at one of the world’s greatest courses, Cabot Links. Kayak or canoe through some of the best coastline in the world. Cape Breton Island is a also hotbed of Celtic music and has more fiddlers per capita than anywhere on the planet. Warm Acadian and Celtic hospitality is meant to be enjoyed as a shared experience, a unique group event such as a Ceilidh (a social gathering with dancing, singing, storytelling and plenty of merrymaking) or a Kitchen Party is a must!
A unique option for incentive groups is dining on the ocean floor, an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure offered at Burncoat Head Park, home to the world’s highest recorded tides and named one of North America’s Seven Natural Wonders. Twice each day, the Bay of Fundy fills and empties its 160 billion tons of water - a true feat of nature that your group will marvel at. Since optimal tide conditions are required for this experience, it’s only offered 4 times per year. This experience has been described as a “must-do” for your bucket list! Watch the below video to learn more!
Prince George Hotel - Halifax
Set in the heart of downtown, this hotel offers luxurious, refined guestrooms and suites, first-rate services (4 Diamond level) and an award-wining restaurant. This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Halifax.
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites - Halifax
This historic redbrick downtown hotel dating from 1928 is located right across from the Victorian-era Public Gardens and is within 1 km of the Halifax waterfront, major museums and attractions. A 4-minute walk from the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
Two unparalleled golf courses, complete with hotel rooms and villas with sweeping sea views and golf course vistas sure to impress.
This 5-star resort has been consistently ranked among the top destination resorts in Canada. Famous for its dreamy sunsets and some of the finest dining in Atlantic Canada. An abundance of on-site activities including championship golf, a full-service spa, trout fishing, boat charters, sports shooting, sea kayaking and horseback riding.
Contact us today to help you plan the perfect Nova Scotia itinerary for your team!