East Canada - where to concentrate?

Mar 26th, 2006, 02:03 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 23
East Canada - where to concentrate?

Hi. I am going to be going to New Brunswick on business - a town called Fredericton - in May. As this is one of our only opportunities to get to this part of Canada (it is a LONG way from New Zealand), we want to take a couple of weeks afterwards and look around. However, given the huge distances and therefore long travelling times between places in Canada, I need some help on making decisions.

One option is to leave Fredericton, and head to Quebec City, Montreal and maybe even down to Ottawa and then Toronto. However that seems like a lot of travelling.

Another option is to stay around New Brunswick, get a car and potter around the coast, and even go over to Nova Scotia. But I am struggling to find exactly what the highlights of this would be.

A third option we've considered is pottering around the coast and then down to Boston. Would this be interesting enough?

We love good food and wine, gorgeous scenery, interesting little towns, arts and craft, history etc ... but not really into much walking (ie we love the outdoors as long as we don't have to tramp around in the mud!)

Recommendations or comments on our two weeks in Canada would be gratefully received!
LindaNZ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 04:35 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Oh what a decision you have to make.
I'm trying to think what I'd do .
I suppose I'd think about flying to Montreal and renting a car... so see Montreal, drive to Ottawa, then Toronto and Niagara Falls.
Either fly back from Toronto or drive back to Montreal to avoid drop off charges with the car.

I have not been to teh east coast except for Newfoundland, but you could go to Halifax, drive the Cabot Trail which is beautiful, and go to Prince Edward Island.

It would basically come down to a 'city' type vacation or a sea coast, country type vacation.

Good luck...
kodi is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 06:24 PM
  #3  
BAK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Tough call.

If strangers asked you about coming to New Zealand, would you send them to the big cities, where they'd get a good idea of what I call Capital C culture --theatre, dance, art, etc. -- or would you give them a plan to visit the smaller places and the country, and lower case c culture, like community singalongs and amateur crafts and strolling along beaches?

And you are right, sort of, about distances.

If you set your mind to it, it's a day's drive from Fredericton to Quebec City, and a day from Quebec City to Toronto.

So every hour you stretch out these times, the more you see.

First, about Boston -- you could have a wonderful drive from Fredericton to Boston, but you'd have to figure out how to get a rental car across the border without big drop off fees.

But let's leave you in Canada.

Two weeks, decent budget, smart people, a decent amount of energy, and the intellect to get into a Canadian frame of mind for the period of the visit.

A Canadian frame of mind means putting in the miles. In large part, this is not a nation of 50 miles a day people, at least under 60 years of age.

So... I'm just thinking and typing ...

Saturday morning have breakfast with business contacts in Fredericton, pick up a rental car, and drive down to St. John and then to Sussex and catch a bit of Fundy national park and Moncton, for a late dinner.

Sunday, keep your hotel room, drive over to Shediac and see the lobster statue and visit PArlee Beach (too cold to swim) and get an idea of the summer cottages of maritimers.

(we now pause for a sec while I think about sdending you to Prince Edward Island. No for now but we may come back to this question)

Drive along the Northumberland Strait coast for a while, looking in the little villages, and get as far as the bridge to Prince Edward Island. It's worth a look. Then follow the road to the NB / Nova Scotia border, cross into Nova Scotia just to say you were there. then turn back into new Brunswick, stroll around Sackville -- a university town, home to the school that educated my mother and grandmother and uncle and a bunch of other relatives -- and then drive back to Moncton, past the Dorchester Penitentiary. My grandfather spent a lot of time them, but on the outside of the bars. (Judge)

And back to Moncton for dinner.

Monday morning, head back sort of toward Shediac, except turn north and follow the coast of Northumberland Strait towards Quebec. Lots of "nature" on the way, with rreasonable walks, including boardwalks over the mud. Honest.

Pick some town to stop in half way or so to quebec City.

Tuesday make sure you stop in St. Jean Port Jolie (famous for wood carvings) and some of the other towns, and get to Quebec City in the afternoon.

Tuesday night in Quebec City. Even on a Tuesday evening in May, this is a romanitc town with great food.

Wednesday moprning in Quebec City, and then you can head for Montreal in mid afternoon.

Another pause -- a day spent in The Eastern Townships, around Sherbroke? Hmmm... Let's leave this for now.

Wednesday night and Thursday night in Montreal.

Friday morning, leave Montreal and head for Ottawa. Fairly boring drive, but only a couple of hours.

Friday night and Saturday night in Ottawa, Good restaurants, good entertainment, excellent museums, a good mix of man-0made stuff and nature. Cross the ottawa River and go up into the Gatineau Hills.

Sunday morning, -- bit of a routing question. You could vist Algonquin park and the Muskoka area, which is wilderness and respoiorts, but you really are a month or more early.

Or, and this is what I've done a hundred times, leave Ottawa and head south west. Take highway 7 out of ottawa so you go through Perth and Smiths Falls and angle down toward Highway 401 and the City of Kingston.

Sunday night -- Kingston.

Monday morning follow the lake west to the ferry at Glenora and go to Prince Edward County (not PE Island, which is near Shediac and Moncton) and follow the roads across this island, visiting Picton, and working your way toward Trenton.

If you like warplanes, there's a museum in Trenton.

From Trtenton, Highway 01 untilyou see signs for Cobourg. Back to Highway 2 through Cobourg and Port Hope, back to Hioghway 401, and then into Toronto.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights in Toronto.

Keep the car on Tuesday, and drive to Niagra Falls (which is a city and a waterfall) and Niagara on the Lake, (which is a tourist town surrounded by vineyards, and full of restaurants. Have dinner here) and back to Toronto Tuesday night.

Except that it'll be too late, you could get rid of the car.

Wednesday, enjoy Toronto (there's a million messages in this forum about Toronto)

Thursday, enjoy Toronto.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, etc... it all depends on when you leave Canada, and from where. You could have used this extra time going to Prince Edward Island for a day, or more time in Montreal or Quebec City or the Eastern Townships...

BAK




BAK is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 04:14 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The Maritimes would be a lovely spot to visit, however, there may not be much open in May. Tourist season typically starts towards the end of May but a lot of operators are not open until June. However, having said that, there are the capitals of each Province which would provide you with lots of interesting things to do.

You would thoroughly enjoy Quebec City and Montreal and I would highly recommend it. Toronto I would probably miss but Ottawa should be in full bloom. In Quebec you could also visit the townships, etc. If you do a search on this site, you will find lots of good info.
Tanya is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 07:43 AM
  #5  
ltt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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if you want city life, head off to quebec city, montreal and ottawa.
if you prefer smaller towns, scenary, etc, i'd recommend the following (i did my first trip out this way last summer for 2 months - awesome)
in newbrunswick be sure see fundy national park (nice golf course there if that interests you) and hopewell rocks. best to see this first at high tide (just need an hour or so for this) and then again at low tide to appreciate the difference. your addmission ticket is good for 24 hours so you can experience both. during low tide, i'd recommend about 2-3 hours to waunder around.
then, i'd head off to nova scotia. highlights there for me halifax (i'd recommend the waverley inn - great inn, good location), the cabot trail (need about 3-4 nights there) and i also liked the town of pictou up north. the "digby neck" is suppose to be very nice too but i didn't make it there.
if you want to include boston (which i loved), drop your rental car off in canada and take the ferry from yarmouth, nova soctia down to bar harbor maine. spend a day or two seeing acadia national park and then work your way down to boston. or, if you want to skip bar harbor, you can take the ferry down to portland, maine which would put you closer to boston. http://www.catferry.com/
three (or more) nights in boston is good. i recommend the newbury guest house.
this may be too much if you only have two weeks but, as you said, it's a long way from new zealand so you should try to stay as long as you can.
enjoy.
ltt is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 12:24 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I just have to put in a positive word for my home town. If you do , indeed decide to visit Montreal, Ottawa, please DO include Toronto. It's a great city.
Many visitors come here and love it.

If you think it might be your only trip to Canada, you have such a decision to make! Good luck.
kodi is offline  
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