Help with 4 -5 day itinerary

Old Apr 18th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Help with 4 -5 day itinerary

I need lots of help planning a 4-5 day trip to Nova Scotia in early August 2006. We have 2 kids (12 & 14). We enjoy history, nature & cultural experiences (and shopping). I know absolutely nothing about Nova Scotia and don't know where to begin. We plan to begin the vacation by driving from Massachusetts to Maine for a couple of nights (including a day of white water rafting). From there we plan to drive east to Nova Scotia for 4 or 5 days - staying in a different town each night. Can you drive around the entire island in 4 days? Should I just target 3-4 towns? If so, which ones? Thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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If you have not already done so you should request a copy of the Travel Guide from Nova Scotia Tourism at It is an excellent publication.

With the time you have available I believe I would concentrate of the eastern portion of the Province, viz. Cape Breton Island. A drive around the Cabot Trail will provide unforgettable scenery and will take most of a day. Near the beginning of the drive is the town of Cheticamp, a center of Acadian culture, where you can shop for handmade crafts.

Also, a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg is a must. I believe this is the largest historic reconstruction undertaken in Canada. We first visited in 1969 soon after it began and have been back several times and they're still working on it.

The town of Baddeck would serve as a good base for both activities. There are plenty of motels/B&B's, a beautiful location on a lake, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, and lots of nice shops.

The Travel Guide will give you many more ideas.

Please post if there are additional questions.

Hope this helps a bit.


George is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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Wow, different town each night...

If it were me, I'd save the white water rafting for the Nova Scotia area.

You can go river rafting UP river when the enormous tides come in there!! Can't do that in any other region around these parts.

If you want to get to NS most quickly, take the freeway crossing and then zip through NB. If you cross at Calais then the going is somewhat slow relatively speaking.

Be SURE to bring the kids out to explore the shorelines at LOW TIDE. (the most significant spot for doing this is at Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick - below Moncton, on the opposite side of the water from Nova Scotia).

Although there are many beach areas in NS where the tide goes way out and is really interesting to explore at low tide.

LOL - Nova Scotia isn't an island (just noticed that)

Depending upon your timing... as far as what time it is when you enter NS... you should consider staying at either TRURO or Pictou the first night.

IF in Truro, check the TIDE TABLES:

to see what the timing is the next morning for the most awesome tides on earth. If you time "low tide" quite well then drive along Hwy #215 toward (but not "to&quot Wolfville and find a beach to walk WAAAAAAAAAAY out on.

If you wake up in Pictou instead, you'll be in one of Nova Scotia's quaint and scenic towns and you should spend some time drinking up the ambiance (drinking figuratively that is).

That next day should proooooooobably be spent heading NORTH toward the Cabot Trail and I think on your schedule I'd just drive the whole loop that day.

Stop for the night anyplace that you get tired, ideally on the path toward Halifax. I don't know that I'd leave the main freeway because it is quicker than the smaller roads both east and a bit north of Halifax.

You could almost spend 2 nights in Halifax, at least to give the kids a bit of "city" time on this nature tour.

A day trip between these two nights might be "Peggy's Cove", to have lunch or dinner at the place by the lighthouse there. Another possibility is the drive to Wolfville and then on to "Scots Bay" for a fun 2 1/2-hour (each way) HIKE out to the end of "Cape Split".

When you get there, you're out on a little sliver of land out in the middle of the Bay of Fundy, with the highest tides on earth hustling all around you. (no danger or anything, you're waaaaaaaaay up on a windy bluff at the very end)

Google "Cape Split" under google IMAGES for more data.

Some would also tack "Lunenburg" onto the Peggy's Cove outing.

After that 2nd night in Halifax, it would probably be time to start back toward the U.S.

IF you have plenty of time, then upon reaching Truro on the main freeway, take highway #2 due west along the Bay shore until you get to Parrsboro and then up.

If you were on Cape Split a day or two before, it is interesting to note that the amount of water that flows between the two spots during an average day is equivalent to that of ALL of the rivers ON EARTH, COMBINED, during that same day.

I'm sure others will have off-shoots and additional suggestions, some very good indeed, but that is what I would do if I were bringing someone there for the first time, with only 4 or 5 days.

Hope this inspires you.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Hi, Kim! You cannot properly cover the entire province of NS in 4-5 days. I agree w/ George & NWmale that you shd select an area & concentrate on that section. After you have reviewed your Nova Scotia Doers'& Dreamers' Guide which you will get from the site provided by George, then you will have a much better feel for Nova Scotia. Early August is a perfect time to visit. I wld pick Cape Breton but I am partial to that area having grown up there. I no longer live there but "go home" whenever I get the chance. I particularly love the Ingonish Beach area. Keltic Lodge is a wonderful place to spend a night or 2.
Cape Breton satisfies 3 out of 4 of your stated interests: history, nature & cultural experiences. You will have to save the shopping for another time, another place!
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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With kids that age I would probably concentrate on Halifax and perhaps Cape Breton. The kids will enjoy the shopping in downtown Halifax. Make sure they check out the Freak Lunchbox on Barrington (candy store), the Black Market (across from the Library) and have lunch at Bud the Spud in front of the Library (best french fries!) while people watching on the busiest st in downtown Halifax. You can explore Citadel Hill for a few hours, take the Harbour Hopper tour (land/sea) to check out the history of Halifax, Maritime Museum on the waterfront (Titanic history). You can dine with kids up to 8 or 9 pm at any tavern - some great pub food at inexpensive prices. There are many different excursions including whale watching that are available at the harbourfront.

In Cape Breton, stay a night in Baddeck. Let the kids trip over to the small island off the marina for a swim. They have a small boat that takes you over (free). Alexander Graham Bell Museum is a must. Take them to the Yello Cello for pizza and you'll probably catch some live music. While doing the trail, Inverness has a great beach. Do a whale watching tour out of Pleasant Bay.
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