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With a population of just six hundred, the township of ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, 40km northeast of Digby and 120km northwest of Liverpool, spreads across a podgy promontory that lies tucked in between the Annapolis River and its tributary, the Allain River. The long main drag, St George Street, part of Hwy 8, sweeps through the leafy southern outskirts to reach the end of the promontory, where it turns right to run parallel to the waterfront through the commercial heart of town. Here, restaurants and shops have replaced the merchants and shipwrights of yesteryear and there's a tourist-oriented boardwalk near the jetty, but it's all very low-key and the town maintains a relaxed and retiring air that's hard to resist.
The town's best accommodation options are its B&Bs, several of which occupy immaculately maintained heritage properties. One such is the AHillsdale House Inn, 519 St George St (Tel:902/532-2345 or 1-877/839-2821, Web: www.hillsdalehouse.ns.ca ; Price: $101-125), and a second is the AQueen Anne Inn, opposite at no. 494 (Tel:902/532-7850 or 1-877/536-0403, Web: www.queenanneinn.ns.ca ; Price: $126-175; May– Nov): the former occupies an elegant villa of 1849, the latter a grand turreted and towered extravagance of the 1860s. All the rooms at both inns are en suite and kitted out in attractive period style – as they are at the well-tended Bread and Roses Inn, a spiky late Victorian mansion at 82 Victoria St (Tel:902/532-5727 or 1-888/899-0551, Web: www.breadandroses.ns.ca ; Price: $126-175; April– Nov). Finally, the well-equipped Dunromincampsite (Tel:902/532-2808, Web: www.dunromincampsite.com ; May to mid-Oct), 1km beyond the tourist office on the far side of the Annapolis River, occupies a wooded, riverside location.
There are several cafés along the town's waterfront, including Leo's Café, 222 St George St (June– Sept Mon– Sat 9am-8pm & Sun noon–5pm, otherwise Mon– Sat 9am–4.30pm), which serves up first-rate snacks and lighter meals, while the inexpensive Fort Anne Café, opposite the entrance to the fort, sells tasty and substantial meals from a traditional Canadian menu – don't be put off by the downbeat decor. Ye Olde Towne Pub at 9 Church St – just down the street from Leo's and across from the boatyard – serves good draught beer.