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Bridgewater, NS

The Not-So-Hidden Gem of Nova Scotia

An hour and fifteen minutes away from the city of Halifax lies the small town of Bridgewater. Emphasis on the small. As in public transit is a brand new advancement, a single main drag to speak of, and the Cinaplex Theatre being the most popular hang out spot for the younger generations. But regardless, it offers the best atmosphere for those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the cozy streets, and the ginormous old multi-generational Victorian homes, as well as the much needed Tim Horton's on the corner of High Street and Victoria Road, Bridgewater is completely serendipitous.

Spending time in this tranquil and quiet town will mean mosying into lots of old antique stores and tiny clothing boutiques, and admiring the LaHave River from a bench in the park. It is a wonderful spot to open a book and have a picnic with the kids, or get some time to yourself to ponder about life, the universe, and relax.

If you continue passed the park down the 331 for about 17 minutes by car, you will reach the LaHave Bakery. Here, they do lunch and breakfast, and sell lots of baked goods, fresh and wrapped. I can attest to the goodness of their lattes — a cup of heaven, if you will. The LaHave Bakery has been in business since 1973, and before that it was an outpost for fishermen.

Talking to the locals, I learned a lot about the area, some of the perks of living there, and things they wished would change, such as the lack of public transport from LaHave to Bridgewater and big banks moving to the city. Bridgewater and LaHave make for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

There are two ways there: "the old road" and the Highway 103. The old road (Saint Margaret's Bay) is absolutely beautiful during autumn. All the autumn colours in the trees and the sun glimmering off the ocean surface is truly a gift sent by mother nature. It is also slower going in the winter time than the highway, but black ice is an issue due to it being right beside the water. The Highway 103 is about 20 minutes faster and I would consider it to be the safer route in the winter time.

As for accommodations, you usually have two options. You can go through AirBNB or book an actual hotel. On AirBnB, you will spend an average of $100 per night, give or take. For the luxury of a chain hotel, the average is about $125 per night if you're booking on a sale website. If you choose to travel around Bridgwater via car, gas is usually about 1 full cent more than what you'll find in the city of Halifax.

All in all, I recommend this little town for the tranquil atmosphere and quiet environment it offers for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Annemarie - Global Travel Writer

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