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NS and PEI with elderly traveller

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My husband and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to NS and PEI with my mother in law. She's 85 and not very mobile. I'd love some ideas about where to go, what to see, where to stay in NS and PEI that would be suitable for her. She loves music, dance, good food and nice scenery that doesn't require a lot of walking. Any and all ideas or itineraries are welcome! Our trip will probably be about 7-10 days, and we can go any time this summer or fall. Thanks!

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    Well, NS scenery is such that to view much of it from a car is quite suitable, especially when combined with the occasional look-off viewpoint requiring only a nearby park and a few steps.

    I would certainly first focus on NS, as PEI is more often rolling hills and calm beaches combined with a laid-back society.

    Among the more telling aspects of Maritimes scenery is Hopewell Cape, and while it is surely too much walking for your MIL, you and your husband should probably still see it.

    Maybe MIL can view and take photos from up above, and be in awe of the ominous sign which warns: "you MUST be off of this beach by ______ o'clock to avoid being trapped by the incoming tide"

    There are multiple spots around the NS/NB area where you can go to the shoreline and view ocean-going boats which are sitting on the sandy bottom awaiting the next high tide in order to be mobile again. Alma, NB is one such spot.

    Most scenic in NS is the Cabot Trail, and to ride around its length and see it from the car is likely worth it.

    I imagine, also, that the areas of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay (south of Halifax) have fun little atmospheres from which your MIL would gain something.

    Halifax itself affords enjoyable views of Halifax harbor from city streets which are tiered suitably for seeing a lot from the car.

    I guess... that you and your husband should prioritize your own interests and then go to NS/NB fully expecting the scenery to be suitable for your MIL.

    This forum works best when you have at least something of a backbone for your trip.

    What interests you most??

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    Thanks so much for your detailed suggestions! I'm so glad I found this site. I am interested in history, theater and good food, all of which would also work for my MIL. I also enjoy a nice b and b or hotel, so those recommendations are also welcome!

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    Hi again,

    Well, OK...

    First of all, give us some significant details such as the following:

    Will you be driving in from the USA?

    Or will you be flying to, say, Halifax, and then renting a vehicle?

    Are you all comfortable with long hours driving/riding in the car?

    Realize that because NS isn't on the way to anywhere, the roads there are not built for supersonic transport. (clarity: the main highways ARE fast enough, but the lesser paths ARE indeed lesser in many ways)

    (and given the places most want to see in NS and surrounds, the main highways can't typically get you all the way there - so there will be some slow roads)

    First of all, I should say that I answer lots of Maritimes travel threads, many in various amounts of detail, so if you click on my name and at least gain a sense for what others do when visiting the Maritimes, that might be helpful.

    So far, I sense that you might need to read some of those other ideas SO THAT you can finesse an outline for your own visit which suits you, and which Fodors posters can critique if need be.

    Were it me, I would make the Cabot Trail and its scenery the number one priority (for first-time vacationers in NS)... and because ....I.... like the Fundy tides so much, I tend to make Hopewell Cape second on the list. The tidal bore in Moncton (and at other, less-heralded spots) is a curiosity which happens predictably, and as such it makes for an interesting target when you're in the vicinity of Hopewell Cape.

    As mentioned earlier, up above, I am fascinated by the ocean-going boats sitting by the docks, on the floor of the bay, awaiting the next high tide... and just seeing/understanding that tends to boggle the mind. (seeing truly IS believing)

    In regard to your mentioned interests, there is plenty of history connected to Nova Scotia and surrounds, and I'm sure that when you read up about it you will have greater appreciation as well as a clearer sense for what you want to see.

    I am not a foodie, so I am weakest when trying to address the interests of those who love the (eternal) search for great food. My idea of a true Nova Scotia meal is the McLobster sandwich at Mcdonald's!

    It would matter... because I was there!

    (Nova Scotia, not McDonald's)

    I think you'll find central Halifax to be reasonably compact and gen-er-al-ly friendly to your MIL's limitations... except there are hills comprising much of the central business area, so hopefully you can strategize and perhaps find a hotel with a free shuttle to use as your Halifax-area base camp.

    Another bit of sage advice is this:

    Once you finalize the window of your time in the area, print out the tide tables for a few spots around the bay, including Hopewell Cape, for the entire window of your trip... and put the printed copy in the glove box for easy reference.

    This ain't the tide in your grandmother's bathtub...

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