Nova Scotia/CBI in August

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May 16th, 2004, 06:49 PM
  #1
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Nova Scotia/CBI in August

Three friends and I will arrive in Halifax on August 16. We plan to stay in Halifax two nights then head toward the Bay of Fundy, seeing Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg on the way. We are considering Halls Harbor, Truro, or Grand Pre for an overnight stay. Any advice on one of these towns over another? Any suggestions for lodging? Might there be another place around the Bay of Fundy that we should consider? Special areas/sights we "should not miss"?

Next on our itinerary is Cape Breton Island. There we are considering Inverness, Margaree Harbour, Cheticamp, or Ingonish for overnight stays--probably two, maybe three, nights. Any suggestions here? Lodging? Restaurants? Sights not to miss?

If we take the Marine Drive from Cansco Causeway to Halifax, about how long is that drive? Is that the best route for our return trip to Halifax from CBI? Where would be the best place to spend the night between CBI and Halifax when we return for our 3:00 flight to Kentucky on August 24?

We are trying to plan our trip by reading the Doers and Dreamers Guide, studying maps, and reading this forum. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. We are most interested in scenic beauty, some hiking, good restaurants with lots of seafood, local color and festivals, especially the celtic music.
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May 16th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Re the three towns you are considering: Truro is a stop of convenience, IMO; not much charm. It is a good central spot. I would recommend instead the college town of Wolfsville, from which you can make easy jaunts to Halls Harbor and Grand Pre. Lovely historic inns, top-notch theater, good restaurants, chimney swifts! My husband and I stayed in the smallest room at the Gingerbread Inn and liked it very much, but there are other inns in town that come highly recommended on this board and look very appealing.
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May 17th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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The previous post is correct regarding Wolfville - do make reservations to stay. The Inns are great and you also have the choice of places like Comfort Inn. Halls Harbour is a must and don't just stop at Grand Pre site, drive to the end and have a great view of the beach.

As for Cape Breton Island, I would highly recommend Louisbourg for one day. You can either do it upon entering or exiting CBI. It is a full day excursion but incredible. Re the trail, if you don't plan on doing some hiking, etc., you might want to make Baddeck your central location. Make reservations through the Telegraph House to rent the MacRae House - $169/night for a 3bedroom 1.5 bath house located in the middle of the village. Take a cruise on the lakes, enjoy an evening at the local cafe. Don't forget to visit the Alexander Graham Bell museum.

Returning to the airport, you may want to spend the night in Pictou County - about a 2 hour drive to the airport. Melmerby beach is great to relax for a day with warm waters. Spend the night in the Town of Pictou at the Consulate Inn - great spot - or one of the many B&B's available. Pictou Lodge is also an incredible spot. If you decide to do the route through Sherbrooke and back to the airport, you won't find a lot of amenities but a very scenic drive.
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May 17th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Hi, Marguerite! Tanya has given you some great advice! Baddeck is an excellent springboard. You might also consider the Inverary(sp?)Inn in Baddeck. A boat cruise on the Bras d'Or Lakes is a must! Book it in Baddeck.
You may also consider over-nighting in Ingonish @ Keltic Lodge. My own personal preference is the Main Lodge @ Keltic, not the Inn. The Main Lodge is historically signifigant. The Inn is not. I feel that once you get to Ingonish you will want to stay at least one night! There is nothing like waking up on that peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic, having breakfast in Keltic's main dining room, then going for a walk down to the beach. And, if you are golfers you have to play the Highlands course!
Just thinking about Ingonish makes me want to go back!! Lucky you!
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May 17th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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oops....sounds like I left Molly2 out here! That's not what I meant! I am not familiar w/ the Wolfville area so my focus here was Cape Breton. Molly2 is right about Truro!
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May 17th, 2004, 05:04 PM
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Hi Marguerite,
We travelled to NS and CBI in '02. Can't wait to go back. It sounds like you have a lot of driving ahead of you to see everything that is on your list. We used Baddeck as our base on CBI as well. The Broadwater Inn was fantastic. They have B & B and also self contained units (which we had). The owners are fantastic and gave us great advice. The Baddeck Lobster Supper was excellent. We also took a boat cruise on the lake and toured the Alexander Graham Bell museum.

We did the Trail (clockwise) and that was a FULL day, with lots of stops. We drove to Louisburg and back to Baddeck for another FULL day. I would highly recommend both.

You can get to some places quickly on the main roads, but we chose the back roads most of the time and never regretted it. The small villages are beautiful, there is less traffic, etc.

Enjoy!

Alison
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May 17th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Please note that NS takes a lot longer to drive across than it looks like it will from just looking at the map. Faux envies anyone staying at the Keltic Lodge. Someday. . . .

Faux agrees with the suggestions to do Cape Breton, the Bell Museum and Ft. Louisbourg. She regrets not having the time to take the boat to the Puffin Island or to do a whale watch (but she had done that off of Cape Cod at another time).

NS does not get nearly the tourist traffic it deserves because it is so far off the beaten path. The fact that it is difficult to get to is, however, part of its charm.

In Halifax do not miss the Maritime Museum. Learn about the Halifax explosion before going. The largest explosion prior to the atomic bomb occurred in Halifax Harbor when 2 boats collided during World War I. They never found out how many people died. It was in the thousands. Also, you can see some artifacts from the Titanic. Some of the bodies were buried in Halifax, but Faux did not have time to visit the graves. Choices, choices, alas. . . .

Do not worry about traveling without reservations. Faux had no problem doing that in August. There are B&B's all over. If you don't have a reservation, every little town has a tourist information place and they will find you a room very quickly.

Very friendly people in the Maritimes!
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May 17th, 2004, 09:17 PM
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We spent 3 wks in Maritimes last fall &loved it. Baddeck was wonderful -we stayed at McIntyre's Cabin and loved it. Went to Bell Museum and loved it, also the sail. Stop at Mabou (home of the Rankins) restaurant there called The Mull and a church that is open all night with candles going 24 hrs/day. Beautiful. Go whale watching (Fiddling with Whales tour). In Halifax go to pub called Upper Deck (I think) right next to the casino on the harbour - fabulous music!!! You're going to love this trip!!!!
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May 17th, 2004, 09:38 PM
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As for the Bay of Fundy I would highly recommend to stay a night in Annapolis Royal at the Hillsdale House. Wonderful town, wonderful Inn.
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May 18th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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Thanks so much to all who have responded. Lots of good information, lots of specifics. Just what I was looking for.
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May 19th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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The Red Shoe Pub in Mabou (CBI) is also wonderful. Great music on the weekends. The Celtic College north of Baddeck is very interesting - when we were there a piping and dancing competition was on. Lots of fun to watch for a couple of hours. There is a ton to see and the people are wonderful. you will love it.

Alison
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May 19th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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Check out the Red Shoe!!!! If you are in Cheticamp on a Saturday afternoon, the local tavern has a talent show and anyone may show up! Get there early though - the place gets packed!
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Jun 1st, 2004, 09:29 AM
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Regarding the Red Shoe Pub, after hearing all of the rave reviews I was looking forward to a visit during our trip to CBI this summer. However, I found out through their website that they have been forced to close due to "ongoing financial strain." Are there any other great places in the area to hear local music?
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Jun 1st, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Another possible place to stay between CBI and Halifax is Antigonish. If you stay there, be sure to eat at the Sunshine Cafe on Main Street -- absolutely delicious food!
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Jun 1st, 2004, 09:43 AM
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The Normaway Inn in Margaree Valley has good music featuring local musicians at their weekly ceildh. When we were there we were fortunate to hear Buddy McMaster, who was heading up the bill that night.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 02:48 PM
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There are various "kitchen" parties held around CB during the summer. Two years ago while in Baddeck, there was one with a couple of fiddlers, dancers,etc. I belive it was on the weekend - perhaps even a Friday night. Check with the locals when you arrive and you might even be lucky enough to hit an ol' time dance!
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