Boston to Prince Edward Island

May 5th, 2019, 07:43 AM
  #1  
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Boston to Prince Edward Island

Hi. My wife and I (Early 60's) are planning a mid-July driving trip from Boston (actually we are 10 miles north of Boston) to Prince Edward Island. First, we do want to drive. We actually enjoy seeing different scenery by driving. Could any one recommend a nice place to stay on the way there (roughly half way) and then again on the way back? Our thought is that we do not want to drive the 9 hours plus all in one day but rather stay somewhere overnight both going and coming. Also, how many nights would you recommend in Prince Edward Island? And any specific hotels or preferably resorts?
We are active, enjoy hiking, and walking. I enjoy my craft beers and we love great local food. My preference would be a nice resort with an outside pool. Not sure there will be much swimming based on the weather but just in case. Location would be key.
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, W
WarrenWST is offline  
May 6th, 2019, 05:54 AM
  #2  
 
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Check out the thread below on PEI and Halifax I listed the things we like to do on PEI. If you have any questions just ask.

Halifax and PEI
tlc195 is online now  
May 7th, 2019, 04:27 PM
  #3  
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HI. Thank you so much!

But now we are going back and forth on should we go to PEI or Nova Scotia or PEI or Nova Scotia?? It's driving me crazy. We love Canada. We have been to Montreal and Quebec multiple times, MT Tremblant, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Banff (my favorite!!!), Jasper, and last summer to Charlevoix. So this year we thought we would drive up the eastern coast by car. I saw great reviews on PEI and my wife and I thought it would be a great trip. We have been to northern Maine (Bar Harbor) multiple times and have also stayed in Camden and Rockport Maine which were also great trips. But no sooner did I post my question on Fodor's that I started reading about the beautiful Cabot trail in Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick! So now I really need your help. What would be the perfect trip in your mind? Can we do it all and still have time to enjoy? If not, then we'll just have to take multiple trips over time.

I thought it would be best to stay overnight somewhere 1/2 way between Boston and PEI (or Nova Scotia) and people have mentioned St. Andrews which looks really nice, On the way back, maybe stay overnight at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Maine (We really liked that resort) Originally we were thinking a total of 5 nights . But now if 7 nights allow us to enjoy all of the above then we would do that.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, W
WarrenWST is offline  
May 8th, 2019, 05:43 AM
  #4  
 
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So do you want a driving vacation or sit on the beach and relax vacation? I think you are trying to pack too much into 7 days, can it be done sure, but unless you like a lot of windshield time ..... Pick 2 NS and NB or NB and PEI and save the other for the next time. You can easily spend a week in PEI or NS and fill up your week no problem. Both places are very rural compared to what you are used to, big resorts are few and far between. Most places are local owned cottages, B&B, and small hotels once you leave places like Halifax, Charlottetown, etc so plan accordingly. In 1985 we did the NS and PEI vacation and fell in love with PEI and have been back many times so be careful you may find you will be making this trip in the future....perhaps many times....lol.
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May 8th, 2019, 03:04 PM
  #5  
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Thanks. Agree that we may be trying to do so much. I'll start looking to see if we are able to find some nice B &B 's in PEI and NS and go from there. Any recommendations for those and well as St. Andrews?

Thanks! W
WarrenWST is offline  
May 12th, 2019, 06:56 PM
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If it were me, with (further) interest in the Maritimes, and living in the Boston area, I WOULD go to Nova Scotia this year because it isn't on the way to anywhere, and it would be too easy to let life just keep happening to you without ever having cause or complete inspiration for getting back there again.

And I guess I would try to target Fredericton area for the first night.

On the next day, you target Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick for a visit at low tide... and IF that timing of the low tide is suitable, AND IF you could be interested, you might target a night beside a lighthouse on the Bay of Fundy at Cape D'or, NS, for your 2nd night.... I guess you'd target either Halifax OR the Cabot Trail area for a 3rd night (probably shouldn't attempt both on this trip, with your time constraints) AND a 4th night (2 in the same place might get your head on straight again) (but don't worry - you can DRIVE for 5 hours on a circuit of the Cabot Trail in between those consecutive nights in Baddeck). (the obligatory sightseeing stops add time to that 5 hours)

SO now there are two nights left... IF you timed the Ferry suitably near Pictou, NS, you could ferry over to PEI and stay near Charlottetown while affording yourselves a brief sense of the rolling hills and rural setting of PEI.

Then maybe you leave the last night as a variable, to depend upon how long you want to stick around PEI the next day, and how inspired you are for getting and staying on the road.

I don't suppose that anything more break-neck than that pace would be suitable, but this would afford perhaps enough sense of the area to motivate you to want to go back one day (sooner vs. later).


And if nothing ever motivates you to get back to the Maritimes, then at least you'll have afforded yourself the experience I've described.
NorthwestMale is offline  
May 12th, 2019, 08:01 PM
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If you are looking for a great hotel in St.Andrews then “The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Autograph Collection” is a fabulous choice.

If you are looking for a B&B, then maybe consider "Windsor House of St. Andrews B&B". Jay, the owner, welcomed us in his old mansion built in 1798... really old and meticulously restored house with lovely reading room, old kitchen, very nice patio and the balcony facing the Water St., where all the restaurants and shops are. For those who like B&Bs it is a great place to stay; we still prefer “The Algonquin”.

vinonobile987 is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 05:08 PM
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Thanks. A lot of info to take in. We agree with all in that we shouldn't plan to pack too much in so we will most likely try and plan New Brunswick and Nova Scotia this time around. Thanks everybody for your help. I'll start searching for nice hotels or B&B's. Our preference would not be to stay just one night at any location. I'm thinking 1 or 2 nights in St. Andrews considering the 1st night is basically arriving and sleeping, 3 nights in Nova Scotiia (possibly 2 different locations and 1 or 2 nights somewhere on our way back to Boston. Again, thanks, W
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May 13th, 2019, 05:12 PM
  #9  
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Thanks for the recommendations! All look great! W
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May 19th, 2019, 04:13 PM
  #10  
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Hi. What you say makes a lot of sense in terms of going to Nova Scotia. Since it is a long drive, what do you think about staying a night in St. Andrews at the Algonquin as mentioned in the forum, then a night a you mentioned near Hopewell Cape, NB (any recommendations of actual B&B's or hotels?). Considering that I would really want to see the Cabot Trail and understand from your advice that Halifax may then be out of the equation could you recommend a place or places to stay that would allow us enough time to enjoy the Cabot Trail and relax. I figure if we stay 2 nights in NB as mentioned above and we want to allow 2 nights on the long drive back to Boston that would give us 2 or possibly 3 nights in NS hopefully enough to enjoy the Cabot Trail.
WarrenWST is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 08:02 PM
  #11  
 
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Your path is slightly tricky in terms of needing to cover ground in order to reach Cape Breton to afford yourself some comfortable sightseeing.

Thus I would NOT try for a night near to Hopewell Cape.

St. Andrews is a fine idea, and it splits the Boston-to-Baddeck trip roughly in half, which is ideal.

St. Andrews to Hopewell Cape is perhaps 3.5 hours... and you time it so LOW TIDE is happening very near to your visit.
(you can tinker with trip dates and tide tables NOW... to see if the tide timing is ideal for your trip window)

Here is data for Hopewell Cape: 7 days Tidal Predictions - Tides, Currents, and Water Levels



Upon seeing Hopewell Cape at LOW tide, you might then even dare to try to get all of the way to Baddeck for that 2nd night.

Hopewell Cape just doesn't need a 'night' ... and you can put the time to much better use later.

(perhaps even to ferry from Pictou, NS to PEI along the path back)

Last year I stayed in Baddeck, Cheticamp and Sydney on Cape Breton. Cheticamp is perhaps strategic in affording an early start if one is intent upon hiking the Skyline Trail. (location lets you dawdle or hustle depending upon the weather)

Others love to stay in Ingonish.

Those who aren't at all rushed for time have it better than most, and it often depends on how much ground one intends to cover on arrival/departure days, just where the ideal-for-them spot to stay on Cape Breton really is.

(someone likely to have driven in from St. Andrews prooooooooooooooobably doesn't want the added time to get to Cheticamp from Baddeck)

Now maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe the answer is to stop short, and stay, perhaps, in Pictou, NS... on the path in.. and then drive all the way to Cheticamp for that 3rd night. That lets you get the full effect of the Cabot Trail from an early-ish start, as well as offering you enough TIME to get to some other chosen spot for the next night, be it

Ingonish
Baddeck
Mabou
Margaree


or maybe you trade Cheticamp for INGONISH, as your 3rd night, while still having everything right there when you awaken in the morning, before then going around the trail counter-clockwise, and targeting some pre-selected spot near the west coast of Cape Breton for the next night's lodging.

After that, perhaps (back) down to Pictou, and off toward Charlottetown, PEI (be sure to save $50 for the toll bridge off of PEI )

(clarity: FIFTY dollars ) (ok, it's only $47.75)


So lets see:

St. Andrews
Pictou / New Glasgow / Antigonish area (for night #2)
Baddeck / Ingonish / Cheticamp areas (for night #3)

Margaree Harbour / Inverness / Mabou or SOMEwhere thereabouts (for night #4)

Charlottetown, PEI (for night #5)

(you COULD even do two nights in Charlottetown, or on PEI somewhere... saving one for the middle of the long trek home from there)


(*** the map thing online says 11.5 hours from Charlottetown to Boston... but that is with some listed "traffic delays" )
NorthwestMale is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 03:46 AM
  #12  
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That is a lot of information. Thank you so much. My wife and I are having back and forth discussions between NB and PEI or NB and NS of which you just helped. So now that I have asked the NS expert I may do the same for the PEI expert and see whether my wife and I may come to an agreement for this year and do the other the following.
But again, you info is exactly what I was looking for NS! Thank You.
WarrenWST is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 03:58 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Warren,

Alma is close to Hopewell Rocks, but all the motels in Alma looked very unattractive, so we stayed in Moncton, at the Delta Marriott, and drove to Hopewell Rocks from there.

In Mabou, we stayed at the "Inn at Glendyer". The house was OK, but the dirt road to get to it was not something that made my husband happy. The Inn is tucked in the woods, but is easy to find: there are several signs on the main road pointing to it. We were warned by the owner to change shoes (fine with us) and he kindly helped us with our bags. Well, the Inn was not to my taste: way too simple, but breakfast was very good and fresh: delicious eggs, bran raisin muffins and bowl of fruit and berries. We had two rooms upstairs: a bedroom (very small) and a seating room with a twin bed. One unexpected set back there: at 5 am in the morning, I was woken up by the loud big rooster who was fighting for food with three beautiful blue birds right outside my window.😊

And we also stayed in Baddeck, at the “Silver Dart Lodge” which is a typical busy motel tolerable for one night. We liked the look and spectacular location of the "Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa", I wish we would have stayed there (we were there for the beautiful hike, “Middle Head Trail”).
vinonobile987 is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 03:50 PM
  #14  
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Thank you so much, I love getting all this information, I was considering Innisfree B&B or Chimira Farms near Hopewell Cape.I think I will check out the Keltic Lodge. Sounds good!

My wife and I decided that we would either go to NB and NS or NB and PEI this year and the other one the year after, Still have a lot more planning to do.

Thanks, W
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May 20th, 2019, 07:00 PM
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Two trips is an excellent decision, Warren! We had done exactly the same coming from Boston. There are so many beautiful places in NB and NC! Our second trip included Halifax, lovely Peggy Cove, historic Grand Pre site with its poignant past (expulsion of Acadians) and charming Nova Scotia Vineyards (Grand Pre, Lightfoot, Gaspereau, L'Acadie, Luckett) as well as PEI. And we loved our walks in Chignecto Provincial Park not far from Parrsboro - gorgeous red rocks, open ocean...

And we have not made it to Yarmouth yet... So maybe it is time to plan trip #3 😊

Have a wonderful trip! You will love Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
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May 21st, 2019, 03:35 AM
  #16  
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Thank you . Are you Abel to share your experiences in PEI as well?

Everybody will think I am crazy (at least those in this forum) but as my wife and I talked more she said, NS is so big and we are really going to want to enjoy it so we should plan a week just there so let's plan a week amongst NB and PEI. So, I'm looking at both and will decide which one this year and which one next. I admit, I made a lot of progress last night with the NB and PEI trip. I booked the Algonquin in St. Andrews for 1 night, the Innisfree B&B in Hopewell Cape the 2nd night (I know others have recommended that we didn't necessarily need a night there but we want to see both low and hi tides and enjoy more of the Bay of Fundy area). From there we are thinking 3 nights in PEI. Based on a lot more research on Google we may just stay in one place and make day trips. The big question is where? We are both very active and love to relax as well. We like hiking, walking, sitting by the beach, having a nice cold draft beer and great food and so on. I plan on calling their tourism bureau for a suggestion. Based on all the books I have from the library, i.e., Fodor's, Moon, etc.. Dalvay Beach resort looks really nice. Possibly Cavendish. Or maybe Charlottetown. See my dilemma. It's tough when you have never been there. We want to be close to the confederation trail for hiking or biking yet close enough to the beach for beautiful scenery and walking along. The PEI national park looks great as well! But, I am becoming more and more familiar the more ai talk to people like yourself and all the others. Everybody has contributed to our knowledge and I know it's very difficult because everybody has different tastes. On there way back we plan on 2 nights somewhere. Maybe Samoset Resort in Camden Maine before heading home. We have been there before and really liked it. But right now, I need to finalize PEI and then work on NS a little more. PEI was easier since it is smaller. Thank you all again for bearing with me! W
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May 21st, 2019, 04:07 AM
  #17  
 
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Pei

Hi Warren,

This is from my TA trip report: the PEI part. Very biased and personal opinion - we like other parts of Nova Scotia more.

“The drive from St.Andrews was long, uneventful and not particularly scenic. We arrived to the "Delta Hotels Prince Edward by Marriott" in Charlottetown around 4pm. It did not take us long to check in and we went for a walk to explore Charlottestown.

Our hotel was absolutely wonderful, except for very slow elevators.

To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by Charlottestown... everything was just average: the harborwalk, St.Dunstan Cathedral, Victoria Row, and even music. To me it was a town that lacks its own face... Now, after we have spent our first evening in Halifax, I understand what a great decision it was to spend two nights in Halifax and only one night on PEI.

In the morning, we drove to Prince Edward National Park and walked on the Rustico boardwalk before that. The Rustico walk was pleasant and Prince Edward National Park offered beautiful views, but they pale in comparison with Cape Chignecto and Fundy Trail Parkway, IMO. We also visited "Anne of Green Gables" park and walked on the Lover's Lane. I never expected to be overly impressed by this park, but we loved it: it is so atmospheric and poetic in its simplicity. The "Anne of Green Gables" house is also charming. And it was our last stop on PEI before crossing the Confederation Bridge again back to Nova Scotia.”

I hope it helps. If you want, I can send you a message with the links to my NB and NS trip reports (they are both on TA, not on Fodor’s).
vinonobile987 is offline  
May 21st, 2019, 05:36 PM
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That is very interesting. Thank you for the information. Yes, I would like to view your TA reports. It's such a hard choice but we know we'll end up doing both at some time. I did book Dalvay by the Sea for 3 nights but now I'm wondering if that is too many. I was told that it is very nice and a great location. If we do go to PEI this year we will definitely go to NS next year where we will be able to spend more time. I am dying to drive the Cabot Trail. That was our first choice but as we dug deeper it seemed that we wouldn't have enough time for NS if we spent 2 nights in NB so we thought , heck, let's do PEI this year and have a full week in NS next year. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!
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May 21st, 2019, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrenWST View Post
That is very interesting. Thank you for the information. Yes, I would like to view your TA reports. It's such a hard choice but we know we'll end up doing both at some time. I did book Dalvay by the Sea for 3 nights but now I'm wondering if that is too many. I was told that it is very nice and a great location. If we do go to PEI this year we will definitely go to NS next year where we will be able to spend more time. I am dying to drive the Cabot Trail. That was our first choice but as we dug deeper it seemed that we wouldn't have enough time for NS if we spent 2 nights in NB so we thought , heck, let's do PEI this year and have a full week in NS next year. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!
As I indicated in this posting

Halifax and PEI

PEI is completely different then NS. PEI is so much more then just Charlottetown do not base your experience of PEI just on Charlottetown. Many folks visit via a cruise ship and think they have visited PEI by going to Charlottetown they missed the beauty of PEI.

Make sure you check out Greenwich national park and the boardwalk across the bogs details in the above link. Also eat at Richards just down the road ( to the left where you are staying) does not look like much but great seafood. PEI is a very casual place so dress and plan accordingly.

Enjoy your vacation.
tlc195 is online now  
May 22nd, 2019, 03:14 AM
  #20  
 
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We visited PEI not on a cruise ship (we never go on cruises). We loved the island, the hikes, Confederation Bridge, but we liked other spots in NS and NB more. The Grand Pre site, Wolfsville vineyards, historic Annapolis Royal, the hikes on the Cabot Trail, beach walks in Inverness, charming Lunenburg and Mahone Bay....

And Fundy Trail Parkway in NB is just stunning, not just the drive itself; the hikes are so lovely...

Warren, excellent decision to go for a second trip after your first one! This is exactly what we had done and will be driving to NS again for the third one. We miss Cape Chignecto😊

I will send you the links to my trip reports via PM.
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