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Amherst Area Visitor Guide
This is my personal guide to our area, the things about it that I know and like. This page is always growing and changing - It is my personal travel guide. I enjoy my community and really like to make the best of what is here. If you are coming to the studio to visit these are some of the things you might be interest in. Most of these things are located within an hour from my studio.
As I wrote this guide I pretended I was writing a little "Deanne's Travel Guide." This guide no way includes all there is to do here but it gives you a personal view of the area from someone you who lives here.
Here are some of the things I love around the Amherst area and I encourage you to visit while you are here:
Unesco World Heritage Site - Joggins Fossil Cliffs - One of only 981 sites in the World and it is Out My Backdoor.
I live really close to a Unesco World Heritage Site! This is a beautiful day trip or walk. You can explore the gallery and museum or go search for fossils on the beach. The Cliffs reveal rare fossils from the Coal Age — that marvelous chapter of earth’s history written 300 million years ago. It is amazing to be there and know that you are a small part of something so large.
The centre has a nice cafe or you might want to go up to the local restaurant for hamburger or fish and chips.
Be sure to check at the centre for tide times before venturing out onto the beach.
Beaches of the Northumberland Strait
With in thirty minutes from the studio there are three provincial parks where you can enjoy the red sand beaches of the strait. When I first moved here I thought it was magic the way the tide went out for miles and you could walk the beach miles. I still walk the sand flats as many times as I can each summer. Amherst Shore Provincial Park (a camping park) is perfect for this. The sand flats are firm and you can easily walk for three miles on the flats at low tide. When the tide is high you can swim. I am a not a strong swimmer so I love it that you have to go out a good ways before the the water is over your head. There are two day parks which are the Tidnish Docks Provincial Park which is the home of the Historic Ship Railway Project and Northport Provincial Park. These parks are great for walking, swimming and picnics.
Amherst Point Bird Migratory Bird Sanctuary
The bird sanctuary is located five kilometres west on Victoria Street from downtown Amherst and it is where locals go to hike, walk their dogs, and even snowshoe or sled in winter. It is a beautiful space with well kept trails. Don't be surprised to see an osprey nest, a hawk or an eagle. These wetlands are known as some of the most productive in the province and over 200 species of birds have been recored there. It's location is strategic and important to migratory birds many of which you can feed while you're there.
Amherst Point MBS is beautiful for birding or hiking.
Biking in the Local Area
I do a lot of biking and choose mainly side roads with less traffic but it is necessary to be careful. It is the law in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that you must wear a helmet. From the Tantramar High school in Sackville you can get on the Trans Canada Trail and bike along it and I have done that. I have also gotten on the trail in Tatamagouche.Just recently I went across the Eddy Road from downtown Amherst. Pictures and stories are on my blog. It is a beautiful ride with very light traffic.
The Birds at Dorchester Cape (Johnson's Mills)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has a sanctuary just outside of Dorchester about twenty minutes from my studio. It is a beautiful spot to walk the beaches of the Bay of Fundy. It has gotten famous because in the latter parts of July and early August at high tide the sandpipers arrive for feeding as part of their migration. It is a fantastic thing to see because they arrive in great numbers and appear to almost do a synchronized dance. It is beautiful. I remember taking my daughter there to see it when she was about eight years old. I was so entranced with their movements and stayed too long for her. She told me, "At first mom, it was interesting, but now I feel like they are they (the birds) are just showing off." I think if an eight year old things a bunch of birds are "just showing off" it might be worth seeing. I must go back again.
The Houses on Victoria Street and The Architecture in Amherst
When I moved here from a small town in Newfoundland I could not believe the beauty and size of the houses on Victoria Street. They are mansions, a few even castle like, built in the early nineteen hundreds and have made Amherst famous for its architecture. These houses are reasonably priced, some have apartments, and a few are inns. Given that we are so close to Moncton International Airport, (35 minutes) if you travel for your work you can buy a mansion here for a fraction of the price of one in the city and make Amherst your home base.
Our town hall is located in one of our amazing sandstone buildings. As well as the Amherst First Baptist Church. Both of these are open to the public and you can stop in to see them. The stained glass windows in The Baptist Church and the quiet peacefulness of it's sanctuary are worth the visit. On Wednesdays at noon in the summer, First Baptist puts on community barbecues and you can grab lunch with the locals for $7.
The old stone courthouse with the clock tower now hosts Mrs. P's Emporium and Quilt Shop
The Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia is home to the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize and a National Historic Site
Want to go to a local rug hooking group while you are in the area?
Local Rug Hooking Groups Meeting Times
Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio, in Amherst every Thursday from 11:30 to 1:30 at the studio a group of knitters , hookers, and fibre artists meet.
Northport Loopers meet Mondays year round. May to November from 10 to 2 at Northport Community Centre and 1 to 4 pm December to April at Lorneville United Church.
Town and Country Thrummers meet from 7 to 9 pm at the Bridge Workshop in Amherst from September to June.
Friends Hook Nooks meet in Springhill from 10 to 2 at All Saints United Church from September to June .
Beachside Hookers meet in Parrsboro at the Ottawa House from 10 to 2 in July and August.
Remsheg Hookers meet at the Wallace Museum year round on Thursdays from 10 to 2.
Bistro Le Chat Bleu is a lovely restaurant about twenty minute drive from the studio in a restored general store. Located in Baie Verte, New Brunswick, this restaurant is one of my favorites. I like the eclectic decor, the rural setting and the lovely people who run it. It has a comfortable atmosphere, and nice wines, and good food. I also love the drive past the restaurant around the marsh and the bay. It is beautiful as is this restaurant. Reservations Recommended.
You might want to take the time to walk or bike the Trans Canada Trail. An entrance is located just up the street from the restaurant. In summer locals meet just down from the restaurant at high tide for a swim in the local park. Last summer I biked the trail near Le Chat Bleu.
The Wild Caraway is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at anywhere. It is where I celebrated my fiftieth birthday with friends. It is an hour and a half drive from my studio. They really experiment with food and have interesting tastes from the dulse flakes in their rolls to homemade drinks, and wild edibles. It is always an interesting place to eat. If you are not adventurous they have great fish and chips. The drive there is long but beautiful with big vistas of the Bay of Fundy from the high hillsides of Cumberland County. There is a dyke across from the restaurant that is great for an after dinner walk or you can go down to the wharf and see what the fisherman are bringing in at high tide.
The Whirleygig in Wallace is located in the old Grant's General store it is a favorite for brunch. People love their poached eggs on fishcakes. The menu and the atmosphere is charming and you are basically sitting on the wharf as you eat your breakfast. Great views.
Duncan's Pub is a favorite among studio visitors. With Guinness on tap, fish and chips and nachos, and good pub fare it is our local. Darlene Moore has worked there since it opened and gives excellent service making people feel really welcome in the community when they come here. They have an open mic on Thursday nights and you might hear anything there from the tin whistle to locals singing the blues. Bring along your voice or an instrument if you like.
Bella's Cafe has good homemade food and is one of the restaurants I sometimes bring my workshop groups to for lunch. The service is good and they have live music on Friday Nights. It is a nice spot right in the heart of downtown so you can walk home after a glass of wine. I really like their pan fried haddock. It is a favorite of many people in the community.
Art of Eating Deli is where I often go for a cappuccino (decaf for me). They use good coffee beans and have a great menu. Fran the owner is usually there. She experiments with recipes and having grown up on a farm knows the value of fresh ingredients. The deli is a nice quirky place with a good vibe. It is in the back of Simply for Life Market which is a great place to pick up local jams, maple syrup, interesting snacks and health foods. It is owned by Christne MacDonald.
Birkenshaws Tea Room has great British Inspired Food. They have a white chocolate oat cookie that I hang around the door and wait for. It is an oatcake with a white chocolate florentine on the top. Birkenshaws was rated as one of the top ten places in Canada to have afternoon tea by Chatelaine Magazine.
Victoria Faire has a tea room as well as Jamaican and Chinese Food. Donna Gogan's Shrimp and Coconut Curry is the smoothest creamiest curry ever. My sister who lives in Calgary said that Wong Lee's Wonton Soup was the best she has ever eaten. It is delicious.
Cranewood on Main is also a great place for lunch in Sackville. Located in the former presidents house of Mt. Allison University, it is owned by Debbie Fisher. Years ago I was at my first craft show in Sackville and Debbie bought one of my rugs, and sent her friends to buy more. It encouraged me so much. Her bakery is beautiful and wholesome. Just around the corner her daughter runs "Be" a lovely store full of pretty, feminine things".
Cape D'or Light House offers accommodations and meals. It is an experience to drive down the dirt road to the Bay of Fundy at Cape D'or and stay for dinner and maybe the night. It is so peaceful, No cell service, just you and the waves crashing against the rocks. Darcy, the innkeeper, is a warm friendly guy. A rug I did of Cape D'or that hangs at the Provincial Visitor Information CentreCape D'or Light House offers accommodations and meals. It is an experience to drive down the dirt road to the Bay of Fundy at Cape D'or and stay for dinner and maybe the night. It is so peaceful, No cell service, just you and the waves crashing against the rocks. Darcy, the innkeeper, is a warm friendly guy. A rug I did of Cape D'or that hangs at the Provincial Visitor Information Centre
On Friday Mornings in downtown Amherst on Electric Street there is a local market when you will find International foods, local eggs, handwork, and home baking and depending on the time of year vegetables. Many locals go to the market on Friday at noon for lunch.On Saturday Mornings there is a nice farmers market in the neighbouring town of Sackville, New Brunswick. If you go there you might want to drop into the Black Duck Coffee Shop.
Other good restaurants in the area:
The Harbourview in Parrsboro for Fish and Chips... oh and the Coconut cream pie. Personally I skip the fries and seize the pie, carpe diem.
The Blackrock Bistro is located in Parrsboro and makes a nice place to go to dinner before a play at Ship's Company Theatre.
Joey's in Sackville, NB, for Pizza and Pasta. I have been going here for years. A nice glass of wine, delicious caesar salad, and music most friday nights.
The Painted Pony in Sackville had delicious chicken and waffles. I went there with eight people and everyone liked their meals. I always find that is a good sign when everyone in a large group in happy.
Song's Chopsticks in Sackville is a kind of a Korean fusion... good spot for sushi.
Sheryl's Bakery in Pugwash is a good cafe with homemade bread sandwiches and delicious squares and cakes to take home. I take some home every time I go there.
The Country Basket Bakery in Brule... I bought the best molasses raisin cookies there that I have ever eaten....and I have eaten alot of cookies.
Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown (about 1 1/2 hour drive from studio) has delicious fair trade coffee, pancakes made from Speerville flour and maple syrup at their Sugar Farm. They focus on all local products, good service, and delicious food. It is worth the drive and you can take a hike while you are there as there are lots of trails.
Damaris Spa and Wellness Centre the spa across the street from my studio. You might want to book in for a maple syrup body scrub or a facial while you are in town.
The Amherst Shore Country Inn feels the same as It did when my sister was married there in the late 1970's. They even use the same dishes. I love that consistency. You will find the food is delicious, and all the tables have a sweeping view of the Northumberland straight looking over to PEI and New Brunswick. You can stay here or just dine. To me it is a special place to go when you have company or something to celebrate. You have to make reservations in advance for dinner as it is a table d'hote from which you are given two choices. I like it try to get there a few times a year. It is twenty minutes from my studio along the Northumberland Strait.
Amherst Shore Provincial Park... near the Amherst Shore Country Inn.
Ghita Levin Pottery 902-536-1904 I have collected my friend Ghita's pottery for years. I love the scuptural quality of her work. She focuses on nature, creatures, and the landscape. I also love her yard to her studio. She has all kinds of broken clay vessels in the windows, and big scuptural pieces that she mixes with gravel and simple plants. There is something very zen about her space.
Hidden House Pottery, Raehel Morouney, Potter, 506- 538-7640 Rachel and Bob Mourouney work together. He is a print maker and she is a potter. When I first started rug hooking Racel was very helpful in teaching me what I needed to know about selling my work. I remember her telling me that she knew she was meant to be a potter as soon as she threw her first pot. That made me realize that I felt very much the same about rug hooking. Racel is well know for her clear blue and white pottery as well as her dragon flies. Bob is a printer and painter and teacher.
Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery 902-667-8555 I drop in a few times a years and have taken a print making course there from Bob Mourouney that I enjoyed. They are a community sooperative with a good spirit for sharing and devekoping the arts in the summer. It is run by really great community minded people and always has a selection of work to inspire you. Lots of watercolours, pots, prints, and cards.
Ship's Company Theatre is a Professional Theatre Company in Parrsboro that puts on two plays each year.
Basic Spirit Pewter is in Pugwash , Nova Scotia. They make the studio's bracelets and run a lovely store on the edge of the village. You can see their line of pewter there as well as gifts and decor. It is an annual trek for me and I pick up a few pretty things.
Maple Murples Book Shoppe and Dreamery is owned by my friend and author Sheree Fitch. It is a magical place full of joy and spirit. Beautiful for children, but there are lots of books for grown ups too.
Sarah Bonnyman Pottery is just outside Tatamagouche. Her pots are beauiful and functional and she has a gorgeous garden for you to visit.
Blooms in Sackville is a really interesting store. Haidee Roberts and her business partner Trudy ooze style. It is a flower shoppe but it is also a spring of creative inspiration. I go there to buy succulents which I eventually kill because I am no good with plants but when I am there I feel like I could be. It is just a beautiful store.
Tidewater Books in Sackville is your local bookstore. Ellen, the owner is a big reader and knows her books. I read a lot of mysteries but I like the ones that are not too graphic. She points me in the right direction. I also really like their selection of local art books. If a new maritime art book is out they will have it.
Tatamagouche Brewery is a great craft brewery. You can test five kinds of beer on their deck and have a snack of corn nuts and pretzels.
Seafoam Lavender Farm in River John is beautiful in July when the lavender is in full bloom but you can visit other times. I like their lavender creams and soaps.
Caldera Whiskey is also in River John, and you can visit and pick up a bottle of locally distilled whiskey.
Jost Winery is located in Malagash.
The Craft Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick is a collection of Maritime crafts people. As a co-op, the members work and sell there.
Thirty Church Women's Clothing is right across the street from the Studio. I opened this Women's Clothing Store in 2015 as a place to help women dress with both style and comfort. We take time with you to help you figure out the pieces you need to establish your wardrobe, dress beautifully, and feel like yourself. Our philosophy is that looking great is easy.
Mansour's Menswear has been in Amherst for over 90 years and is owned by my husband. They are famous for both their quality and the care they take in their service and of course their Suits and Saxx Underwear!
Beans and Cocoa on is at The Dayle's Market in Amherst and is a great place to pick up a gift for that special little one.
Maritime Mosaic is in the former Dayle's Department Store in Amherst. It is a collection of artists from across the three provinces. The Dayles Grand Market where it is located has several businesses including a chiders store, a clothes shop, a vintage shop, a cafe and an antique store.
We have two lovely flower shops in the town. Buds to Blossoms is a couple of blocks from the studio on Victoria Street and Bordertown Flowers and Frills is located on Albion Street. Both feature some local art and craft.
Basic Needs: There are two liquor stores, one downtown on Laplanche Street, and the other on Albion Street. We have two large grocery stores, Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore, both located on Robert Angus Drive.
For other groceries you might try the Highland Quick Mart on Hickman Street for their fresh cut meats. They are always busy and have a great selection of meat.
The Amherst Pharmasave located on the corner of Church and Robert Angus Drive about five minutes up the street from the studio. Lawtons Drugstore is located on Victoria street around the corner from the studio.
Amherst Point Bird Sanctuary is a reserve area that has trails. You find it by driving straight out Victoria Street past the Wandlyn Inn. It is about 5 kilometres from downtown Amherst.
Amherst Marsh Trail is right of Derby Street and is a nice walk along the edge of the Marsh.
The Eddy Road goes across the Tantramar Marsh to Fort Lawrence and is a good road for walking on. Cars sometimes pass but it is not busy.
From downtown Sackville there are walking trails onto the marsh.
Windmill Sunset on the marsh outside of Amherst
18 Hole Golf Courses
Amherst Golf Course 902-7667-8730 (5 minutes away from studio)
Northumberland Links 902-243-2808 (1/2 hour from Studio)
Fox Harbour Golf Course 1-866-257-1801 (40 minutes from Studio)
The Regent 902-667-7676 Gwen, the inn keeper used to work at the studio
Browns Guest Home 902-667-9769
With in a five minute drive from the studio:
Comfort Inn 902-667-0404
Amherst Shore Country Inn 902 661 4800 ( half hour from town on Northumberland straight...beach front)
Country Stiles B&B 902-545-2769 (ten minutes outside of town near Nappan Experimental Farm)
Willett Point - My sister Donna has a cottage about twenty five minutes outside of town nestled in a grove of birches on the beach. You can reach her at 902-661-5694.
Stuart House Bed and Breakfast, 5472 Rte 366, Amherst NS, 902 661-0750, Toll free 1888-661-0750 ( about 30 minutes from the studio at Amherst Shore. Shelly, the owner is a rug hooker.)
Where is Amherst, Nova Scotia, and how do I get there?
Amherst is on the border of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in Eastern Canada. It is a warm, friendly town of about 10,000 people that is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Tantramar marsh and the Bay of Fundy.
If you drive fifteen minutes in any direction from the studio and you'll see the sea coast. You do not need a car once you arrive in Amherst, there are accommodations and restaurants all with in a five minute walk from the studio.
Flying here is easy.
It is 40 minutes from the airport in Moncton, New Brunswick, and 1 hour and fifty minutes from the Halifax International Airport.
Both Moncton, and Halifax, are easily connected from most major cities in Canada and the United States. If you fly you might want to rent a car and drive around a little bit while you are here.
If you plan to drive we are right off the TransCanada Highway, exit 3 from the highway takes you right downtown, on Victoria Street. We are located at 33 Church Street, just five minutes off the Trans Canada Highway. For those who prefer the train, the Via Rail Train Station is just two blocks away from the studio.
Anne Murray Centre... if you are a fan there is an interesting centre about singing star Anne Murray in her hometown of Springhill, fifteen minutes from the studio. I was amazed at her career and felt so proud that she was from here. It is worth seeing.
Tatamagouche Brewery is a great brewery. I like to drop in there and get a few dark beers to have on ice. I know it's weird, beer on ice but I like it. They have really interesting tastes and names on their beer....try hippy dippie or oyster cloister, or whatever new limited edition they have cooked up. (one hour away)
Jost Winery I went with a group of women this winter for a wine tasting that was prearranged. It was great. They sat us all down, fed us some great cheeses, berries, and snacks and we sampled wines and learned a lot. I would recommend you drop in or pre arrange a group tasting if you can. It is lovely (45 minutes down the north shore)
Fundy Force Tidal Energy Centre has a visitor centre about tidal power in the Bay of Fundy. It is located near Parrsboro about forty minutes from the studio 1-902 254-2510
Fundy Gelogical Museum is located in Parrsboro about forty minutes from the studio.
The Sugar Woods...we are known here for our maple syrup. If you come in the early spring it is a perfect tome to visit the sugar woods just ten minutes from the studio in Fenwick.
"I love your Sunday letters of reflection, wisdom, and inspiration. Your in studio workshop of 14 textures and afternoon tea was just so much fun, and I learned a lot. Lovely to connect with a group of women whom I had never met before, to travel down the path of creativity with you! I could go on and on. Not a day goes by that I don't tune in to one of your videos and get inspired and uplifted."
Deb from Nova Scotia
"Deanne and her team of good folk are in the business of helping people to create! From podcasts, workshops, supplies, an extensive and an easy to navigate website, etc. to one on one lessons on the fly in her store, my description could be endless but to put my praise in a sentence here goes. Deanne and her dedicated team can help you find a way, big or small, to live a better life by creating space to be you, no doubt about it!"
Donna from Ontario
"I have visited from Ontario twice now, and each time I have enjoyed my visit. Deanne's studio was the highlight of my trip to the Maritimes. I evenrented a cottage at Northport to be near by. I was able to meet Deanne and the girls, and it was just like imagined... Lovely!"
Elaine from Ontario
"Not only do I learn about rug hooking from a master, but Deanne's insightfulness and kindness warm my heart. Her counselling background comes through in all of your videos. I notice it every time I watch her and know that people benefit from it. Her kind spirit, caring demeanour, thoughtful reflections, inquiring questions and philosophical comments just make life better."
Melody from Michigan
"Deanne INSPIRES me. Since I started hooking, my creative juices have been flowing, and I am now back to painting. Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! Deanne is a beautiful and talented artist, and has lead me on a path of expanded creativity. I am so grateful!"
Beth from New York
"Deanne You are a breath of fresh air when we are told to stay indoors. A ray of sunshine where there may be darkness. A cause for out loud laughter when inclined toward silence. A source of inspiration for creativity when now we have time. And a person who brings joy to the lives of so many. For all this I deeply thank you!"
Barb from Chester, Nova Scotia
"I have bought numerous hooks of various types from Deanne’s and as always the product is great. Love shopping there as well as online. Always feels like happy, helpful service."
"Not sure what you want or what is available? Call the store and speak to any one of the knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff. Deanne's is my go-to wool store. Recently I wanted some sparkly yarn similar to what came in one of her kits and sure enough they still had some in stock. Great store, great people."
"The Harbour class is helping me to learn about myself, and is a grand reminder that we all have some creative potential. I am more inspired than ever to pursue rug hooking and incorporate it more into my life."
"No matter where you are on the creativity spectrum, Deanne offers so many tools to open your eyes, your heart, and your spirit."
Drop by and have some tea and homemade oatcakes.
Visit the studio year round at:
33 Church Street, Amherst , Nova Scotia, Canada
9am to 5pm, Mon. to Sat.
We can teach you to hook rugs in five minutes!
We are just a phone call away.
Please call us at
....where you'll find a real person ready to answer your questions from 9am to 5pm Atlantic time.