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Need help planning travel around New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

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Jun 4th, 2011, 04:56 AM
  #1
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Need help planning travel around New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

We will leave the Boston area on July 2nd and have 2 weeks to travel by car around New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and possibly PEI before returning to Boston. Don't want to spend too many hours each day in the car getting to our destinations. Please suggest areas not to be missed and a travel plan once we get to New Brunswick. Our first destination on day 1 will be either Lubec, Maine or Campobello Island, New Brunswick.
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Jun 4th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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You might check www.drivecrosscountry.net/RouteM1 for ideas -- hard to respond to your request as we do not know your specific interests. By all means consider PEI and plan to take in some of the country fairs or festivals -- meet the people.
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Jun 4th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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Thanks for the website link. We are outdoor/natural attraction folks who will likely hug the coastal routes when possible.
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Jun 4th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Even that little added bit helps...


So... the Maine coast... cross into Canada at Calais... main road to Saint John... Hwy #1 to Perrobsquis, then Hwy #114 through Fundy NP... definitely time Hopewell Cape for LOW TIDE.

Use this tide table website to PRINT OUT the Fundy tide tables for 3 or 4 locations during the ENTIRE window of your trip.

http://www.lau.chs-shc.gc.ca/cgi-bin...gion=5&zone=30

Hopewell Cape (for sure)
Truro (probably)

and then pick a couple of other spots.

You can customize the window of time for which you will print a tide table.


Maaaaaaaaaybe spend a night in Moncton.

Decide whether PEI is included... and maybe cross the big bridge and do that first, for perhaps 2 nights.

Choose the bridge or ferry for your return, then head toward Cape Breton, where you can hopefully spend 3 days or so.

Back via Antigonish and Truro, then to Halifax for perhaps 3 nights. A day trip in that window to Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove.

Eventually, on your homeward bound path, find a spot or two to walk way out in the surf at low tide in the Minas Basin. IF not pressed for time, leave Truro via Hwy #2 toward Parrsboro for the gentle path along the Bay shore.

IF, upon your return path, you want to cover more ground in a hurry, then take the main freeway via Fredericton and 'Woodstock' before returning through Maine on I-95.

This is sorta vague, but once you gain a sense for what you are most interested in seeing, then we can be more helpful.
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Jun 7th, 2011, 03:51 AM
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I hope you have a wonderful vacation, and there is an incredible amount of natural beauty in the area you plan to tour. The Bay of Fundy is deservedly the only Canadian site left in the Seven Natural Wonders contest!

In terms of absolute musts I would include the Fundy Parkway, Fundy National Park, the Cape Enrage Lighthouse, Hopewell Rocks and Parrsboro - Five Islands area in Nova Scotia. If time permits, I would add on the tidal bore in Moncton (or in NS), St. Andrews, Gran Manan and Nova Scotia highlights including Digby and Halifax-Peggys Cove, and explore a few of the small towns such as Sackville NB (university town in upper regions of the bay) and the Sackville Waterfowl Park.

I have written up my personal "best 15" sites to see in the Bay of Fundy region, with links for each for more information, and posted it on my Bay of Fundy blog (http://bayfundy.blogspot.com/2010/11...checklist.html).

I hope you have a great vacation, whatever the final choices that you make.

Bob H.
(more Fundy information on www.bayfundy.net)
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Jun 7th, 2011, 05:11 AM
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Okay, in my opinion the very top thing to see in these 3 provinces is the Cabot Trail.


Although New Brunswick has some nice spots and the Bay of Fundy region is interesting, there is nothing as dramatic and outstanding as the Cabot Trail. The hiking is wonderful and varied.
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Jun 7th, 2011, 08:47 AM
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We are doing almost the exact same trip a week later; however we have a lttle more time, so we're stopping at Acadia NP in Maine and going to Cape Breton. Please post some of your favorite places once you've been there. I'm exited that we've already planned do to the things others have posted here. Where would one suggest for a great stop for food and atmosphere between Boston and Acadia?
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Jun 7th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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In my opinion a "can't miss" stop is the Cleveland Place B&B in Alma, NB. It's just outside the magnificent Fundy National Park - a place with spectacular views, hiking at all levels of difficulty (my wife and I are in our 60s) and canoeing or kayaking. Alma is a quaint little town, but the Cleveland Place alone - and its attached to a charming book store - is worth the visit. We walked from our B&B out onto the floor of the ocean (suggestion: do this only at low tide). We then drove along the coast up to Nova Scotia, but we found New Brunswick less touristy and more interesting.
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Jun 8th, 2011, 06:41 AM
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We have vacationed in Atlantic Canada many times (I highly recommend it) and here is a selection of "very" summarized opinions (I've noted a few don't misses):

- Near the Maine border: St. Andrews is a charming town in a picturesque setting. Touristy, but has a number of attractions as well as shops, cafes, restaurants

- (don't miss: ) Fundy National Park and the adjacent town of Alma showcase the dramatic Bay of Fundy tides and rugged coastline. See the contrast of low and high if you can, otherwise plan your visit to at least witness low tide.

- (don't miss: ) Hopewell Rocks is a second sight showcasing the tides. Again, visit in low tide if you can't do both.

- (don't miss: ) The Cabot Trail (scenic drive) in Cape Breton is spectacular, especially the section through the National Park. Cape Breton also offers nature and hiking trails, some beaches, whale-watching tours, amazing vistas, wildlife, fishing villages, charming towns and historic sites - very highly recommended for several days.

- Halifax is a very nice small to medium city with a fun and vibrant Harbour district - boardwalk, historic buildings, shops, pubs, museums. It could be a base to daytrip closer sections of the Lighthouse Route (below).

- The Lighthouse Route is the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. A mix of natural shorelines (beaches and rocky sections) interspersed with many quaint Fishing Villages and Historic Towns, touring this coast is a popular vacation. You could daytrip tiny but scenic Peggy's Cove, charming Mahone Bay and historic Lunenburg from a base in Halifax ( : don't miss). But several days exploring this shore is also worthwhile.

- Digby (famous for its Scallop Fishery) could make a convenient base for exploring Annapolis Royal, Digby Neck, Brier Island (this Island offers excellent whale-watching tours in season - check) etc .

- Parrsboro area has some ruggedly picturesque coastal scenery, and would be especially appealing to anyone interested in geology.

- PEI is immensely popular with families for it's beautiful beaches and Anne of Green Gables attractions. Many also enjoy the pastoral scenery and the golf courses.
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:00 AM
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Joday: do you have reservations for Acadia NP? If not, I recommend Inn at Southwest Harbor. I also recommend Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard.

For lunch between Boston & Acadia, you could stop in Portland, or go to Harpswell, Orr's or Bailey's Island for fresh seafood at the Estes restaurants (there are 3) or Cooke's Lobster House. (might be a little off the beaten track, but the scenery is worth it.)

Or Camden or Rockland Maine.

Gotravel 33 & Joday, I highly recommend Campobello Island. FDR's home is wonderful and there's a lighthouse at one end that you can walk to at low tide.

Other ideas: St. Andrews by the Sea is very pleasant. We went on a whale watch from there & it was amazing. We saw whales & I did not get seasick because the water was amazingly calm. We were told the water is always calm & you always see whales.

Cape Breton & the Cabot Trail are obvious musts. We enjoyed staying in Baddeck which was ideal for us because we also went to Fortress Louisburg which I personally think is a must.

Also recommend Annapolis Royal, Grand Pre Historical Park, Halifax & Peggy's Cove.
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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One more thing: go to Monica's for chocolates in Lubec, Maine.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Thanks to everyone for some great suggestions. We have been to Acadia and the Bar Harbor area in the past. We were thinking of making our first stop on Campobello Island and then heading up the NB coast stopping at many of the destinations that have been suggested. We plan to take the bridge over to PEI and spend a few days there (how many would you suggest) and then take the ferry over to NS. How would you suggest we split up our time in those 3 provinces knowing that one day at each end of our 2 week vacation will be spent traveling from Maine back to Boston. Therefore we essentially have 12 days to split between the 3 provinces. Recommendations of must see spots knowing that we are making a big loop and will take the ferry from NS to NB on our way home would be greatly appreciated. I don't think we have time for Cape Breton Island on this trip.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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That's too bad that you don't feel you can fit in Cape Breton because I believe a lot of people would grade that as the number 1 "must see" of the 3 provinces. I noted 2 other "must sees" in my opinion already above (grouping Alma and Hopwell together as they're close enough to do from one base, the other was to do at least a little of the Lighthouse Route, even if only as a daytrip from Halifax). Everything else is also very nice, but I think those are highlights. Some people might also include PEI - do you have kids?
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Jun 9th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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Yes but they won't be along on this trip. I have heard that Cape Breton Island is spectacular but we would need to bypass PEI I guess if we headed to Cape Breton Island. How would you suggest we split up our time?
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Jun 9th, 2011, 07:29 AM
  #15
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If I had to make the choice, I would certainly choose Cape Breton over PEI.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Based on my own personal tastes and experiences, if I had 12 nights, this was my first visit, and I wanted to do a "circle" tour, fitting in the highlights plus a small selection of other sights - keeping it busy but without getting too crazy with daily travel - this might be what I'd do:

1 & 2: Stay in the Alma area, see the tides, explore Fundy National Park (it's not a huge one), maybe fit in visit to Hopewell Rocks (although you could do that the 3rd morning). 2 nights
3, 4 & 5: Visit Hopewell Rocks on route to the bridge to PEI. 3 nights in PEI
6,7 & 8: ferry to NS & drive to Cape Breton. Decide on either of Cheticamp, Ingonish or Baddeck as a base for day-trips (we can discuss details). 3 nights
9 & 10: Halifax. Enjoy the City attractions plus day trip to Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. 2 nights
11 & 12: Take your time driving to Digby with possible stops at Cape Blomidon, Annapolis Royal, etc. Daytrip the next day down Digby Neck to Brier Island. 2 nights
Day 13: Heading home - take the 8:00 a.m. Ferry across to NB then head home. If too long a day, consider ferrying across the day before and staying the last night in St. Andrews.

I personally am like laverendrye in that I probably would skip PEI in favour of more time in Cape Breton and/or the Lighthouse Route. However this is based only on personal tastes & priorities and in fact many people truly love PEI and wouldn't miss it. So it's on the suggested itinerary. I still think you can do both PEI and CB, and if you feel it's too much packing and unpacking, consider skipping the overnight(s) in Digby on this trip and tack extra days on to 1 of the "highlight" destinations.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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Well I am listening to all of you who strongly vote for Cape Breton Island and therefore skipping PEI. What would be the recommended division of time after we leave Campobello Island on day 2 and begin our coastal journey. We love lighthouses and plan to visit as many as possible, focusing on the ones that are accessible for exploring. What would be the loop we travel to see as much as possible without spending all day in the car?
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Well, I still think you can do both PEI and Cape Breton if both appeal to you. For Lighthouses, you might google The Lighthouse Route (Nova Scotia southeast shore) - although there are lighthouses spread around all 3 provinces.
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Jun 10th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Just my opinion but you should really do Fredericton NB...it's the capital of NB and it is really pretty! We're in a river valley so it's different then the coastal areas, but the River Valley is so pretty! Cape Breton is better then PEI for sure! St. Andrews is lovely but there are lots of little villages along the Fundy Coast that aren't as touristy.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 09:22 PM
  #20
 
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Oh, I've had surgery this last week and have not kept up on this chat. Thanks so much for all the suggestions! We have decided to spend a night in St. Andrews, but having a hard time finding a room around $200. Any suggestions? So excited to see this beautiful part of the world, and we LIVE in a beautiful part of the world (Rocky Mountains)!
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