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oceanoo Nov 10th, 2019 01:47 PM

from KC to Quebec to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia to Main
we'll have 4-5 weeks off this summer and plan to drive from Kansas City, MO to Quebec and then explore the province, drive to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and return back to KC through Maine. Any advise on length of stay at each destination (QC, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia) - my 13-year old son would enjoy some French immersion camp for a couple of weeks (therefore would need a base for 2 weeks) and then we are off to explore. We can also fly to QC and rent a car and focus on Canada only. Please share your ideas and experience. Thank you!

tlc195 Nov 10th, 2019 08:35 PM

Wow a lot of windshield time for sure. Do not know if you plan to visit Prince Edward Island if so I have posted our favorite stuff here

Newfoundland is a beautiful place we spent 3 weeks in August 2018. Not an easy place to get to if you plan to drive. Only ferry is from Nova Scotia one for 7 hours and the other 14 hours.
The East and West coast being so different.

A lot of one way roads meaning down the same road to get to a place, not many looping roads. So drive 2 hours down a road spend a few hours checking out the place and drive 2 hours back the same road you came back down. That got old after a while, BUT the views were amazing the entire time, folks very friendly so yea worth a visit.

COD you can only have so much cod it is the first 4 items on every menu which is great, but you can not have cod everyday well we did not. What cod we had was amazing.... but got old real fast. St. Johnís had no problem finding OK food but venture out of St. Johnís and it goes down hill fast. The food on the west coast say Port aux Basques, Deer Lake, Lobster Cove was not good. Bonavista (not on the west coast) has some nice places to dine.

Beware of moose while driving they are definitely around as well as bears. Once you get out of an area the next place not much around so if you are low on gas fill up! The weather was in the 60ís in August and it rained very often so bring layers and rain gear. Once you get out of St. Johnís it get very rural very fast, lots of trees and more

They LOVE coffee especially Tim Hortonís no matter what time of day we passed a Tim Hortonís they had a line both inside and the drive through!!! Also the locals accent is sometimes hard to figure out particularly the older folks, I just kinda smiled and said yes.....Then again they probably had a hard time understanding my Jersey accent. Many locals we spoke to worked in the oil fields in Alberta and came back a few months at a time. The cod industry really never came back so many folks do what they have to get by.

ATVís are everywhere in the rural area ie most of the island kinda like the 3 car in the family. Interesting we saw a group of about 25 stopped in a beautiful lookout, I asked a guy what they were doing...25 all in a group. They said they were traveling the island as a group and staying in B&B at night for 10 days ALL on ATV, wow long time riding an Apparently this is a common thing with locals as tour guide the entire time. The guy said when exploring the options you could have camped out instead of B&B.

Have fun it is a beautiful place.

Stuff we Liked

Dungeon Provincial Park
The town and fishing village
The puffins in Elliston and the root cellars
Cape Bonavista Lighthouse ( some puffins here but more in Elliston)
The Matthew Museum

Bell Island near St. Johnís (need to take a ferry to the island)
Iron ore mine tour ( go below into the mine very interesting)

Gross Morne National Park
Tablelands Trail where the earth mantle is exposed

West Brook Boat Tour would NOT recommend, they replaced the walkway through the forest with a 30í wide gravel road 1 mile plus long to the lake. Boring boat tour of cliffs which you will see many along your travel through NB.

Green Point beautiful beach.

Rose BlanchPretty town with a granite lighthouse

Arches Provincial Park
Blow me Down Provincial Park
Trinity Village historic village, beautiful church and craft shops

St Johnís
Signal Hill
Cape Spear Lighthouse
Petty Harbor ( great fish and chips at Chafeís Landing when 2 times that good)
Pippy Park & Memorial University Botanical Garden
Downtown area including

Railway Coastal Museum
Anglican Cathedral
The Rooms (history museum)
Fort Amherst (Lighthouse and Fort)
Johnson Geo Center (great Titanic Exhibit)
Castle Hill National Historic Site ( near ferry to St Johnís )

Salmonier Nature Park

tom_mn Nov 23rd, 2019 04:25 PM

You can get summer camp language immersion closer to home if nothing in Canada works out

Language Immersion Programs | Concordia Language Villages

oceanoo Nov 23rd, 2019 05:11 PM

Thank you!

NorthwestMale Dec 11th, 2019 06:54 PM

Geez, it's 22 hours of driving time before you even reach Montreal.

While I admit that it would be fun and curious (for a while) to get LOST in south-central Quebec, I can't fathom allocating enough time for that when I know that it takes 22 hours to GET to Montreal AND THAT there is SO much more to SEE in the Atlantic Provinces.

Based on your brief outline, I would lean toward flying to Quebec and renting a car... beCAUSE what you don't want to do is SKIMP on the east coast stuff because you're already dragged through the ringer. (though I can see omitting Newfoundland from the plans, also for the sake of common sense)( FLY there someday if you just have to see it)

As to French Immersion... I had enough French Immersion to suit me when merely trying to order a pizza in Riviere-du-Loup one time.

BUT... if it is convenient... I'd opt for Quebec City as a 2-week base rather than Montreal.

Even YOU will feel more immersed if in Q C vs. Montreal, and it will be for the better. Enough people converse in English so you can get by comfortably and safely, but SO much more is French in Q C than in Montreal, that it will be more authentic for all involved.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe that early/first 2-week base in Q C ... and then backtrack with the son for a few days in Montreal... then you decide if you're game for the major undertaking that is the giant loop beginning with Hwy #117 and around toward Chibougamau... and then Roberval and Saguenay (by then at some point you'll all wonder whether you wasted two weeks on French Immersion (for surely having felt that you'd subsequently created your own).

If not game for that long haul, then a smaller circuit from Trois Rivieres to Saguenay and back along the St. Lawrence before crossing over to go northeast toward Riviere-du-Loup and through New Brunswick.

I JUST now wrote a reply on another Canada/Nova Scotia post that would offer details on many highlights there... and I have many others scattered around on Fodors.

What you DON'T want to do is to tackle all of these amazing option and only then find yourself in Sydney, NS with 36 hours of driving time back to Kansas City. Better to fool yourself in advance and make the endeavor more tame, rather than bite off so much and then leave yourself exhausted and missing out on so much potential for which there just wasn't time or energy.

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