How to Spend 1 Day in Pictou, Nova Scotia

Updated August 1, 2022.

When traveling, I always keep my eye out for the unexpected, the adorable, the pleasant surprises. Pictou, Nova Scotia, was one of those: an unexpected, adorable, pleasant surprise!

My mom, younger brother, and I stopped here just for one night, as a way-point between flying into Halifax and taking the Northumberland Ferry to Prince Edward Island. We stayed here out of necessity and convenience, but we stopped here again on our way back just because we loved it! If you find yourself in Nova Scotia, put Pictou on your list!


Run or Take a Walk

Pictou has a fantastic boardwalk along their waterfront, perfect for a morning run! Not interested in running? Take a walk. The historic architecture and small-town feel is sure to please! The sun starts to come up around 5:00am in the summers, so take advantage of the morning light!

You never know what you’ll find on a morning walk!
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We stayed one night at the Braeside Country Inn, which was absolutely charming and included breakfast. If your accommodation doesn’t, you can find hearty breakfast fare at Sharon’s Place Family Restaurant, Stone Soup Cafe, or Water Street Market and Bakery!

Tour the Grohmann Knives Factory

Open Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:30pm; FREE

Who doesn’t love a FREE factory tour? And who knew there was a knife factory in Pictou? And it’s only about 15-20 minutes, so it’s a quick and easy way to start your day!

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Visit the Northumberland Fisheries Museum

Open Daily in the Summer Months 10:00am-5:00pm; $8 CAD adults

This museum is all about one of the area’s main industries: fishing! You’ll find exhibits about the fishing industry, check out a typical “bunkhouse” for fishermen at sea, and explore interactive exhibits for kids. Want more? Check out their lobster hatchery!

Explore the Hector Heritage Quay and Great Ship Hector

Open Daily May-October 10:00am-4:00pm; admission by donation

The Great Ship Hector is to Nova Scotia what the Mayflower is to Americans. The ship was built in the Netherlands prior to 1750, but in 1773, the Hector brought 189 Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia for the first time. The ship you can tour today is a replica, built as the first one was over 250 years ago. You can see how the settlers lived at sea onboard the original ship, and you can also learn about the cumbersome voyage and settlement of Pictou here! We had a lot of fun exploring Hector Heritage Quay!

The Hector
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Lunch at Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads

Open Tuesday-Saturday 11:00am-3:00pm

Even in summer, you might find yourself craving a warm, comforting soup or quiche! Prefer something sweet? How about butterscotch pie, sticky toffee pudding, or fresh-made cookies? This is also a perfect place to pick up locally-made preserves and jarred items, Scottish souvenirs (did you know “Nove Scotia” literally means “new Scotland”?!), and, of course, their famous shortbread cookies to take home with you—if they last that long!

If it’s a nice day, get it to-go and eat down by the waterfront!
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Visit the McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Center

Open June-October, Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm; $5 CAD per person

This historic home and genealogical research center was once the home of the Reverand Thomas McCullough and his family. A visit here will give you a chance to learn a little more about the history of Pictou and Nova Scotia, as well as the people who settled the region!

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Enjoy a liesurely seafood dinner at any of Pictou’s wonderful, locally-owned and operated restaurants for any price range! For something a little fancy, drive up to Pictou Lodge Beach Resort or down to Piper’s Landing Restaurant. For something mid-range, check out Harbor House Ales and Spirits or Breakwater Restaurant. Visiting on a budget? Try Acropole Pizza or Alladin Syrian Canadian Restaurant—which is the #1 restaurant in Pictou, according to Trip Advisor!

The ultimate lobster bisque!
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Are you ready to check out Pictou on your trip to Nova Scotia? You won’t regret it!

Want more? Check out my Canada Page!

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2 responses to “How to Spend 1 Day in Pictou, Nova Scotia”

  1. I can’t wait to go there this September. We are having the Archibald family reunion. Thank you for the tips, we will certainly enjoy trying them while we’re there.

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      Enjoy! I’m so glad the tips are helpful!

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