Some of the Acadians gradually returned to Nova Scotia beginning after recieving permission from the British in 1764. The establishment of new settlements took place into the 1820s. English settlers had taken most of the land where they had previously been located, so the Acadians had to settle elsewhere in Nova Scotia.
They settled largely in the following areas:
+Clare - Digby County
+Argyle - Yarmouth County
+Chezzetcook - Halifax County
+Minudie, Nappan, Maccan - Cumberland County
+Pomquet, Tracadie, Havre-Boucer - Antigosh County
+ Cheticamp - Inverness County, Cape Breton
+ Isle Madame Richmond County, Cape Breton
(Many Acadians also were settled in New Brunswick which I hope to discuss in the future.)
They engaged in various livelyhoods after their arrivals; the focus of these varied from place to place depending on the conditions prevelent there. Farming was generally difficult, though many kept a few sheep or cows and planted potatoes, hay, etc... The rocky soil was not conducive to large scale agriculture. Because the English had settled in the areas the Acadians had previously farmed by means of dykes, they, with few exceptions, could not take advantage of this practice in their new settlements. Many Acadians turned to the sea - fishing, shipping, shipbuilding, etc... and others became lumberjacks.
Other Acadians also did not return to the Maritime Provinces but settled elsewhere permanently; a large number of these are the present day Cajuns of Louisiana. Others remained in various parts of New England where many of their descendents are living still today.