Things to See & Do

On June 26, the sky was sunny and the thermometer hit 32 °C. There was no wind that day and the Northumberland Strait was like glass. That was the day Tiger Woods visited us and shot a 63, setting the course record.

The Day Tiger Woods Set the Fox Harb’r Resort Course Record

The spring of 2009 had been an especially cold and wet one, with the grey skies and choppy ocean you’d expect from the coast of Nova Scotia. But by the end of June, the weather had turned. On June 26, the sky was sunny and the thermometer hit 32 °C. Elliott Isenor, the Fox Harb’r director of golf operations, says there was no wind that day, recalling that “the Northumberland Strait was like glass.” That was the day Tiger Woods visited Fox Harb’r, shot 63, and set the course record.

Tiger was in Nova Scotia for a fundraiser for the Tiger Woods Foundation, which invests heavily in STEM educational programs aimed particularly at underprivileged and minority children. To help with the fundraiser, Tiger donated two rounds – a group of four on the front nine and a different group for the back nine.

The Fox Harb’r golf course is a bit different from most courses in that it blends parkland golf with a traditional Scottish-style links course. The outward nine winds through spruce trees, sculptured terrain, deep lakes, and wetlands. The back nine, however, is a pure rugged links course. Across rolling dunes and waving fescue, golfers must work hard to keep the ball low and away from the ocean.

Tiger usually spends his time shooting before the crowds and cameras. But that day, it was just Tiger and his groups of four. Those lucky golfers played a game with Tiger, with no onlookers. As far as fundraisers go, that’s pretty amazing, but one consequence was that no one else was actually keeping track closely enough to realize that Tiger was shooting the best game of golf ever played at Fox Harb’r Resort.

No doubt, Tiger made some astonishing shots and we’d love to tell you about them, but the only people who know exactly what happened are eight very lucky golfers and Tiger Woods himself.

Afterwards, Tiger said that he liked the layout of the course. But, according to Isenor, Tiger really emphasized that he “really liked how quiet and peaceful it was.”

The golf course at Fox Harb’r is still quiet and peaceful. And it’s still a challenge. And Tiger isn’t the only guy who shoots an incredible game here. Isenor says many guests step off the course and say, “That was one of the best rounds I have played in a long time,” rightly proud of 90. But no one has come close to beating Tiger’s score of 63.

Come shoot a memorable round of your own at Fox Harb’r Resort this year. Check out our Stay and Play packages now. Space is limited!

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GQ Insider Gary Williams covered the must-see attractions in Nova Scotia in this video. We were thrilled he included Fox Harb'r Resort on his itinerary.

Fox Harb’r Featured in GQ Insider Report

According to GQ, Nova Scotia is a place that everyone should add to their travel checklist. Last year, GQ Insider Gary Williams covered the must-see attractions in this Insider Report on Nova Scotia, and we were thrilled he included Fox Harb’r Resort on his itinerary.

Watch as Gary and his wife Dvon learn how to make the perfect lobster role with our Executive Chef, Shane Robillard. For the complete recipe, click here.

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You’re missing out if you aren’t exploring Nova Scotia in the fall. Aside from legendary fall colours, you can find apple picking, all kinds of fall festivals, and your choice of cider, whiskey, or vodka tasting.

5 Ways to Explore Nova Scotia in the Fall

Quahog season is over, but you’re missing out if you aren’t exploring Nova Scotia in the fall. Aside from legendary fall colours, you can find apple picking, all kinds of fall festivals, and your choice of cider, whiskey, or vodka tasting. And some other spirits. Oh, and fall is chowder season. See? That’s the benefit of somewhere with multiple seafood seasons.

Apple Picking & Cider Tasting

Let’s say you want to visit a heritage orchard with over 100 varieties of apples, an artisanal cidery where they do everything from apple to bottle right there, and an apiary that takes care of local pollination. At Vista Vista Bella Farm, you get all three at once.

You can stop by their produce stand from now until Christmas, but it’s worth a longer visit for their U-Pick apples. Of course, different varieties of apples peak at different times, so consult this handy little chart to see what’s in season. U-Pick starts September 1 and goes until November 1.

Vista Bella Farm also operates Malagash Cidery. Stop by for a tasting and see just how many types of cider are out there. And remember, local bottles of cider make for great gifts.

Whiskey Tasting (And Other Spirits Too)

The history of spirits in Nova Scotia is long and colourful, from the backyard stills of the early settlers to the rum-running during American Prohibition. Now, the craft distilling movement has taken hold. Thanks to creative distillers and amazing agriculture, you can try all kinds of unique spirits in Nova Scotia.

At Caldera Distilling, you can try whiskey made from grains grown on the distillery property, blended whiskey made with regional grains, and rum made from fresh sugar cane.

At Steinhart Distillery, you can try a  maple vodka, habanero vodka, coffee maple vodka, strawberry vodka, wild blueberry vodka, and rhubarb gin. And they may come up with some other stuff after we’re done writing this. So you’ll just have to visit and see what’s on the bar rail.

Leaf Peeping in Nova Scotia

Step aside, fields of sunflowers. We all know the real champions of Instagram are views of fall foliage. No matter where you’re travelling in Nova Scotia, there will be a great view of changing leaves near you.

The Balmoral Grist Millis a red clapboard building nestled in a wooded gorge. It’s the closest you’ll get to a real-life Norman Rockwell paining. It’s open until October 6, which is close to the peak colour week.

Although better known as a ski area, the Wentworth Valleywill give you a panoramic view of amazing fall foliage through the Cobequid Hills.

If you like waterfalls with your fall foliage, be sure to visit Victoria Park, a thousand-acre provincial park in  Truro. Challenge yourself to the 175-step climb to the top of Jacob’s Ladder.

And if you have a bit of an explorer streak in you, visit Tidnish Suspension Bridge, which can be found at Tidnish Crossroads, near Amherst. This swinging bridge leads to the Henry Ketchum Hiking Trail. This four-kilometre trail offers not only spectacular views of fall colours, but of the Northumberland Strait itself.

For more adrenaline in your leaf peeping, go to Anchors Above Zipline, in French River. They have the only zipline in Nova Scotia, so if you want to take pictures of fall colours with a GoPro, this is the place to do it.

Fall Festivals in Nova Scotia

Did you know the largest Oktoberfest east of Ontario is in Nova Scotia? Tatamagouche Oktoberfest is in late September, but tickets usually sell out sometime in August, so make plans soon.

What happens at the Jost Vineyards Harvest Festival with the Streamliners? Wine tasting, harvest-inspired food parings, live music with the aforementioned Streamliners, and a special festival menu. Admission is free, so swing by on Saturday, October 13.

If you’re looking for something crafter and kid-friendly, try the River John Sunday Market. Featuring wagon rides, barbecue, a wool shop, local produce, and the opportunity to meet baby lambs, this market runs through mid-September.

Another fun kid-friendly festival is the Trenton Fall Fest, happening mid-October. It’s a street fair with face painting, costumes, vendors, street performers, and a pumpkin hunt. Find all six pumpkins and win a book!

Nova Scotia Chowder Trail

Of all the ways we can celebrate chowder, a trail may be the best. Nova Scotia chowder typically comes with more than four types of seafood, starting with haddock or another white fish, before being built out with scallops, lobster, mussels, or claims. There are endless  ways to make it, and by following the Chowder Trail, you sample the many delicious possibilities. And by ‘many’, we mean more than fifty.

You can just eat at these fantastic restaurants, but you also have the option of collecting stamps (physical or digital) to fill your Chowder Trail passport. Collect more than five and you’re eligible for a grand prize drawing.  But the real prize is the friendships you’ll make along the way. And all the chowder you get to eat.

Check out Fox Harb’r Resort’s special packages and rates for fall here.

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Sure you can spend your time on the Northumberland Shore playing golf, relaxing at the spa, and gorging on lobster. But there’s lots more going on here.

9 Must-See Attractions on Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore

It would be perfectly reasonable to spend your time on the Northumberland Shore playing golf, relaxing at the spa, and gorging on lobster. Perfectly reasonable. However, there’s more going on here than a completely decadent existence.

Cape George Hiking Trail & Lighthouse

It’s just a fact that when you visit Nova Scotia you need to stop and admire at least one historic lighthouse. It’s a matter of time before that rule makes it into the provincial law books. Not to play favourites, but the Cape George lighthouse makes for a beautiful picture. You can hike out there from one of three trailheads, see some old growth forest, and enjoy a picnic on a seaside cliff.

Bay Enterprises

The Purdy family has been growing oysters since 1876, so they know a thing or two about aquaculture. Visit for a guided quahog dig. Or, try their oyster learning experience, which will tell you everything you need to know about traditional and modern oyster growing, protecting the Northumberland Shore’s ecology, and the oyster industry. And yes, samples are available. Necessary, even.

Music at the Grace Jollymore Arts Centre

If you fancy a concert, the Grace Jollymore Arts Centre is hosting Tony Quinn and Bill Plaskett, Sean McCann of Great Big Sea, Unforseen, and Kitchen Party featuring Keith Mullins. Check their website for details.

Arisaig Provincial Park

Yearning for a simpler time? Well, try fossil hunting, there was no time simpler than pre-history. Home to the most exposed sections of Silurian rock you can find in North America, Arisaig Provincial Park offers a look at life on earth 400 million years ago. Bring your camera and hunt for fossils along a 1.6 km looped trail.

McCulloch House Museum & Genealogy Centre

If your family arrived in Canada via Nova Scotia, be sure to stop by the McCulloch House Museum & Genealogy Centre. They have all kinds of community history resources, like newspapers, and plenty of cemetery, immigration, census, and shipping records. You might discover a piece of your history here.

Seafoam Lavender Garden

What does heaven smell like? Lavender, we bet. A trip to Seafoam Lavender Garden will make you agree. You’ll learn all you want to know about lavender, try some tasty lavender treats (we hear ice cream during their festival), and peruse more lavender products than you knew existed. Fair warning: your luggage will smell amazing.

Wallace Bay Wildlife Trail

An astonishing 168 species of birds have been recorded at Wallace Bay Wildlife Trail on the Northumberland Shore so don’t forget your binoculars. This four-kilometre looped trail through wetlands offers plenty of great spots for bird watching.

Northumberland Fisheries Museum, Lobster Hatchery & Lighthouse

At the main museum, you’ll learn about the Northumberland Shore’s history of boat building, fishing, and shipwrecks. The lobster hatchery, which is a working facility, will teach you everything you want to know about lobster lifecycles. And finally, the lighthouse is a replica of a 1905 structure, featuring photographs, artifacts, and more. If you expect to learn on your vacation, this place is a triple threat.

Jost Vineyards

You know that there are tours, a gift shop, gourmet food, and dozens of spots to relax and take in the vineyard. However, the truly great thing about vineyards is that learning about wine means drinking wine. And by the way, Jost Vineyards has award-winning wines. So swing by and be sure to spend an hour or two learning as much as possible.

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Golf is all about driving the ball straight. Classic links golf is all about keeping your ball low and away from the ocean. Here are some tips for mastering a links course.

Three Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Golf Game

Here’s a little secret: most golf courses aren’t real links.

We know, we know. Lots of people refer to any golf course as links. But they’re mistaken. A true links course is the oldest style of golf course. Basically, imagine the rugged coast of Scotland, where the game originated, and you’re picturing a true links course. Dunes, an undulating surface, and the world’s biggest water trap, otherwise known as the ocean—these are the elements of a true links course.

At Fox Harb’r, the outward nine is pure parkland golf. Sheltered forests, lots of wetlands, and rock-lined lakes make for a picturesque backdrop for your experience. But the back nine is pure links.

Why blend the two styles? According to Elliott Isenor, Director Golf Operations at Fox Harb’r, it gives you two completely different nine holes. Parkland focuses more on driving the ball straight. The back nine, the Scottish links golf, is all about keeping your ball low and away from the ocean.

So how do you tackle such a challenge? We have a few tips.

Keep Your Ball Low

With a true links course, your number one adversary is the wind. If you want to avoid letting the wind take your ball on a first-class trip to the ocean, you want to keep it low. Choke down on the club. About halfway down the grip is good. Move the ball back in your stance. Lean slightly forward. Keep a forward body position during impact and make sure to follow through.

Practice Your Short Game

The best way for any golfer to get better is practise their short game – lower your putts and chips and you will see your score go down, says Isenor. When you chip, keep your hands soft. Make sure you aren’t scooping at impact. Keep your head still by looking at a dimple on the back half of the ball, and hit the dimple with the centre of your clubface. Make sure you’re hitting as solidly as possible by rotating when you swing.

Practice longer putts so you can avoid three-putts. When putting for distance, keep your hands light. For shorter putts, make sure you aim your putterface first and only then take your stance. Once you’re in your stance, keep it. Swivel your head, not your body, to track the ball.

Stay in Play

Let’s state something a little obvious: penalty strokes add up. And in a links course, the chances for penalties abound. So what should an experienced player do? According to Isenor, “Practise driving the ball in play, focus on keeping your ball in play, and cut down on penalty strokes.”

Bonus Tip

We can’t help ourselves, so here’s a golf tip specific to our course at Fox Harb’r. On the first hole, Isenor advises that you “hit the ball down the left side of the fairway. You will save yourself 50 yards on your next shot.”

Check out our Stay and Play Golf Package here.

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our Spa and Wellness Trends You Need to Know

Four Spa and Wellness Trends You Need to Know

When we say these wellness trends are need-to-know, it’s more of a suggestion than a demand. You don’t need to do anything, especially not with your downtime. But we should also add that these wellness trends are so rejuvenating that you probably want to get to know them.

Wellness trends speak to the balance part of work-life balance. As Joann Patriquin, Director of Dol-άs Spa at Fox Harb’r, says, “A small step away from the everyday can rejuvenate not only you individually but your work environment and family.”

Specialized Therapists

You’ve probably looked at a list of massages on offer at a spa and seen things like therapeutic, deep tissue, relaxation, hot stone, and more. You’re sure there is some difference, but not that much, right?

Actually, you might be surprized. “What guests typically don’t know that different types of massages can be done by different types of therapists,” Patriquin tells us. There’s a lot of specialized training for registered massage therapists to master.

Personalized Treatment

Speaking of massages, let’s talk about a specifically designed massage for golfers. Patriquin says, “Here at Fox Harb’r we offer a clinically calculated sports therapy to assist in freeing up those targets that restrict a golfers range of motion.”

We bring this up because this is the kind of personalized treatment that has become a major wellness trend. Everyone’s body is different so it makes sense that treatments are different too.

Another example: personalized facials. There are facials that emphasize anti-aging, diminish hyperpigmentation, treat sun damage, calm reactive skin, stimulate cell renewal, and more.

From high-tech facials to hydrating treatments, pedicures specific to sportsmen to anti-aging therapies, everything can be individually tailored.

State of the Art Skincare

If there’s one thing a lot of people, especially men, don’t think of as essential, it’s skincare. Patriquin recommends at least a facial as the seasons change, but also notes that it’s important to take care of the rest of your body as well. She says, “Your skin changes with the seasons. Being exposed to elements can take a strong toll on your skin.”

That’s why state of the art skincare has become a major wellness trend. The expected treatments like exfoliation and soothing mud baths are joined by a new generation of Swiss Cellular therapy, Phyto-Cosmeceutical therapy, NuFace microcurrant stimulation, and more.

Restorative Travel

You can visit a spa in the city and get many state-of-the-art treatments. But only by visiting a spa in a place like the Northumberland Strait will you tap into the restorative benefits of travel. Mere proximity to the ocean has been reported to improve wellness and an ocean view has been shown to be calming. Patriquin also points out that, “The negative ions of ocean air increase your body’s capacity to take in oxygen allowing you to feel more refreshed.”

Plus, we can’t help but think that the breath-taking views of the Northumberland Strait make any massage or facial that much more relaxing.

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Far from being a boys’ club, sport shooting is growing in popularity amongst women, and here’s why.

Why Women Are Getting Into Sport Shooting

Picture this: it’s a beautiful, sunny day. You and a group of friends decide to take advantage of the weather and head outdoors for a little friendly competition. You play a challenging course, get a lot of walking in, spend a few hours in nature, post some pictures on social media, and end the day with drinks at a clubhouse.

Surprise, we aren’t talking about golf! (Though we love golf.)

We’re talking about sport shooting. Far from being a boys’ club, this sport is growing in popularity among women, and here’s why.

Sport Shooting Is Actually Several Sports

Trap shooting is when a clay pigeon is launched from a single machine, or “house”.

Skeet shooting is when two clay pigeons are launched from two different houses so that their paths cross in front of the shooter.

Sporting clays is when you have a whole course of different shooting stations. There are no standard distances and angles. Instead, sporting clays courses are designed to mimic hunting ducks, pheasants, rabbits, and other game and fowl. Sporting clays is often described as golf with a shotgun.

That’s a comparison Bob MacDonald, Fox Harb’r Resort Outdoor Activities Manager, endorses. He explains, “Like golf courses, no two sporting clays courses are alike, plus the setting and terrain impact how targets are presented and how you approach them.”

Last, Five Stand has been described as more action-packed than trap shooting, without the space rand time requirement of sporting clays. As the name suggests, there are five stations, or stands, and six to eighteen strategically placed traps. Shooters take their turn at each stand, and shoot at various combinations of clay birds.

Sport Shooting Is Highly Social 

Throughout his career as a shooting instructor, MacDonald has coached hundreds of brand-new shooters, many of them women. “If you are strong enough to hold a shotgun that’s fitted to you, enjoy games like tennis or pool, and like being outdoors, this is always an exciting sport to try,” he notes.

Some women get into sport shooting for the camaraderie with friends. Others join to meet new people and shooting partners. Many take up the sport because their partner does it, or their children want to try, and they’d like to make it a family event. There are even plenty of mother and daughter teams who shoot together.

And of course, social media plays a role. Friends, the great outdoors, and competition all make for good Facebook posts, which draw more people to sporting clay.

It’s Easy to Give It a Try

Trying your hand at sport shooting is as easy as showing up at a course. No experience is required, no permit needed, no Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) necessary. Fox Harb’r, for example, is specifically set up to provide beginners, even total novices who have never held a gun, with basic training in shotgun safety, handling, proper stance, shooting technique and sport etiquette.

“Our first priorities are to get you comfortable with the shotgun, ensure you and everyone on the course is always completely safe, and to have you hitting targets,” says MacDonald. “After that, we are here to coach, educate and help you decide what to try next.”

Competition Ranges From Friendly to Serious

Want a sport where you and a small group of friends can skip keeping score, but still collect a few laughs and memories? That’s sport shooting.

Want a sport where you can train to get better and compete in serious tournaments? That’s still sport shooting.

No matter what level of competition you’re looking for, sport shooting has you covered.

The Sporting Lodge at Fox Harb’r Resort

See New Places & Meet New People 

There’s always a new course to try out, new people to shoot with, and a new event on the horizon. “Sporting clay is an amazingly friendly sport to connect with people of all ages and walks of life, doing exactly what they enjoy,” notes MacDonald.

And that golf analogy doesn’t end. “Like golfers, shooters have a home course or our favourites. But we’re keen to try shoot new courses too. Only at one you carry clubs and at the other you carry a shotgun.”



Fox Harb’r Resort has created a sport shooting venue that rivals anything in the world. Whether you are an experienced international wing shooter or a beginner learning proper shotgun handling, we have a sport shooting experience for you. Enjoy the thrill of hunting in Nova Scotia’s pristine woods, the challenge of world-class target shooting and the rustic comforts of our Sporting Lodge. For more on sport shooting at Fox Harb’r, as well as our sport shooting getaway packages, click here.

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There are many ways to explore Nova Scotia's Northumberland Shore, at the doors of Fox Harb'r Resort. Here are 10 of our favourites.

10 Ways to Enjoy Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore

What if we told you that some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas can be found on Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore? It’s true. The tidal Northumberland Strait, which lies at the doors of Fox Harb’r Resort, is embraced by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and the water is indeed warmer. Just how much warmer?  Well, visit Melmerby Beach and you’ll be treated to a balmy 22C (72F) in the summer.

Of course, the Northumberland Shore has more to offer than the warmest water in Eastern Canada. Let’s count the ways you can enjoy the Northumberland Shore.

Visit an Undersea Farm

Have you ever seen a 200-acre sustainable farm at the bottom of the ocean? You read that correctly. The Purdy family have been growing oysters on the Northumberland Shore since 1867. Today, their famous Bay Enterprises’ Tatamagouche Bay, Tata and Malagash oysters are sought across Canada, for good reason.

Tee Off

Fox Harb’r Resort’s championship golf course takes full advantage of its Atlantic Ocean setting. Graham Cooke’s links-style back nine flow along a dramatic, red rock section of the Northumberland Shore. Then, the course curves back toward the Clubhouse perched high above the sea.

For those with more days to stay and play, nearby Northumberland Links offers ocean views from 16 holes. On a clear day, you’ll see all three Maritime provinces.

Saddle Up

There’s a relaxing rhythm to the way waves meet the shore. And the perfect complement is the clip-clop of hooves picking their way along a coastal trail. Forever Memories Equestrian Centre will ensure that even first-time riders will experience a memorable horseback ride.

Watch the Birds

For spectacular views of wildlife and sunsets, take a motorized pontoon boat tour on the Northumberland Strait. It’s a great way to wildlife spot loons, herons, osprey, and eagles.

Kayak Paddle

Calm, protected Fox Harbour Bay allows for kayaking within 100 feet of shore without entering deep water. Expect a calm, meditative day on the water, occasionally interrupted by a seal or two.

Dig for Quahogs

The clam’s bigger, harder-shelled cousin, the quahog, can be found here in abundance just below the surface of the tidal flats. The Purdys will take you out to find your own – this adventure includes digging instructions and two dozen of the delicious, super-sized molluscs. Expect to get wet and muddy.

Taste Some Wine

Local winery Jost Vineyards is the pioneer of modern Nova Scotia winemaking and known for their frizzante-style wine. Visits to this Malagash Peninsula landmark come with the bonus of sparkling shore views.

Dunk Lobster

If you’re going to visit the Northumberland Shore, make time for a traditional lobster boil, with lots of sweet, local Tatamagouche butter for dunking that just-shelled, succulent meat.  And if that isn’t enough lobster for you, Fox Harb’r Resort serves it up in the form of lobster rolls, lobster ravioli, and gourmet lobster poutine.

Take a Hike

If you’d like a scenic walk, the Fox Trot Trail runs right along the coast offering striking views of tidal inlets and salt marshes.

See the Stars

The stars really do burn brighter over the ocean. And what better place to star-gaze than from a classic East Coast clapboard lighthouse? There’s one on-site at Fox Harb’r Resort!

Whatever you choose, your perfect Northumberland Shore escape is waiting for you.

Plan your escape to Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore now!


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