Annapolis Royal is situated in a sea worthy but shallow harbor at the western end of the fertile Annapolis Valley. The town is on south bank of the Annapolis River facing the tidal Annapolis Basin. The riverside forms the picturesque waterfront for this historic town. The Bay of Fundy is just over the North Mountain, 10 kilometers north of the town.
The Annapolis Royal Generating Station, which opened in 1984, is a tidal power station located on the Annapolis River immediately upstream from the town of Annapolis Royal. The only tidal generating station in North America, it produces 20 MW twice daily with the change in tides. The generating station harnesses the tidal difference created by the large tides in the Annapolis Basin, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy.
Fort Anne, contained within the boundaries of the town, was initially designated a National Historic Park in 1917 and then a National Historic Site in 1920. The French fort was renamed Fort Anne and established as a British garrison. The fort, built originally around 1703, was designed to defend the capital of Acadia/ Nova Scotia from seaward attack. Today, much of the original earthen embankments may be visited, as well as some buildings original to the military facility.
The Fort is also home to the Garrison Cemetery, the oldest formal cemetery in Canada, dating back to the French and later the British. The oldest English gravestone in Canada is among the graves. In addition to the town’s historic district and Fort Anne, the Annapolis County Court House, the site of Charles Fort, and the Sinclair Inn/Farmer’s Hotel are also each individually designated as National Historic Sites, making it Canada’s largest Historic District.