Nova Scotia vs Newfoundland

Jun 21st, 2015, 02:31 PM
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Nova Scotia vs Newfoundland

We have about 2 weeks in mid August - plus or minus a day or 2 - to travel and we're debating Nova Scotia vs Newfoundland/ We know we are planning late but we couldn't commit till now. I know flights will be expensive from SFO.

ALL that said we are leaning towards NL as it seems a tiny bit wilder and unexpected with exciting wildlife without having to do a LOT of hiking Any advice on how to choose between the two provinces?
newtome is offline  
Jun 21st, 2015, 10:50 PM
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I'm sure it will be wilder...

But what are the chances you will ever get back to either one???

The nearer they trend toward zero, the more sensible it is to select Nova Scotia now.

The most exciting thing that ever happened in Newfoundland might have been September 11th
NorthwestMale is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 02:20 AM
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i think newfoundland would be a little more "wilder". if you are into hiking, of course, gros morne national park would be fabulous. mingling with all the locals would be a blast, i'm sure. unfortunately on my trip out east, did not give me enough time to explore this province because i figured it deserved around 10 days. i did spend 2 1/2 weeks in nova scotia. loved it and wish i had had another few days. so, bottom line, with two weeks...i don't think you can go wrong with either province. check out flight prices and rental car prices and availability. have a great trip.
ltt is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 08:54 AM
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We've visited Newfoundland once and divided our week between Twillingate area and Gros Morne National Park, most at the latter. Gros Morne is one of Canada's most spectacular Parks, with some excellent hiking.

There is lots we did not have time for in Newfoundland and have always talked about getting back one day.... but.....

On the other hand, we have vacationed in Nova Scotia multiple times and are planning to do so again this summer. The various parts of the province are quite varied in scenery and activity potential but it's compact enough that a 2 week touring vacation is wonderful and just right. The summer weather tends, on average, to be nicer than Newfoundland too. Check out the famous and spectacular Cabot Trail Scenic Driving Tour of Cape Breton, especially the portion through the National Park (also on the list of top most spectacular Canadian National Parks). The South Shore (Lighthouse Route) is full of charming Historic Towns, quaint fishing villages and beautiful (albeit cold) and often not very busy beaches (particularly as you get farther from Halifax). Parrsboro allows you to view the famous Fundy Tides and has interesting Geology. Halifax is a nice modern mid-size City with a vibrant downtown and Harbour district. Many like the Wolfsville area with it's wine region and verdant valleys plus day-trips from here offer some views of the Fundy Tides and other quaint villages (e.g. Annapolis Royal).

We've seen lots of Moose and Eagles in Nova Scotia, especially Cape Breton (which is technically an Island, but connected to mainland by a short causeway). We've seen Pilot Whales while standing on some of the headlands. Whale Boat Tours are offered out of Cape Breton (e.g. Pleasant Bay & Cheticamp - more targeted to the smaller species) or Brier Island (goes in the Bay of Fundy and target the larger species - But Brier Island is a bit out of the way). You might want to book ahead if you decide on these.
mat54 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 09:42 AM
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I've visited both provinces on numerous occasions (NL 5 times, NS more than I can remember) and I don't think you will go wrong with either choice.

For NS, my highlights would be Halifax, Lunenburg and the South Shore, Halifax and the Annapolis Valley/Fundy coast. You would not be rushed seeing all those places in two weeks.

My choice, however, would be Newfoundland. It is just as historic as NS (St. John's predates Halifax by more than a century), and is filled with very scenic towns and villages. And St. John's is a colourful city, much more interesting to me than Halifax. There is, of course, much "wild"country in between, but the scenery in such places as Terra Nova and Gros Morne National Parks is spectacular. I don't think, for example, that there is anything in Nova Scotia to match the Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne Park.

Because of the distances, two weeks is the minimum to see both the east and west coasts and some places in between. My suggestion would be to fly into St. John's, and spend 4 or 5 days exploring the city and the surrounding Avalon Peninsula. There are many interesting sights to see in the Avalon outside of St. John's including the Witless Bay and Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserves, Cape Spear--the easternmost point in North America, and historic towns such as Ferryland, Cupids, and Brigus to name a few. I know that Peggy's Cove NS is on everyone's list of top sights, but I can think of at least a dozen places in Newfoundland equally as picturesque if not more so.

From St. John's head toward the west coast with stops on the Bonavista Peninsula for Trinity (a must see) and Bonavista, then on to Twillingate. If you can spare the time, Fogo Island is wonderful place to see. I might even suggest that if you are pressed you might choose Fogo Island over Twillingate.

Then on to the west coast. Stay in Gros Morne Park for at least three days to properly see it. (I've stayed in Rocky Harbour, Norris Point and also Woody Point on the south side of Bonne Bay). A cruise on Western Brook Pond is a must. Then head up the Northern Peninsula for L'Anse aux Meadows, the site of the Viking village from 1000 AD. St. Anthony is a great place for a trip to see whales and icebergs, although by August there may be few icebergs left to be seen.

Return to Deer Lake, where you can turn in your rental car and begin your flights home.

One caution, accommodation in August will be at a premium (this applies to NS as well, but less so), so once you have made your choice you should book your places to stay and your rental car (this is important for NL as not all rental companies will allow a pick-up in St. John's and drop off at Deer Lake.)

I may sound like a spokesman for NL tourism but I'm not--I have simply found over my travels that Newfoundland is such a special place that I can't help but urge people to visit. NL Tourism, BTW, has a series of ads that I think are unsurpassed. You can view some here.

Finally, I don't know what point an earlier poster was trying to make about 9/11 being the most exciting thing that ever happened in Newfoundland. One doesn't go to NL, or NS for that matter, for excitement, but for the pleasure of seeing historic places, spectacular scenery, and wonderful friendly people. Whichever you choose, you should have a great time.
laverendrye is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 10:09 AM
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In my previous remarks about Nova Scotia I somehow left out Cape Breton as a highlight. How could I have? If visiting Nova Scotia I think that a few days or more in Cape Breton are essential.
laverendrye is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 10:37 AM
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Nobody knows what point laverendrye is trying to make about what is more historic. Nothing in the O.P. requests or suggests that history is at all part of the criteria for selecting a vacation destination.

But if you want to talk history, Newfoundland didn't even become part of Canada until 1949!

Furthermore, to compare a mere self-described "pond" (less than 9 square miles, with 26 miles of shoreline) to The Bay of Fundy (170 miles long, and hundreds of miles of shoreline) is absurd.

The tides in the Bay of Fundy are more excitement twice daily than ever happens in Newfoundland (unless, of course, you are there for the next Operation Yellow Ribbon. (* particularly if you don't adhere to this sign: https://jeanniestraveladdiction.file...scaled1000.jpg )

It remains sensible that, as the chance you will ever get back to either place approaches zero, the more reasons there are to opt for Nova Scotia (NB and PE) now, than to choose Newfoundland.

IF you're going to go to Halifax on business in 2 weeks or 2 years, then go to Newfoundland this time.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2015, 05:00 PM
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My goodness, what provoked that little outburst from NWM?

Well, I have no intention of engaging in a slanging match, but will let others judge for themselves the value of his observations.

As I have mentioned, I have visited both provinces on numerous occasions and I think that they are both beautiful places worthy of visiting. I hope, deo volente, to visit both again. (In fact, I was in Halifax just last week, although only at the airport on my way to another place, so that doesn't count as a visit).

I merely wanted to point out some of the merits of visiting Newfoundland because it is much less frequently visited than its Atlantic neighbour. If I compared Newfoundland more favourably in some cases to Nova Scotia it was only because many of the delights of Newfoundland are not nearly as well known as those of Nova Scotia.

So as I have mentioned earlier for newtome, the OP, you will have a great holiday whichever you choose. I would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have based on my travels and experiences in this wonderful part of Canada.
laverendrye is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 02:53 AM
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I agree with laverendrye: you can't go wrong with either choice. Newfoundland has longer driving times, but a more distinct culture. N.S. is smaller so you are never far from the coast. Both have magnificent scenery, quaint villages, wildlife,friendly people. Choose and enjoy!
eliztravels2 is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:17 AM
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If it's wild you're looking for, go to Newfoundland, although Cape Breton Nat'l Park is excellent for wildlife. If you don't mind a long hike or two, try Gros Morne and Green Gardens in Gros Morne park. Take a tour boat in Bay Bulls and visit Cape St-Mary's.
Erick_L is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice. We are more likely to get to Nova Scotia in the future, so I think Newfoundland will be the trip for us this time around. We've already booked a car in case we do get to go, but with drop off these being impossible, we will likely drive from St. John's and back again to make our flight.
newtome is offline  
Jul 14th, 2015, 11:56 PM
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Hi newtome Thank you for the birthday wishes! I am just putting my two cents worth in here. I vote for Nfld if for no other reason than the Newfoundlanders themselves. I have never experienced such absolutely delightful and welcoming people. Of course we Canadians are all delightful!! but Newfoundlanders are special. I loved my time there.
traveller69 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for all the great info - we've had to postpone our trip so I'll book mark this!
newtome is offline  
Sep 15th, 2016, 08:55 AM
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question to laverendrye and others feel free to chime in:
Not sure if I should be starting a separate topic, but I'm choosing b/w NL and NS for no more than 10 days EXTENDED family trip (yikes!), about 15 members, ages range from 11 to 80 years old (3 generations but all pretty hardy and adventurous), mostly interested in parking ourselves at 1 or 2 destinations (would possibly rent a beach house(s) or something of that nature) and do daytrip excursions. Like adventure/outdoor stuff--fishing, hiking, rafting, whatever, plus excited to see the small towns and seaside villages. Thoughts???
travelerdoc is offline  
Sep 15th, 2016, 08:58 AM
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Wecome to the forum, travelerdoc!

Best to start a new post. Many readers read the original post, then post an answer to that, without reading other posts on the thread.
elberko is online now  
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