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Eastern/Atlantic Canada and USA Road Trip

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My boyfriend and I are planning a trip out east (we are from SW Ontario and have never been past Montreal) for next summer. This trip is in the VERY early stages of planning. We aren't exactly sure how much time we will have, so may have to change this trip completely. The itinerary below is assuming we have unlimited time (we will be graduating university and hopefully starting grad school/work in the fall).

Our interests include exploring, seafood, beautiful sights, hiking, kayaking, local music/dance, and going to pubs and chatting with the locals. We plan on camping for most/all of the trip. Let me know what we can cut out if need be, or what I've missed and need to add! All suggestions and tips are welcome.

Day 1: SW Ontario to Quebec City

leave 7am from home and arrive 5pm in Quebec City
spend evening/night in Quebec City

Day 2: Quebec City

spend the day exploring Quebec City
spend the night

Day 3: Quebec City

spend the day exploring Quebec City
spend the night

Day 4: Quebec City to Fundy National Park

leave Quebec City at 7am and arrive in Fundy National Park at 4pm
spend evening/night camping in Fundy National Park

Day 4: Fundy National Park

spend day in Fundy National Park and surrounding areas
spend night in Fundy National Park

Day 5: Fundy National Park to Charlottetown

leave Fundy National Park at 7am and drive to Charlottetown (can stop in Victoria on the way)
arrive in Charlottetown around 10:30am
spend the day in Charlottetown
spend the night in Charlottetown

Day 6: Charlottetown to PEI National Park

spend half day around Charlottetown (or however long feel like)
head to PEI National Park (30 min drive)
spend rest of day/night around PEI National Park

Day 7: PEI

spend morning in Park and surrounding areas like Brackley Beach (if didn’t go before)
head to the coast through towns of Mount Stewart, Morell, and St. Peters and arrive in Souris
near Morell stop at Greenwich dunes
spend night in Souris

Day 8: PEI to Halifax

spend morning in Souris then head to Halifax
arrive in Halifax in evening
spend night in Halifax

Day 9: Halifax

- spend the day around Halifax
spend the night in Halifax

Day 10: Halifax and Peggy’s Cove

leave Halifax early in the morning and head to Peggy’s Cove
arrive in Peggy’s Cove around 9am
spend a few hours around Peggy’s Cove
head to a beach in a nearby peninsula (such as Crystal Crescent Beach)
spend the afternoon at the beach (including sunset) and head back to Halifax
spend the night in Halifax

Day 11: Halifax

- spend the day around Halifax
spend the night in Halifax

Day 12: Halifax to Cape Breton National Park – via Cabot Trail

leave Halifax at 7am
drive the Cabot Trail (making stops if wish)
arrive at Cheticamp around 12pm (or later if make frequent stops)
spend the afternoon around the park and camping/hiking
spend the night camping in the park

Day 12: Cape Breton National Park – Cabot Trail

spend time in camp and hiking
at some point continue along Cabot Trail
choose different camping site (maybe Ingonish)
spend the day/night hiking/camping in Cape Breton National Park

Day 13: Cabot Trail to Sydney to Newfoundland

spend time in Park until time to leave to North Sydney
arrive in North Sydney 3 hrs prior to ferry departure
take ferry to Port aux Basques
if not too tired drive to Deer Lake or all the way to Gros Morne (if are too tired, spend the night in Port aux Basques

Day 14: Gros Morne

head to Gros Morne National Park (about 5 hours from Port aux Basques)
spend day in Gros Morne
spend night in Gros Morne

Day 15: Gros Morne

spend day/night hiking/camping around National Park

Day 16: Gros Morne

spend day/night hiking/camping around National Park

Day 17: Gros Morne

spend day/night hiking/camping around National Park

Day 18: Gros Morne to North Sydney

head back to Port aux Basques to take the ferry
arrive in North Sydney and spend the night

Day 19: North Sydney to Moncton, NB

drive to Moncton (leave at 7am)
arrive in Moncton around 1pm
spend day in Moncton
sleep in Moncton

Day 20: Moncton to New England

leave Moncton at 7am
drive to New England (still need to research)

Day 21: New England

spend day scenic drives, etc. around New England (still need to research)

Day 22: New England

more New England

Day 23: New England

more New England

Day 24: New England to Home

spend part of the day in New England
start drive back to Ontario (when feel like it, stop when feel like it)

Day 25: Continue Home
- finish drive to Ontario

  • Report Abuse

    A couple of comments:
    - Between Fundy National Park and Charlottetown, try to squeeze in a stop at Hopewell Rocks "if" you can time it with or close to the Low Tide (you can look up tide tables online).

    - Peggy's Cove really doesn't require a few hours, particularly as some of that time could be spent visiting other nearby destinations that you didn't mention. Peggy's Cove is tiny, a scenic stop for a stroll and some photos (of the fishing huts on the inlet, and the dramatic granite coastline around the Lighthouse). So, you might want to plan part of your day to also include a visit to either or both of beautiful Lunenbrug (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and/or Mahone Bay - another charming and picturesque town. Or,get off the highway and hug the shore, exploring farther down this "Lighthouse Route" - there is lots of spectacular coastal scenery, fishing villages and many gorgeous beaches - which generally become less crowded the farther you get from Halifax (water is cold on this shore though!).

    - Cape Breton - you seem to have only 1 full day here (plus the evening/morning of arrival/departure). I would try to fit in at least a second full day as well as those part days. Just driving the whole Cabot Trail with relatively brief stops can take up most of a day without giving you adequate time to explore and enjoy. There is lots to see and do in Cape Breton - hikes and nature walks, scenic stops and drives on and off the main road, charming towns and quaint villages, whale and wildlife watching, etc.

    - by contrast (to Cape Breton) you seem to have 3 1/2 days in Gros Morne. Now Gros Morne, from my memories of it a number of years ago, is gorgeous and it's not that you won't enjoy several days there. But, if it was me, I think I would shorten Gros Morne by one day in order to tack that time onto my (otherwise too limited) Cape Breton time.

    My only other comment is that 4 provinces plus several U.S. states is a lot to cover in even the 3 1/2 weeks you've planned. For Newfoundland you've only allowed yourself enough time for one destination. I myself would consider Newfoundland as a separate trip (or at least a less geographically extensive trip) in order to plan enough time to hit more of that provinces highlights.

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    Thanks for your suggestions! I agree it seems like too much in one trip. I know things will need to be cut, especially because I doubt I will actually get 3.5 weeks for this trip. However, the two places I really want to experience are Cape Breton and Gros Morne. If the trip needs to get cut down to two weeks I might just do Halifax, Cape Breton, and Gros Morne. We can always go back for the others.

  • Report Abuse

    We have visited Nova Scotia twice. The first time traveled from St John NB, saw Hopewell Rocks (a must see) to Pictou (Hector Heritage Quay-not just the ship, but the story of the Scottish immigrants which was very interesting) and then on to Cape Breton (we camped at the top-at Meat Cove-and a pod of whales came into the cove with baby whales trying to breech---amazing!). We drove around Cape Breton (saw moose hiking Cabot trail, also took Skyline Trail to the sea--wow), then to Baddeck to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and to the Fortress of Louisbourg (both worth a stop) and then down to Peggy's Cove. The next time we visited, we again started in St John, New Brunswick (this time staying at Homeport Historic B&B which was built in 1858-fantastic!!) and continued on to rent a house in Indian Point, NS. We thought it would be an easy matter to drive each day along the Lighthouse Trail (south shore) down to Peggy's Cove, Lunenberg, & Mahone Bay (both wonderful, with Mahone Bay being our favorite lunch place). That is a very slow road, so expect it to take a long time to cover 10 miles. BTW, we didn't think too much of Halifax. From NS we drove to Quebec City and stayed in the historic district and if you have time or this is on your route, this is only of the truly unique places I have visited. Stay in the Vieux Quebec if you can, as you can walk to all the sites.

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