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Reservations necessary?

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May 14th, 2011, 04:14 PM
  #1
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Reservations necessary?

We are planning a two week trip to nova scotia (&cape breton) the mid two weeks of July. Will book a hotel arriving and leaving Halifax, but then would like to just drive and see how far we get each day rather than be tied to an itinerary. Is this possible?? Can one arrive in towns like Baddeck, Pictou, Advocate Harbor, etc. without reservations?

This will have a huge impact on the trip obviously.

Thanking whoever helps me out here in advance.....
chrisbaron is offline  
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May 14th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Well, yes you can do that but you risk roaming around at the end of the day searching for a place to stay that night. You will probably find something but you have to be prepared to either take something that may fall below your standards or to pay a lot more for something that is last minute & in a hotel/motel/B & B where you would normally not choose to stay. It's entirely up to you. Also, keep in mind that places such as Advocate Harbour are very small & do not have a wide selection of accomodations.

You would be far better off to just do a rough sketch of where you want to go. Give yurself a lot of latitude. Make a few reservations here & there. You can always cancel.

Mid-July is prime time in places like Baddeck.
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May 14th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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yourself
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
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May 14th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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I would definitely try to make some reservations. I think you probably should make reservations as OceanBreeze said for the Cabot Trail stops-Baddeck, Cheticamp, Ingonish etc.
If you were planning on Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester again these are popular spots and I would reserve.
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May 15th, 2011, 04:41 AM
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Have been there in high season in my RV pretty chock a block.

The good places were booked so if I were picky I would

make reservations in the busiest areas.
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May 18th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Just saw this deal on Travelzoo. We have been to the Dundee Resort several times.
http://www.travelzoo.com/ca/local-deals/deal/1900
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May 18th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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irec, I saw that one too! Looks great!
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May 18th, 2011, 07:21 PM
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Well, some friends did a 30 day Atlantic Canada tour a couple of years ago and they had booked very little in advance. And they were travelling in mid summer. I know they stayed in a lot of B&B's and small motels.

Personally I was surprised at their success in doing this. We always book ahead, and I remember our first trip many years ago noticing that while there were "vacancy" signs up most weekdays at many accommodations, these tended to change to "no vacancy" by about 5:00 p.m., especially on weekends. Nova Scotia tourism has become busier in the years since, so I would have thought it would be even chancier these days.

However, I usually have a quite definite itinerary with pre-selected "base destinations" from which I want to explore and day-trip. And I don't want to spend a lot of time searching for acceptable accommodation while I'm on vacation.

Why don't you phone the Nova Scotia tourism people and ask their opinion? (Google Nova Scotia Doers Dreamers Guide)
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May 19th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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I would definitely book in advance. There are many wonderful B&Bs in Nova Scotia but they book up in July and August. Why would one want to stay in Advocate Harbour (just out of couriosity)? It´s no more than a handful of not too attractive houses along the highway. Maybe you read the many many hidden selfpromotions of a kayak tour guide from the area on the tripadvisor forum?? IF you want to go to that area -which I would only recommend if you have at least 3 weeks in Nova Scotia- then Parrsboro would be a better place to stay. For the Bay of Fundy experience I would go to the Digby area (for whale watching) and also to Annapolis Royal and Wolfsville. Do NOT miss the Lighthouse Route! I would also recommend against staying in Pictou because of the large paper mill they have there. It´s not only an eyesore but depending on the wind the whole town can smell awfully. BTW Cape Breton is a part of Nova Scotia
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May 19th, 2011, 03:42 PM
  #10
LJ
 
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I live here in NS (along the famed Lighthouse Route). My husband and I frequently take weekend jaunts around the province. I would not do so without pre-booking from this weekend on until mid-October. While you will find places to stay, they will not be the best or most interesting and you may actually end up paying more for less charm...like a Best Western rather than that gracious mansion in town.

And I am with KarenE. Parrsboro is much more attractive than Advocate Harbour. The Gillespie House is a lovely inn-style B&B with good food, spacious rooms and great value for money.
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May 19th, 2011, 05:08 PM
  #11
 
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I agree with above posters that reservations during high season in N.S. are necessary. However, when making reservations please note the cancellation deadline should you want to change your plans. Some hotels have a 6 PM day of arrival cancellation deadline, some have 24 hour, 48 hour or even 72 hours to cancel prior to arrival without penalty.
Scotia is offline  
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May 19th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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chrisbaron, you still here??
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May 20th, 2011, 05:37 AM
  #13
 
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Hi - I feel the desire to add an opinion about Advocate Harbour (Karen E asked "why would one want to stay there?"). Several years ago we stayed in a chalet at Driftwood Park Retreat which is on the Cape Chignecto end of Advocate Harbour. We were quite happy with this - scenic views, beach for strolling, walk to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park for hiking, really nice accommodation and a fine base for daytrips exploring the coastline all around. Now, this is not to say that Parrsboro isn't also a good option. I'm sure it is and would probably have the advantage of more dining out options nearby. (We did find the Chalet kitchen very useful for this reason).

I do however agree that I don't usually put this area near the top of the list for someone who is visiting Atlantic Canada for the first time. The scenery and slightly off-the-beaten-track feel are very nice, verging on spectacular in a few spots. But there is so much truly dramatic beauty in Atlantic Canada and I tend to suggest to first-timers that they mostly focus on Cape Breton, the Lighthouse Route, the New Brunswick Fundy Shore, and maybe a couple of days in Halifax. However 2 full weeks might allow one to add on another destination in which case I would suggest either the Parrsboro(/Advocate Harbour) area or the Digby Area and do day trips to Brier Island (maybe overnight if going on a whale-watch) and Annapolis Royale. Or, as I'm sure some would suggest, perhaps a couple of days on PEI instead.
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