Atlantic Canada

Old Feb 18th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Atlantic Canada

My husband and I are considering a trip to atlantic canada this summer probably July.
We have been to canada a few times and the last trip was to BC and was absolutley fantastic. We really like the idea of this part of canada but have absoluitley no idea of an intinery.
We have around three weeks and are considering Novia Scotia/New Brunswick/PEI is that too much ? we will be hiring a car but wondered how the driving is ?Are ther opportunties not to use a car ?
So basically any advice that you can give us would be great, hotels places to visit etc, We will be flying in from the UK so I am thinking halifax as a first stop . We enjoy outdoors hiking etc but also like to stay somewhere on occasions with good restaurants and some nighlife.
One more question how is the weather at this time of year of course being from the UK we are used to rain , but would really prefer dry weather ???
Thanks for any advice.
sallyhad is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Hi - I've enjoyed quite a few vacations in Atlantic Canada over the past 20 years. You will definitely need a car. This is a destination for scenic touring and exploring. Three weeks should be fine to experience the highlights of the 3 provinces.

There is lots to describe and recommend but here's a start with a few of my favourite areas:

- Cape Breton, especially the "Cabot Trail" scenic route through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. A number of nature trails and short to medium hikes. Some quaint fishing villages. Possible bases include Baddeck: a little tourist town in a pretty setting with a number of Inns and B&B's; Ingonish area - a string of seaside hamlets offering cabins, chalets, a couple of resorts and some B&B's, and Cheticamp - an Acadian Fishing Village which now also offers a variety of tourist accommodations for people exploring the park. There is also Celtic Culture on Cape Breton (some famous fiddlers come from here), history buffs enjoy Louisbourg, and there are whale-watching excursions.

- Halifax: a vibrant small to medium city with a very nice Harbour District offers a good selection of dining and nightlife options. Halifax can serve as a base for day trips to closer sections of the "Lighthouse Route", e.g. scenic little Peggy's Cove, charming Mahone Bay and Historic Lunenburg. Spending a few days touring farther down the Lighthouse Route is also enjoyable. Lots of charming fishing villages, coastal scenery and some lovely and sparsely used (but very cold) beaches.

- For accommodation and other information check out the official NS Tourism site: https://www.novascotia.com/en/home/p...s/default.aspx

- The New Brunswick Fundy Shore is another unique and scenic area with the famous Fundy Tides best appreciated I think at Alma/Fundy National Park and Hopewell Rocks (plan on staying at least long enough to view the dramatic constrast of high and low tide).

There are other pretty and unique spots to explore, but I always recommend the above as "musts". PEI I have less experience with and will leave that for others to make recommendations.

One other comment - July is a popular vacation month, you might want to firm up your accommodation plans soon.
mat54 is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 08:31 AM
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thanks so much for your response it is really useful. so would you recommend starting at halifax ? and one more thing how are the roads, neither of us enjoy driving much when we are on vacation but realise that it is probabaly the only way to get around. Would we need a car say in Halifax ? any information that you give is really appreciated.
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Old Feb 19th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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sallyhad,

I've visited Atlantic Canada without a car on 3 different locations and pieced together enjoyable trips, but I won't lie to you, Atlantic Canada and many highlights (such as the Cabot Trail, many places along the Lighthouse Route and Bay of Fundy) are frankly inaccessible without a car.

Mostly the only places where it is even feasible to be carless would be when visiting the larger communities and a few tourist haunts. I've visited Halifax NS (4 days on two different occasions), Moncton NB (1 day) and Charlottetown PEI (4 days) without a car. I liked all three and managed just fine, thankfully due to their compact nature and the presence of an adequate number of amenities one can walk to in their central cores. Local transit options got me to Fisherman's Cove and Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Anne of Green Gables House/Cavendish/cycling in PEI National Park (one can sign up for a daily round trip shuttle bus from Charlottetown-Cavendish) from Charlottetown.

Halifax in my opinion has enough to keep a carless visitor busy for a few days (visiting the Citadel, Historic Properties, Point Pleasant Park, perhaps even a Grayline tour to Peggy's Cove, etc...). Charlottetown for us was about the terrific cycling opportunities (Confederation Trail!) and seafood, so we were happy, but those who don't cycle and need to see new sites continually might be content for maybe only a day or two sans auto.

For many Atlantic Canada lovers though, the pleasure though is less in the cities and more in seeing nature, lighthouses and small seaside villages and for this, options are very restricting for the car-less.

Have a great trip, Daniel
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Old Feb 19th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Hi, Sally,
mat's thumbnail sketch is great!
I would add Chester (which is located on the body of water called Mahone Bay, not to be confused with the town/village of Mahone Bay) and Hubbards to my "Day Trip List" from Halifax.

You do not require a car to tour Halifax itself. However, you will have to rent a car for day trips. Driving is easy in NS. I hate to drive, and avoid it whenever psooible, but I do not mind driving in NS and PEI.

You will need a car for the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.( unlss you book a bus tour or some kind of tour but that would make your Cape Breton trip inflexible but it works for some people) I would allow about 5 days for Cape Breton Island. You have to allow for "fog days". If it is foggy, you can't see any of the spectacular scenery!

If you have not already done so, order your complimentary Travel Guide/Maps from Nova Scotia Tourism.

www.novascotia.com
Click on "Plan Your Trip" and then on "Travel Guides" for The NS Doers' and Dreamers' Travel Guide. They also have a Travel Guide dedicated to Halifax.

July is a beautiful time to visit Canada's 3 Maritime provinces: NS, NB and PEI. There are 3 Maritime provinces and 4 Atlantic provinces: NS, NB, PEI amd Newfoundland/Labrador.
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Old Feb 19th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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I posted b/f seeing Daniel's post. Excellent ideas! PEI cycling is wonderful. Also, lots of beautiful golf courses on PEI.

OB1
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Old Feb 19th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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You can order, download, or view the Prince Edward Island visitors' guide here:

http://www.tourismpei.com/pei-visitors-guide

To order the New Brunswick travel guide:

http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/VisitorsGuide.aspx

To use the online NB trip planner:

http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/MyTripPlanner.aspx


Tall ships will be in Halifax July 19-23 and in smaller ports July 24-29. That might add to the crowding in Halifax, so definitely firm up plans as soon as you can.

http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/th...vascotia/20923
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Old Feb 20th, 2012, 07:47 AM
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I agree with the other responders that you don't need a car right in Halifax, assuming you don't plan to do any daytrips from there. You will need a car otherwise. The driving is good, good roads and highways (but get off the bigger highways as much as you can to see the best scenery), generally not too busy. I see that 5 days was recommended for Cape Breton and this is typically what I spend there, but I know lots of people who take just a couple of days to do the Cabot Trail Tour so don't cross it off your list even if your final itinerary limits your time here. People do talk about fog a lot but, maybe just by luck, I've never found it to be a huge problem in my 4 or 5 visits there. Sometimes morning fog that burns off, and sometimes evening fog (do watch out for moose suddenly walking out onto the road at these times when driving through forested areas).
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