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Spotlight: Digby

Experience a Maritime town that bustles with fun and adventure

Nestled on the Annapolis Basin near the Bay of Fundy, the small community of Digby serves up a big menu of fun for visitors. During the day, travelers can go whale watching, golfing or hiking; in the evening, guests can savor a mouth-watering plate of scallops and other delicacies offloaded just hours earlier from the many fishing boats that ply the nearby waters. Although Digby has a population of only 2,152, the town buzzes with the energy of a much bigger city, owing largely to the town’s role as a hub for ferries, leisure boats and fishing trawlers.

Digby boasts strong trade and tourism ties with other Canadian cities—notably St. Johns just across the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick—but the community maintains a proudly independent spirit. The town’s rugged character was forged in 1783 when it was founded by Rear Admiral Sir Robert Digby, Captain of the HMS Atalanta, a 24-gun Brigantine that saw action under the British flag in the Revolutionary War. Admiral Digby led a hardy band of United Empire Loyalists—exiled American colonists who retained loyalty to the British Crown after the American Revolution—and built the area up into a center of lumber and fishing.

Over the years, the town became famous for the bountiful scallops harvested from its waters. The burgeoning fishing industry was soon accompanied by a brisk tourism trade, as New Englanders and Canadians flocked to the small town for its beautiful views and crisp sea air. Today, RV travelers can reach Digby by Highway 101 or by the ferry service that links Digby with St. John. After pulling into one of the many local RV parks, visitors can take their pick of fun activities.

Getty Images/Design Pics RF

Getty Images/Design Pics RF

Water Fun

Whale watchers can embark on one of the boats that regularly leave the harbor to watch minke, humpback and fin whales swim the waters of Digby Neck. Watch massive flukes emerge from the surface like giant hands waving “hello.” Lucky visitors will witness a full breach, when most of the whale’s body rockets out of the water and re-enters with a thunderous “smack.” Passengers will also see Atlantic white-sided dolphins and Atlantic porpoises cavorting in the water.

Visitors who prefer terrestrial pursuits can put on a pair of hiking boots and hit the trails that radiate from the city and into surrounding Digby County. Take the High Cliff Cove Trail in Gulliver’s Cove for some of the highest and most spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding land. Balancing Rock Trail will lead hikers to the basalt rocks that form the cliffs along St. Mary’s Bay and the Bay of Fundy. The payoff: a column of rock that stands next to the cliff, a sight that has become one of the region’s most popular photo opportunities.

Take off the hiking boot and put on the golf shoes for a few rounds at Digby Pines, a championship golf course that was designed by Stanley Thompson, a pioneering Canadian golf architect. After a round, head back into town for succulent scallops, served with all the trimmings at one of the town’s fine seafood eateries. Time your visit to one of the town’s many festivals for more gastronomic adventures. You’ll be amazed at the bounty of food and fun that such a small town can offer.

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