Nova Scotia in October

Old Apr 12th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Nova Scotia in October

Hello there,

I'm planing to visit Nova Scotia for 2 weeks in early october. I have read that there is a lot to see, but it seems that many hotels and lots of touristical sites are closed in october.
Is this correct?
Are there any discounts on accomodation in the "lower season"?
Is october a good time for whale watching (or when is the best time for that)?
I also read that there is a good chance to see moose or even eagles in Cape Breton.
Is this true? This question may sound stupid, but here in Germany, we don't have to much wildlife left.
Are there any proposals for things to see, that are not to be found in travel guides?

Thank you in advance,
Kaiser_Bruno is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Up until Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct 11, 2010) it will still be "high" season for many of the tourism operators, especially on Cape Breton Island (due to many tours re changing colors of the leaves). However, it is a spectacular time to tour NS the last part of September and early October. Moose start to roam once it gets colder, especially in the Highlands of Cape Breton. As for eagles, they are abundant in many parts of rural Nova Scotia. As for whale watching, it may be too late in the season, but others on this forum may have more specific information to share.

The national historic sites will be open at least until Thanksgiving weekend. Louisbourg in Cape Breton is breathtaking. Citadel Hill in Halifax a great way to spend an afternoon.

What are your other likes, dislikes? The province has many different things to offer, but I am sure you will enjoy Nova Scotia no matter where you visit!
Tanya is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Hi Tanya,

thank you very much for your answer. I've been to Nova Scotia before, but I haven't managed to come to Cape Breton.
I really hope to see some wild animals, and I'm looking forward to enjoy the nature over there.
I'm really looking forward, to see all the exciting places over there. Do you have any further information on Nova Scotia, or any tipps?
Here in Europe they have travel guides for almost every larger city, but if you are looking for information on Canada, they have divided in East- and West-Canada.
So I'm looking through the "Doers and Dreamers Guide 2009" the Nova Scotia Tourist Board sent to me.
So if anybody of you out there has any hints where to find some helpful information on planning a trip to Nova Scotia...

Thanks in advance,
Kaiser_Bruno is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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As Tanya has already stated, tourism is still very much alive in October, particularly on Cape Breton Island. Our "International Celtic Colours Festival" ( year is from the 8th to the 16th of October . The "colour" portion of the festival refers to the changing leaves which are spectacular at that time. The "Celtic" portion refers to the Celtic music concerts that are held all over the Island for 8 days in something like 40 venues. If you stay in the Sydney area you can catch a Celtic show every night within a 20 minute drive. Some of our guests choose to stay in Sydney every night, others choose to drive around the Island spending a day or more in each place to catch their favourite artists. In addition to the great music, there are workshops every day on a variety of subjects (water colours, carving, fiddling, dance, etc) It is an absolutely magical time. The weather is still nice at that time of year as well and although the nights can be cool the days are still great for hiking.

The only problem that Celtic Colours brings is that you must book your accommodation (anywhere on the Island) well ahead of time. Most of the good accommodations will be fully booked by the end of June. Tourism dies down immediately after Celtic Colours. Although you will be able to find lots of accommodation after the 16th of October, most of the tourist attractions will be closed and most places to eat around the Cabot Trail will also be closed which means that you will have to be careful choosing where to stay. Room rates will stay at the summer rate until after the Celtic Colours Festival and in some cases right up to the end of October.

Most of our B&B guests see moose when they travel the Cabot Trail, particularly if they go hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A few have seen bears. You will see eagles almost every day when you travel around the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Hope this is of some help and have a good vacation in Nova Scotia.

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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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I did Cape Breton last year the week before and over Thanksgiving weekend. Hotels were no problem. For Canadian Thanksgiving weekend you must book a month before but we got deals on hotel the week before that.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:33 AM
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Yes, the key dates to check out will be the dates of the Celtic Colours Festival events and especially events in Mabou , Inverness or Margaree and that's because these areas are key fall colours areas . There are lots of rural and side roads for causal hiking and then many hikes in the National park, the Skyline Trail is the big one.

Accommodations is not a problem but again watch the locations of the Celtic Colours events to watch for locations that may get booked early. I didn't check the site for Celtic Colours but assume their schedule for 2010 is not fixed yet . So, if any of the three places above might be on your list , suggest you try to book by June .

Moose- most likely around French Mountain and French Lake , early morning or from 5 pm till dark.
Whales- Cheticamp, Pleasant bay have Zodiac boats that make an excellent trip.
Eagles- all over the place, along shores of Bras d'or lakes, Margaree River and Margaree Harbour , around Cabot Trail at the fishing harbours
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