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Beautiful scenery around the Cape dOr Lighthouse

Cape D’Or Lighthouse – What a Stay Looks Like

I didn’t appreciate the treat I was in for when I booked a one night stay in the lightkeeper’s cottage – a stone’s throw away from the Cape D’or Lighthouse. I’d left accommodation arrangements until the last minute – but sometimes the planets align and everything falls into place. This was one of those times.

Looking out at the Cape D'Or Lighthouse and restaurant
Looking out at the Cape D’Or Lighthouse and restaurant

Cape d’Or Lighthouse location

The Cape d’Or Lighthouse is about 6 km away from Advocate Harbour, a small community near Cape Chignecto, accessible via a well signed gravel road. From Halifax it’s a 2.5 – 3 hour drive.

Once you arrive at the parking lot it’s a hike down on a steep, boulder strewn hill to get to the lighthouse. Should you be unable to hike up or down the hill, Darcy the owner, will drive up and get you. At the end of your meal – should you eat there – the hike back up is a great way to burn off some calories.

Many people come just to see the lighthouse and the surrounding landscape. Others come for lunch or dinner and some like me come for a night or two.

The restaurant has been included for years in the book Where to Eat in Canada – and would have been again this year except that Darcy didn’t even think he’d be open so he asked to have his listing removed.

"A desolate but beautiful view from the dining room at the Cape DOr Lighthouse
A desolate but beautiful view from the dining room

Dining at the lighthouse

On the night I was there for dinner there were just two other tables filled – but it was mid-week. My meal was superb from start to finish – and for $30 a bargain considering it included three courses – all of which were outstanding.

The view from the table is amazing and would make a great place to watch a storm; I settled for watching the tide roll in.

"Fresh caught haddock and shrimp on a bed of bok choy at the Cape DOr Lighthouse restaurant
Fresh caught haddock and shrimp on a bed of bok choy
A rhubarb crumble
A rhubarb crumble

After dinner I had a bit of time to check out the scenery before the light faded. Ideally I would want to spend a whole day in the area exploring the cave and walking the beach.

You can explore the cave at low tide
You can explore the cave at low tide
Cape dOr Lighthouse area in Nova Scotia near Advocate Harbour
Rugged cliff landscape around the corner from the restaurant

The Lightkeeper’s Cottage

The accommodation in the lightkeeper’s cottage is simple but clean. It would be the ideal place to go to as a family as there are three bedrooms, a small kitchen and a living room. I shared it with one other couple but I had my own bathroom.

Dusk at the Cape d'Or Lighthouse
Dusk at the Cape d’Or Lighthouse

Darcy had contemplated closing a few years ago. He’s been running the place for a while and is contemplating a change – so go now – because this isn’t the sort of place you want to miss if you’re visiting Nova Scotia.

2020 update: The place is very much a going concern.

The fading light of a June evening
The fading light of a June evening

Visit the Cape d’Or Lighthouse website for more information and to book.

Rooms are $135 per night plus taxes (2019 prices). Bring cash as plastic isn’t accepted.

Further reading on things to do in Nova Scotia

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Don't Miss a Stay at the Cape D'Or Lighthouse in Nova Scotia - great food, simple accommodation, incredible scenery



Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. What a fabulous looking (and tasting!) place this appears to be. I love the photos (what else is new, right?) and you’ve certainly tempted both the taste bud and travel bug with this one, Leigh.

  2. The beach and the cliffs look so beautiful – would love to explore the area! Staying in a lighthouse is definitely a bucket list item for me – hopefully this one doesn’t close – it looks perfect for my family!

  3. Oh I have always longed to stay at a lighthouse! It has a feel of a romantic past about it – although I know that life in the past for light house keepers was far from romantic. Many died from lead poisoning I believe.
    After reading your post and seeing your wonderful pics I am going to have to check out what lighthouses we have here where people can stay.
    Have a wonderful week, and thank you for stopping by my blog.
    The rate for your stay at the lighthouse is much cheaper than the Raffles!

    1. @Jill I would have to think there must be some lighthouses you could stay in – in Australia. And agreed about the rate. I also didn’t have to meet a dress code. Raffles would probably turn me away at the door.

    1. @Michele It was quite something that Darcy is able to source all these great foods considering where he’s located. You don’t have much choice on the menu but sometimes that’s OK.

  4. I so want to stay here! How neat to stay next to a lighthouse and quite a bargain too with the view and scenery. Looks like you had this beautiful place all to yourself, Leigh. The food looks delicious! This is one of those ideal places to really get away from it all.

  5. What a spot! Light houses always evoke feelings of isolation, and the power and beauty of nature, for me. Just finished reading a novel set in one! Such an amazing position.

  6. beautiful place and coastline and the dinners look really inviting also!

    I’m inviting you to come and link up with us for Travel Photo Mondays also for a photo carnival starting on Monday for the whole week!

    1. @Noel Dinner was superb – a great Caesar salad to start too.

      I would love t link when I have more time – perhaps in late September but having a hard time just trying to keep the blog going while I travel.

  7. To date I’ve never stayed in a lighthouse but would love to! This part of Nova Scotia looks stunning. I think sitting out a storm there would be really interesting too!

  8. Ah, the history and romance of a lighthouse combined with interesting areas to explore, comfortable lodging, and great food – it sounds perfect. I hope he stays open.

  9. Every time I see a picture of Nova Scotia it makes me want to run (not walk) straight to the airport and get myself there. So very pretty!

    1. @Amy I recently spent two weeks in Nova Scotia – chiefly along the coastline – and everywhere I went was glorious. Really. The Cape Chignecto area was new to me – and somewhat off the beaten path – which lends that desolate feel to the place. Joggins – A UNESCO world heritage site would be about an hour away.

      1. We live in Windsor, Nova Scotia and there are so many beautiful places here and all around us, once you get out of the Halifax area. You also can’t beat the home prices in and around Windsor. A nice 120 year old victorian home is less than $200K.

  10. That haddock looks superb – worth $30 by itself I would say. The food is extremely affordable and as you say it would be lovely watching a storm brew through the windows. It would be nice to settle in with a coffee and watch it all happen. I understand the need for a change, but I hope it stays open.

  11. You know, staying at a lighthouse is an idea that I’ve long thought about. A farm stay also sounds sublime!

  12. Never stayed in a lighthouse, but I’d love to stay at Darcy’s. Everything looks and sounds so appealing. What a value and the food pics have my mouth watering.

    1. @Cathy Prices in that part of Nova Scotia are very attractive for the tourist. I had another truly outstanding meal in a little town after my 3 day backpacking trip for all of $20.

  13. I have this thing about lighthouses – though I’ve never stayed in one. Got Virginia Woolf to thank for that I think. You didn’t btw get the recipe for that delish looking rhubarb crumble, did you?

  14. I love staying in quirky accommodations, and light houses are among the best. Just returned from a stay at the old lightkeeper cottage at Lista in Southern Norway where we were given the keys to the light house, to go up and down as much as we wanted all night long. It was wonderful. I’d like to return in autumn when the weather, the wind and the sea is a bit more rough and dramatic.

    Cape d’Or looks wonderful too (and very reasonable) – and there’s even a restaurant! And Nova Scotia is just a hop across a wee expanse of water from here. Hm…

    1. @Sophie I think you better go this summer in case he closes next year. And the way you hop around the world it would be no big deal.Your recent stay also sounds marvelous.

  15. I cant say that I have ever stayed in a lighthouse before, it sure does sound magical.
    That cave would be so good to explore, as long as low tide was around for some time!
    The meals are such good prices, love the “bring cash” because there is no plastic allowed, smart guy that runs the Lighthouse.

  16. Gorgeous! I do want to stay there now. The food looks great too 🙂 I always love seeing and reading about new places but then I realize how I keep adding places to go, where will all the time come from 🙂

  17. Stayed at Cape D’or lighthouse a few years back with my sisters, it was absolutely fabulous and the food was awesome! Would love to go again!!

  18. Please tell me if this gem is still operating? My Mother and I will be visiting this summer and a light house sleep over is on our list :0)
    Margaret in British Columbia

    1. @Margaret When I was there he had threatened to close it but I think it’s still open. Call and leave a message; I remember it taking a bit for me to get through. Here’s the # I found on the web – (902) 670-8314. The food is AWESOME!

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