16 Day Stay 4th October to 19th Oct 2024

Old Jan 18th, 2024, 11:47 PM
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16 Day Stay 4th October to 19th Oct 2024

Hello Everyone.
My wife any I are spending the above period in Nova Scotia (flying in and out of Halifax).
We have done a lot of trip in Europe and US/Canada and we have generally stayed in different places for 3/4 nights then a long drive to the next base.
We don't mind driving but aren't keen on a different bed each night .
We are looking for maybe four different places to stay with interesting things around them.
We love walking, pretty towns with nice non-pretentious restaurants, history and the great outdoors.
We would look at a few days in Halifax and obviously the Cabot Trail is a must. Some suggest two stops on Cape Breton Island.
I am aware that there is a big festival on CBI so we would like to tie down accommodation asap.

Any help would be amazing. Thank you in advance

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Old Jan 19th, 2024, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave2112
Hello Everyone.
My wife any I are spending the above period in Nova Scotia (flying in and out of Halifax).
We have done a lot of trip in Europe and US/Canada and we have generally stayed in different places for 3/4 nights then a long drive to the next base.
We don't mind driving but aren't keen on a different bed each night .
We are looking for maybe four different places to stay with interesting things around them.
We love walking, pretty towns with nice non-pretentious restaurants, history and the great outdoors.
We would look at a few days in Halifax and obviously the Cabot Trail is a must. Some suggest two stops on Cape Breton Island.
I am aware that there is a big festival on CBI so we would like to tie down accommodation asap.

Any help would be amazing. Thank you in advance
Not sure by your post if you plan to visit PEI during trip. If so I have posted a lot of information in this post.

Halifax and PEI

Tom
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 02:43 AM
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Hi Tom, PEI is definitely a possibility and may well be one of the 4 bases. Difficulty is narrowing the trip down to just 4. Thanks for all the info
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 03:42 AM
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Dave,

For just a few days visiting PEI Charlottetown will give you the best option for logging and food. Many places outside of Charlottetown start to close after late September as summer help goes back to school and foreign help goes home. Always check websites or call to individual business you plan to visit to check operating hours. Do not misunderstand me business do stay open for most of the year since the island has 170 k population. The beautiful scenery is always around get out and explore the island!

If you have any questions let us know.

Tom
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 04:14 AM
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Tom managed to get a four night stay on the Waterfront in Charlottetown. I hope this will give us a good base to explore
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 04:52 AM
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Dave,

You can to all of the island in about 3 hours from Charlottetown.

I sent you a private message.

Tom
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 07:17 AM
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Hi Dave2112

How nice to have 16 days to explore Maritime Canada. I think the plan of having as bases Halifax, Cape Breton and Charlottetown will make for a great trip. There are pleasant day trips out of Halifax such as to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg, but I actually have a fondness for Halifax itself with the Citadel, Public Gardens and Point Pleasant Park amongst others being sights I’m always glad to return to. Charlottetown is a great base; the red cliffs on the north shore between Cavendish and North Rustico I found a unique beauty but Charlottetown itself is also charming and photogenic in places—I quite like Victoria Park. I can’t help with Cape Breton as I’ve only stayed in North Sydney there to catch the ferry to Newfoundland, which does not seem to be a usual base there otherwise—Baddeck and Cheticamp are places I see more commonly mentioned as bases associated with the Cabot Trail, perhaps Sydney for those who want to see the Fort at Louisbourg. I’ve only been to Moncton otherwise in the region but if you were looking for a fourth area, maybe something near the Bay of Fundy like Wolfville or Annapolis Royal?

Happy Travels! Daniel
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 08:33 AM
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Daniel thanks for the most useful reply. The one missing piece is Cape Breton. I think there is a big festival when we are there so I need to arrange somewhere to stay asap. I am sure someone will come back to me soon
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Old Jan 20th, 2024, 09:56 AM
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I was on a 13 day bus tour of the area this fall from Sept 25- Oct 8. The fall colours were just starting to turn so since you are coming a bit later, maybe they will be in full glory
Sounds like you have a place in Halifax. I liked the city- wish we could have spent a few more days there.
Hopewell Rocks was a very interesting stop- It was going to be a high tide the next day- I believe 50' We had a guide pre-arranged by the tour operator who walked us down on the ocean floor and explained it all.
On Cape Breton we stayed at the Inverary Resort in the town of Baddeck. It was on a small lake, had a restaurant and was next door to one of the places that serve lobster dinners. We did a boat tour of the bay which was nice. The resort was an OK place to stay- nothing special but no complaints either.
Another place we stayed was the Digby Pines- an old historic hotel.
I could not name a favorite place because I loved it all and we had perfect weather. There was some fog in the mornings but mostly sunny.

One stop I suggest is the Masstown Market. It is about an hour drive from Halifax. Its so much more than a market place- has a deli, a bakery, take out food, local produce, grocery store, local foods to go like lobster pie. We had lunch there twice!

I loved all the forts we visited. I grew up in Canada but we were never taught a lot of the history. We visited Ft. Louisberg, Grand Pre Historic Site, Ft Ann- the tour operator arranged guides to all these places.

Lunenberg and Mahone Bay were 2 favorite areas. I would love to spend more than a day in that area. So scenic and beautiful.

Hope you will enjoy your trip. It was a first for me and I would go back in a heartbeat!

FYI- Atlantic Tours was the company we used so for those who don't want to do all the driving, they were excellent
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Old Jan 21st, 2024, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave2112
... We love walking, pretty towns with nice non-pretentious restaurants, history and the great outdoors.
We would look at a few days in Halifax and obviously the Cabot Trail is a must. Some suggest two stops on Cape Breton Island.
I am aware that there is a big festival on CBI so we would like to tie down accommodation asap ...
I hesitate to suggest an itinerary, as everyone has a different comfort with driving, but I can point you to what I think are our nicest towns:

- On the South Shore, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. Both are historic, walkable, and offer a choice of restaurant and cafés. I particularly like Lunenburg.

- In the Annapolis Valley: Wolfville and its surrounds, such as Grand Pré and Hall's Harbour. This is beautiful farming country with lots of vineyards, wineries, orchards, and farm markets. If you are interested in the history of the expulsion of the Acadians, Grand Pré is where to go. Annapolis Royal is also quite lovely, but that may be much further than you want to drive, especially if you are going to spend time in Cape Breton (and PEI).

- On Cape Breton Island, Baddeck is by far the prettiest and most interesting town, and it would likely serve as a good starting point to tour the Cabot Trail.

About Cape Breton Island: it is one of our favourite hiking destinations, so my suggestions may be biased by our approach, which is to spend a couple of nights in Chéticamp to walk the trails on the western side of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We then drive easterly along the Cabot Trail to the Ingonish area, where we again spend a few nights to walk on the eastern side of the national park. While you can easily drive the Cabot Trail in a single day, I think it is best appreciated if you are able to get out of your car and walk, so allowing at least two full days is a good idea, if you can. I should mention that the National Park offers a very wide variety of trails, from easy to challenging. We've walked many (most?) of them and can fill you in on details if you'd like.

I think your instinct about settling your accommodation in Cape Breton is very wise, as the Celtic Colours (we put a "u" in colours) runs from October 11 to 19 this year. The other thing that happens is that many places that cater to visitors shut down as early as our Canadian Thanksgiving,

As sunbeam1994 points out, you will see fall foliage while you're here, although peak season varies from year to year and as you move around the province.

About restaurants: I can't think of a single one that would seem pretentious; no, I take that back, there's a couple in Halifax that give themselves airs, but everywhere else will seem warm and welcoming.

Come back if you have any questions about trails, and I can suggest a few restaurants once you settle your itinerary.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2024, 11:07 AM
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Itinerary for now

Hi everyone. Does this sound reasonable for places to base ourselves during our 16 night tour.
4th Oct Arrive Halifax and drive to PEI
4th to 7th Oct. Charlottetown
8th to 11th Oct Cheticamp
12th to 14th Oct Baddeck
15th to 16th Oct. Lunenburg
17th to 20th Oct. Halifax

All stay days are inclusive. Just wanted to check this would give us a chance to sample the best of NS without having to sleep in a new bed every couple of nights. Thanks so much in advance
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Old Jan 24th, 2024, 02:49 AM
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I think that's a pretty reasonable schedule. You have a couple of longish drives in there (Charlottetown to Chéticamp and Baddeck to Lunenburg), but it is all very doable.

When you drive from Lunenburg to Halifax, consider taking Highway 3 instead of Highway 103. The former will take you through Mahone Bay, Hubbards, and Queensland, affording some pleasant ocean views. When you reach Upper Tantallon, scoot up Highway 213 to Exit 5 on Highway 103, and then drive straight into the city.
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Old Jan 24th, 2024, 08:23 AM
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I loved Mahone Bay. We didn't get to spend much time there- just a walk through town but I could have spent more time there. Same with Lunenberg!

Hope you will enjoy your trip. I loved every minute of it

Beautiful Lunenburg
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Old Jan 24th, 2024, 08:28 AM
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Be happy with skies like that
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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 05:46 AM
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Dave2112, we visited PEI last August. It's a beautiful island. Here is the link to my TR (with photos) in case you are interested in reading it.

Pretty Prince Edward Island and a Taste of New Brunswick
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Old Jan 30th, 2024, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave2112
Hi everyone. Does this sound reasonable for places to base ourselves during our 16 night tour.
4th Oct Arrive Halifax and drive to PEI
4th to 7th Oct. Charlottetown
8th to 11th Oct Cheticamp
12th to 14th Oct Baddeck
15th to 16th Oct. Lunenburg
17th to 20th Oct. Halifax

All stay days are inclusive. Just wanted to check this would give us a chance to sample the best of NS without having to sleep in a new bed every couple of nights. Thanks so much in advance

Hmmmmmmmmmm... (in all of the years here, I've never quite contemplated the Maritimes with (5 bases of 3 days each)... or the original (4 bases of 4 days each).


BUT... it makes the most sense to me to go north to Cape Breton earliest... for that's when you likely need the best weather. (Last time I was there we saw snow flurries on June 1 ). In the hills outside of Inverness.

And I've stuck with Baddeck as a base for Cape Breton for years here, so I'm staying with it.

When talking half a month difference, it just makes sense to use it to your greatest advantage.


PEI... maybe then take the ferry there from the Pictou area... then return via the expensive ($50.25) bridge...

While in the Moncton area, do not miss a chance to go down and see Hopewell Cape... and possibly the tidal bore from Moncton.

only then commence your drive back into NS.


The challenge/problem with the 4 or 5-base idea is that the roads in NS go so relatively slow. So to get from one base to another in a day at times demands that you skip many of the things that would be fun to see.

(Can't spend a fun night at the Cape D'or lighthouse because you would never dream of pausing there for three nights, etc.)


With that said, I'm voting for Wolfville as the next 3-night base. First day you backtrack to visit Burntcoat Head at/near LOW TIDE (would be so much easier were the roads optimal rather than what they are there). (Nobody* needs to go through NS to get anywhere, and thus nothing is made for getting from point A to point B in quick fashion) (* as always, Newfies don't count).

Second day maybe hike Cape Split if the weather is decent (LOL - or if there's snow on the ground, in March, as I once experienced it - it was relatively easy to see the path up ahead, with the obvious footprints and all).

Third day, maybe drive a bit more than an hour to Annapolis Royal for lunch and a look around, then backtrack to Hwy #10 across to Lunenburg as your next base.


(so where am I? )

A - Baddeck
B - Charlottetown
C - Wolfville
D - Lunenburg


If you tire of Lunenburg during two full days, then Mahone Bay is not far away, and perhaps there is something of interest there.

And obviously, then, spot E is Halifax

(maybe you pause for dinner at Peggy's Cove as you drive north... so you don't have to use up city time for that must-do)

Some people don't rave about the food at the big restaurant by the light house, but in a way you do it just to have done it.


By the time the later days/weeks of your trip wind down, you'll be in spots that are more suitable for exploring rain or shine. Nobody can guarantee weather at any time, but it just seems that to make the most use of ideally-slight temperature differences would serve you well in a scenario where it is within your general control.

The Bay of Fundy when it is gloomy or stormy (or pea soup foggy) can offer a unique appreciation for what's there. Cape Breton when it's gloomy, doesn't have quite as much appeal.


Speaking of the Bay... a great move will be to print (on paper) tide times for various spots on the Bay of Fundy for the entire window of the time you will/could be near to it (then the info is in the glove box as you go, and not dependent upon cell phone service, or inability to work with a website with some mild urgency while in a moving car.

This website looks suitable Stations (tides.gc.ca)


and you'd want the times for tidal bores in Moncton and surely Truro as well.

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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 02:01 PM
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When you are driving to Cape Breton take a slight detour off the TCH between New Glasgow and Antigonish and go on the "old road" through James River and Marshy Hope. You will pass through a valley between two hills covered in gorgeous fall foliage. It will only add 15-20 minutes to the drive, and well worth it for the view.
Also, take Route 19 from the Causeway and go through Port Hood, Mabou, and Inverness on the way to Cheticamp. It's a lovely drive, mostly along the coast, with lots of foliage and some nice places to stop for lunch or snacks.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 05:35 AM
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Oooh, watching this thread... have fun!
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