Start at the tourist bureau, which is located at the Annapolis Royal Tidal Power Generation Station (tel. 902/532-5454), where the extreme fall in the tides has been harnessed since 1984 to produce electricity for the area in a generating station. It's the only such tidal generator in North America, and the world's largest straight-flow turbine -- trust me, this sort of arcana will suddenly become important when the price of oil skyrockets. If you're so inclined, you can learn about the generator at the free exhibit center upstairs from the visitor information center, open roughly from mid-May until mid-October.

Even if you don't have time to visit the power station, do pick up a copy of the free walking-tour brochure at the tourism office. An annotated map provides architectural and historic context for a stroll downtown and around the waterfront. It's pretty amazing to stop and think, as you stroll down lower St. George Street, that you're walking down the oldest street in Canada.

Children and adults alike adore the Upper Clements Parks (tel. 888/248-4567 or 902/532-7557; www.upperclementsparks.com) on Route 1, about 5 minutes south of Annapolis Royal. It's an old-fashioned amusement park (you arrive after driving through an old orchard), full of low-key attractions that will delight younger kids. Highlights include the flume ride (originally built for Expo '86 in Vancouver), a wooden roller coaster that twists and winds through trees left standing during the coaster's construction, and a mini train. It's open daily in season from 11am to 7pm; admission to the grounds is C$8.50 plus tax, free for children under 2. The rate includes admission to the adjacent wild animal park. Single rides cost C$3, while bracelets permitting unlimited access to rides run from about C$20 to C$30 per day. AAA and CAA members receive a hefty 25% discount.

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In the evening, there's often entertainment in downtown Annapolis Royal at King's Theatre, 209 St. George St. (tel. 902/532-5466; www.kingstheatre.ca). Shows range from movies to musical performances to variety shows to touring plays -- and there are plenty of offerings for kids, too. Stop by or call to find out what's happening during your stay.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.