Itinerary for Road Trip this Sumer

Old May 27th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Itinerary for Road Trip this Sumer

We are doing an eight day car trip in Nova Scotia in late July and early August with our dog (restricting us to dog friendly lodgings which are reasonably plentiful). After day 8 we will go to New Brunswick where we are renting a cottage for a week, and then drive home (to Portland, Maine), along the southern coast of New Brunswick.
Our goal is to maximize nice scenary and interesting experiences while minimizing the amount of driving in any one day. For that reason, and because of the weather, we have decided not to go to Cape Breton, a decision I suspect many will disagree with.

At this point our Nova Scotia itinerary looks like this:

Day one - arrive on the Cat from Bar Harbor, Maine, spend night in Yarmouth

Day two - Lunenberg, stay overnight

Days three - four - Halifax

Day five - Digby (stay overnight)

Day six - Truro (stay overnight)

Day seven - Pictou ( stay overnight)

Day eight - Amherst (stay overnight)

What do you all think -- does this make sense?

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Old May 27th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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You have no doubt heard about the severe flooding in the Lunenburg/Bridgewater area over the past few days. Everything shd be back to normal by the end of July when you are going to be there but just keep it in mind.

I am one who strongly disagrees w/ your decision not to go to Cape Breton. If you want to "maximize nice scenery" Cape Breton is it! You said that one of the reasons you decided not to go to CB is "because of the weather". You will be in NS late July & early Aug when the weather is perfect. So, I don't follow your reasoning.
In 8 days you can see a lot of NS including CB!!. Places like Truro & Pictou you can visit on your way to CB. I don't think they warrant an overnight stay in each place. However, if you are really into tides you may want to spend some a little extra time around Parrsboro(sp?)( see a previous post from a poster named Northwest Male...you can search his name to get the post...who is very knowledgeable about the tides in the area.)
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Old May 27th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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One other thing I meant to mention: Consider doing Digby on the way to Halifax. Otherwise you are looping back.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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WOW, thanks for your feedback. OK, I am open to being pursuaded to go to Cape Breton if the weather is likely to be nice, although my husband wants to see the area around Digby. We would ideally like not to drive more than three hours in any one day. How would you do it, without doubling back, from Yarmouth to Digy to Lunenberg to Halifax (two nights) and then I guess New Glasgow and/or Antigonish (I am mentioning towns where I know there are accomodations that are pet friendly)? From there we could go to Margaree Harbor, the Normaway Inn is pet friendly. And then where? Baddeck? We need to be in Amherst, crossing over to New Brunswick on Day #8. I am really open to suggestions, we have little knowledge of the area, just what is in the guide books. We figure we need to make reservations in advance, because of our having our dog with us.

We don't really need to see the tides in Nova Scotia as we will presumably drive back along the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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Hi there. I am also not sure what your concern is with the weather in Cape Breton in July/August. Did you hear or read something? Perhaps we can help to correct what appears to be incorrect information.

I agree completely with wow - places like Truro and (in my opinion) Amherst do no warrent an overnight stay. I know that you mention not wanting to drive anymore than 3 hours per day, but keep in mind that most of the driving will not be "super highways" and a lot of it will be scenic. In your second post you mentioned the possibility of driving to New Glasgow or Antigonish from Halifax. I would skip straight through those two places and get to Cape Breton. Maybe set up camp in the Baddeck area for the first night (Halifax to Baddeck is about 4 hours). The following day go to Cheticamp and overnight there, to get a view of the highlands. This will add a bit more driving time, but if you are truly coming for scenery and interesting experiences, Cape Breton is the place to be. Being from there I'm biased, of course, but you really can find things on the island that you won't find anywhere else. I've posted countless times on the unique things there are to do in CB, so please do a search and you'll find more reading material than you could ever want!! Good luck with your trip planning!
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Old May 28th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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ScotiaGirl makes a good point wrt your preference to restrict driving to 3 hours. The driving in NS, & especially CB, is actually relaxing & I hate driving & avoid it at all costs. But I do not mind driving in NS/CB at all. Agree that you shd bypass New Glasgow & Antigonish & head straight for CB. As suggested by ScotiaGirl, Baddeck wld be a good base for you. Or, you cld stay in Baddeck for only one night. Explore the area ( maybe take in the Fortress of Louisbourg). Next day you cld begin your tour of The Cabot Trail. It is often said that The Trail begins & ends in Baddeck. Many people "do the trail" in one day but you may wish to break it up into 2 days & stay overnight in Ingonish. If you start in Baddeck & head for Ingonish you wld be "doing the Trail" counterclockwise which is my preferred way to do it. It's only about an hour from Baddeck to Ingonish. Explore the area. Next day you cld continue down toward Cheticamp. ScotiaGirl may be able to help you out here wrt "pet friendly" accomodations. You can also explore Margaree & maybe stay @ The Normaway Inn as you have suggested.
Agree that Amherst is not worth an overnight. I understand your desire to be close to NB & in that regard Amherst is a logical choice but you may be able to come up w/ something better to capitalize on the area scenery. I have to think about that one. How long a drive is it from the NB/NS border to your cottage where you will be staying for a week?
It just occurred to me that your "3 hr restriction" may be related to your dog. If so, there will be plenty of places along the way for your dog to get out & run around. Stop @ a beach along the way & play frisbee.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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There has been an awful lot of bad incorrect press lately about flooding in Lunenburg. The flooding is in Lunenburg COUNTY, particularly around Fancy Lake and the LaHave River. There is no problem at all in Lunenburg!

That being said, when you get off the ferry I would head straight to Lunenburg (2 1/2 hours away), and spend 2 nights there instead of staying in Yarmouth. It's a much nicer town with a lot more to see and do. And the Lunenburg Arms is a great property right in the center of Old Town and is pet friendly. Also, the Senator B&B just outside of town also accepts pets.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for that Sailorgirl. Sounds as if you are in/near Lunenburg town. Cld you suggest the best route for "professors" (the original poster here) to take so that they can visit Lunenburg and Digby on their way to Halifax? It is impt for them to see the Digby area. Sounds as if they will be going on to Cape Breton from Halifax. Maybe they will see you there @ Celtic Colours!!
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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Check out today's post here:
Nova Scotia Tide Primer: Bay of Fundy by NorthwestMale
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Old May 28th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Thanks for all your helpful tips!
I have come up with a revised itinary, based (largely) on your suggestions.

Night one - Yarmouth (we are getting in late on the Cat)

Night two - Digby or Annapolis Royal

Night three - Lunenburg (probably the Lunenburg Arms)

Night four - Halifax

Night five - Truro (I know you all said it is not worth staying over their but it is well located to break up trip from Halifax to Baddeck)

Night six - Baddeck

Night seven - Margaree Harbor at pet friendly Marmaway Inn (after exploring around Cheticamp and Highlands during the day).

Night eight - New Glasgow/Pictou (weekend crafts market) or somewhere else not too far from Magaree Harbor and also not too far from Shediac, NB where we will be going next. I am open to suggestions.

Does this sound better? We really don't like driving, despite wanting to do a road trip (we do like exploring). The dog in the car is not the problem, he likes to drive for hours.

Any suggestions for pet friendly places in Digby/Annapolis Royal, in Truro, in Baddeck,?

Thanks again

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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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2 questions:
1. Did you know that Truro is only an hour from Halifax?

2. Will you drive The Cabot Trail? This, IMHO, is the main reason that anyone wld go to Cape Breton. Margaree is great. Baddeck is great. But, Ingonish is spectacular.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Also, Margaree & Baddeck are not far apart!
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Old May 28th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Thanks again, WOW, it looks like we could drive from Baddeck to Ingonish (an hour and a half I think) and then work our way down through Cheticamp and Margaree, staying over night at Margaree. Or, not go quite as far as Ingonish.

Yes, I know Truo is only an hour from Halifax. We just wanted to break up the trip from Halifax to Baddeck. Do you have a better suggestion, more in between Halifax and Baddeck?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Between Halifax and Baddeck, why not stop at Antigonish?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 11:04 PM
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Why don't you just drive directly from Halifax to Baddeck? It is only 4 hours, and you mentioned wanting to do trips that are approximately 3 hours in length. You can get from Halifax to Truro in 45 minutes - I know many people who even commute this trip for work. This, to me, seems like a wasted day if you want to see scenery, as you mentioned you do. In any case, staying in Truro is not really breaking up the Halifax to Baddeck drive - one day you'll drive 45 minutes and the following day you'll still have to drive 3 hours and 15 minutes. Why not just tack the extra 45 minutes onto that day, do it all at once, and get straight to Baddeck? That way your following days will be more leisurely. Since you have such a short period of time here I really suggest maximizing what you do have, even if this means an extra hour or so of driving on one or two days. Another thought, I think you shouldn't look at driving here as simply getting from point A to point B. There are many interesting places along the way (not all of which warrant an overnight) where you may want to stop, thus making a 4 hour drive non-continuous and very relaxed.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the suggestons. I appreciate the fact that driving in NS is part of the pleasure but I think we will do better covering fewer hours a day, even if it seems short sighted to some. I like Laverndye's suggestion of Antigonish, which apparently has an art gallery and a pet friendly place to stay (The Maritime Inn). It still leaves us two days for CB.

I will do a separate post to query for other pet friendly places -- thanks guys!
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Old May 29th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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ok, well I guess we have done all that we can to help you here. Sounds as if you are not going to have the time to explore The Cabot Trail & in my view, this is a shame. Actually, I wld go so far as to say that if you are going to skip The Cabot Trail then you may want to revert to your original plan & not even bother going to Cape Breton.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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WOW, You seem not to approve but we will drive part or all of the Cabot trail, possibly as much as Ingonish to Margaree Harbour.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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It makes no sense to drive "part of the Cabot Trail"! You will see what I mean if/when you get there. It's a "trail". AS I mentioned earlier, you can "do the Trail" clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you were to do it counter-clockwise from Baddeck it wld look roughly like this all times are approximate & do not take into account times for stopping to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, to take pix & for lunch/dinner/picnics)

Baddeck-Ingonish: 1.5 hours
Ingonish-Cheticamp:2.0 hours
Cheticamp-Baddeck: 1.5 hours
As you can see, to "do the Trail", starting out in Baddeck & ending up in Baddeck, takes about 5 hours. Let's say, between 4 & 5 hours. When you factor in time to stop & enjoy the spectacular scenery, take pix, enjoy lunch/dinner &/or picnics you are talking about 7 to 8 hours!

If you start out in Margaree it's about 2 hours & 20 minutes to Ingonish! Well, once you get there you are not going to turn around & go back to Margaree the same way! You are going to continue on "around the Trail"! Can you see what I mean? You wld probably want to stay overnight in Ingonish & then continue on the next day. So, you will need 2 days to "do the Cabot Trail". You also need to factor in a "fog day" as it is frequently foggy. There's no point "going around the Trail" if you can't see anything! It's also extremely dangerous to drive on those curvy roads in the fog when you cannot see where you are going!

So, it's not so much that I do not "approve" of what you are doing ( and anyway who cares what I think?? Ha! ha! ), it's just that I feel very strongly that if you are going to go to Cape Breton ,then plan your trip to maximize th experience. The Cabot Trail is Cape Breton's jewel. It is spectacularly beautiful & just writing about it gives me goosebumps. As a child growing up in Cape Breton, I spent many, many Sundays w/ my family "going around the Trail". We wld leave around 10:00 on Sunday morning & return home around 10:00 at night. We'd stop at our favorite scenic lookouts, take pictures, have a picnic on the banks of the Clyburn Brook in Ingonish, go to the beach, hike, have dinner along the way. Sometimes we wld do it over 2 days & stay @ Keltic Lodge in Ingonish. I remember as a child being so excited to have dinner in "the formal dining room" @ Keltic Lodge. To this day I cherish those memories of The Cabot Trail. And, I think it wld be wonderful if you had the chance to explore it in its entirety. That's all I meant.

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Old May 29th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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That sad face @ the beginning of my post was a mistake...I typed a semi colon followed by an open bracket & it came out as a "sad face". "if you start from Baddeck it wld look like this....semi colon....then a bracket about the stops along the way!
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