Liverpool, the "Port of the Privateers" is a small town in Queens County located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Established in 1759, Liverpool was once known as Ogomikigeak (dry sandy place) and Ogukegeok (place of departure) by the Mi'kmaq. Samuel de Champlain later named the harbour Port Rossignol after a captain who was using the harbour for fur trading.
The expulsion of the Acadians set the stage for New England Planters to found Liverpool. Initially sympathetic to the cause of the American Revolution, residents eventually "rebelled against the rebellion" after American Privateers repeatedly attacked local shipping, even the town itself. The golden age of the Liverpool Privateer had begun. During the remainder of the American Revolution, through the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812, Liverpool privateer vessels preyed on enemy ships in the West Indies and North Atlantic.
An important harbour for timber export, ship building and fishing, Liverpool enjoyed a comfortable existence until the mid-19th Century. The new star of the ship building world, steel, ruined Liverpool's wooden ship industry.
Prohibition in the United States allowed Liverpool to become a rum running centre in the 1920's. The town's fortunes were further bolstered with the 1929 completion of the Mersey Paper Company in Brooklyn and a new era dawned in the town.
Today Liverpool is part of the larger Region of Queens Municipality and enjoys a thriving festival season. Surrounded by quiet, unspoiled white sand beaches and protected wilderness, Liverpool makes a great year round hub for travellers looking for good food, culture and nature activities.
Liverpool is located halfway between Yarmouth and Halifax on Highway 103 on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
From Halifax, get on Highway 102 North (Bayers Rd.), then take Exit 1A toward Highway 3/Highway 333/Peggy's Cove/South Shore/Yarmouth. Merge onto Highway 103 West, then get off at Exit 19. For a longer, more scenic drive, take the Lighthouse Route (Highway 3), which goes along the coast and directly through Liverpool.
While there is no public transportation in Liverpool, many attractions are accessible by foot. There are several taxi companies in the area.
See & Do
Watch the seals basking on the rocks at Kejimkujik National Park - Seaside.
Visit the Hank Snow Country Music Centre - live music on Wednesday afternoons in July and August at the old Railway Station.
Toot the horn at Fort Point Lighthouse. Built in 1855, it was here that brave Liverpudlians defended their town and trade from all manners of privateers and agressors. Later in times of peace, the lighthouse cast a welcoming light, bidding safe entry to the harbour. Maritime and privateering history is enacted by costumed intepreters. Visitors can watch a presentation by the son of a previous lightkeeper, enjoy the tranquil, tree lined picnic park witha scenic view of Coffin Island Lighthouse, or browse in the gift shop. Lighthouse open mid-May to mid-October.
Get sand in your shoes when you take a relaxing stroll on one of Queens County's numerous pristine white sand beaches. Carter's Beach, located on Exit 21 off Route 3 in Southwest Port Mouton is hidden away but worth the effort to find. Uncrowded and unspoiled, the beach leads to clear Caribbean green water.
Dip your paddles in one of the hundreds of lakes around the County. Hike the wilderness in the surrounding areas. Cast a line and catch a smallmouth bass. Queens County has one of the highest percentages of protected wilderness parks and nature reserves in Nova Scotia.
Join the party in July as Liverpool celebrates Privateer Days. Firworks, music, crafts, historic tours and encampment, and graveyard tours all pay tribute to the town's rich heritage.
Chat with a ghost at the Perkins House Museum. Perkins House is the oldest house in the Nova Scotia Museum collection. This charming example of a Cape Cod was built in 1766 for Simeon Perkins, a native of Connecticut. He came to Nova Scotia in 1762 during the Planter migration, participated in privateering, and soon became one of Liverpool's leading citizens. Among the many features of this graceful old home is the Perkins Diary, Simeon's 40-year testimonial to colonial life in Liverpool. Interactive ghost holograms are the lastest feature in this must-see!
Stroll through history in The Old Burial Ground, at the corner of Old Bridge Street and Main Street in downtown Liverpool. The history of this first burial ground for the town is depicted in a series of interpretive panesl located throughout. Burials range from before 1760 to the last recorded burial in 1894 with many headstones for infants and mothers who died during childbirth.
Eat & Drink
An oasis of urban coffee chic and a fixture in the "Where to Eat in Canada" series, The Woodpile Carvings & Cafe offers fresh coffee creations, homemade meals and scrumptious desserts. You can pick up a woodspirit handcarved by one of the owners on your way out.
Locals argue about the best pizza in town. Some maintain that the Liverpool Pizzeria (902-354-2422) is the best place to go, while others are staunch supporters of A-1 (902-354-5550). Whatever your preference, don't forget to try the Nova Scotia speciality, the Donair in addition to the pizzas.
The atmosphere in Lane's Privateer Inn is hard to beat and Quiz Nights in their pub are the perfect way to spend an evening.
Reknowned for their big breakfasts and fish and chips, the Transcotia Motel Dining Room (902-354-3494) is truly a hidden gem.
Golden Pond (902-354-5186) is a popular choice for locals looking for a mixed offering of Canadian and Chinese food.
A little further afield, the restaurants at White Point Beach Resort and Quarterdeck Grill offer superior food and spectacular ocean views. Planked salmon is a favourite on their menus!