Peggys Cove has long been Nova Scotia's most popular tourist destinations. Annually, close to 500,000 people visit the area to see the world's most photographed lighthouse and to appreciate the natural beauty of the coastal landscape.
Having said that, what else is there to do in Peggys Cove other than taking a picture of a lighthouse? Actually, there's a lot!
Here's our pick of Things To Do In Peggys Cove - Besides Seeing A Lighthouse.
Swissair Flight 111 Memorial
Located 2.2km from Peggys Cove in the village of Whalesback, is one of (2) memorials dedicated to the downing of Swissair Flight 111 on September 2, 1998. The monument is dedicated to the tireless efforts of all of the first responders who participated in the recovery efforts of the 229 passengers and crew who died onboard the ill-fated airliner.
The second monument located in Bayswater, close to the nearby village of Blandford, was erected to pay respects to the passengers and crew who lost their lives. Their names are inscribed on the memorial there.
It might come as a surprise to some that the first responders to the scene of the crash were fishermen from Peggys Cove and other nearby Indian Harbour and West Dover. They arrived long before the Coast Guard, RCMP, and Canadian Navy, to look for survivors. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain and none of them were prepared for the grisly discovery that awaited them.
While visiting the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial, please take a few moments to pay your respects. The area offers unique photo opportunities of the rugged granite coastline and Peggys Cove off in the distance.
St. John's Anglican Church
Located a short distance from the main entrance to Peggys Cove, St. John's Anglican Church is the only church in the area and was built in the Gothic Revival style that was popular at the time in 1893. It replaced the prior church that originated in 1850 and subsequently destroyed by fire in 1881.
The church welcomes visitors and is open to the general public 6 days per week in the months of June to October. Church volunteers are there are pleased to give an informative guided tour and are quick to point out that the church still plays an important part in the local community to this day.
While there, make sure to see the 2 beautiful murals donated by local artist, the late William deGarthe. The paintings were donated to the church in 1963 and are just several of his works of art on display in Peggys Cove.
William deGarthe Art Gallery & Fishermen's Monument
Directly opposite to the Visitor Information Centre lies the Willam deGarthe Art Gallery and Fishermen's Monument. The gallery is comprised of deGathe's former residence and art studio and is open to the public during the summer months with 65 of his paintings and sculptures on display.
William deGarthe was an accomplished artist who painted, drew sketches, sculpted, and authored 3 books in his lifetime. He immigrated to Canada in 1926 from his homeland in Finland and lived briefly in Ontario, and Montreal before settling in Nova Scotia in 1930.
deGarthe was a commercial artist for the majority of his career and later in life owned an advertising business based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He sold the business in 1955 and moved to Peggys Cove where he resided until his death.
Next to the gallery is Fishermen's Monument, one of deGarthe's last works before his death in 1983. It was about 80% complete before his passing. One of deGarthe's students, Rene Barrette, was asked by deGarthe to assist him in its creation and he completed the sculpture in the years after deGarthe's death. deGarthe was cremated and his ashes are interred in the memorial.
Fishermen's Monument was created to be a lasting memorial to Nova Scotia Fishermen. The sculpture depicts fishermen and their families making their livelihood from the sea while under the protective arms of the guardian angel, St. Elmo.
As you can see, William deGarthe had a deep admiration for the people of Nova Scotia and Peggys Cove in particular.
If you enjoy local folk art, then make sure to make this a stop while visiting Peggys Cove.
Enjoy Lobster? Then Look no Further
If you have an appetite for seafood and love lobster, you have come to the right place! Peggys Cove is well known for its lobster fishery and has a number of locals providing freshly cooked lobster for your enjoyment.
The traditional lobster roll served here is one of the best values in the area, with generous portions of meat for a modest price. Occasionally, other smoked salmon or mackerel is available as well.
If seafood isn't to your liking or you just prefer to have a sit-down meal, the Sou'Wester restaurant is adjacent to the Peggys Cove lighthouse. The Sou'Wester also has an extensive gift store on-site, for those looking for souvenirs of their visit to Peggys Cove.
For dessert, nothing beats a homemade ice cream from Dee Dee's. They have a wide variety of flavours available and make their ice cream from local Nova Scotia ingredients. Their Nova Scotia Berry flavour is amazing. though personally, I'm partial to the Raspberry Passion Sorbet.
Take A Moment To Enjoy The View!
This might seem like an obvious thing to do but you'd be surprised by how many people overlook doing so.
Take the opportunity to connect on a personal level. Sit down and block everything from your mind and focus on an incredible sunset or the waves crashing along the rocky coastline. The beautiful, stark, and barren windswept landscape of Peggys Cove is truly a sight to behold.
It is a calming and rewarding experience that will leave you with a sense of inner peace and tranquility.
As you can see, Peggys Cove has more to offer than incredible views of its lighthouse. I would encourage you to explore beyond the recommendations of this article and find something special to take away from your experience there.
Anchor Tours specializes in providing guided tours to Peggys Cove. See our tour itineraries listed below. Join us and see one of Nova Scotia's most enduring and iconic locations.