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Nova Scotia 8 days in October

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I am planning 8 days (not including travel days) in early October. I plan on renting a car and touring by car, rather than hiking. It looks like I could divide my time between Cape Breton Island and South Shore/Annapolis Valley. Is that realistic?

If possible, I would prefer to stay in as few different places as possible and use them as a "home base" for day trip travel. However, from looking at the map, I think distances may be too far. Are there a few "central" locations to stay?

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    That's how we always do our vacations in Atlantic Canada - daytripping from a few "base" locations. Cape Breton and the South Shore are very good choices, 2 of the top on my list of highlights for this region.

    In Cape Breton the Cabot Trail is a circle drive and wherever you stay on it you can drive it in either direction. The three main "service" towns are:
    - Baddeck - pretty setting on Bras d'Or Lake - upscale inns, B&B's, art shops, yacht harbour, a good selection of dining choices, etc.
    - Ingonish area - a string of little communities scattered with small resorts and cottage rentals, lots of nice coastal scenery, a seaside-vacation feel.
    - Cheticamp - a rustically charming Acadian fishing village which is now also a bustling tourist centre adjacent to the rugged soaring headlands of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
    You could pick any one of these depending on your preference for setting and accommodations. If you are planning on visiting the historic Fortress at Louisbourg, Baddeck would be the closest to that.

    On the South Shore, if you stay somewhere between roughly Lunenburg and Shelburne, that will put you in reasonable day-tripping distance to many popular destinations although some farther ones will involve up to 1 to 2 hours drive each way (but in many instances you would be "touring" i.e. stopping here and there throughout the day rather than zooming straight to a destination and back).

    I in fact have plans to do all of the above (Cape Breton and the South Shore) in this way myself this summer, not for the first time.

    Halifax might be worth considering also as it is a very nice smallish city with a compact downtown and vibrant Harbour district and can be used as a base for a number of day-trips (although Annapolis Royal from Halifax might be a longer day-trip than you want).

    If you can fit it in (maybe not with 8 days) - an overnight to the Fundy shore of New Brunswick is another highlight, staying either in the Alma/Fundy National Park or Hopewell Rocks areas.

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    Agree w/ mat.
    Make sure you allow at least 3 days for Cape Breton Island.

    Canadian Thanksgiving is Monday. October 8, 2012 so keep that in mind when makinmg reservations for that weekend: Friday, Oct 5-8, 2012.

    OB1

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