Liverpool, the "Port of the Privateers" is an historic 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 the captain who was using the harbour for fur trading.
The expulsion of the Acadians set the stage for New England Planters to found Liverpool, naming the town after Lord Liverpool, head of the Board of Trade and Plantations. 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 the export of forestry products, 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 and the failure of two local banks crippled the local economy.
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 areas, Liverpool makes a great year round hub for travellers looking for good food, culture and nature activities.
Liverpool is located 90 minutes away from both Yarmouth and Halifax on Highway 103 on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
Look for this sign at exit 19 on Highway 103
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.
Trius Tours, (1-877-566-1567) offers daily bus service between Halifax and Yarmouth
While there is no public transportation in Liverpool, many attractions are accessible by foot. There are several taxi companies in the area.
BJ's Taxi - 902-350-1848
Grezaud's Taxi - 902-354-5585
J & M Taxi - 902-350-0583
See & Do
Watch the seals basking on the rocks at Kejimkujik National Park - Seaside. Locals call the National Park "Keji" for short...
Birders can flock to St Catherine's River Road in the Port Joli area. This road, off Hwy 3 west of Liverpool, provides viewpoints across the tidal mudflats. The endangered Piping Plover can be found on beaches in this area. Please respect signed nesting areas and nesting enclosures. The beach is closed during nesting season.
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.
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. Take a bike ride along our trails. Queens County has one of the highest percentages of protected wilderness parks and nature reserves in Nova Scotia. Canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals available at Liverpool Adventure Outfitters (902-354-2702 in Liverpool, 902-682-5253 at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada).
Join the party in July as Liverpool celebrates Privateer Days. Fireworks, 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! Open June 1 to October 15
Built in 1980, the Queens County Museum, situated next the Perkins House Museum, houses documents and artifacts relating to the natural and human history of Queens. The Thomas Raddall Research Centre for family history also operates within the museum, housing the early properietors township records from 1759 leading to Mayflower and Empire Loyalist descendants and a Black History exhibit. Open year round
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.
The Rossignol Cultural Centre is a 24,000sq ft multi-faceted complex of museums and galleries housed in a restored school. Hosting a Folk Art Museum, Apothecary Museum, Trappers Cabin, Wildlife Art Gallery, English Board Room and the world's onlyOuthouse Museum, this Centre offers hours of informative and educational entertainment. Open May 15-October 15.
The Sherman Hines Museum of Photography is the only one of its kind east of Montreal and features four galleries and a permanent collection of photographs by prominent Canadian photographers. Open May 15-October 15
Milton Blacksmith Shop 351 West Street, Milton. 902-354-2550. A former working forge situated in a restored 1903 Smithy shop located by the falls on the Mersey River. View the operational forge, the ox sling or the displays on horseshoeing plus wood and metalworking. The museum also boasts numerous photos of historic Milton. Open June to mid-October
Thomas Raddall Provincial Park covers over 1600 acres just across the harbour from Keji Seaside and has an interesting array of habitats. The wooded areas are home to many songbirds, osprey, eagles, deer, snowshoe hare and coyotes, while the lakes and streams find mink, otter and beaver. Moose and black bears frequent the bogs and fens and shorebirds abound on the secluded white sand beaches. Particularly beautiful in the Autumn. Named after one of Canada's most popular authors, Thomas Raddall Provincial Park offers wooded campsites, walking and bicycle trails and historic sites to enjoy.
Go on a Mushroom hunt! Spot and identify all the mushrooms the area has on offer. Orange Fairy Cups, Coral Fungi, Chanterelles and the Common Puffball are just some of the mushrooms found around the area. Stop by the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a copy of the "Know your Mushrooms" brochure for help identifying them all. Please note: we advise againt eating any wild mushrooms without expert guidance and no reposibility is assumed to anyone ignoring this advice.
Carters Beach, Nova Scotia
Get sand in your shoes when you take a relaxing stroll on one of Queens County's numerous pristine white sand beaches.
Beach Meadows Municipal Beach is a favourite of local families. Changing rooms, picnic tables, washroom facilities and a playground make this a great place to spent a lazy day on the water. Located in Beach Meadows east of Liverpool on Hwy 3. Wheelchair accessible.
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. Carter's Beach is truly unspoiled, so please note there are no washroom facilities or infrastructure nearby. Parking is extremely limited.
Eagle Head Beach, Hwy 3 east of Liverpool. White sand beach, no facilities - perfect for those looking for a quiet experience.
Hunts Point Beach, Hwy 3 west of Liverpool. Unsupervised swimming, no facilities. Public access and wheelchair accessible. Perfect for evening strolls.
Summerville Beach Provincial Park, Hwy 3 west of Liverpool, is a beautiful kilometre long white-sand beach. Unsupervised swimming, picnic area, washrooms, and changing rooms available. Wheelchair accessible.
White Point Beach, Hwy 3 west of Liverpool. Half mile white sand beach, accessible with White Point Beach Resort Day Pass which can be purchased from the Resort. Walker's and surfer's paradise. Surf board rental facilities available at the Resort.
Eat & Drink
A selection of wines at the Quarterdeck Grill
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.
Privateer Country Kitchen (902-354-5979) offers classic local favourites at reasonable prices.
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!
For those wanting a quicker bite in between delectable local dinners, Liverpool has an assortment of fast food restaurants, such as Tim Hortons, McDonald's, Subway, Greco's Pizza, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Best Western - Liverpool Hotel and Conference Cetnre 65 Queens Place Drive. Opened summer of 2009. 65 well appointed rooms with DVD players. Swimming pool and fitness centre. 100% non-smoking.
Lane's Privateer Inn. 27 Bristol Ave, Liverpool. 27 A/C Guest Rooms overlooking the Mersey River. Restaurant and Pub. Bookstore and gourmet shop. Free wireless internet, complimentary breakfast. Boat launch.
White Point Beach Resort. 75 White Point Road, Route 3. Atlantic Canada's favourite year-round, four star, seaside beach Resort. World class restaurant, 9 hole CPGA golf course, Ocean Spa, Conference Centre, freshwater lake, heated saltwater pools and complementary recreation programs.
Motels and B&Bs
Gallery Guest House. 611 Shore Road, Mersey Point, Liverpool. Two bedrooms with private baths. Decks and a view of Coffin Idland and Liverpool Bay. Art gallery on premises. Enjoy the local smoked salmon for breakfast prepared by Mersey Point Fish Products, a family owned business.
Geranium House Bed & Breakfast (902-354-4484). 87 Milton Rd East, Liverpool. Three rooms in a two hundred year old home. Full breakfast served with homemade bread. TV in room and shared bath.
Left Bank Bed & Breakfast (902-354-9977, 902-354-2317). 348 Main Street, Milton. One large room. Registered Heritage Property.
Morton House Inn 147 Main St, Milton. Empire-style mansion with four rooms. View of the Mersey River.