Favorite maritime province

Old Feb 9th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Favorite maritime province

My husband and I are contemplating a summer vacation this August to the Maritimes. Would probably have 10-14 days. We like to tour, wine taste,some outdoor activities, and enjoy beautiful scenery. We would rent a car. Not sure if we should try to do more than one island, or a couple. I seem to look mostly at Nova Scotia and PEI,but really like the commercials on Newfoundland.

Need anyones ideas on time constraints and what their preference would be. Island hopping or just sticking to a couple of places. I know this is a broad request, but any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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First, the semantics.

The Maritimes are Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, all parts of Canada for a long, long time. And that's when they got the name Maritimes.

Then in 1949 Newfoundland joined Canada, and the four provinces were, jointly, now Atlantic Canada or The Atlantic Provinces.

With that out of the way...PEI is pastoral and relaxed and slow and not very rugged.

Western New Brunswick is similar, except there's no beautiful ocean, although the St. John River is OK for about ten minutes, with another half hour looking at the famous covered bridge.

Eastern New Brunswick, ont he other hand, combinesAcadian culture with rugged shore lines... Nova Scotia could occupy several weeks all by itself.

That all said, there's no place like Newfoundland.

Call all the travel departments and have them send you literature. You'll have fun learning.

Pick the province by your personality.


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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Thanks BAK. I didn't know that Newfoundland wasn't part of the Maritimes, so thank you for enlightening me. I did do some research a few years back when I thought it would be our family going, but fortunately or unfortunately, they grew up and don't want to come with us anymore! That said, a week on a beach at PEI isn't the drawing card that it was then.

I will have to look closer at Newfoundland. Thanks for you help.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Having been to all 4, my own personal preference is Nova Scotia. You don't say where you live. If flying from/through Toronto, it may be helpful for you to know that Air Canada has just announced seasonal "direct non stop flight" service beginning May, 2009 from Toronto to Sydney, Nova Scotia. Westjet did the same back in December.
You may want to consider flying to Sydney, renting a car @ the Sydney airport & touring Cape Breton Island. From there you could board the ferry to Newfoundland as you seem to be drawn to that province. Spend some time in Newfoundland & then fly home from St. John's. August is a wonderful time to visit the Atlantic provinces.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Thanks OceanBreeze1 for all your advice. Yes I noticed that air Canada has a fare sale and that's what kind of got me thinking again of the Atlantic provinces. What are some of your favorite Nova Scotia sites? We were thinking of Fort Louisburg, the Cabot trail and the Annapolis Valley/Digby area. The bluenose looks interesting too. What did you like in Newfoundland?
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 05:32 AM
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I've been to all the maritme provinces a lot, and Newfoundland several times.

Nrefie is the most different, compared to any of North America.

Last night there was a wonderful Newfoundland television commercial, and that nudges me toward suggesting this would be a great choice.

Just don't expect to do any swimming in the ocean -- too cold.

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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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I am biased because I've only been to Newfoundland. But I love it so much, I would highly recommend it.
The people are the real draw, as well as the beautiful scenery.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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I strongly second the recommendations you received from BAK & kodi concerning Newfoundland.

I've been touring Atlantic Canada almost every year since 1969 and Newfoundland and Labrador is my favorite Province. I'll be making my 10th visit there this July - beautiful scenery, wildlife, local cuisine, plenty of historic spots, unique craft shopping, but most of all, as kodi mentioned, warm and welcoming people.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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if you choose newfoundland, don't try to see anywhere else. the ferry takes up too much time. i had to skip that province due to lack of time on my trip but i hears it's fabulous.
the other choice would be nova scotia. great province. try to have 14 days and you'd be able to spend 3-4 in cape breton and the balance you could stop in the pictous are on the way there or back then the halifax, lunenburg, digby area. trying to do all that in 10 days would be pushing it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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I just searched high and low to try to figure out where the OP is from, as that might make a difference with regard to what she should target in the Atlantic provinces.

I can't find exact details other than a strong hint of "western Canada".

IF the OP has never been to Nova Scotia (or any of the other alternatives) then I think it a wise move to center the upcoming vacation on Nova Scotia.

The scenery combining land and water is so good there, and so unique, that there is plenty of variety to keep her and her husband plenty busy and entertained for 10 to 14 days.

Many planning trips to NS only have 5 or 6 days to explore NS and it really isn't enough to get the full effect.

With 10 to 14 days centered in NS one could give Cape Breton its full due, visit PEI for a couple of days, go to NB at least long enough to see Hopewell Cape, and have some very pleasant, scenic drives along the coast and along the bay shore.

Pretending "12 days available" for this example

3 days for Cape Breton

2 days for PEI

2 days for southern NS

2 days for Halifax

1 or 2 for NB/Hopewell Cape at least

1 added day for the Fundy tides

I really cannot say enough about Nova Scotia, and I'd go back there again and again if it weren't so remote to me.

Looking back from 10 or 20 years down the line, I think you really want to remember having seen Nova Scotia when you afforded yourself the chance to do so.

My best personal bit of advice relating to your trip to NS is to take the following TIDE TABLE, and print out the high and low tides for a handful of various spots in the area, for the entire duration of your trip.


As Nova Scotia travel requires lots of "crazy 8's" driving where you return to a central area while moving by car about the province, AND because high tide and low tide are separated by SIX HOURS, it makes sense that you make a deliberate effort to see a certain place once, and then endeavor to see the same thing again, when the tide is the extreme opposite.

(in the Bay of Fundy, of course, the emphasis is on "extreme")

So first determine your window of travel, and then print the tide tables for ALL of those dates for EACH of 5 or 6 spots on the NS/NB map.

Include Hopewell Cape, for sure... Burntcoat Head, Hantsport, and maybe Truro. (perhaps even the schedule for the "Tidal Bore" at Moncton, NB).

Hope this inspires you.

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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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NorthwestMale, you certainly have inspired me.
I've only been to Newfoundland and love it there, but Nova Scotia is on my 'list', and thanks to you, it's higher up on the list. Thank You.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Thanks everybody for all your advice! NorthwestMale you are pretty smart, we are from Alberta. The furthest east we have been in Canada is Quebec, which we absolutely loved! I work with a couple of ladies from Cape Breton and would love to see the "neck of the woods" they came from. That Newfoundland/Labrador commercial was on again earlier and it seems to be calling my name, but the PEI, Nova Scotia idea was what I had originally thought too. Again, thanks everybody for your thoughts.
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