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-   -   Need help planning a short trip (https://www.fodors.com/community/canada/need-help-planning-a-short-trip-469402/)

lkemerson Aug 23rd, 2004 05:14 PM

Need help planning a short trip
 
We will be dropping our son off in Boston for college, and have decided to take a week and head on up to Nova Scotia. We know next to nothing, and we will be leaving for Boston on the 31st.

We usually do these things with a bit more knowledge, but decided to do a sort of 'seat of the pants' trip.

We love nature, not big cities. We love quaint little towns, nice pubs, beautiful scenery.

Any suggestions on what to do [we will be taking a ferry over from Bar Harbor [one way...maybe driving home {MI] through Canada, what to see, where to eat and stay would be great.

Things we know we'd like to do
=Whale Watch
=Coastal drive
=Prince Edward Island
=any local arts and crafts
=short hiking [I am getting over foot trouble]

Anything else? Please hit all the high points and what NOT to miss.

Thank you all so much, these boards have helped us so much in the past, I'm counting on you all for this trip.

BAK Aug 23rd, 2004 06:57 PM

Why not put all the questions into one message so people don't waste time replying to one message, with scant info from you. It would be so much easier to answer everything at one time.

Like, now we know you'll have a car -- info you left out of your PEI message.

You'll have a great visit.

From Boston, unless you've been there before, stop off in Booth Bay Harbor and Acadian National Park in Maine. Set aside half a day for Acadia, at least, since you are nature lovers.

From Bar Harbor, the ferry gets you to Yarmouth. From there, you have the choice of following the Atlantic or Bay of Fundy coasts. Atlantic is more rugged, and I think more interesting. So, Yarmouth to Sheburne, Liverpool, Chester (a lot of fancy B&B's, good restaurants, etc.), Peggy's Cove and on to Halifax.

From there, if time permits, follow the coast north-east on highway 7, to Antigonish, then back to New Glascow and Pictou, and take the ferry to Prince Edward Island.

PEI's good for 24 hours. Then take the bridge back to New Brunswick, and drive to Moncton.

In the Moncton area, go see the Hopewell Rocks on the Petitcodiac River.

From Moncton, you have two choices for going home through Canada.

Up the coast through Chatam, BAthurst and Cambellton gives you most opportunities for little sidetips to see Northumberland Strait, but you've already seen this from PEI, so, your other choice is...

Moncton to Fredericton, and north along the St. John River to Edmunston. This is the pastoral, farmland, flat river route, as contrasted to the more woodsy, more fishing village coast route, and the Fredericton route is, I believe, a little quicker if you drive fast.

Either way, you cross from northern New Brunswick into Quebec, keeping driving north until you get to the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River.

Turn left, and head for Quebec City.

St. Jean Port Joie is worth a sidetrip (almost to Quebec City) to see thw work of wood carving artists.

In Quebec City, take a few hours to visit Montmorency Falls, outside fo the city. Other than that, tourist stuff in Quebec City is pretty obvious, and you won't miss anything important. Good for one day, in my book.

From there, to Montreal (half a day's drive, give or take)and Montreal is worth two full days.

From there, if time permits, you should head for Ottawa -- spend a day -- and then west from Ottawa through northern Ontario past Algonquin Park to Huntsville, south through Bracebridge, then head west for Collingwood, along the shore of Georgian Bay, to Port Elgin, down the shoreline of Lake Huron to Sarnia, Ontario and across the bridge to Port Huron, Michigan, and find your way to your own part of the state.

You'll have seen a lot of Canada. French, English, farmland, rugged coast, pioneer lands, wilderness, and more.

Have a good trip.

BAK

KarenE Aug 23rd, 2004 08:34 PM

I would definitely skip PEI (nothing much to see there compared to Nova Scotia) and take highway 7 to Cape Breton instead. Then go back via Nova Scotia's Fundy Coast. Take a whale watching tour out of Digby neck. Amazing!

lkemerson Aug 24th, 2004 03:00 AM

BAK,

Thank you for the reply and please do forgive me for not posting everything in one post. I was unaware these showed up together under CANADA, and thought they would just show up seperately under PEI and NS. Bad Kate!

I do appreciate the inforamtion, however, and am going to print it up, do a little research on the area's you suggest and talk to my husband tonight.

Also to the second poster...thank you for the help on the whale watch. Appreciate it.

elberko Aug 24th, 2004 04:51 AM

Check the mileage- this is LOTS of ground to cover in a week. The size of NS caught us off guard and we spent WAY too much time in the car.

~Liz

BAK Aug 24th, 2004 06:34 AM

Going back to the headline, and noting the word "short"

It's a thousand miles from Moncton to Toronto. It's about 175 from Halifax to Moncton, and its a few hundred from Toronto to various parts of Michigan.

So "short" may be difficult.

If you want to see lots of good stuff in the shortest distance, think of this.

Boston to Campabello, up the Maine coast. Then to St. Andrews By the Sea, NB, across New Brunswick to Moncton and north on the coast to Campbellton and into Quebec to Mont Joli.

You could save a full day by skipping Moncton and the Northumberland Strait coast, and going through Fredericton and Edmundston, up the St. John River, instead.

Back west along the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City, then Montreal, then Kingston, then Toronto, then Windsor and Detroit.

About PEI: imagine Ohio around Dayton, except the earth is brown, and it's surrounded by ocean and short cliffs -- 50 feet at most, and beaches. It's nice and peacful, but it aint' exciting, so it's the first place I'd chop if time was tight.

I have never met anyone who went to Cape Breton -- 25 years old, 75 years old -- who did not think it was great, so you might add this, if time permits.

And, just for general interest: I believe it's within a few hours total travel time, if you get as far as Acadia National Park and then turn around and go home through the USA, or if you come into Canada and head north through Fredericton, then Quebec City and Montreal, so, I strongly recommend this. There's nothing in Ohio like Quebec City.

lkemerson Aug 25th, 2004 11:18 AM

Short trip for us means 7 days.

You do like to give out the 'not clear enough on the post' spankings, BAK!?!?!?

I think we will take part of your adivce. We appreciate the info. We have decided to do one day in Acadia, head to Nova Scotia on the car ferry, spend time dawdling there for a day or three, skip PEI, and do the trip toward Quebec, and then home. We live near Ann Arbor, so not too far into MI from the bluewater bridge.

Thank you for the information, and the interesting way it is presented :)


BAK Aug 25th, 2004 01:35 PM

It's my inability to read "shport" that caused me to give you info on a trip that would take a long time by almost anyone's definition.

Anyway, you've got a good plan now.

BAK


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