The Best Places to Stay in Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove, only 45 minutes from downtown Halifax, is a fantastic place to spend a couple of nights with the kids, who will never get tired of clambering over the rocks, or eating ice cream. But beyond the rocks, there is so much else to do at Peggy’s Cove, including hiking Polly’s Cove, snorkeling in rock pools, hunting for local treasures at yard sales and antique stores, admiring local art, or swimming Micou’s Island beach. There are also plenty of great spots for family-friendly dining in the Peggy’s Cove area, including Rhubarb, Shaw’s Landing and the Harbour General Store.
So many of us are stuck in the habit of heading to Peggy’s Cove for the afternoon and then coming home again. But in 2020, there are new opportunities for local travel, with plenty of overnight vacancies left by the tourists who, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can’t make it to Nova Scotia this year.
It’s time to re-define the road trip. Here are five amazing places to stay in Peggy’s Cove:
Privateer’s Lookout Air BnB
Just opposite King Neptune Campground (about a 3-minute drive from the lighthouse), The Harbour General Store and Restaurant contains thousands of treasures in the form of paintings, photos, ceramics, folk art, jams, jellies and quilts. Year-round, locals meet here to play music and exchange ideas. Leading up to the holiday season, it’s a superb place to support local artists as you do your Christmas shopping.
But the real treasure lies above the store: a spacious and relaxing 2-bedroom apartment, rented on Air BnB as Privateer’s Lookout. With a full kitchen, strong Wifi, and a view of the ocean, this place is perfect for an affordable family getaway, or a couple’s retreat.
At the time of writing, rooms were about $100 per night, including a delicious breakfast in the restaurant. Locals can take advantage of deals like the “Bluenoser Special”: if you book for 2 nights, you receive a complimentary dinner for two.
Even if you are staying somewhere else, stop by for a meal: the small but mighty dinner menu at the Harbour General Store features delicious burgers, salads, fish and chips and a traditional seafood chowder served with apple-can baked bread (a Cape Breton recipe), while breakfast can include lobster omelette, lobster Eggs Benny, homemade granola, or traditional bacon and eggs.
Clifty Cove Motel
The Clifty Cove Motel is one of the best places to stay in Peggy’s Cove for families because of its cleanliness and affordability. Each room has a small kitchenette, and a walk-in shower with sturdy handrails, perfect for anyone who is a little shaky on their feet. Rooms 1-5 have balconies where you can sit and watch a stunning sunset. These rooms are more than just comfortable – they are lovely.
The Clifty Cove has a relaxing dock and a new firepit area, overlooking the cove. Younger kids will be delighted with the small playground that has plenty of swings for everyone. There are plans to build an in-ground swimming pool.
There’s no food available on site at the Clifty Cove, but you can order breakfast or dinner from Tom’s Lobster Shack; you will find a menu in your room. Don’t be fooled by the “shack” part. Tom makes a variety of high-end lobster dishes, including superb lobster rolls, lobster risotto and smoked salmon carpaccio. Rooms at the Clifty Cove are about $150 per night.
Out of all the places to stay in Peggy’s Cove, The Oceanstone Seaside Resort is perhaps the best known, and the most up-market, offering with a variety of room types including cottages and guest suites. The Oceanstone gets busy on the weekends, but during the week, there is still plenty of availability for local guests.
Recently, the Oceanstone’s culinary team created an innovative menu that caters to in-cottage dining for guests, perfect for social distancing. For example, you can order “grill your own” Texas BBQ ribs that have been marinated for 48 hours, rubbed in a signature dry rub and slathered in a homemade sweet & smokey BBQ sauce. All you have to do is place them on your barbecue! Or, if you’re heading out hiking for the day, the Oceanstone chef can make you a picnic with a gourmet sandwich, salad, cookie, granola bar and apple. (This is totally affordable at $18, which is the same price as one of the lobster rolls down at the cove). All in-cottage dining orders require 48 hours advance notice, so plan ahead.
Rooms at the Oceanstone start at $175.oo. This August, the Oceanstone is offering off-season rates if you book Monday – Thursday in August in the Inn, Rhubarb rooms or Hollyhock suites (Use promo code “seaside”). For more information about family fun at the Oceanstone, read our article: There’s More to Peggy’s Cove Than a Lighthouse.
Lighthouse Lane Cottages
Instagrammers, get your cameras ready! The new owners at Lighthouse Lane Cottages have revamped a classic set of cottages with clean, modern furnishings that invite you to instantly relax. Do you like your coffee on the rocks? One of the bonuses of staying at Lighthouse Lane is a small walking path overlooking the water – it’s like a mini Peggy’s Cove.
One of the nicest cottages is Bluefin, pictured above. It sits right on the ocean, offering beautiful sunset views. If you’re travelling alone, a sweet, boutique option is the Sand Dollar Suite, the most affordable of the cottages at $110 per night. As with all the accomdoations at Peggy’s Cove, it’s a good idea to phone ahead in person, to get the most suitable room.
Local knowledge: these cottages were formerly called “Lover’s Lane.”
Breakwater Inn Bed and Breakfast
If you like the idea of sleeping right on the rocks, you can’t get much closer than the Breakwater Inn. The Breakwater Inn provides comfortable hotel-style lodgings only a stone’s throw from the ocean’s roar. Choose from three clean, modern rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Deceptively, since they are contained inside a traditional cottage-style house, these rooms have the feel like of a modern 4-star hotel suite.
A night at the Breakwater Inn costs $160 including breakfast. For lunch, step outside your door, where you will find Peggy’s Cove Lobster, a fabulous food truck serving delicious lobster rolls. In sunnier times, you can also book a tour with Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours, which departs from this location (currently not running due to Covid).
Stay at Peggy’s Cove… for Longer than an Afternoon!
These are extraordinary times, and business owners in Peggy’s Cove are taking extraordinary measures to make sure their local guests are safe and comfortable, in line with government regulations and guidelines for social distancing.
There seem to be plenty of mid-week vacancies and deals for locals, so if you can’t find what you are looking for online, pick up the phone and chat to someone to get the best rate, or the most suitable room for your family. In my experience, this always results in a more satisfying mini-break. It’s good to talk!
What are you waiting for? Get down to Peggy’s Cove! And this time, why not stay a while?
Helen Earley is a Halifax-based writer. She was a guest of the Clifty Cove Motel, which did not review or approve this article.