Harbour Mist, Nova Scotia, Canada (Vrbo): A peninsula in Nova Scotia is not necessarily the place you dream of running off to as the weather in the North begins to turn into fall and winter. But that’s because you haven’t set eyes on this beauty—a rustic, yet luxurious stone and wood cottage (if you can call a 5,556-square-foot home a cottage) on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean. With five wood-burning fires indoors and out, Harbour Mist is a cozy place to curl up for a nice winter hibernation or to envision stretching your legs in the great outdoors if the Delta variant has put your winter vacation plans on hold until spring.
This home may look like it’s a relic of some 18th-century shipping don, but don’t be fooled: it is a modern marvel built in 2015 that has borrowed the facade of an august oceanfront chateau of yore. (TikTokkers: it’s time to cue the sea shanties!)
There’s plenty to do on the Aspotogan Peninsula if staying active is your style—hiking, cycling, boating, and cross country skiing. But the real draw of this holiday home is the view. Feel free to grab a thick blanket, relax, and enjoy the scenery for the duration of your vacation. Anybody who calls you lazy will be invited to walk the plank.
There are several white sand beaches on the peninsula, but there’s no need to go traipsing around and cutting into your relaxation time when you have 192 feet of oceanfront property of your very own to skip around on.
Calling Architectural Digest! This is the picture of Canadian chic—exposed wood beams, neutral colors, and a contemporary comfort that may seem just a little out of place in the rural Nova Scotian countryside.
The house sleeps 10, so it is the perfect spot for a getaway with your dearest group of friends. (Or, at least, the ones you trust the most to be vaccinated.) But we all know how perilous vacations can be, what with having to divvy up the rooms. Here, things are a little easier given the presence of two master bedrooms. This one has a musical touch and a view of the wooden spiral staircase that leads to the second floor.
Walk-in closet in Nova Scotia or master bedroom in NYC? Pour yourself a cocktail while you try to figure out this puzzling space that seems to have clothing racks, yet is ginormous.
This dining room table was made for feasts and the sea out the window is teaming with lobsters—these are the two statements you should casually drop when it’s not your night to cook. Though if the chef of the day opts to whip up a full lobster boil, may we suggest you load up the fire pit for warmth and move the messy soirée outdoors?
Harbour Mist is three floors, which means stunning bird’s eye views for anyone who needs a break from their annoying—ahem—beloved vacation guests. From one side of the house, lull yourself into relaxation with visions of the ocean. From the other, you can be charmed by views of the resident apple orchard.
Here is where the lobster pot lives if cooking up some of the area’s favorite crustaceans strikes your fancy. If you’d rather them on the ocean floor, there are plenty of other local delicacies for you to cook up: haddock, salmon, crab, scallops, and shrimp.
This is the picture of coziness that we were talking about. While the listing doesn’t mention who will be doing the wood chopping, we’re hoping that service is provided given the generous number of wood-burning fireplaces on the property (five!). Otherwise, your Canadian holiday may introduce you to the woodsman’s workout, the most popular fitness routine this side of the border.
The third floor is the fun floor: two bedrooms, a makeshift yoga/dance studio, and a tv room with a bar. That’s right, there’s no need to walk down two flights of stairs to procure your next round of martinis at this wild third-floor afterparty.
It’s not just the grounds that are inspired by the French countryside (think an apple grove and outbuildings described as “adorable”). This bedroom, one of five, screams: hello, shabby chic!
The closest town to Harbour Mist is Chester, which is 20 minutes away. When you’re planning your vacation here, you have a tough decision to make: will it be a getaway for your dearest circle of friends or a rural retreat d’un with only the neighboring deer as visitors?
Look how she shines in the sunset. And, yes, in case you were wondering, this home takes her direction from the long tradition of shipbuilding and embraces the pronouns “she/her.” Long walks next to the ocean waves, days working up a sweat antiquing, nights cozied up to the fire with a glass of wine—this is a vacation straight out of your grandma’s dreams.
Book Your Stay: Harbour Mist, Nova Scotia, Canada $730/night via Vrbo