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Trip Report New Brunswick & Nova Scotia

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Hi guys,
I live in Montreal and I want to drive all the way to New Brunswick & Nova Scotia in August to see the attractions. I have ONE WEEK vacation and I want to make it worth it but I don't know that side of Canada much. First I wanted to go to Gaspé, QC but after searching on internet I found that Nova Scotia has more attractions. I don't know what to do? Does Gaspe has a lot to see for one week? Or should I go the other way to Saint John and Halifax? Please give me some information about these places.
Furthermore, I was wondering which way is the best way to go there? I want to visit as much as I can.

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    Hi, I wish I were truly qualified to offer you any understanding about Gaspe, but alas I'm not...

    However, despite my not knowing Gaspe, I am still majorly confident that Nova Scotia et al is the more sensible choice.

    First of all, tell us if "one week" entails 9 days to work with... or if in fact you have just 7 days.

    Were it me, I would drive fairly steadily from Montreal to Riviere-du-Loup... and then, on the way east, maybe continue through Rimouski and then to Miramichi while initially targeting Moncton, NB.

    It seems to be about 6 hours of driving from Montreal to Rimouski, so perhaps that is the best place to target for the first night.

    While I can see, maybe, taking the slow and scenic water route on the path to Miramichi, and spending the next night there, you should leave that a variable until you allocate your time later on the trip.

    No matter what, make sure that, on the way in/east, you target Hopewell Cape, NB for a viewing at LOW TIDE (print tide times for the Bay of Fundy for your entire trip at this link (just DO it...).

    Once you've seen Hopewell Cape, then press on toward Truro, NS... (I prefer the Fundy shoreline route via Parrsboro for this).

    From Truro, immediately head northeast toward Cape Breton, perhaps targeting Baddeck, NS for two nights (so you can rest a bit?). On the day in between, circle the Cabot Trail (IF it isn't foggy).

    As time is of the essence, I would then head to Halifax, ideally for two nights, but we'll make a list down below of what you can afford, time-wise. IF you can be there for two nights, a day trip in between to Peggy's Cove and possibly Lunenburg is a good idea.

    I wouldn't dawdle off the main highways between Baddeck and Halifax, again, just to save time. (those coastal paths are soooooooooo slow).

    Sadly, it would already be time to start heading back!

    Once at Truro, you high-tail it on the main freeway to Amherst, and via Moncton, maaaaaaaaaaaybe opting to try the path through Fredericton on the way home. (IF you liked the eastern NB path, then do it again, at least part way) (which ever one suits your thoughts at the time).

    Eventually you're back to Riviere-du-Loup and on your path back to Montreal.

    So let me list the nights:

    #1 - Rimouski
    #2 - Moncton area ? (perhaps not enough time for Miramichi?)
    #3 - Baddeck
    #4 - Baddeck
    #5 - Halifax
    #6 - Halifax
    #7 - Edmundston, NB (because its about 6 hours from Halifax, and 6 hours TO Montreal)

    And I know that a person could spend another week, and still not have enough time... but you'd be giving yourself the best of the sights, and covering plenty of territory with some variety along the way.

    Oh, about Moncton, stop and see the Tidal Bore (river reversing its flow, at scheduled times, depending upon the tides)... and use your tide table to finesse EITHER an evening visit, OR a morning visit to Hopewell Cape at low tide (IF you can do it the evening before, the night in Moncton, then do so! - otherwise, go in the morning...).

    I hope this gives you a place to start...

    PS - it's a good idea to check-off the travel idea farther from your home first... for it is a tad more likely that you can get to Gaspe in the future.

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    Thank you so much. I have 10 days but first Friday and the last Sunday is for driving; so basically I just have 8 days. Thanks again for your guide. If you think there are more attractions that I can visit in one extra day please let me know.


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    OH, OK... at least I sense where you are

    (I'm uuuuuuuuuuusually aware enough to be allowing for first and last travel days)

    Let me again list the nights, with the new understanding:

    #1 - Rimouski
    #2 - Miramichi
    #3 - Moncton area (trying/hoping to get to Hopewell Cape, NB in the evening, IF within an hour or so of Low Tide) (if fate doesn't allow that, then you go in the morning)

    #4 - Baddeck
    #5 - Baddeck

    #6 - Halifax
    #7 - Halifax

    #8 - Fredericton (shrug)
    #9 - (on your path home)

    Now perhaps you will have seen something you liked in/near Miramichi, on the way in, and with that hint of extra time, you might be inspired to go back that same way, on the path home, using your two extra nights there?

    I think that what your added day or two offers, is merely breathing room.

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    For our summer vacation in August of 2012 we travelled to Atlantic Canada and spent 8 nights in Nova Scotia followed by 7 nights in Prince Edward Island. We had traveled to PEI previously, however, this was our first trip to Nova Scotia. (I will discuss our PEI vacations on a separate page.) At the time of this vacation, Katie was 9 years old and Emma had just turned 3.

    The first three days of our vacation were spent in Halifax where we stayed at The Prince George Hotel located in the heart of downtown. Our central location meant that we were able to walk everywhere that we wanted to in Halifax. We did, however, rent a car so that we would have it available for day trips from Halifax and because we were going to need it for the balance of our vacation.

    As soon as we had checked in to the hotel we went for a walk to orient ourselves and ended up at the waterfront where we saw Theodore Tugboat sailing in the harbour. Theodore Tugboat was a popular children's television show about a tugboat that lived in Halifax harbour. Theodore now takes visitors on harbour tours which are designed with children in mind. We also discovered that there was a COWS outlet located on the boardwalk (a treat we were familiar with from previous trips to PEI) and we were able to have our first scoops of yummy COWS ice cream of the summer.

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