Please Help with 3 bases in NS

Aug 15th, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #1  
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Please Help with 3 bases in NS

We have a trip of approx 2 weeks coming up the last two weeks of Sept. We will be making our trip to NS driving from Bangor. Our plan is to drive up through NB (staying 1nt on the way and then staying 3nts somewhere on the Evangeline Trail. Then going up to Cape Breton and staying for 1wk. We plan to go down through Halifax and stay for 2nts on the Lighthouse Trail before getting on the ferry to Bar Harbor at Yarmouth.
What do you think of our plans? Does it sound reasonable? Any suggestions?
Thanks so much for all your help.
jbella is offline  
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:15 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi - there have been many Nova Scotia discussions over the last 4 to 6 weeks. Scroll the Archives or put in search terms such as Nova Scotia, ns, Halifax, Cape Breton, Lighthouse Route, etc.

St. Andrews is a nice town for a stop in NB. Alternatively, Alma is very dramatic for the Fundy Tides, but only if you are there long enough to see the contrast between low and high tide.

If you stay in St. Andrews, you can catch the ferry from nearby St. John to Digby which is on the Evangaline Trail, and is a convenient base for exploring this region. E.g. Digby Neck peninsula and adjacent islands (connected by short ferries) are quaint and picturesque, and Briar Island at the end offers excellent whale watching tours.

Halifax is a really nice small city that most people enjoy, with a vibrant harborfront district. You can also do a number of daytrips from here, including some of the closer Lighthouse Route destinations (e.g. Lunenburg).

Cape Breton is magnificent, particularly the Cabot Trail through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Ingonish area (a string of small seaside villages ) or Baddeck (a small "artsy" yachting town) are popular places to stay. Alternatively there is Cheticamp, a mix of Fishing/Acadian/Tourisit village near the west entrance to the park. There are also a number of resorts in more isolated locations along the Cabot Trail.

Contact the Nova Scotia government Tourism People (easy to find on the web) to get their "Doers and Dreamers Guide" booklet - it is exceptionally detailed about destinations and accommodations throughout the province.
mat106 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:29 AM
  #3  
 
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No way around the backtracking, but you are certainly making a lot of driving for yourself. What sites do you want to see on the Evangeline Trail? If you took the ferry from Bar Harbour to NS, you could do one side of the province (Southshore - Yarmouth to Halifax), go to Cape Breton and upon returning to the states, do the Valley (Evangeline Trail). Otherwise if you are planning on driving as far as Digby, you are very close to your departure point in the second leg of your trip.
Tanya is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #4  
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Thank you for your thoughts. Staying in St. Andrews sounds just right.
We do have the Doers and Dreamers guide and I agree it is very informative.
Tanya, I guess I should have mentioned that we look at this as a road trip so the driving is part of it. We enjoy seeing countryside, citys, villages, people and of course, the "sites". After reading your thoughts on the driving, what do each you think of this revised route? St. Andrews NB (1nt) St. Andrews to Amherst NS(1nt). We don't like to drive too far a distance in any one day as we like to stop and check out the areas we pass. Our plan is to do a sort of loop. Going up to Cape Breton (5nts). When we go down we plan on taking the coast toward Halifax then staying around Lunenburg (3nts). We could then cut across on route 8 from Liverpool to the Digby area(4nts)and drive to Yarmouth for the Ferry to Bar harbor.
We are looking forward to seeing what NS has to offer. Hiking, photography, Whale watching and just hanging around are what we're interested in.
Thanks, again.
jbella is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM
  #5  
 
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If you've got 2 weeks, and you enjoy driving tours, this should be just fine. We've done this ourselves a number of times, and dividing this between 3 destination allows time for both relaxing and sightseeing.

Now - I've never done more than stop for groceries in Amherst (on our way to the Parrsboro area, which is quite nice, but a little out of your way if you're only spending one night). But I don't believe Amherst is a noted tourist destination, although maybe you're just looking for a bed for the night. It's been a long time since we visited the Pictou area (stayed in a resort in Caribou years ago), but you might want to investigate that area if you don't want to drive all the way to Cape Breton in one day. Moncton NB for a night might also be an option - and you could do the coastal loop on the way which takes you through Fundy NP, Alma and Hopewell Rocks.

Cape Breton NP has spectacular hiking and photo ops. Kejimkujik NP Seaside Adjunct on the Lighhouse Route is worthwhile.

There is a very detailed map book called "The Nova Scotia Atlas" which can be very valuable if you like exploring side roads and finding hidden coves and beaches. It was available in Book stores in the larger towns in NB and NS.
mat106 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:38 PM
  #6  
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mat106,

Thanks so much for your post. We only picked Amherst because of the distance we'd be driving. We will be doing the coastal loop to go to Fundy NP, Alma and Hopewell Rocks. If we could make it to Pictou by evening then that would be great as we definitely wanted to vist the area. I will look for the Atlas.
jbella is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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Moncton has lots to offer - you could stay there after St. Andrews. There is a new boutique hotel (St. James Gate) located off the main drag. It is above a restaurant/bar. We checked out the rooms and they are very upscale ($189/night I think). The other option in Amherst might be the Amherst Shore Country Inn (www.ascinn.net)

Then the next day you could travel down the Sunrise Trail to Pictou and then towards Cape Breton. Stop along the way at Jost Winery, Sunrise Mercantile, Bonnyman Pottery, Raven's Gallery, Lismore Sheep Farm. Hug the shoreline and when you leave Pictou, continue on the Sunrise Trail at Sutherlands River. Make sure you continue through Livingstone Cove, etc. until you get to Antigonish.

From Lunenburg, I would recommend you cut across towards Wolfville and make Hall's Harbour a stop. Annapolis Royal, Bear River and just the drive through the valley is lovely. Apple season will be in full swing. Lots of wineries, Fox Hill Cheese, Tangled Garden, Evangeline, etc. to drop in and see.
Tanya is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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<<Moncton has lots to offer ->>

I'd be interested in knowing what Moncton has to offer for the tourist. On my visits there, I found it to be quite a dreary place, but perhaps I wasn't looking in the right spots.

BTW, I don't consider the Tidal Bore or Magnetic Hill to be very interesting.
laverendrye is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 08:05 PM
  #9  
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Tanya,
You've given some great suggestions! I know we are going to have a super time.
Thanks
jbella is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 07:54 AM
  #10  
 
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If you like dining, arts, entertainment - Moncton has it - good spot to spend a night. Pumphouse Ale House - small pub with on-site brewery - they do a small tour/tasting. Outside of the downtown core you will find your typical big box stores and several restaurant chains such as Montana's.

Check out Shediac - just 15 minutes away. Beautiful beach and a busy main street.
Tanya is offline  

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