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PEI or Cape Breton?

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I am returning to Nova Scotia after 50 years to visit the old homestead. We will spend a lot of family time in the Bridgewater area, and will have enough time to spend a couple of day on PEI OR Cape Bretton. Which destination would you choose?

Any insights will be appreciated...


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    I’d choose Cape Breton, unless the weather is very wet and foggy. Love the rugged coast line, whale watching, great hikes and views, Cape Breton Highlands national park, friendly little Baddeck and its wonderful Alexander Graham Bell Museum.

    PEI is too much like familiar rural areas of my home province, Ontario, to hold my attention for long. And it doesn’t help that the only time I was there, camping on the coast in August, it rained and was bitter cold. I do think there is some nice cycling there, however, if that is something that appeals to you.

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    I just came back from 4 days in Cape Breton, 4 days in Nova Scotia, and then 2 days in PEI, and thoroughly enjoyed all places. Choosing between the Cape Breton and PEI really depend on what kind of visit you want out of it.

    As eliztravels2 mentioned, PEI is very rural like, and not much to do. You can visit the whole Island in about two days. My partner and I crossed the confederation bridge, and went straight to Charlottetown. Since it was July, and very hot out, we walked from the centre of town to the harbour and found a little street with chess boards painted on picnic tables. We bought a coffeee and played chess for a while. There wasn't much going on in town, so we left and went to Cavendish. We LOVED Cavendish beach so much that we just opted to get a campground there and stayed for two days. We went to Malpaque to Aqua Farms and Malpaque barn to buy fresh seafood for lunch & dinner, then went back to the campground. The beach was clean and sunsets were outstanding. PEI was quiet, but very relaxing compare to the other parts of our trip. It was a good place to recollect ourselves. When it was time to leave, we drove from Cavendish to the confederation bridge (north to south right down the middle of the island) in 30 minutes. PEI is small, but quaint.

    Cape Breton was full of activities, and endless gorgeous scenery. 4 days is enough in Cape Breton as you can drive up one side of the Cabot trail in the first day. Inverness, Margaree Harbour, Cheticamp are cute villages to visit. Find a place to stay, then drive through the other side of the cabot trail the next day. We stayed at Meat Cove Campground, and they have the best campground view out of every where we stayed. The site is on the side of a cliff and over looks the Atlantic Ocean. Dantean's Bakery on the Cabot trail near south harbour is a delicious place to grab a bite as they make everything from scratch! Even the bread! Also, you must go hit some balls at the Power Brook Driving Range by South Ingonish Harbour. The owner is very knowledgable of Cape Breton. 7 Generations on the Island! He told us about Cape Smokey, which had the best view to take pictures! Don't forget to go on a puffin boat tour with bird island tours in Big Bras D'or. It's a father and son tour, and they are a hilarious duo that knows their birds. Baddeck (Graham Bell museum), Louisbourg (Fortress of louisbourg), Port Hawkesbury - All in all, there's a lot of activities in Cape Breton, and it will not be a dull time.

    Weather should also be a huge factor in your decision as well. I've learned that Sunny days are definitely more enjoyable than the rainy days in the Maritime. It's dark, wet and gloomy with not much activities to do OR sunny with everything to do as everything is mostly outdoors.

    Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip!

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