Boston to Nova Scotia in July

Old May 28th, 2020, 05:58 PM
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Boston to Nova Scotia in July

Hi. We are looking for advice on planning our 7 day summer car trip from Boston to Nova Scotia this July. We're assuming and hoping that the borders will be open by then. We are early 60's, active, and enjoy beautiful scenery, local food, craft beer, hiking, nice walks and runs, and nice hotels with preferably a pool in case we just want to relax a day or two. I have done some research but in all honesty it is somewhat overwhelming. I even reviewed the "How should I research and plan my trip to Nova Scotia" per the Introductions to this travel forum. Yet with all that, we still need assistance. We will be driving the entire trip. In other words, no shortcuts via a ferry. Last year we went to Prince Edward Island with a stop over in St. Andrews on the way to and a stop over in Rockland, Maine on the way back. We know it is a lot of driving and could use all the advice we may get. Our main interest is Cape Breton and the Cabot trail. Other interests include the Cape Breton Highlands National Park for hiking and scenery and the Halifax waterfront unless advised otherwise. To give you an idea of what type of hotels we like, I have temporarily booked 3 nights at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. I did that just to be safe. I suspect that with only 7 nights we don't have the luxury of enjoying all of Nova Scotia. I understand that the Cabot trail is very long , i.e., 298km so I assume that the best way to enjoy it is to stay at a couple of places along the trail. So, hoping for advice, based on the 7 nights total trip and knowing that we will probably have a stop over similar to last year on the way as well as the way back. That leaves 5 nights. Does Halifax and Cape Bretton sound like a good introduction to Nova Scotia? Is this workable? 2 nights in Halifax? Or just 1? 2-3 nights along the Cabot Trail? Or is there something in between? Should we go to Cape Breton first or Halifax? Greatly appreciate all and any assistance in planning our trip. PS: We did the same last year for the Prince Edward Island Trip and it was fantastic! Looking so much forward for Nova Scotia. We visit Canada regularly and have never been to Nova Scotia. I'm hoping to start with the above requests and then possibly dig deeper into the places to stay and eat. Also, do we need to worry that we will not be welcome since we are from the US?
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Old May 29th, 2020, 12:57 PM
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If you click on my name, there will be plenty of responses to Nova Scotia queries on this forum. I've driven between Halifax and Boston 3 or 4 times... and IF I were setting sail in 2020 (withOUT thinking of Covid restrictions)... I can't even (decide again, having done both)... whether I'd go through Calais or via I-95 all the way.

I DO know that, on the way IN (because it's a priority, and getting those out of the way first is WISE)... I'd visit Hopewell Cape, NB.

Oh, I just put some pictures of Nova Scotia sites in one of my most recent posts... so again, click on my name...

Love the idea that you're driving... to reduce the Covid concerns considerably... AND with NS not on the way to anywhere, it should be quite cozy with regard to not drawing too many humans in the same locale. Not only THAT, but much of the best of NS can be viewed from the car, so that makes it better yet.

It IS rather "a haul" from Boston to NS... so perhaps with that in mind, maybe taking I-95 all the way will at least keep you moving at a solid tempo.

My quickest... impulse here... is to suggest targeting the Fredericton, NB area for a first night...

(since Boston to Baddeck is 800 miles... Fredericton is 432)

(putting this thought aside: ... add one more night on the way, and squeeze-in Fundy National Park { since Hopewell Cape IS quite important to see} )


1 - Fredericton
3 - Baddeck
4 - Baddeck
5 - Halifax
6 - Halifax
7 - MAY-be into Maine

I think that's worth it... SO I'd consider having a 2nd night... eh, somewhere in the Moncton-Truro path... the idea being to go from Fredericton to Coles Island, NB... to Sussex, NB... to Alma, NB and around to Hopewell Cape on that path.

Research Fundy NP for yourself... and then maybe even walk out on the tide flats at Alma if low tide is convenient.

... of course saving time for Hopewell Cape at low tide.

"Baddeck" is the strategic spot for Hopewell Cape and it affords the chance to assess the weather, and do the circuit of Hopewell Cape on the ('middle' day) if suitable... otherwise you can do something else that day, and (pray for better weather on the day AFTER a second night in Baddeck).

The raw Baddeck-to-Baddeck DRIVING TIME is 4 1/2 hours... and obviously it takes time to stop and walk the Skyline Trail... and stop for lunch somewhere... and at various viewpoints.

... one hopes that the Cabot Trail can be done on the middle day, but even if not, one can adjust and squeeze it in before high-tailing it out of Cape Breton on the same night.

Much of your then-itinerary is almost 'programmed'... yet it still seems the most optimum use of the time you have available.

With two nights in Halifax, tiz probably best to just stay local and relax away from the steering wheel... there is enough to do there, but you won't feel extremely lacking for time, as you might in New York City while wishing you could see evvvvvvvvvvverything.

The main idea for a tiny side trip would be, say, dinner at Peggy's Cove in the evening of your full day in Halifax.

The lively pace of such an itinerary would probably have you thankful that you just stayed in Halifax on that one day... to perhaps reinvigorate you for the steady path back home.

And the reason you allow this lively pace is because Nova Scotia isn't on the way to anywhere, and you don't know when you'll get back there again.

You cover the most important spots as soon as possible... and progress steadily through the rest of your time in the area.

When near Truro or Moncton you might schedule a time to watch the Tidal Bore if convenient to your timing:

Where ELSE are you going to see rivers turn around and flow up stream?

Anyway, mull this over and then come back with protests or complaints.

Last edited by NorthwestMale; May 29th, 2020 at 01:01 PM.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 12:44 AM
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It appears they plan to extend the USA/Canada border closing into the end of July.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 04:59 PM
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Thank you so much for all the Information. You obviously have a love and great knowledge of Nova Scotia. Apparently it is not looking so bright for us in USA to be able to visit this summer. However, maybe a fall trip. Whenever it is, I hope you don't mind if I reach back out to you.

Again, thanks! W
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 05:01 PM
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Thanks TLC195. I was expecting that. I am also expecting that it will be much longer.

FYI, I believe you helped me last summer with our PEI trip. Back then the plan was to visit NS this year. Hopefully we will soon.

Thanks, W
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 05:21 PM
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Glad we could help on your PEI trip.

Unfortunately our 3 week visit to PEI does not look good for late August. First time in 10 years we will not be visiting our most favorite place, we are looking forward to 2021!

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Old Jun 12th, 2020, 05:30 AM
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So sorry to hear that. We had such a wonderful time in PEI. We can't wait to go back as well. Hopefully you will get back there soon.

Thanks, Warren.
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