Advice on NB/NS trip

Jul 4th, 2002, 09:20 AM
  #1  
Sergey
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Advice on NB/NS trip

We are planning our first trip to Nova Scotia in the third week of July (7-8 days). We will appreciate any feedback regarding the itinerary, thing to see/do, places to stay, anything. We are interested in both nature (hiking, rock hounding, beach walking) and city life (historical places, museums, shops, concerts), and we are traveling with two kids (8 y.o and 6 m.o).

The plan is to drive from New Hampshire though Maine and New Brunswick and return via The Cat ferry to Bar Harbor.

Day1: Drive from New Hampshire to St John, NB.

Q: After Bangor, ME, what road to take to St John, NB? I understand that Rt.1 is scenic and Rt.9 is fast(er), any other choices/advice?

Day 2: Expore the city of St John and Fundy shore. Spend the night in Moncton.

Q: What's a must-do in and/or near St John? Fundy Trail? Fundy National Park?

Q: Any reasons to stop in Fredericton instead of St John?

Day 3: We would like to go to some scenic beach with warm water (we have a lot of scenic beaches with cold water down here). This is optional. We would love to go to PEI, but this is probably unrealistic. Next time.

Q: Any particulary good beaches near Moncton. NB or Amherst, NS? If it's not comparable to PEI, we will skip the beach.

Day 4: Our son is determined to do rock hounding - Parrsboro.

Q: In order to find the most beautiful ametysts etc. should we hire a guide, or just explore ourselfs? Can someone recommend a good guide/tour operator? Or good mineral sites?

Q: Any recommendations for a family-style place to stay in or near Parrsboro? Will we have to go to Truro?

Days 5-6: Halifax.

Q: Does it make sense to spend the night before ferry in some other town (Annapolis Royal? Wolfwille?)

Day 7: Drive to Yarmouth and take 13:00 ferry to Bar Harbor.

Day 8: Acadia National Park. Relax.

Day 9: Back to work.

Thanks in advance for all feedback!
Sergey
 
Jul 4th, 2002, 02:59 PM
  #2  
Melissa
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Hi Sergey,

I will try to help for NB....Saint John is a very industrial city. It does have some nice areas, but also has a huge oil refinery. I am personally not to fond of Saint John other than the Market Square area. If you do go there be sure to visit the Old City Market.

I am going to suggest F'ton over Saint John. Fredericton is a river front city. We are the capital. There is a lovley downtown area. We have an art museum, and there are concerts in officer's square on tuesday and thursday nights.

Moncton is a nice city as well. A must do for the 8 year old will probibly be Magic Mountain which is a water park. Right there is a zoo, and Magnetic Hill. I actually don't find that too interesting but some people do. Something like, you put your car in idle, and it rolls backwards up the hill. In the Moncton area, you could go to Hopewell Rocks to see the tides, here you can walk on the ocean floor, and kayak when the tide comes in. If you are looking for a beach, Parlee beach is the most popular. I thought Kouchabaquac national park had a nice beach as well. Oh yeah, in Alma I think, near Fundy park you can rock climb or repell.
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:46 AM
  #3  
Rob
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Sergey,

Used to live in both NB and NS. I think Melissa has given you some good advice. I would avoid Saint John, it does have a couple of OK streets and the market but to be honest it's a dump. The rest of NB stuff sounds prefect....I would add that travelling by backroads is very pretty in New Brunswick especially along the rivers.

For NS I'll comment on yur questions:

Day 4: Our son is determined to do rock hounding - Parrsboro.

Q: In order to find the most beautiful ametysts etc. should we hire a guide, or just explore ourselfs? Can someone recommend a good guide/tour operator? Or good mineral sites?
The NS Tourism site has good info on this and I would hire a guide or join a tour.

Q: Any recommendations for a family-style place to stay in or near Parrsboro? Will we have to go to Truro?
Lots in the area..try in Tatamagouche, Pugwash or Wentworth...cottage rentals are usually the best deal.

Days 5-6: Halifax.

Q: Does it make sense to spend the night before ferry in some other town (Annapolis Royal? Wolfwille?)
I love Wolfville and there are some good value family hotels like Roselawn cottages. Great meals at Acton's and the Blomidin Inn.
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 10:19 AM
  #4  
Sergey
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Melissa and Rob, thanks much for your replies!

One more question: at this time of the year, would you advise to book our rooms ahead?
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #5  
Kim
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Hi, Sergey

I am doing a similar trip to yours 2 middle weeks in July and was advised by the great people on this board to book ahead and that was about 2 months ago and at that time I was calling places that had vacancies but not many, I would suggest pre-booking.

Maybe we will see ya in Nova Scotia, Have a wonderful trip.
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 01:33 PM
  #6  
Sergey
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Uh-oh... thanks for the warning. Please don't take all gemstones, leave some for us!
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:27 PM
  #7  
Molly
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Sergy,
My husband and I took both fossil and rocks/mineral tours with Dinotours out of Parrsboro and were quite happy with them. After we collected, we went back to their shop where our guide helped us to identify and label the rocks.
While in Parrsboro,we stayed at Gillespie House, which we found relaxing and the hosts most hospitable. I would definitely stay there again.
Be sure and visit the excellent geo- logical museum.
I wouldn't recommend staying very far from Yarmouth on the eve before your morning ferry back to the states unless you are VERY early risers. I believe that the ferry leaves around 8 am and that you need to be at the dock an hour before.
Have a nice trip!
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 09:54 PM
  #8  
Gil
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Hi,
You can make a quick detour if you really wanted from Moncton to PEI via the Confederation Bridge (in the Guineess Book of Records!). Drive down to Charlottetown or visit any of the beaches on the south shore (warm water!) then head back to Parrsboro via the bridge again in one day. The tolls are collected as you leave the island (same goes for the ferry, which is more expensive).
Enjoy your trip!
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 12:37 AM
  #9  
Rob
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Sergey,

I wouldn't woory too much about booking too far in advance...if you're flexible you'll find something. The NS tourism reservations scheme is pretty good just call the "800" number. Have Fun!!! I miss NS in the summer.

Rob
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 06:14 AM
  #10  
molly
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Sergy,
I was tired last night - I think that the am ferry leaves Yarmouth at 9, not 8. Used to be 10. Still early.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 08:07 PM
  #11  
Sergey
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Thanks all for your help!
 

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