June 25-July 3, 2011
In March 2011 at the Toronto Golf & Travel Show I received an invite to visit Digby, Nova Scotia. Now "Digby" may not be the first word to roll off a golfer's tongue when a golf destination is mentioned but a visit anywhere in Nova Scotia for this type of vacation should not be overlooked.
Digby is located on the western side of Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley. The beautiful countryside and frequent views of the Bay of Fundy made travel along the shoreline a pleasant change from the bustle of a major city. The area is rich in history and, surprisingly, has much more to offer than I expected. Digby is an identifiable name to most Canadians and I was expected a much larger community. With a population of just over 2,000 it's quite astonishing that a place the size of Digby is recognized across our country.
The trip from Ottawa to Digby is approximately 16 hours with almost 4 hours of that being on a ferry. It is recommended that you make your travel arrangements ahead of schedule as the ferry between St. John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia only runs twice per day.
Accommodations: The Digby Pines Resort is one of the friendliest, and most pleasant resorts that I have ever stayed at. Add in the exceptional dining at Churchill's Restaurant & Lounge and there really is no reason to leave. I could eat those Pan Seared "World Famous" Digby Scallops ever day for the rest of my life. It was a shame that these tasty shellfish weren't available for breakfast but the Digby Pines Breakfast Buffet did come a close second. The food here is amazing!
And did I mention the friendly staff? I know I did but I have applaud the way the staff treated me every day. Within a day or two, from top to bottom, everyone know my name and I did theirs. If I could hire you all, I would.
Food: Yes, there are other places to eat around town besides the Digby Pines Resort. We tried the Dockside Restaurant & Bar and the Fundy Restaurant. For a special treat, visit O'Neil's Seafood Market & Eatery. Not the classiest spot in town but it probably has the freshest seafood. You can have a homemade sit down meal and leave with your favourite fresh "off the boat" seafood. I brought back a couple of pounds of scallops for co-workers.
Attractions: The first thing we wanted to do was go Whale Watching. I asked numerous people which was the best company to go with and pretty much all locals told me the same thing. All Whale Watching Tours talk to each other because they all want happy customers. Therefore, if one boat sports some whales, they let everyone else know their location and all boats converge. I would suggest going with you gut when making your pick with this outing.
The Standing Rock on Digby Neck is a photographer's dream. I didn't know what to expect when I started my trek through the woods to the Standing Rock. The attraction is free, the path is long and rough, but once you arrive you'll find that the effort was all worth it.
The Annapolis Valley offers some first class vineyards and was one of the first areas in North America to cultivate grapes. We stopped in at the Bear River Vineyards as well as the Annapolis Highlands Vineyards. I'm not a wine expect in any sense of the term but I'd always find myself walking away with 3 or 4 bottles from each location just because these wines can't be bought at my local Liquor Store.
In Church Point, Nova Scotia you can visit Église Sainte-Marie which is a Catholic church and the tallest wooden building in North America.
The Admiral Digby Museum won't take you long to go through but I quite enjoyed having fun with our tour guide.
Golf: This is a golfing website so finally I must talk about golf. Despite hearing that rain had been an issue all spring I informed the courses that it never rains on Golf in Canada. True to my word we were able to play 7 rounds in 7 days with only one early morning game that had a mild drizzle. Our itinerary included the following courses:
Day 1: Paragon Golf & Country Club, Kingston, NS
Day 2: Digby Pines Resort Golf Course, Digby, NS
Day 3: Berwick Heights Golf Course, Weston, NS
Day 4: Clare Golf & Country Club, Comeauville, NS
Day 5: Eden Golf & Country Club, Bridgetown, NS
Day 6: Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club, Annapolis Royal, NS
Day 7: Greenwood Golf Club, Greenwood, NS
NOTE: Click on the course name to read the course review.
From the Digby Pines Resort some of these courses are up to 90 minutes away. However, the roads were all good and most courses are worth the drive.