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5 Nights in Nova Scotia (with Child) - Where Should We Go?

5 Nights in Nova Scotia (with Child) - Where Should We Go?

May 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 97
5 Nights in Nova Scotia (with Child) - Where Should We Go?

Hi there -- Planning our first visit to Nova Scotia for the 4th of July, and would love an assist on an itinerary. We'll have our 5 year old, so don't want to spend huge amounts of time in the car (although she's a pretty good traveler). Mostly, we're looking for a nice relaxing weekend. Big fans of seafood, outdoors, scenery, culture and nice lodgings (and my wife is pretty gung-ho on a whale watching trip - and I like to fish, although that seems unlikely). Where to go? I read great things about Cape Breton, but it seems far for that amount of time (and we live in San Francisco, so regularly see pretty amazing coastline). Should we split our time between the South Shore and Fundy? Set up shop at one great location and do daytrips? And what's the best base on the South Shore and Fundy? Lunenburg? Mahone? Something farther afield? We're totally winging it, and would love some expertise (including specific lodging suggestions for comfy spots, with money not such an object). Thanks in advance, Ken.
kenman is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 146
Request the Doer & Dreamers 2010 guide to Nova Scotia (NovaScotia.com or 1-800-565-0000). You can also request the 2010 Festivals and Events brochure (Some featured things include: July 1-8 royal Nova Scotia International Tatoo in Halifax, July 1-4 Privateer Days in Liverpool, July 4-11 Antigonish Highland Games)
If you are interested in staying in a home or condo, instead of a motel, you might be interested in VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). I used it to find the place where we are staying for a week (between Halifax and Peggy's Cove). There were an amazing number of interesting places to choose from.
lgnutah is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,457
I asume you're flying into Halifax, so Cape Breton isn't out of the question.

elberko is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 470
Hi - Nova Scotia discussions often center on "touring" holidays, visiting a mix of scenic coastlines, quaint fishing villages, hiking trails, and historic towns and sites. Those don't really fit for you, but here's a couple of thoughts:

Whale-watching: Two of the best spots are at the 2 extreme ends of NS. Brier Island at the Digby end takes people into the Bay of Fundy for the big species (Humpback, finback, etc.). From the top of Cape Breton the emphasis is more on smaller species like Minke and Pilot whales, although some of the same species can be found in both areas. Otherwise the Fundy Shore is pleasant, quite scenic in some areas, and quiet and laid back in others.

The scenery in Cape Breton is amazing. Although far, there are nice accommodations and a variety of things to do when you get there - beaches, nature walks, interesting towns, The spectacular Cabot Trail, Acadian ('Cajun) culture in Cheticamp, Gaelic culture along the Ceilidh Trail section (so some day-tripping will be necessary). In Ingonish - the Keltic Lodge is a spectacularly situated and well-regarded resort. There are also a couple of well-reviewed "Chalet" resorts on the Ingonish beaches (I'm thinking Seascape Coastal Retreat or Lantern Hill and Hollow).

The south shore "Lighthouse Route" offers nice beaches (cold water but some hidden gems can be practically deserted), historic towns, some rugged coastal areas, quaint fishing villages. Mahone Bay and Lunenburg are nice and well worth visiting, but these are historic towns with art shops, etc., and while the Maritime Museum and ships might fascinate, otherwise there may be somewhat limited appeal for a 5 year old. There are several chalet type accommodations in nice spots along this shore which might be better (then day trip into the towns).

As an alternative, Halifax itself is a nice smallish city with a vibrant Harbor District and could be used as a base for a couple of days of daytripping the Lighthouse Route.
mat54 is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 470
Oh - the 4th of July is very close to Canada's National Holiday which is the 1st of July. It's a busy time so you might want to book asap.
mat54 is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 849
If you go to Halifax, visit Peggy's Cove. Our children loved running around on the huge boulders and watching the crashing surf. Cape Breton was our favorite part of Nova Scotia. We stayed at Keltic Lodge. Our children enjoyed walks there and then swimming in the pool.
Digbydog is offline  
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