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Lunenburg, NS: World heritage, earth-friendly

Second Paradise

Anything with 'paradise' in its name sounds like a tiki or tacky come-on. Keep an open mind, though, as we travel to Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, dropping our bags at Second Paradise Retreat.

Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 1753 as a British Colonial settlement, the town became central to the shipbuilding industry. You'll find many of the incredibly charming houses from the late 1700s and early 1800s still in use today. Settlers included many Germans and Swiss and the housing reflects their influence.

Ten minutes from Lunenburg, set over 27 acres on the Second Peninsula is the Second Paradise Retreat. The beauty of the spot speaks for itself; but the approach to sustainability is worth noting. Paints used are low in VOCs. Lightbulbs are energy efficient. The land is tended using only organic methods. They compost. You'll be warm in the guest cottages, but not from oil. They burn wood in Kachelofens and use propane. Cleaning products are non-toxic. The sea air is used as a clothes dryer.

Beyond their eco-cred, there's plenty of reason to spend time here: kayaking, sailing, birding, biking, and hiking are some of the ways to pass a most enjoyable vacation. In high season (summer), rates start at about $150 (in U.S. dollars). There's usually a minimum stay of two or three nights, depending on the season, and they generally rent by the week in July and August.

Visions of paradise are, of course, individual. This is one of ours.

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