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Hi there. I am at the early stages of planning a week long (Sat-Sat) trip up to Nova Scotia either for late summer or early fall. I will be driving from Boston which I have realized is a bit of a hike now that the ferry from Maine no longer runs. I'm wondering if anyone has any good suggestions in regards to what would be a good halfway place to stop and how deep I can really get into NS. I understand that driving is going to be a big part of this trip for good or bad so any thoughts on what is realistic to see I would appreciate. My goal would be to check out the natural elements of this province.

Thanks!

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    Hi, I have driven between Boston and Nova Scotia more than once, and a whole week should give you a good dose of the maritime provinces.

    The very first thing I'd do is determine whether there is anything in the Bangor-Calais-Saint John corridor you really want to see. If so, then go that way on the way IN, otherwise take the I-95/Fredericton path. (they are similar in terms of actual driving time, but I think you'd just bog-down on the lower route (though it is about 35 miles shorter))

    (note: 700 miles from Boston to Halifax, 800 miles from Boston to Baddeck, Cape Breton, NS)

    I think on your first day you should push for Moncton, NB, but that demands 540 miles and 8-ish hours.

    It's almost all freeway driving, so that helps.

    The reason to get to Moncton in one day is to afford yourself the opportunity to both duck down to visit Hopewell Cape, NB in the morning and then drive to Cape Breton later on the same day.

    So on that 2nd day you go to, what I'll call Baddeck, NS, which is a great base camp for visiting Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail.

    On the 3rd day you survey the weather early, and then if it is clear, you head for a circuitous path on the Cabot Trail. If it is foggy/rainy, then you visit Sydney/Louisbourg, etc. (the 2nd and 3rd nights are wisely scheduled for Baddeck, NS)

    Hopefully you'll have clear weather on at least one of two days, and will make the dash for the Cabot Trail at first sign of same.

    So, IF you get to do the Cabot Trail on your 3rd day, then you could decide whether you want to visit Sydney and Louisbourg vs. heading back toward the southwest instead.

    IF you become smitten by the idea of driving toward Halifax on the coastal path - know that it will take forever. Perhaps a better alternative is to stay on the main highway and visit Pictou, before heading to Halifax via Truro.

    Lets see where I am now:

    Night 1 - Moncton, NB
    Night 2 - Baddeck, NS
    Night 3 - Baddeck, NS
    Night 4 - Halifax
    Night 5 - Halifax, NS

    I vote for Fredericton, NB for night 6 on the path back...

    And I vote to add roughly 30 miles, and one hour, to the now-300-mile trip between Halifax and Fredericton by doing the following:

    Halifax to Truro, NS
    Truro to Parrsboro, NS (on hwy #2)
    Parrsboro to Amherst, NS


    That is just a scenic, bayside drive which is much more serene than is the main highway.

    Then I'll leave it up to you to figure out where to stay on the final night after you leave Fredericton enroute back to Boston.

    From Halifax you can make a day trip to Peggy's Cove and/or Lunenburg (60 miles, 1 hr. 20 min).

    Hope this all makes sense.

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    Yes, I love NS!!!

    The first thing a first-time visitor to NS should do in preparation for a trip there is go to this website:

    http://www.lau.chs-shc.gc.ca/cgi-bin/tide-shc.cgi?queryType=showZone&language=english&region=5&zone=30


    and print out the TIDE TABLES for the entire window of the trip. (for perhaps 3 or 4 locations, including Hopewell Cape )

    Tides aren't worth much in most other corners of the globe, but in the Bay of Fundy the tides are awesome. (it might not hit you until you're standing in the sand beside an ocean vessel that is tied to a dock and sitting on the ocean floor with the nearest water hundreds of feet away)

    But you'll want to print the tide tables ahead of time so you'll know when it's low and when it's high.

    (Visit Hopewell Cape near to Low tide )


    Another great element of NS is that, for it not being on the waaaaaaaaaay to anywhere, it is very peaceful and laid-back.

    The FOG can drive you crazy if fate isn't in your favor, but aside from that, it should be a great time.

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