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Proposed October Nova Scotia Itinerary - Opinions?

Proposed October Nova Scotia Itinerary - Opinions?

Sep 22nd, 2008, 04:31 PM
  #1  
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Proposed October Nova Scotia Itinerary - Opinions?

All,

(Thanks for your help on my previous thread... all of your suggestions have led to this).

I have the framework of my itinerary and would love your opinions and suggestions (on the itinerary in general and any can't miss sites, places to stay, places to eat, etc.).

Arrive - October 11 (afternoon). Drive immediately to Lunenburg (I like to get out of the city and do it at the end).

2 nights in Lunenburg.

Driver to Digby via Kejimkujik National Park (any issues with visiting the park on Thanksgiving Day? any other suggestions on what will be open/closed that day?). Hike in the park.

3 nights in Digby. Explore Annapolis Royal. Trying to arrange a trip with Ocean Explorations (this gives us a few days to see if the weather cooperates).

Drive to Truro. Stop in Wolfville, Gran Pre on the way.

2 nights in Truro.

Drive to Cape Breton.

Stay 4 nights in CB. Trying to figure out how to break this up. Should I stay all 4 in a central location (Braddeck?) or split it up (and then where? Mabou, Ingonish, Baddecl. Sydney?)?. Drive the Cabot Trail, See Louisbourg (understand that it's not completely open at that point), Do lots of hiking.

Drive to Halifax.

Stay 2 nights in Halifax (Titanic exhibit, etc.).

Fly out at 3:45pm... after last breakfast, drive out to Peggy's Cove, etc. for a last lunch/view of the ocean before heading to the airport.

This plan also leaves me one extra to... I'd love any thoughts on where to add it... Halifax, Cape Breton, Lunenburg?

Thanks in advance!!
astein12 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 05:57 PM
  #2  
 
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3 nights seems a long time for Digby. And, 2 nights in Truo is definitely too long. What do you have in mind for the Truro area?

I might be inclined to flip things around & head straight for Cape Breton & that way you will get to see Louisbourg when it is open. It used to close around Thanksgiving but I do not know when it closes now. Also, the splendour of the Autumnleaves along the Cabot Trail will be closer to "prime time" at the beginning of your trip as opposed to the end. Not sure when they "peak" but they are starting to turn now.
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 05:58 PM
  #3  
 
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3 nights seems a long time for Digby. And, 2 nights in Truo is definitely too long. What do you have in mind for the Truro area?

I might be inclined to flip things around & head straight for Cape Breton & that way you will get to see Louisbourg when it is open. It used to close around Thanksgiving but I do not know when it closes now. Also, the splendour of the Autumn leaves along the Cabot Trail will be closer to "prime time" at the beginning of your trip as opposed to the end. Not sure when they "peak" but they are starting to turn now.
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 06:05 PM
  #4  
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Thanks OB... my consideration for doing CB towards the end was some concern about crowds and lack of accomodation during the Celtic Colours. We'd like to spend most of our time seeing the scenery, hiking, etc. so that was my concern.

If we were to cut a day out of Digby and or Truro, where would you suggest? Two days further down the southern coast from Lunenburg? If I were to skip Truro completely, is the drive from either Digby or Annapois Royal too long? Or should I stay further up the coast in Wolfville?

Thanks for the quick response!
astein12 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 06:18 PM
  #5  
 
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I don't think 3 nights in the Digby area is too much. The first day, you'll be spending a lot of time at Kejinkujik National Park, and if you're heading out fairly early on the last day, then that gives you 2 full days to explore the Digby neck, Long Island (Balancing Rock), and Brier Island. Keeping the time variable for the OE trip is a good idea - when I was there a couple weeks ago, we almost didn't get to go out due to high winds. Fortunately, the winds didn't pick up any more and we got to go, but it was a very close call.

I also stayed 2 nights in Truro, but my family came from the area and I did a lot of family research. The region is very pretty and just driving through looking for cemeteries and the old farmstead was very enjoyable for me. I stayed at the Palliser Motel next to the tidalbore and I do have to say that while it's a very cool natural phenonemon, it is rather anti-climatic. The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park was very enjoyable and that's about 10-15 minutes from Truro.

I'd do the extra day in Halifax. While it's not a big city, it is very interesting and if you use the extra day to do Peggy's Cove, you can take the time to visit some of the area around it without rushing.
toedtoes is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 08:04 PM
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I don't think you have to worry about "crowds" on The Cabot Trail!! Why don't you call a couple of Hotels/Inns & see what kind of demand they have during Celtic Colors? Another thing to keep in mind is that places like Keltic Lodge in Ingonish, Cape Breton close for the season on October 18.
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 04:49 AM
  #7  
 
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"2 nights in Lunenburg."

I'd be interested in hearing what others think of 2 nights in Lunenburg. It is a small town, you can walk the whole thing in a few hours, then visit the museum, have a meal.......... Might be OK as a jumping off point for a day-trip farther down the Lighthouse Route.

"3 nights in Digby"
Again, might be OK if you're using Digby as a base to explore and do day trips, e.g. a day to Brier Island (although spending a night there gives more flexibility to explore that area); a day to do Annapolis Royal and other nearby sites.

"2 nights in Truro."
I'm not sure about attractions in and near Truro, I've only ever had lunch stops here.

"Stay 4 nights in CB. Trying to figure out how to break this up. Should I stay all 4 in a central location (Braddeck?) or split it up (and then where? Mabou, Ingonish, Baddecl. Sydney?)?."
For 4 nights, I would probably stay in one place. I tend to lean towards the Ingonish area which I feel is convenient for day-trips to Baddeck and Cheticamp and pretty well anywhere in the park for day hikes, is also quiet and scenic. But Baddeck is fine (scenic town with a number of artsy shops).

"Stay 2 nights in Halifax (Titanic exhibit, etc.)."
Be aware that Halifax can also provide a base for doing day-trips down a portion of the Lighthouse Route - e.g. easy to visit Mahone Bay and even Lunenburg from here.
mat54 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:03 AM
  #8  
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Thanks Mat...

Just getting more and more confused! Basically, though, it sounds like I can't go too far wrong.

I'm starting to conclude that many of the distances aren't that long, so that exactly where I stay isn't that critical as I can do day trips from a sort of central point.
astein12 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 07:55 AM
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So you have two weeks basically. Spend night one in Lunenburg. Don't worry about booking a 2nd night, play it by ear. If you want to spend the 2nd night, there will be plenty of accommodations available. You might want to do a 2nd night at White Point Beach Lodge which is right on the ocean. Not sure how far of a drive, but not long. Head across to Digby, spend a night there. Can always do Annapolis Royal, Bear River, etc. Spend a night on the Islands (Digby Neck). Lots to see around Wolfville, you could do a night here (Canning lookoff, Grand Pre winery, Grand Pre, Hall's Harbour). Your next drive, go as far as Pictou and spend a night there. Beautiful beaches, small town - check out Carver's coffee shop and pub. You might get a chance to see a carving class in session. Pictou Lodge is stunning! From there drive to Cape Breton. No problem spending 4-5 days. If you aren't in a hurry, spend anight in Louisbourg that way you don't have to travel after exploring the day at the fort. Baddeck is worth a night and then take your time around the trail. You can always call 1-800-565-0000 to make reservations for that evening. It is a service provided by the Province of NS. Check-ins I think it is called.

Enjoy your trip and don't feel you have to plan it out too much. It will be quiet that time of year even though the trail might be a bit busier.
Tanya is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:57 AM
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LJ
 
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Your trip sounds terrific, but you do need to spend a little time on line with your propsed sightseeing sites. Both Kejimkujik and Lousibourg may offer you timing problems. The park's Visitor's Centre (it says on the website)is closed some weekends in the fall (and I'll bet thats one of them, Thanksgiving being a huge family holiday). Then Fort Louisbourg info suggests that they are only partially open for business after the 16th...and using your schedule, you wouldn't be there before then.

But having said that, these facots may not have an impact on your plans.

I totally agree with those that say, play it by ear. NS is a very easygoing place with an easygoing pace in the autumn. You will find lots of markets, fall fairs and places to hike just by asking around, pcking up local newspapers and picking up your copy of the Doers and Dreamers Guide on arrival.
LJ is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:29 PM
  #11  
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Thanks LJ... we've looked at both the parks and Louisbourg and realize that the timing could be a little problem... but from what I can tell, having the visitor's center closed won't likely cause us a major issue.

Still looking into it though!
astein12 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:30 PM
  #12  
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Thanks Tanya... much appreciated!
astein12 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 06:30 PM
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I did 2 nights in Lunenburg. I left Halifax in the a.m., visited Peggy's Cove, then headed down the Lighthouse Trail stopping as the urge hit me at shops, scenic sights, etc. I arrived in Lunenburg around 3 p.m. and stopped at the Fisheries Museum and then spent a quiet evening photographing the osprey outside my lodging. The next day, I visited The Ovens and then drove down to Liverpool to visit the Photography Museum. Drove back to Lunenburg and spent the night. The next morning, I checked out and headed for Brier Island.

So, 2 nights isn't necessarily too much time. It depends on how you spend the days. I spent approximately 1-1/2 days in the general area.

Personally, I like spending a minimum of 2 nights in a location rather than 1 night simply because you have at least one day where you're not hauling luggage around in the car with you.
toedtoes is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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Lots of good points being made. I'm like toedtoes in that I don't like having to pack and unpack every day, so I like to stay somewhere for a few days at a time and daytrip from that base. And as you pointed out, there are lots of daytrip opportunities from a great number of potential bases throughout NS.
Also as pointed out, at that time of year there will probably be good availability of accommodations, especially on weekdays. I usually travel in the busy summer months and so prefer to book ahead rather than take my chances. But you will have more flexibility.
I think your basic plan of several days on Cape Breton, and a few days each for Halifax, the Lighthouse Route, and the Digby-Brier-Annapolis area sounds good. Keep a little flexibility to spend an extra day or two at one of these, or to add even more variety with stops in Wolfville and/or Pictou.
mat54 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 06:02 AM
  #15  
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Thanks all... I've started booking my accomodations... I have requests in to a couple of B&B in Cape Breton for days during Celtic Colours. If they're not available, I'm going to start with Halifax, Digby, Wolfville, etc. and then go to CB after Celtic Colours. If they are available, I'll do the reverse.

Any thoughts on what is open/not open on Thanksgiving day? I think we'll be in the Halifax area at the time. Museums? Restaurants?

Thanks again... I feel I've finally got the solid workings of a plan!
astein12 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for all of the advice... I finally booked all of the lodging, so I'm all set.

It basically breaks down to:

1) Prospect Village B&B – Prospect Bay – 3 nights

2) Cranberry Cove Inn – Louisbourg – 2 nights

3) Oakwood Manor – Cape North – 3 nights (we’re going to the Celtic Colours event in Ingonish at a minimum… I’m looking at the calendar or another event or two)

4) Carwarden B&B – Wolfville – 2 nights

5) Montague Row – Digby – 3 nights

6) Atlantic Sojourn – Lunenburg – 1 night

We've got a few things planned (Fortress of Louisburg, coal mining museum, Maritime Museum, Bell Museum, whale watching trip) and beyond that it's going to be hiking and whatever else interests us at the time.

I'll report back after we return.

Thanks again for all of the help!
astein12 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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Last weekend we spent a night at the Blomidon Inn in Wolfville. It was lovely. The rate was $128 (regular room) which included a continental breakfast consisting of fresh cut fruit, hot muffins, scones, whipped butter, perserves, etc. For $50/couple more we could have enjoyed dinner that evening which includes appetizer, entree, salad and dessert, tea/coffee. Our room, while not huge, was tastfully decorated in typical victorian manner with a propane fireplace. We also took advantage of the Saturday's Farmer Market - make sure you go hungry since there is so much to eat! Drove out to Hall's Harbour but it was early morning and the restaurant not opened. Did the Canning Lookoff. Spent the afternoon shopping and strolling the main st. Busy place! Brunch at Paddy's Pub was great and inexpensive!

Tanya is offline  
Oct 4th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Hey Tanya!

Thanks for the Wolfville info... we've got reservations at Carwarden B&B (which was recommended to us), but we'll look into all the rest of it!
astein12 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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You should try and spend some time in Mahone Bay when you are head to/from Lunenburg, even an overnighter if possible, it is a stunning place.
maple23 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2008, 04:02 AM
  #20  
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Thanks Maple 23... we plan on heading there either for dinner our last night or lunch on the way to the airport. We may also try to get that far on our 1st Day (staying in Prospect) after we drive to Peggy's Cove.
astein12 is offline  

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