Mavillette Beach

Nova Scotia, Canada

Starfish Rating of 4.5

Claim to Fame

A charming beach with largely French-speaking locals. It is located on the Bay of Fundy, boasting the highest and lowest tides on the earth. Due to that, Mavillette Beach is more like two different beaches; at low tide it is wide and perfect for long walks; at high tide it is an intimate strip of beach.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of H.L.I.T.
  • Where is it?less than an hour north of the town of Yarmouth on the western side of Nova Scotia, on St. Mary’s Bay within the Bay of Fundy
  • Coordinates: latitude» 44.1526°
    longitude» -66.1849°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: maritime
  • Development: developed areas; beach strip near a small town
  • Length of Beach: 1.25m/2km
  • Type: white sand
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Mavillette Beach is part of Mavillette Provincial Park and because of this has amenities that other beaches might lack, such as public washrooms, ample parking and picnic tables. The beach is not terribly busy, even in the summer, and provides for a relaxing, laid-back beach visit.

The beach has varied topography. There is a classic stretch of white-to-ivory sand, rolling sand dunes, and a salt-water marsh area, typical of the Fundy shore in Nova Scotia. Located at the village of Cape St. Mary’s, in the county of Clare, this is a dominantly Acadian French part of the province, and has a unique charm as a result.

In the quaint town, there are a surprising number of things to do, see and photograph. The old wharf area is fascinating; houses perched on the hillside keep vigil over the village, resplendent with galleries and studios (the beauty of Nova Scotia has attracted artists and artisans from all over the world). A bird-watching tower has been erected for ornithology enthusiasts and there is a lighthouse to explore.

The local restaurant, long-established, is called the Cape View, and serves local fresh fish and shellfish, as well as other signature Acadian dishes. Or go scallop- or clam-diving and catch your own dinner! Fishing and forestry are the mainstays of revenue in this area.

Part of the winding, beautiful Evangeline Trail (Highway 1) that runs the length of the Fundy coast on the north shore of Nova Scotia, Mavillette Beach and Cape St. Mary’s are integral to this picturesque two-lane highway as it winds through landscape that shifts and changes, but never fails to amaze. Also essential to it is the stunning B&B called La Maison D’amitie, in English, House of Friendship, part inn and part gallery, perched on a cliff with a view to die for. Check it out at www.houseoffriendship.ca

Mavillette and Cape St. Mary’s offer the enjoyable Belliveau Outdoor Market, and festivals throughout the summer, including Musique de la Baie, Festival Acadien de Clare, and the Clare Bluegrass Festival. There is a distinct sense of celebration here, both of the Acadian culture and of the overall beauty of the place itself.

At low tide, stroll Mavillette Beach with your sweetheart, and maybe your dog, too! At high tide, swim in the refreshing Bay of Fundy waters and dive for scallops. This is a beach for rest and relaxation, unhurried, unstructured and typically Nova Scotia.

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