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dmintz Mar 14th, 2010 01:17 AM

PEI and Nova Scotia - Advice for 1 week trip
My wife and I are planning an approximate week long trip in the beginning of August this year to PEI and Nova Scotia (1st, but hopefully not last) time. She very much wants to visit PEI, we will be flying from Washington DC to Halifax, and we believe we have to pick either Cape Breton or the south but not both for the other part of the visit, we decided on Cape Breton.

Our initial thoughts which we want to pin down soon.

Day 1: arrive around noon (only non-stop), drive to Sydney

Day 2: Sydney day trips (Louisbourg, ...)

Day 3: Sydney, drive to Ingomish

Day 4: Ingomish area, drive to Inverness

Day 5: Inverness area, ferry to PEI, end up at Charlottetown

Day 6, 7: PEI

Day 8: PEI, drive to Halifax (if we get there earlier enough, wander around)

Day 9: early flight (only non-stop), back to DC

Interested in any thoughts, comments, suggested 'must-see's. Also if we added one more day where would you spend it?

Thanks in advance.

- Dan

RVtraveler Mar 14th, 2010 08:46 AM

You're going to enjoy this trip - you've planned it well. I don't believe you'll need reservations in August so you might find that day 4 might get you a bit further than Inverness - on the other hand if you enjoy hiking, etc it may be just right.

About that extra day -- I'd spend it in PEI. see my profile and site for ideas.

irecommend Mar 15th, 2010 07:13 AM

Are you going to drive the Cabot Trail? Dont miss the Baddec are. It is very pretty!

OceanBreeze1 Mar 15th, 2010 12:03 PM

You may want to consider staying in Baddeck as opposed to Sydney. Sydney is basically a gritty, little, industrial town without charm. On the other hand, Baddeck is an historically interesting village set on the Bras d'or Lakes. Baddeck has been described as "the beginning and end" of the Cabot Trail and the Cabot trail is the jewel of Cape Breton Island. From Baddeck, you can easily do your day trip to Louisbourg. Baddeck also has the Alexander Graham Bell Museum & a beautiful golf course (Bell Bay). You can do a boat tour on the Bras d'or Lakes.
You will pass Baddeck on your way to Sydney from Halifax.

When in Inverness you are basically "across from PEI". However, you have to drive about 2.5 hours(about 130 miles) to get from Inverness to the Pictou area on the mainland where you will take the ferry to PEI. You shd check the ferry schedule & expect long lineups in August.

NS_Crowgirl Mar 15th, 2010 12:43 PM

This seems like a doable schedule in terms of getting from point A to point B but it doesn't really leave a great deal of time for getting out of the car and seeing much on the way.

Sydney isn't the most picturesque of places but it is well placed for seeing Fortress Louisburg (which is great and could potentially take a good part of a day to explore). In the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, there's so much to see on even the shorter hikes, it's well worth getting out the car from time to time. The roads themselves can be twisty and you'll want to be keeping an eye out for moose too, both of which increase your travel time in the Park.

With an extra day, I'd spend it in Cape Breton (maybe add Baddeck to the schedule), but it depends on your interests (if it's hiking, scenery, traditional Cape Breton/Scottish music, then Cape Breton is best, if it's beaches or Anne of Green Gables interests, then PEI).

mat54 Mar 15th, 2010 02:23 PM

Hi -

I agree with others regarding staying in Baddeck instead of Sydney. And while in the Ingonish area, I would make sure you leave at least a full day or 2 to explore the spectacular north section of the Cabot Trail through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Either a second night in Ingonish, or do a circle tour of the Cabot Trail, selecting a couple of towns along the route for overnights (Baddeck and Ingonish are popular, so is Cheticamp and alternatively the Margaree to Mabou area (including Inverness) is a little less developed for tourism).
For your possible extra night - several options. Some have suggested an extra day on PEI. Another option is to spend an extra night in Halifax at the end as you can day-trip some popular and interesting destinations of the Lighthouse Route quite easily from Halifax, e.g. in one day you can easily do Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg and possibly also Mahone Bay. That also gives you a second evening to explore Halifax which is a really nice small city.

NorthwestMale Mar 15th, 2010 05:01 PM

Yeah, why go to Cape Breton without a complete circle of the Cabot Trail?

The only sensible reason for this (except for visiting relatives there) is if FOG renders it hopeless on every day of your time there.

My most prominent memory of Sydney is of sitting at a fast-food place right next to the school bus barn. NOT that Sydney doesn't have more charm than that, but the Cabot Trail should be a priority.

OceanBreeze1 Mar 15th, 2010 06:10 PM

Agree w/ mat54 & NWMale.

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