Nova Scotia Trip Ideas

Old Jul 16th, 2013, 08:22 AM
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Nova Scotia Trip Ideas


So I am planning a trip out east with my boyfriend this summer, and really want it to be a good experience.

We are from Toronto Area, and planning to drive.

Our Itinerary will look SOMETHING like this:

Day 1: Drive drive drive... stop about an hour past Quebec City

Day 2: More drive drive drive... stop in Sydney, NS (I get that this is lots of driving for two days, about 10-12 hours each day, but I'd rather take a slower drive on the way back when we are tired.

Day 3: Head do Fortress of Louisbourg for morning, and Miners Museum on the way back to Sydney.

Day 4/5: Spend on the Cabot trail.

Day 6-12: Spend in Halifax, and doing day trips (ie Peggy's cove, Lunenburg, Drive the Eastern Shore)

Day 13-15: Bay of Fundy area (both the NS side and NB side).

Then day 16-17: Driving back (stop in Montreal to visit my brother)

My biggest question is while in Halifax, what good day trips are there to take? Where are good hiking/scenary areas, and where are good places for food? Also if that itinerary sounds OK?

Thanks so much!
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Halifax: Nice small to medium city, however you are planning quite a bit of time there. You can do a few nice daytrips, but with that much time I personally would go farther afield, i.e. farther than would be convenient as a daytrip and stay in some other destinations.

From Halifax you can do Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg (2 of these at least in one day as Peggy's Cove is tiny), perhaps a couple of the closest South Shore beaches, perhaps Taylor Head Provincial Park (nice trails), perhaps Wolfville (but you say you're visiting the NS side of Fundy separately - what areas?).

I might consider maybe 2 or 3 nights in Halifax, doing a drive up the Eastern Shore as far as Taylor Head one of those days, then leave Halifax and explore the South Shore/Lighthouse Route with stops on the way at Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay, perhaps dinner and overnight in Lunenburg. Then continue up this shore, exploring the coastal roads with their quaint fishing villages and some rugged headlands, stopping at perhaps Sommerville Beach, Carters Beach and/or Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Adjunct. Overnight somewhere like Lockeport or Shelburne. Drive across to Digby/Annapolis Royal (worth a day) and then drive through the Annapolis Valley, getting off the main road to explore the NS Fundy Shore a bit e.g. Halls Harbour. Then drive around to the NB side of the Fundy Shore.

Alternatively to some of the above, you could head up to the Parrsboro/Advocate Harbour area for 2 or 3 days which is a particularly scenic portion of the NS Fundy Shore.
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the Info!!

When I say I'm heading to the NS side of the Bay of Fundy, I meant spending it up in the Parrsboro/Advocate harbour area for a day and a half. Basically head out early morning, spend the night. I could cut a day out of the Halifax side of things, however a handful of my good friends live there, and I will be doing some dinner visiting. So I was looking for good day trips while friends are working. I am quite happy to leave early in the morning, and get back around 6pm or so.

Ideally I want to spend 1-2 days in Halifax, seeing the waterfront, my bf wants to sail a tall ship (which is really touristy and overpriced, but whatever). Then spend a day doing Peggy's cove/Lunenburg. Another day heading the other direction (Taylorhead Park maybe). Then I could spend a day going to Wolfville/Kentville as well. Which already uses up about 5 days.

At the end of the day, if we think we are spending TOO many days in Halifax, we can leave early. But I'll probably play that one by ear.
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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You sound well-versed on the basics, though I too am a tad surprised as so many days in Halifax.

I understand your will to drive like mad on the way east, but it becomes so easy to later opt-out of various ideas you'd had earlier, just for being pressed for time. I'm a fan of covering the important stuff on the way in/east... like Hopewell Cape, etc.

Also, I endorse the idea of staying at/near Baddeck, NS... and making that a home base for Cape Breton. Ideally, at the first sign of clear weather, you go to the Cabot Trail then, rather than doing something else first.

The best idea I can offer at all is to go to the following website and print out the tide tables for 3 to 5 spots around the Bay of Fundy, each for the entire window of your trip.

Have it handy in the glove box.

In all honesty, you would probably do well to add one more night along your path east (reducing Halifax by at least that one night), and divide the loooooong distances more comfortably. Plus, you'd get to see one more spot for more than just gas and go.

Not only that, but you could spend that first night IN Quebec City, instead of an hour down the road. Perhaps Quebec City... then Moncton, NB (from which you could take a side trip down to Hopewell Cape, to see it at low tide, before pressing on to Baddeck or Sydney.

That way, you'd have Hopewell Cape out of the way, and would have a later option of returning to see it at high tide on the path outbound. Plus, with a night at Moncton, the Tidal Bore would be an option.
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Overall, your plan sounds pretty good but you may want to consider cutting down on the lengthy drives. 10-12 hours is a lot of driving. Stop & smell the roses!

Unless you have family in Sydney, I see no reason to go there.
You can stay in Baddeck & from there, visit Louisbourg & the Miners' Museum. Miners' Museum is not really on the way back to Sydney from Louisbourg. MM is in Glace Bay. If you do go to Glace Bay, make sure that you go to the beach in Dominion. There is a beautiful boardwalk there that runs along the Atlantic Ocean.

When are you going?

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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Halifax day trips:

Lawrencetown beach - you can rent surf gear!
Clam Harbour - great beach, usually can play in the waves
Crystal Crescent beach - not far from the city and a nice drive
Martinque Beach - short drive from Halifax as well

Wolfville - wineries, local produce, Hall's Harbour, lots to see and do in one day

Tall Ship - yeah, hokey but nice to see the coastline from the water. Ask if it takes you up the Northwest Arm.

Halifax - on the waterfront, if you want a cold beer, try Murphy's on the wharf. Their deck has a breeze on almost all days and $16 pitchers all day, every day. Food is ok, overpriced I find, but quality is good.

Point Pleasant Park - Not sure I would consider it a hike, but a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon surrounded by the harbour. Take a picnic lunch and explore.

For good food in Halifax, depends on what you want?

I agree with previous posts, not much in Sydney. Stay the night in Baddeck, you won't be disappointed. Want to perch on the water, the yacht club welcomes visitors to their deck. Or take the little ferry to the beach. The Alexander Graham Bell museum is worthy of a trip!
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Old Jul 28th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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I am staying in Sydney because I know people there, so have a place to stay for free. Same reason I am spending some extra time in Halifax (a few good friends live there, and have had babies and so there will be some catch up while I'm there).

But HUGE HUGE thanks for those day trips. That sounds great!

Now that it is getting closer to the time I am going, I am all pumped up.

And I am heading out August 18th, which would mean I'd be there around 9pm August 19th. And yes, I know its lots of driving on the way there, but some issues with timing and staying with friends, so I had to do it that way.
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Old Jul 28th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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Also thanks for the idea of carrying the tides times in my car!! That is great...

I am putting together a whole package of what to do where, so it will all be included. In my attempts to actually be a planner so not to disappoint the boyfriend.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Hey! Can some of you pass along dining clues for a few places...query at Eating in Nova Scotia, Maritimes?
Plus anymore special places to visit.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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On the subject of tall ship harbour cruises in Halifax, I can definitely recommend going on the Mar from Murphy's on the Water Cable Wharf:

It's a lovely experience and you see so much of the city and the fortifications on George's Island from the water. The Mar is a smaller boat than their larger Silva (which I think is only available for event rentals anyway) and you get a better feel for being on the water.
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Old Aug 1st, 2013, 11:36 AM
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If I were you I would spend less time in and around Halifax and more time touring the Cabot Trail/Cape Breton - it is absolutely gorgeous. I just got back from an amazing trip to Nova Scotia a few weeks ago and it was my favourite part of our trip. If you are looking for places to eat, stay, visit and things to do, check out my series of blog posts on our trip (just scroll down to the bottom to the beginning):

Our itinerary was as follows

1) Halifax
2) Peggy's Cove/Mahone Bay/Lunenburg
3) Baddeck
4) Ingonish
5) Meat Cove/Cheticamp
6) Inverness/Mabou
7) Mabou/Port Hood
8) Halifax
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