8 days in Nova Scotia & PEI

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Jun 8th, 2014, 05:45 AM
  #1
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8 days in Nova Scotia & PEI

Going there in early August and was going to parallel one of the trip itineraries from a previous post but realized that would be too much driving for us. Looking for suggestions of picking a few of the must to sights in NS & PEI, without too much lengthy driving.
Thanks for your time, help & suggestions.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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I think you need to create at least some parameters from which the gang here can mold into a suitable itinerary idea for you.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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It might help if you linked to the previous post you found helpful as well.
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Sorry for my delay, I looked at the post a couple of days after it looked like no one had replied but I must not have refreshed the page (duh). And it is actually only 7 days of vacation days, I am now realizing. I've done so much internet searching and reading that I think I am more confused that before I started. What we would like to do ideally, without it being rushed (if possible) is to see Halifax, the Bay of Fundy, the Cabot Trail, PEI and Percy's Cove. I've seen a few mentions of subscribers stating they post/help quite a bit for this type of trip so maybe the best way is to see if there are any suggestions for this wish list instead of listing what I am thinking of doing. Thanks in advance for your help and time.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 04:21 AM
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And I realize that should be Peggy's Cove.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 08:34 AM
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This is more of a question rather than a response. We need help with putting together an itinerary for Nova Scotia. We fly from Seattle, WA to Halifax, NS, rent a car and drive around the province. Our vacation plan is for 5 days (aside from travel) in the middle of September 2014. We plan on dropping the car in Yarmouth and take the ferry boat to Portland, ME. We would welcome any ideas including the "must" see places and activities.
Thank you
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Jul 4th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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C'mon, cjworld... ricarm51 has done a more complete job of putting their needed details on your thread than you have.

I can relate to both ends of ricarm51's trip, and while 5 days makes it tight, I'm sure you can get some highlights.

With "5 days"... it wouldn't hurt to hit the ground running, IF indeed you get there with at least SOME of the day left... might be good to head north, if not to Baddeck, then at least a good chunk of the way toward Baddeck.

That way you can optimize your next day or two... the first of which is ideally targeted for the Cabot Trail (the first 'sunny' day, that is)... in the event of fog, it is wise to have an extra day to utilize if need be.

What I would do, in terms of priorities, is make the Cabot Trail #1... then include Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick, for #2... and if you can get those done in rapid succession, then first take a leisurely path back toward Truro (Amherst-Parrsboro-Truro????)... and consider maybe a night in Annapolis Royal (or Wolfville?) before driving back to Halifax for the remainder of your stay.

(from there, a side trip to Peggy's Cove, IF there is a day to spend before flying out...)


Halifax - Baddeck = 220 MILES

Baddeck - Ingonish - Cheticamp - Hopewell Cape = 440 miles


Hopewell Cape - Parrsboro - Truro - Annapolis Royal = 330

Annapolis Royal - Halifax = 152



Of course you could cut-out Annapolis Royal...


It would be so helpful if, somehow, you could get to Baddeck on that first night you fly...

But any distance you can cover on that path, short of Baddeck, would be better than nothing.

As the scenery IS much of the appeal to the area doing so much driving would be a reasonable trade-off.

Oh, and don't forget the luxury of staying out fairly late, and still having time to go to your hotel room and phone your west coast friends while they're still up, to tell them all about your day's adventures!

Hope this at least gives you a start...
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Jul 24th, 2014, 06:07 PM
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This is very helpful NorthwestMale. We are greatful for your suggestions. We actually have an extra day, so our visit will be for 6 days rather than 5. Based on your suggestions, how much of Cape/Island Brenton will we be able to see? Let say during 2 days. We plan on returning to Halifax for a day or two leaving two days to do Annapolis Valley and into Yarmouth for our departure, is this possible to do? One thing I don't want to miss is the seafood, music and culture.
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Jul 25th, 2014, 04:09 PM
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OK ricarm51... I now have a better sense for your 'window', and your parameters.

SO, again, IF at all possible, hit the ground running, in Halifax. IF you can high-tail it toward Cape Breton, or a considerable chunk of the distance between the Halifax airport and Cape Breton on that first evening, it would help.

Even if you have to wake up early for your flight from out here in the west, you still have FOUR hours on those in the Atlantic Time Zone. (11pm to them would only feel like 7pm to you).

So anyway... I still sense that I'd go right to Baddeck... book the first two nights there, attempt to drive the Cabot Trail between those two nights.

With regard to the addition of one extra day (from what I'd been thinking), I have a vibe that you might do well to investigate spending a night in southwest Cape Breton (both for music and culture - but others are going to know much more than I about those two).

(another candidate for the extra night is Pictou, NS

The next priority remains Hopewell Cape, NB, for there is where you get the fullest impact of the tides in the Bay of Fundy (the warning sign there is quite enough to make a lasting impression) http://kiwidutch.files.wordpress.com...ks2g-small.jpg )

(using a central-ish location) It is 233 miles / 4 hours to get from Port Hawkesbury, NS to Hopewell Cape, NB... so if you did that after a 3rd night, saw Hopewell Cape at LOW tide, and then covered at least a chunk of the return back toward Halifax, you'd be in good shape. (it's 212 miles / 4hr 20 min from Hopewell Cape to Halifax VIA PARRSBORO, NS, and the Fundy shore.

There's a chance the TIDE at Hopewell Cape might not be ideally timed for you, so that could alter your plans, depending on this table: http://bayoffundytourism.com/tides/times/ .


Were it me, I might tryyyyyyyyy to make a long day of it, and get all the way from Port Hawkesbury, NS, to Hopewell Cape, aaaaaaaaaand all the way back to Halifax on the same day.

That would set you up for nights #4 and #5 in Halifax, and some relative rest there.

But now, as I contemplate further, this isn't matching with what you said/added.

Sooooooooooooooooooo, maybe you re-shuffle the deck like this:


(Nights)

#1 Baddeck - IF you have time to get there after your flight.

#2 Somewhere along the southwestern coast of Cape Breton (Mabou, Inverness, etc?)

#3 (I'd still love to know success getting all the way to Hopewell Cape, AND back to Halifax in that one day... but of course that includes seeing/walking Hopewell Cape at low tide as well... but I admit its a stretch)

(My preferred route... Amherst, NS - to Parrsboro, to Truro... adds about 30 miles, and one hour, to the journey... but I like the scenery there, and the 'feel' of the area)

(it would take a miracle to reach Halifax by that 3rd night... and then you'd stay there for the 4th night... and proooooooobably do best to go south via Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg and on down to Yarmouth, picking a comfortable spot on the map for that 5th night)

Obviously you could plunk down on that 3rd night somewhere between, say, Moncton, NB and Halifax... BUT it can be so convenient to have the same hotel for 2 nights in a row, in Halifax and perhaps not even need your vehicle at all on that day in between - that would be the main goal I'd have in attempting that Cape Breton-Hopewell Cape-Halifax journey all in one day.

That entails 416 miles, and just over 7 hours of driving time (not to mention, some luck with the tide table) (442 miles, 8 hours, 15 min. if you add my Parrsboro, NS detour).


So anyway, that's my sense of how to arrange 6 days and 5 nights, beginning in Halifax and ending in Yarmouth.

With the tide table linked above, and your perhaps already knowing the exact days of your planned trip, you can right now time things to see if you have any hope of actually making that suggested long day fit suitably into your itinerary.
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Jul 28th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Thanks again NorthWestmale, this really helps a lot in the decision making process. I appreciate your comments and suggestions. SO much to see in such a little time.
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Jul 28th, 2014, 03:15 PM
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Ricarm51

I have a few suggestions for your trip. 6 days is not very much for the many attractions so you will need to prioritize. In my opinion, your first priority should be Cape Breton, then Halifax and then, as you plan to leave by ferry from Yarmouth, Lunenburg and the South Shore.

As interesting as the Fundy tides may be, I simply don't think you have time to visit New Brunswick and still do justice for the other sights. I would drop Hopewell Cape from your itinerary.

I also wouldn't advise jumping in a rental car on landing in Halifax after a transcontinental flight and driving off to Baddeck your first evening in Nova Scotia. You will be tired and you will miss some points of interest along the way. As Halifax Airport is some distance outside the city (some people refer to it as Truro International Airport) I would head to Truro for your first night and find a place to stay there rather than go into the city.

You will be well rested for your trip to Cape Breton. I think there are two outstanding things to see and do there, namely the Cabot Trail and the Fortress of Louisbourg and I think you should give yourself three days for these. You also mentioned music and culture and there are at least two outstanding venues for traditional Cape Breton music--the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou and the Normaway Inn in Margaree Valley. The Normaway is a wonderful place to stay, and if your schedule permits, in September on Friday evenings they have a céilidh (fiddle music and dancing).
http://www.redshoepub.com/history.htm
http://www.thenormawayinn.com/home.html

If you stay in Mabou, the next day around the Trail will be a longish one, but you could go as far as Ingonish, the site of the storied Keltic Lodge which would be nice for an overnight. If you want to skip Mabou, then I suggest you stay the first night at the Normaway, or perhaps in Baddeck or Chéticamp.

In my opinion, the Fortress of Louisbourg should not be missed. It is the largest historical reconstruction in North America and has been done with great care by Parks Canada--it is filled with costumed re-enactors who bring you back to 1744 just before the fortress was captured by the British. You could stay in the village of Louisbourg nearby or in Sydney.

http://www.fortressoflouisbourg.ca/

After Cape Breton, I would head back to Halifax. Don't be tempted by the drive along the Eastern Shore (Highway 7)--it is long and not terribly interesting. Just head back the fast way on 104 and 102.

Spend a full day in Halifax, and then the next day travel to Lunenburg, a beautiful town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take the old road, Highway 3 and stop in such pretty villages as Chester and Mahone Bay. You will probably also want to stop at Peggy's Cove along the way, although it is likely to be overrun with tour buses. Blue Rocks, just outside Lunenburg, is in my opinion as pretty and there are no crowds. Plan to stay overnight in Lunenburg, but make sure you get there in time to visit the excellent Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/att...tage-site/2615

From Lunenburg then head to Yarmouth and your ferry.

You'll be missing a number of the great attractions of Nova Scotia, including the Annapolis Valley, Digby and the Bay of Fundy, but you can only do so much. There's no point in rushing yourself, and even my suggestions are a lot for only 6 days. Once you've visited, you will want to come again.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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Thank you Laverendrye. I appreciate your suggestions. This forum certainly has been very instructional and helpful, now we definitely have to prioritize. I understand we will be missing some great places but in the meantime we will make the best of it, enjoy and appreciate what we are able to see on this trip. You are right we would want to come again.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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I like your itinerary,Laverendrye. I will make one more suggestion to ricarm51...time allowing, of course. Rather than the long drive from Lunenburg to Yarmouth, cut across the Province from Bridgewater to Middleton. From there one can reach Annapolis Royal, Digby and drive to Yarmouth along the French Shore. On that route one can see the Bay of Fundy.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Good suggestion, Scotia.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Thank you for the great suggestion. We'll be able to appreciate the wine country. Thanks Scotia.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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Ricarm, it is simply unjustifiable to travel all the way from here, to the Maritimes, and not get the full effect of the tides in the Bay of Fundy.

Such craziness might work for somebody from (the other) Portland, or from Boston, but just when are you gonna get there again???

The Bay of Fundy makes the tides we know here look like the ones in your bathtub.

It would be absolutely insane to stay in Truro and pay exactly no mind to the Fundy tides. That's an east coast mentality and, well, they have Portland, but they don't have Portlandia.

ricarm51, maybe you can let us know just what time your flight is due to land in Halifax???

And it is precisely because you are making this distant trip, so far out beyond the path where people pass through on the way to other places, that you should fit/cram as much in as you can during your limited opportunity.

Sydney, NS is farther from home than is Honolulu... now if you were going to Honolulu for the first time, wouldn't you fit-in as much as possible on the chance you'd never go back, for it not being on the way to too many other likely destinations?
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:43 PM
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I like your passion Northwestmale, but I am also very thankful for the people that contribute to this blog. To me this makes the trip more exciting because I believe people want the traveller to enjoy themselves and enjoy from their experiences. We are arriving in Halifax, late, like 9 pm AST.

In the end, we will try to take in as much of the province, including the Bay of Fundy, as we possible can. By the way Laverendrye and Scotia, do you have any suggestions where to stay in Halifax proper?

Again I want to thank you all for your recommendations and guidance.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 03:17 AM
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ricarm51. On my trips to Halifax I've stayed mostly at a number of larger hotels rather than inns or B&Bs, so perhaps others can advise you on the latter. Among the hotels, I've particularly liked the Prince George and the Delta Barrington, both fairly modern and centrally located in downtown Halifax. Many years ago I stayed at the historic Lord Nelson, across from the Public Gardens. I understand that it has been completely refurbished since then so perhaps you might want to consider it.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 09:18 AM
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I have also stayed in larger hotels in the Halifax area. In addition to the ones laverendrye mentions, I have stayed at Chateau Halifax, which is attached to a shopping mall and across the street from Delta Barrington. I prefer the Delta Barrington. I have also stayed at Cambridge Suites and the Marriott which used to be the Sheraton. However since I have stayed in Halifax there are newer hotels in the downtown area which you might enjoy. Halifax is a small City so any of them will be convenient. Please check Trip Advisor for up-to-date info as it has been awhile since I stayed in Halifax.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:25 PM
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Leverendrye and Scotia. Thank you very much for the suggestions. I'll check them on line.
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