Drive around Nova Scotia

Sep 5th, 2009, 05:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 95
Drive around Nova Scotia

We are planning a 30 th wedding anniversary next August.

We are flying into Halifax and trying to plan a drive itinerary down the coast.

I want to:
stop at various light houses, sights
walk along the beach (I live in a trip to the ocean is a MAJOR treat for me!)
stay at Cape D'or (I think) - unless there's a better choice
Continue on around into the Bay of Fundy and book a whale watching trip
then continue on around and come back into big circle...

Is this trip a good plan or will there be nothing to do in some parts?
How long should I plan to stay? I've ordered guides from the Nova Scotia website, but would appreciate any great advice from those that have done it.....any words of wisdom as to place to stop or to stay would be appreciated.
crazyb1 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Unless you need nightlife or "attractions", there is plenty to see/do if you like nature. I hope you have at minimum, a whole week to do this- NS is bigger than most people think!

elberko is online now  
Sep 5th, 2009, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Last month, we flew into Halifax and drove to Lunenburg for 3 nights. Then we went to Wolfville for 2 nights; Pictou for 2 nights; Baddeck for 3 nights; Neil's Harbour for 2 nights; and Halifax for 2 nights. If we had to do it again, we would have stayed two nights in Digby instead of Wolfville.

A total of two weeks seemed a good length to us.

If you are going to Cape Breton and the national park, be sure to rent a car with more than 4 cylinders -- we almost killed the little Hyundai rental.
artsbabe is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 02:14 AM
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Thanks for the info.....have either of you stayed at
dOr lighthouse??
crazyb1 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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Nope, plus our trip was enough years ago that I'd hesitate to recommend lodging. Enjoy NS!

elberko is online now  
Sep 15th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Get your self a copy of the Doer's and Dreamers Guide to Nova Scotia for an abundance of info on lodging.

What you propose is totally 'doable', but you will need a bit more than a week to do it justice without racing.
LJ is offline  
Sep 17th, 2009, 12:59 AM
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I have visited the lighthouse at Cape D'or but never stayed. It is quite an unbelieveable site, steep drive up, but worth it once you arrive. I have heard great things about the food. It is probably something you won't experience anyplace else!

Parrsboro is another small village close to Cape D'Or where you could stay. Many lovely inns. If you like theatre, there is a small permanent local theatre company that provides several shows per season. Great fresh whole fried clams are a speciality along the shore. Just off of Parrsboro, there is a spot call "three islands" and in low tide you can walk the shores. Lots of fossils, etc. Parrsboro is also home to the geological museum. Along that route is a great mixture of artists with home galleries. That Dutchman Cheese is worth a stop - if you like blue cheese his is the best (Dragon's breath).
Tanya is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:42 PM
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Thanks all..Tanya...I'll sure check out the "dragons breath!"
crazyb1 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Just back from Canada. We spent two nights in Lunnenberg,the Sail Inn,quite a lot of stairs but very nice. Two nights at Louisbourg,the Harbour View Inn,excellent and two nights at Chetticamp,Merrys Motel,cheap and cheerful but clean. We then went to PEI which we thought was wonderful and stayed at A Garden View which was excellent.Then we crossed over to NB and stayed at Alma in the Bay of Fundy at the Cliffside Suites which was brilliant and had amazing views.

That was the first part of our Canadian adventure!
joandg is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 07:03 AM
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I have visited Cape D'or but stayed nearby in Advocate Harbour (Driftwood Park Retreat - very nice accommodations on a long stretch of cobble beach adjacent to a provincial park). That area of Nova Scotia is quite scenic and interesting particularly for its geological features. However, if this is your first trip and you're not planning on getting back for a while - I very highly recommend you spend time in Cape Breton touring Cape Breton National Park and surrounding areas. It is one of the most scenic areas in Canada. It is off your intended route, but you might want to reconsider..... Spectacular scenic driving over high headlands and alongside rugged coastlines. Lots of access to the shore with picnic areas and day hikes. And there are some beaches - near Dingwall which are beautiful and quiet, as well as more popular ones in the Ingonish Beach district.

Otherwise, the Lighthouse Route southwest of Halifax will offer you many lighthouses, historic towns (e.g. Lunenburg), picturesque little fishing villages (e.g. Peggy's Cove) and beaches - seek out the less developed ones as there are some gorgeous stretches of sand some of which are often practically deserted. Water tends to be very chilly however.

Whale watching - is popular from the top of Cape Breton but can be spectacular if the timing is right in the Bay of Fundy - with the best Whale tours from either Brier Island Nova Scotia (accessible by car) or Grand Mannan Island New Brunswick (accessible by car ferry).

The Fundy Tides are quite awesome and can be appreciated to some extent from anywhere along the Fundy Coasts of either province. It's best to see the low and high tide in one place to appreciate the dramatic contrast, and this is particularly vivid around Hopewell Rocks and Alma/Fundy National Park - both in New Brunswick.

Halifax is an exceptionally nice small-to-mid-sized city to spend a few days in. Vibrant Harbour district with boardwalk, historic buildings, interesting shops, museums, pubs and restaurants and can be a base for some daytrips up and down the coast.
mat54 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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I did a trip last year with 2 nights in Halifax, 2 nights in Lunenburg, 2 nights on Brier Island, 2 nights in Truro and then 2 nights in Halifax again. The Truro portion was family history, but the others were to see some of what you are looking for. You can find my trip report by clicking on my name.

In Lunenburg, I stayed at the Atlantic View Cottages and Motel and got a little cottage. It was really nice - not fancy, but very quaint. The view from my front porch included a lighthouse and the bay and beyond the ocean. There was also an osprey nest across the street. The area was very quiet and just minutes away from the center of Lunenburg. There is kitchenware, small fridge and an outdoor grill if you want to do some of your own cooking.

Brier Island Lodge is great. A short walk takes you to Seal Cove and there are lots of hiking trails all over the island. I went whale watching with Ocean Explorations Zodiak boat tours. The ride itself was exciting and we were able to get to the whales quicker than the bigger boats. It was also more personable and there were only about 8 of us on the boat. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

In Halifax, if you don't stay in the downtown area (I chose to stay at the Bluenose Inn-Howard Johnson in the basin), you can drive downtown and park at the Pier for $10 a day. Then hop on FRED (Free Rides Every Day bus) to get around the area. I did this every day I was in Halifax and it worked great.

P.S. Across the street from the Bluenose Inn is a great little pottery shop. It's called Clayworks ( and everything is made right there in the shop.
toedtoes is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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Wow you guys are awesome...thanks for the information....
crazyb1 is offline  

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