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East coast and west coast- best way to travel?

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May 28th, 2007, 01:22 AM
  #1
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East coast and west coast- best way to travel?

We are planning 3 weeks in Canada in June/July next year (from Australia). I know how huge Canada is and would like to concentrate on flying into Vancouver, exploring there and Vancouver Island, then travelling to Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise -either by train or car. Then I would like to fly to the east coast and visit Nova Scotia and particularly Prince Edward Island. If we took the train into the Rockies, can you break your journey ie. stay 2 nights at Jasper, then resume? Do we need to backtrack to Vancouver to fly to Halifax? I know there's a lot I'm missing in the middle, but 3 weeks is not long. Last question - am I being too ambitious trying to do both the east and west coasts? Should I choose one and hope we can come again?

Many thanks for your advice
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May 28th, 2007, 02:31 AM
  #2
 
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Do one coast! Three weeks isn't enough time to do both. You will need a couple of days just to adjust to the time change - spend those relaxing in one spot so you can enjoy the rest of your trip.
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May 28th, 2007, 03:22 AM
  #3
 
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If you take the train to Jasper and stop for a couple of days, no you cannot resume your journey to Lake Louise and Banff by train.....

because the train doesn't go that direction. The train through Jasper continues on to Edmonton. There is no train that goes directly from Jasper to Banff.
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May 28th, 2007, 06:22 AM
  #4
BAK
 
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Would you suggest to Canadiana that they could see the east coast and west coast of Australia in three weeks?

It's pretty much the same idea -- yes you can do it, and it would be fun, but you might want to concentrate on one coast instead of trying both.

Me? Two weeks west and one week east.

Rent a car in Vancouver and drop it in Calgary.

Fly to Halifax, rent a car, drive in a cirecle in what we call The Maritmes (Nova Scotia, Neww Brunswick, Prince Edward Island) and return to Halifax. Fly home.

But I'm a moving-around kind of a traveller. I like to see the surface, but three days exploring a field of flowers and a beach is two and a half days too long for me. Other people like the depth.

BAK
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May 28th, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #5
 
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Judy,
We once bought a beat-up car for $500 in Sydney and sold it 6 or 7 weeks later in Perth for $300.
But the middle of Canada is a bit like the middle of Aussie---not a lot to see or do.
We just returned, last week, from the Vancouver area. We flew into & rented a car in Seattle but only because it was a lot cheaper than Vancouver. We then ferried from Port Angeles to Victoria, spent the night (rented bikes and biked the Gallopping Goose rail/trail for an afternoon. Then 3 hour drive to Tofino, which is a bit like the South Island of New Zealand.(Hiking Heaven)!
Ferried over to Vancouver, up to Whistler (1 nite is enough here: Do the Zip-Trek $100 if its in your budget), up to Jasper (At least 2 nites)--down to Banff (Major construction going on here--we did not even spend the nite here) and then back to Vancouver/Seattle area. It took us 12 days.
I agree w/ BAK: 2 weeks West, 1 week East. PEI reminds me of Scotland---just drive around until you see a B&B sign---extremely friendy people. (If you can spend a nite in Old Quebec too...very European...)
Thats my 2 cents worth...
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May 28th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #6
 
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Hi Judy,

I rather like your travel plans, and think that you can have a wonderful time on your trip.

Don't know what costs are for you, but as someone alluded to, you might research flights and car rentals into/out of both Seattle, USA and Portland (in MAINE, east coast, USA --- BE CAREFUL, there are TWO Portlands, one west coast, in Oregon, USA, and the other in Maine, USA, east coast)... just in case the flights and car rental charges are significantly lower.

I do NOT claim to know how much more hassle it would be for you to cross to and from USA and Canada... so be sure you are sufficiently documented to make that easy, IF you consider that idea.

I know all of the areas you are considering, and I think that your instincts have served you well from so far away.

I think you could do a circular route in BC/Alberta and return to either Vancouver or Seattle after a suitable tour of the area. Then you would fly to either Portland, Maine, or Halifax, NS, most likely, for your eastern loop.

I say you are NOT too ambitious for trying this plan, and the splendor on either coast of Canada is probably more enticing than all of what is in the middle. (I guess it is a lot like OZ in that way... where the happening areas are along the coasts)

Once you iron out your general plan you can ask specifics here later.
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May 28th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #7
LJ
 
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I am not sure I have totally grasped your routing, but I think I am correct in saying that you finish your Rockies tour in Banff? (BTW, it is hard to believe the whole place would be under construction, but perhaps you can post that here as a separate question-it certainly seems to be an issue!)

If that is correct, then I think you will find it easier to get from Calgary to Halifax than to back-track to Vancouver. You may have to route via Toronto anyway.

Also, speaking as one who has lived on both coasts, personally, I feel there is a lot of redundancy in what is on offer between Jasper and Banff.

I would favour a 50/50 split and visit the South Shore and Cape Breton areas of Nova Scotia rather than concentrating solely on PEI. There is more authenticity in NS and NB than in PEI which, while charming, is more touristy and seems to be getting overrrun by golf courses.
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May 28th, 2007, 01:12 PM
  #8
wow
 
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I was inclined to reverse BAK's timetable & suggest 2 weeks on the East coast & 1 week on the West coast but that is b/c I am partial to the East Coast. Then I read Pete1222's post & now think you shd do 12 days on the West Coast & 9 days on the East coast. On the East Coast I wld focus on NS & make sure that you get to Cape Island to tour The Cabot Trail. Then head for PEI. I wld skip New Brunswick if you are pressed for time.

Or, you cld focus on East or West as Tanya has suggested. If you do this then I wld suggest the East Caost for the 3 weeks. With 3 weeks you cld see Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland! If you must go in June, go as late as possible. The best time to visit the East caost wld be mid July & early August. It can still be chilly in June.
You can get a NS travel guide @ www.novascotia.com to get you started!
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May 28th, 2007, 01:15 PM
  #9
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Major Typo: Cape Breton Island( somehow the Breton was left out...sorry!)
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May 28th, 2007, 01:35 PM
  #10
LJ
 
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Re: weather on East Coast...all usual rules no longer apply-it was 30 degrees (85) in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on Saturday, May 26th-friends of ours visiting there were forced to go out to buy T-shirts and shorts!
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May 28th, 2007, 10:28 PM
  #11
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Thanks everyone for your advice. It certainly gives me some alternatives to research and mull over. No doubt I'll be back in touch once the basic plan is sorted. I agree that Canada seems very like Australia in some ways, and that you can't hope to do everything there either - best to target one or two areas and do it well.

Cheers,
Judy
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May 29th, 2007, 06:51 AM
  #12
BAK
 
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Re>best to target one or two areas and do it well.<

Good thinking.

The hard part is picking which side.

I have spent a lot of times on each coast -- they are very different. West coast has the mountains, east coast has the sandy (but often fairly cold) beaches.

BAK

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