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The Best Things to Do in Wolfville – Nova Scotia’s Coolest Small Town

Just an hour’s drive away from Halifax is Wolfville, a little gem of a gateway to the bountiful Annapolis Valley. 

Perched at the edge of the awe-inspiring Bay of Fundy (those tides!) and surrounded by a patchwork of farms, vineyards and fields, Wolfville mixes the wildness and abundance of nature with a surprisingly hip small town feel.  

View from Wolfville Microboutique Living patio towards Minas Basin at sunset, with orange colours in the sky and the agricultural dykes visible below
Looking towards the Minas Basin from our suite at Micro Boutique Living Wolfville

The presence of Acadia University undoubtedly helps keep things vibrant but it is definitely not the only reason.

To me, it says a lot about a place when so many of the students decide to stay in town for the summer rather than return home.

Looking across the street in downtown Wolfville, Nova Scotia, looking over to colourful downtown buildings
Downtown Wolfville

We, too, were won over by Wolfville on our recent visit. Keep reading to find out about why Wolfville is the perfect weekend getaway from Halifax or an essential stop on any Nova Scotia road trip.

Published 2018, last updated December 2022. We visited Wolfville for the first time with assistance from Tourism Nova Scotia, the Magic Winery bus and MicroBoutique Living. We have since revisited without assistance.

This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking via one of these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

A hand holds up a wine glass filled with rose in front of a vineyard in Nova Scotia. Wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Wolfville
Wine tasting in Wolfville

Introducing Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Wolfville is a small town in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is about 100km northwest of Halifax, easily accessible by the fast Highway 101.

The town sits very close to the Bay of Fundy, only separated from the Minas Basin by agricultural dykes. These were built by the Acadian community in the 17th century.

Side view of Joes Food Emporium in downtown Wolfville, which featured a large patio and colourful frontage
Downtown Wolfville

The Acadians, some of Canada’s first French settlers, were forcibly removed from the area by the British in 1755 in a process called the Grand Dérangement.

Today, Wolfville is best known for Acadia University, one of the oldest such institutions in Canada.

The town is also at the epicenter of Nova Scotia’s growing wine scene. At last count, there are eleven wineries situated within 10km of downtown Wolfville.

Like the sound of Wolfville? You may also like Antigonish, another small university town in a picturesque area of Nova Scotia!

Looking across agricultural dykes to the Minas Basin in Wolfville, with cloudy skies above
Looking across the agricultural dykes towards the Minas Basin

The best things to do in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

For a place with a year-round population of only around 5000 people, Wolfville kicks well above its weight on the ‘things to do’ front.

Here is just a taste of great places to see in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Two glasses of wine sit on a table in front of a vineyard in Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Wine tasting at Luckett Vineyards in Wolfville

Wine touring in Wolfville

The area surrounding Wolfville is home to the highest concentration of wineries in Nova Scotia.

The easiest (no sober driver needed!) and most rewarding way to go wine touring in Wolfville is by taking the Magic Winery Bus.

Side view of Magic Winery bus, a red double decker bus covered with a wine bottle graphic
The Magic Winery Bus

This vintage British double-decker takes guests on a unique hop-on hop-off trip around five local wineries, each with a distinct style and character.

Unlike traditional wine tours (that tend to feel quite hurried and displaced), the Magic Wine Bus experience provides a more in-depth look into the Nova Scotia wine industry and the passionate people defining its success.

Plus, our tour guide was pretty hilarious, to say the least. A good time guaranteed!

Looking down on the road from the top deck of the Magic Winery Bus, towards the agricultural landscape of the Wolfville area
Cruising the Wolfville area on the top of the double decker Magic Winery Bus!


If wine isn’t your style, there are plenty of tasting alternatives. This region has long been a favourite for apple growing.

Right on Wolfville’s Main Street is the stylish Annapolis Cider Company, open for tastings and tours seven days a week.

For beer, check out Paddy’s Brew Pub or head to nearby Port Williams and visit Sea Level brewing, the Annapolis Valley’s first microbrewery (established 2007).

Be sure to try to their blueberry pale ale, made with locally sourced fruit.  For something stronger, take a trip to Tangled Garden and peruse delicious fruit and herb liqueurs.

Looking across a rolling farmland landscape at Grand Pre, one of Canada's most sobering National Historic Sites
Grand Pré

Grand Pré

One of Wolfville’s more sobering attractions is Grand Pré, a National Historic Site that immortalises the 2000 strong Acadian community that lived here in the mid 17th century.

Originally from France, the Acadians claimed their new home as ‘Acadia’ and created fertile farmlands by pushing back the Fundy tides with ingenious dyke systems.

Determined to stay politically neutral during the New World land wars, the Acadians were deemed to be a threat and were forcibly marched onto boats and deported by the British in 1755.

The site includes an interesting exhibition, movie, memorial church and beautiful gardens.

Looking through foliage to the building and spire of the Commemorative Church. There is an Acadian flag (tricolour with yellow star) in the foreground
The Commemorative Church in Grand-Pré with Acadian tricolour flag

Local events in Wolfville

With so many annual events and live music happening, Wolfville is a happening kinda place.

One of the most unusual events we heard about during our first stay in Wolfville was the Devour! Film Food Festival.

Held in late autumn every year, Devour celebrates the cultural impact of food and film in every combination! Wolfville also hosts the Annapolis Valley’s largest music festival, Deep Roots, in September.

Looking across from the Wolfville Rail Trail towards the actual rail tracks and agricultural dykes in background
Walking Wolfville’s Rail Trail adjacent to the old railway tracks

Bike or walk Wolfville’s Rail Trail

A railway line once connected Wolfville with cities as far afield as Yarmouth and Halifax.

A multi-use trail now runs parallel to the old tracks, offering coastal views plus convenient access to the Farmer’s Market and other downtown attractions.

Information boards can be found along the route, plus a full-size piano for playing. The heritage station building on Elm Avenue is now the local library.

Looking across grassy space towards heritage railway building, now converted into a library. Railway tracks are visible in the grass
Wolfville’s heritage railway station is now a library

Explore Acadia University

I don’t think I’ve ever recommended visiting a university campus before, but Acadia is worth a look.

Think smart brick buildings with snaking ivy, imposing columns and lots of greenery. The student population is about 3000 full-time students.

If architecture is your thing, you’ll also notice plenty of heritage buildings when travelling through Wolfville’s main drag. One of the most prominent is the sunny yellow Randall House Historical Museum just before Wolfville’s visitor information centre.

A three story pink heritage building is visible through trees in Wolfville
One of the many heritage buildings in Wolfville

Browsing and shopping in downtown Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Wolfville’s colourful downtown has plenty to offer for browsers and café lovers alike. With few big box names and chains (besides the customary Tim Hortons of course), it would be easy to while away a few hours on the main drag.

Don’t miss Wild Lily boutique, the Rolled Oat Cafe and the Harvest Gallery. For more art, check out the Uncommon Common Art Installations dotted around town.

Red Adirondack chairs sit in front of a yellow building in downtown Wolfville. There is a 'Wild Lily' sign above the entrance
Wild Lily boutique in downtown Wolfville

Gaspereau River Tubing

Celebrate summer as the locals do with a tube trip along the Gaspereau River.

After drifting 2.5km along the lazy Gaspereau, be sure to get out at the Greenfield Road bridge. Keep in mind that consuming alcohol on the river is against the law and the local RCMP do occasionally drop by.

Parking can get difficult but be careful not to block the road or cause an obstruction. For more info about current river conditions, check this Gaspereau river tubing Facebook group.

Interior view of Wolfville Farmer's Market with stalls on either side of the walking area
Visiting the year round Farmer’s Market is one of the best things to do in Wolfville.

Wolfville Farmer’s Market

The Wolfville Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday morning year-round in an old apple warehouse ear on Elm Avenue. During the summer, there is also a market on Wednesday evenings.

Local cheesemakers mingle with wineries, brewers and bread makers, plus a number of unique take-out food options such as freshly made pasta and crepes.

Some of the booths rotate with different producers at each market and there are also weekly features, highlighting the range of goods on offer. During our visit, it was fermented foods (sauerkraut, wine and beer, oh my!)

Looking down the main street of Wolfville's downtown area, with cars parked on both sides, with trees above and shops either side
Downtown Wolfville

Food of the Annapolis Valley

Aside from the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, there are a few other ways to try local Annapolis Valley food.

Strawberries, apples and pumpkins can be easily found (in-season) at U-Picks and roadside markets around Wolfville. Further afield, there is a larger selection of berries plus peaches, plums and veggies.

A gravel footpath leads to a gazebo next to the agricultural dykes of the Minas Basin, near downtown Wolfville
Wolfville’s Waterfront Park

Further afield: More things to do around Wolfville

Get out of town and enjoy the beauty of the Annapolis Valley! Wolfville acts as the perfect base.

Mercator Vineyards tasting room, a yellow three story farmhouse style building with colourful flowers in front


If you have time to see just one place outside of Wolfville, head to Look-Off.

Only a 20-minute drive from Wolfville is one of the best views in the Annapolis Valley. The quite literally named Look-Off delivers incredible panoramas of the Bay of Fundy and surrounding patchwork of farms.

Look-Off can be found to the north-west of Wolfville and is well signed when leaving the town on Highway 1 (search ‘Look-Off Nova Scotia’ on Google Maps).

Looking across farming landscape from the Look-Off viewpoint, one of the best things to do in Wolfville
Look-Off views

Cape Split

For good reason, the most popular day hike in this area is the 16km return trip to Cape Split.

For the main part, this easy trail is unremarkable, travelling through a forest without many views. And then you reach the end.

The rugged tip of the Cape dramatically falls into the Bay of Fundy, offering beautiful panoramic views of the ocean.

Looking down on cliffs above a rocky beach with jagged point at Cape Split. The Bay of Fundy is calm behind
Cape Split

Blomidon Provincial Park

If the 16km long Cape Split trail feels like a little too much, a good alternative is Blomidon Provincial Park, on the other side of this jutting peninsula.

This beautiful park boasts a network of short, interconnected hiking trails (all less than 6km). The Look-Off Trail is one of the most popular, showcasing views of the Minas Basin.

Burntcoat Head Park

Nova Scotia’s very own flowerpot rocks (a la Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, without the crowds) can be found at the curiously named Burnt Coat Park in Noel.

The world’s largest tides (recorded as an amazing 16m) leave towering red rocks with green ‘hats.’ At low tide, it is possible to walk on the ocean floor. Burncoat Head Park is a must see when exploring the Wolfville area!

Back view of Gemma walking on orange sea floor at Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia, with towering orange cliffs on right

Port Williams

Foodies should be sure to take a trip to the Port Williams area.

Sample a range of flavoured cheese at Fox Hill, eat freshly made pasta at the Noodle Guy, learn about bees at Wood n Hive Honey and sip locally crafted gin and vodka at Barrelling Tide.

And that’s just a taste of what is on offer (pun intended)!

Fort Edward National Historic Site

Located just off the Highway 101 in Windsor (exit 6), Fort Edward was built in 1750 to protect the direct route to Halifax from the Bay of Fundy.

Sadly, it was also used as a detention area for Acadians during the deportation. Still standing on this Historic Site today is the oldest original structure of its kind in Canada.

Wooden square shaped 18th century two story building at Fort Edward Historic Site. The upper floor is larger than the lower floor
The blockhouse at Fort Edward Historic Site was built in 1750

Where to stay in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

With so many heritage buildings in and around the town, the mainstay of accommodation in Wolfville is homey B&B’s.

For something a little different, check out MicroBoutique Living in the centre of downtown.

These modern, self-contained studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom suites are incredibly comfortable and well equipped with all mod cons, including those you didn’t know were missing in your life until now (a shower with a built-in radio? Yes, please).

Micro Boutique Living studio suite room with kitchen area (featuring yellow fronted cupboards), pull out be and large patio doors
Studio suite at Micro Boutique Living

Almost all suites have a good sized balcony, with some looking out directly onto the Bay of Fundy – the upgrade is well worth it.

Walk from MicroBoutique Living to everywhere in town, or (as we did) further afield to Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, just 2km down the road. The property sits directly on Wolfville’s Rail Trail.

JR is leaning on the balcony at Micro Boutique Living and drinking a glass of wine, with views of the agricultural dykes behind
Enjoying a glass of local wine at Micro Boutique Living Wolfville

Other Nova Scotia posts you may find helpful:

7 Must Do Nova Scotia Road Trips: Itineraries, Tips + Maps

Nova Scotia’s Mini Cabot Trail (Cape George Scenic Drive): Complete Travel Guide

27+ of the Best Beaches in Nova Scotia

Kayaking the 100 Wild Islands, Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia

Canoeing in Kejimkujik National Park: A Must Do in Nova Scotia

East Coast Canada Road Trip | 2 and 4 Week Itineraries

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Sunday 4th of April 2021

Great article you have the wrong link for wild lily store.


Sunday 4th of April 2021

Thanks Dwayne! I've just fixed the link. Looked like it changed since I wrote the post.