If you are already travelling along Highway 1 you are on the right track. If you are travelling along Highway 101 take Exit 32 to Highway 1 which will allow you to experience the region of the Clare Acadian Shore.
Explore the peacefulness and tranquility of the villages of Mavillette and Cape Saint Mary. You will find one of Clare’s most precious natural treasures, Mavillette Beach Provincial Park, a 1.5-km-long sandy beach backed by fragile marram grass-covered dunes protected by boardwalks.
Discover its countless little treasures—driftwood, stones, shells, beach glass and more! And a great place to birdwatch.
Turn left onto Cape St Mary Road to the fishing wharf at Cape Saint Mary, guarded by houses perched on the hill overlooking the sea. During the summer, fishermen share their village with summer residents who return each year to bask in the beauty of the sea and the scenery.
Enjoy panoramic ocean views over Saint Mary’s Bay and the Gulf of Maine from Clare’s newest park: Cape Saint Mary Lighthouse Park. In July 2018, a granite monument was installed to commemorate those lost at sea in the Municipality of Clare. Other amenities include an accessible picnic shelter, viewing scope, interpretive signage and portable toilets. A great place to sit and watch waves break!
Like to run? Two events start at the lighthouse: The Fog Run in June and the Cape to Cliff beach run in August.
Continuing in Meteghan, be sure to enjoy the sweeping sea views and learn about rum running at picturesque Smuggler’s Cove Provincial Park. If you have children, the Meteghan Family Park overlooking St. Mary’s Bay located just up the road is a perfect stop to stretch your legs.
The port at Meteghan evolved around Clare’s most important industry: fishing. Scallop draggers, trawlers, herring seiners, and ground fish and lobster boats land their catches at the Meteghan Wharf, where nearby fish plants and lobster pounds provide employment for many workers. A visit to the wharf will give you an opportunity to observe the different types of boats and feel the pulse of the region’s most important industry.
You will find numerous businesses in Meteghan Centre. Do not hesitate to stop and browse for treasures are the very first Frenchy’s store located in this village. Meteghan River is home to A.F. Thériault & Sons, one of Canada’s largest private shipbuilding companies. The shipyard builds boats in aluminum, fiberglass and composites and offers a vast array of services related to ship repair for all kinds of boats. Stop by for a unique photo opportunity!
La Cuisine Robicheau restaurant serves delicious seafood and is home to Musique de la Baie, a live Acadian music program in local restaurants. There are almost 20 restaurants situated along the Clare Acadian Shore. For a complete list, visit our Food & Drink page. Sample râpure, a traditional Acadian dish served at local restaurants.
In Church Point, be sure to stop in to Université Sainte-Anne, the only French language university in Nova Scotia and home to one of the world’s best French immersion programs. Get informed at the Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Centre, also home to an impressive Acadian Museum and Le Trecarré art gallery.
In Church Point you cannot miss Sainte-Marie Church Museum, reputed to be the largest wooden church in North America. Although the interior is closed, the impressive architecture, an interpretive panel and a great photo opp makes this a worthwhile stop. The main entrance to the Le Petit Bois trails is behind the church.
The village of Grosses Coques was named after the large clams that the first Acadian settlers discovered on the tidal flats. Turn right onto Major’s Point Road and discover the first Acadian chapel and cemetery at Pointe-à-Major, the site of the first Acadian settlers in 1758.
Belliveau Cove was a renowned boat-building community during the age of sail. At the Belliveau Cove Municipal Park you will also find a 5-km seaside walking trail, a lighthouse, a Saturday Farmer’s Market and an art market on Sundays.
On Friday evenings, enjoy the sunset over the bay at the Beaux Vendredis seafood suppers and enjoy fresh lobster and clams. A clam-digging experience with a local expert is offered at low tide throughout the summer.
Just up the road along the main highway you can’t miss the majestic Église Saint-Bernard Church. Although the interior is closed, the impressive architecture, an interpretive panel and a great photo opp makes this a worthwhile stop. Take a walk around the back for impressive views of the bay.