I'm lost and I'm not there yet!

May 31st, 2003, 08:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6
I'm lost and I'm not there yet!

My mom has graciously offered to come to my home and take care of the children for 5 days in early July so my husband and I can have a mini vacation. We are arriving in Halifax on July 2nd and leaving on the 6th. My dilemma is that I'm unable to figure out distances from the guidebooks. How long does it take to drive from Halifax to Sydney? Possible to do it in a day?

Last year we went to Quebec and stayed at Le Manoir Richealu and seemed to drive for too long stretches each day (we liked visiting the Sanguenay area). My husband has asked that we not drive so much each day.

Here is the dilemma: We aren't beach bums (neither of us can sit on a beach for more than and hour), would like a bit of quiet, would like to get a taste of the different areas. Already I feel like I'm asking too much! I would also like to get any suggestions on off the beaten path inns and hotels.

My other idea was to travel from Halifax, to Mahone Bay then over to Digby (for scallops) and back up to Mina's Basin. Would this have us driving more than 2 hours a day?

In advance, thank you for any help you can offer.
4rhodes is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 06:00 AM
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An excellent way to figure out the distance and driving routes between two places is to use a map. A wonderful benefit is that you can take the map with you and use it when you're there.

For those who can't deal with that level of expense and/or complexity, Yahoo>Maps>Driving Directions does an excellent job for points in the US and Canada.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 08:36 AM
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rizzuto, I think that you were being awfully hard on 4rhodes. From experience, I know that it's difficult to ascertain driving times from a map or even a map program; I too would prefer the benefit of a real person's opinion.

4rhodes, it's been a while since I've driven the route, but you can certainly drive from Halifax to Sydney in a day. However, with your limited time, I rather like your second plan better. Save the amazing area of Cape Breton for another trip.

Lunenburg is worth a stop on your route, and there is excellent whale-watching from Digby in the Bay of Fundy {dress warm}.

Depending on your route, you might consider visiting the town of Wolfville with its romantic inns and excellent theatre - drive out to nearby Hall's Harbor for lobster and to watch the tides, Grand Pre historic site is nearby and very interesting.Ask about the chimney swifts - a very unusual sight!

On the way to or from Digby via 1 and 101 is Annapolis Gardens, Port Royal Hist. site, and Fort Anne, all worthwhile stops.

Or perhaps you would find it most relaxing to make daytrips from Halifax to Peggys Cove,Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Wolfville etc., and save Digby for another vacation.I think that would be my preference! My husband and have been to NS several times, and have not yet exhausted places we'd like to see there.
Molly2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 09:00 AM
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I cannot imagine planning a trip that involved driving without trip planning software. I use Microsoft Streets/Trips. It's fabulous for directions/times and local area maps (including sights and attractions, restaurants...). There are many more features than you'll find on the free mapping websites - and it's faster and more accurate. Also, you can save your maps to modify/print at your leisure.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 10:43 AM
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This is for Molly2:
You seem very knowledgable about NS, my husband asks the question....what is a typical Acadian dish? Have any menus available? Being from the South, this sounds very interesting to us. Thanks..
judybug is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 10:46 AM
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djkbooks has a point - the mapping programs are helpful - as long as you don't take their generated routes as gospel. I've used Microsoft numerous times; at least twice I was given erroneous directions, which pulled us off course, and several times there were faster, more scenic routes that I found only by getting advise from locals. And of course there is always the possibility of road construction that the map program may or may not have allowed for..... My vote - definitely make use of a good map and maybe a map program, but advise from locals or recent travelers is still a great idea.
Molly2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 10:53 AM
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judybug, alas we never did try any Acadian food on any of our trips; we always meant to, but somehow never did! I do know that the Cheticamp area of Cape Breton is known for great Acadian food.
Molly2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 12:19 PM
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Microsoft Streets & Trips used to be fraught with errors, once giving directions make a right turn off the NY Freeway onto another road when there was no exit for many miles in either direction! But, we've taken many road trips using the latest version and haven't experienced bad directions so far. In fact, directions into and out of Manhattan have been amazingly accurate, especially considering all the one-way streets. There's a function within the program for updating construction information via the web, and construction, along with approximate delays, is included when you "get directions".

djkbooks is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 01:10 PM
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Well, you can tell what I'm doing on this dismal, rainy day in New England-It's nasty out there!

djkbooks, I admit that I have only used the older version of Microsoft Streets and Trips. I definitely intend to get the latest program - thanks for mentioning it!
Molly2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 04:10 PM
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mapquest.com is another good site for directions. The computation of driving time, however, is often inaccurate, as much depends on traffic, weather, etc.

Yes, you can drive from Halifax to Sydney in a day BUT if you take the route along the southern shore, it will take much longer than going through the middle of NS.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Dear 4 rhodes it is approx 4 1/2 hr to 5 hr drive from halifax to sydney. you will have no problem getting here just follow one of 2 routes either route 4 through port hawksbury or the 125 trans Canada heading for Baddeck either way you can not get lost. or pull over and ask for dirctions we don't mind & we will be happy to help.
tartantours is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6
Thank you, everyone! I am very impressed and touched at all of the responses. They were very thoughtful.

I spent some time this afternoon researching our vacation. My husband likes the idea of Charlos Cove and staying at the Seawind Landing Country Inn for a few two nights then heading back to Halifax for the other two nights. It looks like the drive from Halifax Airport to Charlos Cove will take 3 -1/2 hours. Phew!

Now, to get there and back is the question. I'm thinking that obviously I take Route 7 up the shore to get there and am figuring it is a two lane (one in each direction) highway.

Now, returning to Halifax, should we take a detour and go on Route 104 and stay somewhere the third night?

Thank you again for your encouragement and great mileage tips. I was looking at maps and doing calculations but had a moment of doubt especially since it took us so long to get from Quebec City to the Manoir Richileau last summer.....
4rhodes is offline  

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