Things to do in Annapolis Royal – Museums

Posted by on Apr 27, 2018 in Canada, Destinations, Featured, Nova Scotia, Travel Photo Thursday | 11 comments

Things to do in Annapolis Royal


The red chairs at Fort Anne.

This week I am sharing with you Things to do in Annapolis Royal, three museums, all within an easy walking distance of each other, on our main thoroughfare, St. George St. Welcome to Week 367  (4/25/2018) of Travel Photo Thursday. For the size of our town, it’s surprising how much there is to see and do. Most people I know visit museums when they travel, so today I want to introduce you to three; Fort Anne National Historic Site, Sinclair Museum (another National Historic Site), and a little further down St. George, the O”Dell Museum.

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Fort Anne

From the Parks Canada website:

Set on the banks of the Annapolis River, Fort Anne offers visitors a vivid reminder of an era when Europe’s powers battled for supremacy in North America. First fortified by the Scots as early as 1629, the site was later controlled by the French before falling for good to British troops in 1710. It would remain a regular scene of battles until the fall of Quebec in 1759.

Today, the fort – Canada’s first administered National Historic Site – consists of a renovated 1797 officers’ quarters (now a museum) and 1708 stone powder magazine, surrounded by a maze of defensive ditches, banks and bastions known as Vauban-style earthworks. Inside the museum, visitors can learn what this place means to the Mi’kmaq, see centuries-old artifacts, as well as the Heritage Tapestry, a hand-stitched work showing 400 years of history.

Outside, enjoy sweeping views of the Annapolis River on the Perimeter Trail or visit the 300-year-old Garrison Graveyard, where soldiers and civilians have been buried since the 1630s. Interpretive panels throughout the grounds bring the site’s rich history to life.

It’s also home to an annual Easter egg hunt, where kids get to shout with glee as they scoop up the 10,000 Easter eggs hiding on the grounds. Even the Easter bunny makes an appearance. There are lots of places to sit, including picnic tables.

During the open season,  you can pack a picnic lunch and enjoy views of the Annapolis Basin as you eat.

Visitors can also choose from a number of guided tours; white glove tour, guided tour of the fort grounds, innovative media experience, candlelight graveyard tours, tapestry tour, and self-guided tours. Most tours charge a small fee (in addition to the admission fee). A complete list of fees is here. 

I recommend you allow at least 2-3 hours for your visit, returning in the early evening for the candlelight graveyard tour. The busiest time of the year is July and August. Arrive early in the morning if you can. The drive from Halifax is approximately 2 hours. Getting here. 


Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal

Hours of Operation 2018

May 18 to June 16 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday
June 19 to September 8 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Daily
September 11 to October 6 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday
Grounds open year-round.


The following definitions apply to entry and service fee categories unless otherwise specified:

Adult: Person 18 to 64 years of age
Senior: Person 65 years of age or over
Youth: Person 6 to 17 years of age
Family/Group: Up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle in a national park.



Adult $ 3.90
Senior $ 3.40
Youth free
Commercial Group, per person $ 3.40


Adult $ 9.80
Senior $ 8.55
Youth free

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Adult $ 67.70
Senior $ 57.90
Family/Group $ 136.40

The Discovery Pass provides subscribers with free admission to 80 Park Canada properties across Canada. Buy it here. 

Things to do in Annapolis Royal

Sinclair Inn Museum

The second museum on our Things to do in Annapolis Royal list is the Sinclair Inn Museum, also a National Historic Site and home to the Annapolis Heritage Society. Leaving Fort Anne, cross St. George St and walk for one minute (to the left). You find yourself in front of the earliest surviving Acadian building in Canada; dating back to the 1700s.


Sinclair Inn Museum, Annapolis Royal


Visitors will meet the ghosts of Sinclair Inn.

Soak up the history recorded on the richly painted murals in the Painted Room, revealed in 2016 for the first time in over 125 years. You don’t have to go to Europe to gaze at beautifully aged paintings.

I recommend you allow 1.5 – 2 hours.

Hours of Operation 2018 

June – October 7th

Tuesday to Thursday, 9 am – 5 pm;
Friday, 1 – 5 pm;
Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm;
Sunday and Monday, closed


By donation

O’Dell House Museum

When you leave the Sinclair Inn Museum, walk to the right and within a minute or two you’ll find yourself in front of O’Dell House Museum at Lower St. George St.

O'Dell House, Museum, Annapolis Royal

O'Dell House Museum, Annapolis Royal


Circa 1869, this former stagecoach inn and tavern was once the home of  Nova Scotia Pony Express driver Corey O’Dell. You can admire the Victorian-era, parlour, kitchen and dining room. Then, head up to the second floor containing interpretive displays documenting Annapolis Royal’s ship-building and sea-faring roots.

The museum is also home to the Annapolis Royal Heritage society Genealogy Centre, and its Archives and Collections Centre.

During the summer months, free tours are available with interpretive guides. If you prefer, you can tour on your own with a “self-guided tour” handout.

You can also get your shopping fix in the Museum Shop. I peeked in through the window this week and I’m anxious to go back to have a closer look. I did take a photo of these miniature buoys through the window.

O"Dell House Gift Shop. Annapolis Royal


I recommend you allow 1 – 1.5 hours; more if you’re interested in geneology, or if you want to do some early Christmas shopping.

The O’Dell House Museum and the Genealogy Centre are open year round.

Hours of Operation 2018 

From June 1 to Labour Day:
Daily: 9 am – 5 pm
From Labour Day to June 1:
Tuesday – Thursday: 1 – 4 pm
Friday: 1 – 8 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday and Monday: closed


By donation

Whether you’re a serious history buff, or simply want to learn a bit about the local history, I’m sure you’ll enjoy what these three museums have to offer. These are three of many things to do in Annapolis Royal. 

Which museum interests you the most? Let us know in the comments. 


Please share using the share buttons at the top or bottom. Much appreciated!

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This is the 367th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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  1. What an interesting mix of museums. Beautiful historic buildings too. I love the variety of tours that Fort Anne offers. They all sound great especially the candlelight graveyard tour.

    • Hi Mary. Yes, I was surprised to see so many tours on offer. Fort Anne was closed when I arrived in AR in November, so I’m looking forward to taking all the tours this summer.

  2. All these museums look like interesting spots and I would love to visit them all. If I had to pick only one, it would probably be Sinclair Inn Museum.

    • Hi Sandra. I’m waiting for the Sinclair Inn Museum to open for the season. I want to see the Painted Room.

  3. What a wonderful hostoric place.

    • Hi Jim. Yes, it really is. The town was settled in 1605.

  4. So much history – and choice of museums – in Annapolis Royal. Looks like a very interesting place to visit.

    • Hi Jill. There’s lots to see and do here. History buffs will be happy!

  5. Sorry a late comment back – thank you for visiting my blog. Am afraid these are too far North for me, since painting keeps me near my home, but it’s nice to look at them! Love both Thai and Greek food:)

    • Hi Jesh. Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you liked the post.

  6. I really am surprised at the quantity and quality of museums in such a small town and, from your posts, have no doubt that there’s plenty to see and do in Annapolis. Since I love seeing how people lived from years passed, I think I’d start my visit with a wander through the O’Dell House Museum and a stop in their museum shop!

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