Peggy's Cove early-August

Old Jul 20th, 2023, 09:10 AM
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Peggy's Cove early-August

I think I'm pretty much finished planning my trip to Nova Scotia 8/1-8/6 with my teen daughter. We are driving from Boston to Hopewell Cape for one night (see tide rise and fall), then Halifax for 2 nights, Magaree Valley for 2 nights (Cabot Trail) and then back to the US (stopping in NH for an event) and then home to NY!

Now, as far as Peggy's Cove goes - is that a full day thing or is it a beautiful town with lots of shops, restaurants and a lighthouse that you must see? I'm thinking that it is like Newport, RI and Mystic, CT - where you need a few hours but not a full day. I'm also wondering about parking if we go there. Is parking hard to find and expensive?

I know I'm a crazy person for driving so much with little time to just relax but this is what we do. Any suggestions for must sees along our travels would be appreciated.

Thanks all. Happy/safe travelling.
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Old Jul 20th, 2023, 01:18 PM
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I’ve been to Peggy’s Cove now twice. I imagine it is possible to make a day of it when you’re in Halifax but both times I went, it was more of an 1-2 hour affair, admiring the homes by the water, the rocks, the lighthouse and possibly enjoying some seafood at the restaurant. Enjoy!
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Old Jul 21st, 2023, 05:14 AM
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Allow an hour to drive from downtown Halifax (assuming that's where you are staying) to Peggy's Cove. There is free parking shortly after you turn off Highway 333, just follow the signs. You then walk into the village and see the lighthouse.

It's a tiny village with a couple of grockle shops and the Sou'wester restaurant. I agree with Daniel_Williams, you can see everything in 90 minutes or less.

I am not a fan of the Sou'wester. Tom's Lobster Shack offers generous and delicious lobster rolls, although they are pricey.

Peggy's Cove will be very crowded on an August day, especially if there are cruise ships in Halifax. If you would like to avoid the crowds, try to get there very early in the day or in the late afternoon. As for food, in addition to the lobster shack, there is Rhubarb in Indian Harbour, which is much better than the Sou'wester. Just continue west and north on Highway 333, and after you have dined, you can continue north on 333 to Upper Tantallon, where you can get onto 103 and drive back into Halifax.

A word about Cape Breton in August: relatively speaking, there are not a lot of restaurants along the way, and it would be a very good idea to reserve for an evening meal. I'd say the same thing about Rhubarb near Peggy's Cove, as it's a popular spot.



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Old Jul 23rd, 2023, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mereh
I think I'm pretty much finished planning my trip to Nova Scotia 8/1-8/6 with my teen daughter. We are driving from Boston to Hopewell Cape for one night (see tide rise and fall), then Halifax for 2 nights, Magaree Valley for 2 nights (Cabot Trail) and then back to the US (stopping in NH for an event) and then home to NY!

Now, as far as Peggy's Cove goes - is that a full day thing or is it a beautiful town with lots of shops, restaurants and a lighthouse that you must see? I'm thinking that it is like Newport, RI and Mystic, CT - where you need a few hours but not a full day. I'm also wondering about parking if we go there. Is parking hard to find and expensive?

I know I'm a crazy person for driving so much with little time to just relax but this is what we do. Any suggestions for must sees along our travels would be appreciated.

Thanks all. Happy/safe travelling.

I am very much in-sync with your vibe and your plans... obviously you know you need to haul *ss...

so you just do it...


Peggy's Cove... go there long enough to have dinner, and roam around on the rocks near the lighthouse... take a few photos...


I don't think anyone goes there for the food as much as just for the experience ...


So probably still best to go to the main restaurant... see the lobsters in the tank, and then order something else.


See if you can time anything in MONCTON to be near the river for the tidal bore... since you have to go that way anyway...


also, when you're bombing through, and you have to stop SOMEwhere.. (food, gas, etc)... Antigonish is a cute little place where a mom and a teen daughter could have fun looking around.


The Tidal Bore could be seen at Truro as well...


IF you get familiar with this link:

https://www.tides.gc.ca/en/stations/00170


and master it...


then it would be a good idea to have TIDAL BORE TIMES for Moncton, AND TRURO printed out for the entire window of your travel.


That way somebody riding shotgun in the car could easily reference printed data known well in advance... JUST TO SEE if you could time it to match your travel after a random delay.



Generally speaking, the center of Nova Scotia is highways where decent speeds are attainable... the rest, though, doesn't go as fast as the rest of society... because Nova Scotia simply isn't on the way to anywhere, so they don't have to facilitate cross-travel as might Kansas or the like.

If you are in a hurry, DON'T get the idea to go and drive along the shore (in most cases) (this is particularly true up the Atlantic coast northeast of Halifax.)


IF it were me, envisioning 2 nights in Halifax... I would mainly stay IN TOWN... with the exception of driving to Peggy's Cove in the evening (for dinner).

Spring Garden Road is a lively street... and although on the side of a hill, the downtown in general is fun to explore.

As for parking... in Peggy's Cove... just drive behind the restaurant... and the parking is free there... if there is a waiting list of any amount of time, you can probably go and explore around the rocks and the lighthouse then.

Hopefully you won't cram too many brand new ideas into what will be a pleasant drive with enough scenery to keep you going.

Maybe Halifax is a place where you can take it easy a little bit after your solid 800 mile effort in getting there.

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Old Jul 24th, 2023, 01:02 AM
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Although you can see the main sights in a few hours, it's worth taking a half-day to really take in the beauty. Parking may be scarce during busy times, but getting there early will help you discover open spaces. The tidal phenomenon at Hopewell Cape, the historical landmarks in Halifax, and trekking the Cabot Trail in the Magaree Valley are all must-sees. Consider stopping in the UNESCO-listed historic town of Lunenburg, the Annapolis Valley wineries, and other attractions while travelling.
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Old Jul 24th, 2023, 08:54 AM
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Thank you all for taking the time to answer and for all your great suggestions.
Over the weekend a new concern arose, of course. First, I hope all that live near Halifax are safe. Secondly, will the roads be open to visitors in the next week? Yesterday I read that there is a state of emergency in Halifax until August 5 and that many bridges were washed away. If I re-route my trip to skip Halifax, will there be a way to get from Yarmouth (if I decide to take the ferry) up to the Cabot Trail?
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Old Jul 24th, 2023, 01:44 PM
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Wow, yes, I heard / SAW the news...


The concern is the oddity of "Rain" every day in the forecast.

The population of the area assures that the authorities need to expedite any needed repairs, and while it may render you unable to do/see occasional places/things... I don't imagine they would keep THAT many people completely immobile and isolated unless absolutely necessary.

UGH - nothing I despise about Nova Scotia trips more than the ferry down there. Most of the sights are up high... on the map, so you might as well be driving up and around for the convenience of seeing them.

(pause) Oh, has your teen daughter ever seen or taken interest in "Titanic" (the movie) ??

IF the weather permits, you could visit the cemetery not far from central Halifax where so many of the Titanic victims are buried... including the one grave that says: "J. Dawson".


As I already said, the roads around Nova Scotia don't let you go at the break-neck speeds that are common in the 48 states... so IF you conned yourself into taking the ferry to Yarmouth... then you would just rearrange your priorities to have you staying (away from Halifax, IF that is the reason/goal)... and driving inland, not far from the Fundy shore...

IF YOU GO THAT WAY... definitely pause at Burntcoat Head at low tide and walk waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the heck out there on the ocean floor. It's a great way to impact yourselves with just how unique the tides really ARE there. (if rivers turning around and flowing in the opposite direction doesn't do it for you)


IF YOU CON YOURSELVES into taking the ferry, (then driving up the Fundy shore) you will drive past/near some of the riverbeds which may be nearly empty of water, with LOTS of mud meeting the eye. Perhaps the first sights of these will make you want to pause and get out for a look. Then you will imagine the tide coming in a few hours later and the water flowing UP stream in those spots.

I can't help with the daily updates of road conditions in Nova Scotia but there surely must be the means with which to stay informed.

Geez, the forecast has "showers" every day for Sydney, Nova Scotia as well.

(deep, contemplative breath)


SO much of the intrigue and appeal to the area is water-related, with so much lush green landscape as the result, that I think you can still make a go of the trip and be just fine...

Although I wish you could push a button that simply said: "optimize"... while giving your dates of travel and general desired path... and some machine (or "Mother Nature" herself) would spit-out the very best alterations for you to make.

The Cabot Trail in the RAIN would be OK... but it's the FOG that is the worst...

I think that were I embarking upon the Cabot Trail in the rain, that I would SKIP the hike on the Skyline Trail... for when out at the end you'd be uncovered, and vulnerable to being as SOAKED as the path back to the car could cause.

It really is scenic and appealing sight-seeing from a car... and the Fundy tides that carved so much are chief among the reasons why.

And even IF the forecast says "showers" every day... doesn't mean that better/sunny weather can't be useful to you during at least parts of the day.

(temps 73 to 80 in Halifax on most of the next 2 weeks)



More than most, you are going to have to wing-it with regard to the weather... but I'm confident in saying "don't get discouraged"... and I know that I'd still be content to be driving there in the steady rain.

I love the path between Parrsboro and Truro along the Fundy shore... and those visions aren't really altered very much by rain... nor are the powerful tides.

It's just that, when somebody is gonna need to "wing-it"... everybody on a travel website is disappointed that they cannot help as much, for not knowing which new boundaries will turn up, and when.




Last edited by NorthwestMale; Jul 24th, 2023 at 01:59 PM.
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Old Jul 25th, 2023, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mereh
Thank you all for taking the time to answer and for all your great suggestions.
Over the weekend a new concern arose, of course. First, I hope all that live near Halifax are safe. Secondly, will the roads be open to visitors in the next week? Yesterday I read that there is a state of emergency in Halifax until August 5 and that many bridges were washed away. If I re-route my trip to skip Halifax, will there be a way to get from Yarmouth (if I decide to take the ferry) up to the Cabot Trail?
This was our heaviest rainfall since 1971. I live on St. Margaret's Bay and our nearest gauge reported 237 millimetres of rain, so just over 9 inches. We were ok, but the property damage in NS was staggering, and there were, sadly, fatalities.

However, I think you can continue with your plans. Crews are working to clear and repair washouts, and there are workarounds for the 25 bridges that were damaged in the floods. There will be a lot more done between now and your trip next week.

The best source for up-to-date road and highway information is the Nova Scotia 511 site: https://511.novascotia.ca Select "closures" and "incidents" and zoom in along your proposed route. You will see that the 103 from Yarmouth to Halifax, the 102 north to Truro, and the 104 east to Cape Breton are all open.

One thing to watch is Highway 333 to Peggy's Cove. There was, as of yesterday, a blockage east of Peggy's Cove, but the village is still accessible by driving to Upper Tantallon and going south on the west side of the peninsula. I suspect, though, that all will be clear by the time your are here.
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Old Jul 26th, 2023, 01:56 AM
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A clarification on my note above on highway 103 from Yarmouth to Halifax. Yes, it is open, but there is an overpass that was damaged near Chester. Traffic is diverted off of the 103 between exits 8 and 7 and onto the old highway 3. So, while completely passable, that detour is very slow. I mention it because there is no known repair date in sight.

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2248797251661

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Old Jul 28th, 2023, 06:15 AM
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Thank you all again for all the information. I really do appreciate it.

My travel plans have changed a bit. I will no longer be staying in Hopewell Cape and instead will be taking the ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. (That could serve as my boat ride and take that off the list of things we'd like to do. lol) I couldn't argue with the teen who just wanted one day to lay by a pool and not drive for hours. So I reserved a hotel for 8/1 in Bar Harbor right next to the ferry. I will still be in Halifax 8/2 - 8/3 heading to Margaree Valley on 8/4 - 8/6. Still plan on visiting Peggy's Cove and hope to be able to see Burntcoat Head all on 8/3 and visit the Citadel and the cemetery on 8/4 before we head out of Halifax. Weather is not looking great as of now but that changes and adjustments can be made if need be.

I have downloaded the app for road information and have signed up for updates.

Thank you again.
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Old Jul 28th, 2023, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mereh
Thank you all again for all the information. I really do appreciate it.

My travel plans have changed a bit. I will no longer be staying in Hopewell Cape and instead will be taking the ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. (That could serve as my boat ride and take that off the list of things we'd like to do. lol) I couldn't argue with the teen who just wanted one day to lay by a pool and not drive for hours. So I reserved a hotel for 8/1 in Bar Harbor right next to the ferry. I will still be in Halifax 8/2 - 8/3 heading to Margaree Valley on 8/4 - 8/6. Still plan on visiting Peggy's Cove and hope to be able to see Burntcoat Head all on 8/3 and visit the Citadel and the cemetery on 8/4 before we head out of Halifax. Weather is not looking great as of now but that changes and adjustments can be made if need be.

I have downloaded the app for road information and have signed up for updates.

Thank you again.

UGH... I accept the teen's wishes as a constraint... AND I even approve of the expected weather in Bar Harbor.


Nothing makes it clear to us how you are RETURNING to the USA. (if driving, then surely you can have a chance at Hopewell Cape on the rebound... and then continue on through Fundy National Park, IF ONLY for a driving path)

That is when you want to have TIDE and (tidal bore) TIMES PRINTED OUT on paper, in your glove box, for easy reference... because you don't precisely KNOW when you'll be passing through various spots)

I wouldn't take time out of (that small window of Halifax) to bother with Burntcoat Head... although it is quite unique to be walking waaaaaaaaaay out there:

(show the daughter some of the pictures on my thread here:

You - who are reminded of Nova Scotia by news of the recent tragedy - VISIT NS!

... and see if she has any interest in going to Burntcoat Head, where the highest tide ever recorded was)

(clarity: just a couple of photos from there)

Most anyone who fancies laying around by a hotel pool will be much happier meandering around by the Halifax waterfront than driving for a 3-hour round trip across the middle of NS (where there is very little) to see the significantly low tide. There are enough cutesy shops by the Halifax waterfront to keep anyone busy for a while.


Does the DAUGHTER have any interest in the cemetery in Halifax re: Titanic?


You are on the VERGE of all of this... so I hope you cross all of the T's and dot the i 's really soon!

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Old Aug 17th, 2023, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mereh
Thank you all again for all the information. I really do appreciate it.

My travel plans have changed a bit. I will no longer be staying in Hopewell Cape and instead will be taking the ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. (That could serve as my boat ride and take that off the list of things we'd like to do. lol) I couldn't argue with the teen who just wanted one day to lay by a pool and not drive for hours. So I reserved a hotel for 8/1 in Bar Harbor right next to the ferry. I will still be in Halifax 8/2 - 8/3 heading to Margaree Valley on 8/4 - 8/6. Still plan on visiting Peggy's Cove and hope to be able to see Burntcoat Head all on 8/3 and visit the Citadel and the cemetery on 8/4 before we head out of Halifax. Weather is not looking great as of now but that changes and adjustments can be made if need be.

I have downloaded the app for road information and have signed up for updates.

Thank you again.
How was your trip? Am looking to take a similar one in late Sept. Do you suggest taking the CAT? How was the driving? Any other tips or must stay/sees are appreciated!
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 08:12 AM
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We're back!!

Thank you so much to everyone for the suggestions and guidance. We had a fabulous trip. My apologies for not checking in sooner but, of course, I got myself locked out of this page and had to wait until I got back to the office to reply.

snorkel3, we took the CAT from Bar Harbor and really enjoyed it. We stayed one night in Bar Harbor and got on the ferry the following day. The ferry has plenty of seating options with a live band in one area, bingo in another, a movie for kids in another and another movie for non-kids (Oceans 8 on our trip). Total for the one-way trip for my daughter, myself and my suv was $349 ( I think there was a $100 off special when I booked). The only issue was once we got to NS, since we were one of the first cars on, we were one of the last off so we had to wait about an hour in line to get into Canada. After that we were driving to Halifax which is a long drive in the dark and one road was undergoing a little construction so we were delayed but not long.

If I had to do it again, I would have booked something along the Bay of Fundy after the ferry. I personally wasn't impressed with Halifax. Went to the Citadel and Peggy's Cove (never got tot the cemetery and I would have liked to see that) but wouldn't have stayed for 2 nights because we loved the views and the small towns along the Cabot Trail. Found a few cute cafe's and restaurants and would have spent another night up north. Peggy's Cove is beautiful but there isn't much to do. I thought there would be a bunch of little shops and restaurants and it would be a nice little town to walk around.
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mereh
Thank you so much to everyone for the suggestions and guidance. We had a fabulous trip. My apologies for not checking in sooner but, of course, I got myself locked out of this page and had to wait until I got back to the office to reply.

snorkel3, we took the CAT from Bar Harbor and really enjoyed it. We stayed one night in Bar Harbor and got on the ferry the following day. The ferry has plenty of seating options with a live band in one area, bingo in another, a movie for kids in another and another movie for non-kids (Oceans 8 on our trip). Total for the one-way trip for my daughter, myself and my suv was $349 ( I think there was a $100 off special when I booked). The only issue was once we got to NS, since we were one of the first cars on, we were one of the last off so we had to wait about an hour in line to get into Canada. After that we were driving to Halifax which is a long drive in the dark and one road was undergoing a little construction so we were delayed but not long.

If I had to do it again, I would have booked something along the Bay of Fundy after the ferry. I personally wasn't impressed with Halifax. Went to the Citadel and Peggy's Cove (never got tot the cemetery and I would have liked to see that) but wouldn't have stayed for 2 nights because we loved the views and the small towns along the Cabot Trail. Found a few cute cafe's and restaurants and would have spent another night up north. Peggy's Cove is beautiful but there isn't much to do. I thought there would be a bunch of little shops and restaurants and it would be a nice little town to walk around.
Did you drive back to Boston? How was the drive and the rest of your trip?
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Old Sep 5th, 2023, 09:26 AM
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Yes, we drove back to the US but we stopped in NH to look at a college. We came home on a Sunday and the drive was fine, not too much traffic and at the border crossing (St. Peter's I think), we had no delay.
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