Whether you choose to enter the peaceful Town of Digby via the car ferry, or from Highway #101, you will be struck by the fresh beauty of this small friendly town. Digby's downtown scenery becomes romantically unique as it is bounded by the sea on one side with a mountainous range as the backdrop to Digby's Scallop Fleet. The town's well established business section on Water Street overlooks the Annapolis Basin. Digby has long been one of the most popular tourist areas in Nova Scotia. It is an ideal "central" place to make one's vacation headquarters. Digby is close to one of North America's finest whale watching areas as well as other historic and scenic side trips available to you. You will be within a 30 to 90 minute drive from your day's destination.
Digby is also the gateway to one of Nova Scotia's most spectacular natural regions. Known as the Digby Neck and Islands this ribbon of land juts far out into the Bay of Fundy. The bay's great tides have created a rich ecosystem that supports an abundance of wildlife the great numbers of whales and seabirds along the Atlantic Flyway.
If it is the phenomenon of the tides you want to see you can see it right here in the Annapolis Basin. The Bay of Fundy has one of the world's greatest rise and fall of tides ranging from 27 to 32 here in Digby. Twice a day the salt water travels inland for several miles to become beautiful bodies of water then turns and races back to the Bay of Fundy, creating mudflats which can be seen from the causeways at the Joggins Bridge, Smith's Cove, and in Deep Brook at Hwy #101..
Digby and area has a diversified assortment of accommodations and eating establishments to suit your needs and vacation budget. It is hard to find a local eating establishment here that does not serve scallops, lobster of fish on one form or another.
Digby houses one of the World's Largest Scallop Fleets and our Digby scallops are known to gourmets throughout the world. Fishermen harvesting inshore scallops use vessels which tow drags equipped with large wire and rubber knit baskets over the ocean bottom. Larger, more powerful vessels are used to harvest the offshore scallops. Scallops are shelled or "shucked" (pronounced "shocked" locally) as soon as they are caught. The cold temperature of the waters here do not vary more than a few degrees from summer to winter creating conditions that are most favourable for the survival of the scallops. Not only are these waters home to scallops but seasonally our fishermen harvest tasty shellfish such as lobster, clams, and mussels. Several species of fish also caught in our local area are haddock, halibut, cod, hake, herring, mackerel, and flounder.
Digby hosts the annual Scallop Days Festival in the second week of August in celebration of our special fishery and our community. Events include scallop shucking and woodsmen competitions along with parades, fireworks, etc.
In the earlier times the most affordable meal was herring. Known today as Digby Chicks, the herring once replaced chicken for Christmas dinner. If you are allergic to shellfish try some of our Digby Chicks (smoked herring) or Solomon Gundy (sweet pickled herring)
Taking a stroll along the Fisherman's Wharf to view the scallop draggers and other fishing craft is a must for camera buffs.
After a small handful of "Planters" settled here the United Empire Loyalists from New York and the New England States arrived in 1783. The history of Digby is not one of the cruel wars, conquests and bloody battles. It is a story of the pioneers to carve out of the wilderness, a home where they could continue in their loyalty to their King and country. It is a story of comfortably well off families who faced hardship and loss in their new role as pioneers. Their loyalty to the British Crown outweighed all of the comforts they enjoyed in the United States and these traits were passed on to succeeding generations.
They built their houses and churches following the same architectural style as was used in their former home communities. In and around Digby there are still reminders of its early days and some interesting examples of Loyalist architecture.
The town was named after the British Admiral, Robert Digby who commanded the H.M.S. Atlanta, bringing 1,500 United Empire Loyalists from New England to the Digby area. Today the population of Digby is still only 2,300 a few hundred more than the original settlement.
Among Digby's earliest setters was John Edison, grandfather of the famous Thomas Edison. Gravestones of many of these hardy pioneers who left the newly emerging USA to begin a new life in Nova Scotia can be found in the churchyard surrounding the historic Trinity Anglican Church as well as in the old Loyalist Cemetery located two blocks south. Etched in these ancient grave markers are records of the tragedies, sorrows and the hopes of the forbearers of many of Digby's present day citizens. Those intrigued by architecture should visit the Trinity Anglican Church, the only church in Canada to be built by shipwrights. The ceiling was built resembling the hull of an inverted ship.
For golfers Digby, has a special appeal. Maintained by the Pines Resort Hotel is one of the finest 18 hole championship golf courses with superb views from many of its fairways.
At the end of the Lighthouse Road leading to Point Prim is a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy and Point Prim Lighthouse overlooking the entrance to the Digby Gut where the car ferry crosses from New Brunswick. This rocky peninsula is a quiet spot for a picnic lunch, a beautiful sunset or a peaceful walk with nature. Imagine yourself "back in time" standing on this rocky point spying on the early explorers Champlain and DeMonts as they sailed through the narrow gut into the safe harbour of the Annapolis Basin.
Looking across the gut you will see Victoria Beach, once a typical Bay of Fundy fishing village. It was here that the first Pony Express route in North America brought the news via Halifax from Great Britain by a rider traveling on horseback. From there the mail was brought across the gut entrance by boat to the Town of Digby. The dispatches were also carried by steamer to New Brunswick and then telegraphed to points south in the United States.
Along the water's edge at various points along Shore Road near the New Brunswick Ferry dockyou may notice circular net cages. This is where the salmon farming is done. Floating barges are hauled out to the salmon cages now and then to carry the bins for feeding and harvesting.
Located in the central part of town is the Digby Marina which has a growing demand for more berths. There are haul-up services, boat repairs, full service for gas and diesel as well as restaurant and laundry services available nearby.
Coming by air? Why not try out our Digby Municipal Airport 4 miles (6.4 km) from downtown Digby. It is capable of accommodating medium, twin-engine aircraft. The 3,950 foot runway is located in Nova Scotia's highest airport at an elevation of 499 feet above sea level.
In front of the Post Office is the Fisherman's Memorial (1867-1967) dedicated to the local fishermen who lost their lives at sea. In the centre of town is the Soldier's Cenotaph (1921) a monument to those who died in service to Canada during WWI, WWII and the Korean Conflict. The Admiral Digby Well (1780) located on Admiral Digby's original property now marks the entrance to Fisherman's Wharf.
The cannons along the ADMIRAL’S WALK date back to the 1840'sand were once located in strategic areas along the water to protect the entrance to the Annapolis Basin. They have since been relocated to the BATTERY PARK near the Town Tourist Bureau. Picnic tables have been placed here for your lunch and take in the beautiful scenic view of the Basin.
Close by is the Admiral Digby Museum where you can step back in time with the collection of many period wardrobes, old maps and photographs, boat models and many other interesting collectables. For those tracing their families heritage the genealogy room has been added. Take some family information away with you or leave some behind. The Digby and surrounding area abounds in history. Not far from town is a house of historic interest located in the Acadia Valley. It was said to be the end of the underground railway and had a secret room where black slaves were once hidden. Visit the Admiral Digby Museum and see what other history you might find.
A picturesque stroll along the Admiral's Walk will take you from the Town's Tourist Bureau to the other end of Town. Whether you are a painter, photographer or just taking a relaxing stroll in Digby's romantic ambience we are sure you will find the calming effect of the sea, sunrise or sunset a memory you will take home with you.
The Digby Recreation Facility now maintains an outdoor swimming pool and outdoor volleyball courts for your added enjoyment.