Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Canada (
-   -   Three days in Halifax - One being daytrip to PEI. (

newyorkais35 Oct 23rd, 2014 08:01 AM

Three days in Halifax - One being daytrip to PEI.

I only have three days to visit Halifax at the end of November. I realize the weather won't be optimal. I have been considering leaving very early one day and going to PEI for the day. I know I would be spending a good portion of the day driving though I would really like to at least get a taste of the island, hopefully to go back for a longer stay when the weather is warmer. Any thoughts on the best route to take, ferry vs. the bridge, picturesque stops along the way, restaurant recommendations, etc...would all be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


ltt Oct 23rd, 2014 09:21 PM be blunt...seems like a silly idea to me UNLESS you have been to the halifax area many times and you are bored with it. "a taste"...a taste of what? are you wanting to see charlottetown? the beaches (obviously could only look at in november)? small towns? pei is a fabulous province. with only 3 days...plenty to see and do in nova scotia. if you want to get out of halifax...go to mahone bay or lunenburg area for a night night.

NorthwestMale Oct 25th, 2014 05:46 PM

OK, from Halifax to Charlottetown, it's 3 1/2 hours & about 200 miles driving via the bridge.

You could cover that, obviously, but late in November affords no guarantee of good weather - and what if it's foggy?

You get about 10 hours of daylight each day, late in November at that latitude.

The most sensible/meaningful <I>side trip</i> to take from such a path would be that of <b>Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick</b>... but to add <i>that</i> entails more than 500 miles, and 9 1/2 hours of <b>driving time</b> (using Halifax-Hopewell Cape-Charlottetown-Halifax).

<b>That last part <I>doesn't even allow you any additional time/miles ON PEI</I> !!!</B>

Upon arrival at PEI... you'd cruise over the long bridge, and then find yourself surrounded by gentle, rolling hills and countryside, which are pleasant more because they're not <b>over-run</b> by society than because they are <I>fabu</i>.

Eventually you'd arrive in Charlottetown, and be sort of happy to encounter <I>humanity</i>, albeit on a somewhat limited basis.

I would suggest that m-m-m-m-m-m-MOST of what you experience there <b>would be stuff you already <I>have in your own mind and sentiments</i> for whatever lures you to the island</b>, meaning it would be entirely up to you to somehow <b>get something</b> out of such a trip.

If still interested in going, I suggest that you target a NIGHT spent away from Halifax, somewhere on this path.

Also, it would be extra important for you to time the tides ideally IF indeed you take the side trip to Hopewell Cape.

Here's the tide table for Hopewell Cape, and you'd want to visit at/near <b>LOW tide</b>:

I <b><I>guess</i></b> that the best target for such an <b>overnight</b> away from Halifax, would BE Charlottetown. Your goal would be to arrive in Charlottetown after having completed the side trip to Hopewell Cape.

<b>The mission would then be to gain as much understanding as you can of your options for that next day</b>, beginning in Charlottetown. You <b>could</b> head east on the island and ferry across to Pictou, NS... but you'd have to find the best use of your time, no matter your choices.

Weather could aggravate this plan a great deal, as the <b>fog</b> in that area can be dense.

You'd <I>really</i> have to be <b>sentimental</b> about going to PEI to gain a great deal from such a plan, but at any rate, just <I>know what you're in for if you go...</i>

mat54 Nov 6th, 2014 08:40 AM

I agree you wouldn't get much of a taste of PEI as a daytrip from Halifax. We stayed 2 nights there and spent pretty well all our time just trying to get a taste - i.e. mostly driving.

I've taken many vacations in Atlantic Canada, but never in November. But - here's a couple of suggestions to see something a little different than the city life of Halifax:

- a drive down the Lighthouse Route/South Shore as far as time permits, with stops at Lunenburg for sure, maybe Mahone Bay, Peggy's Cove (all easily done from Halifax in a day). If you continue on, try to get off the main highway and follow coastal roads as much as time allows for quaint fishing villages, lovely beaches and rugged coastlines and lighthouses.
- across to Wolfville, a pretty little town and from there explore some of the Nova Scotia Fundy Shore - e.g. Blomidon Provincial Park and Hall's Harbour to experience a taste of the Fundy Tides (maybe time your stops for the way there and back to see the contrast - check tide tables) then through the Annapolis Valley to charming Annapolis Royal. This would be about 6+ hours driving time, not including stops.

I would have recommended spectacular Cape Breton but that, like PEI, really can't be properly done as a day-trip (you'd want to plan enough time to do the whole Cabot Trail) and November would not be an optimum time for the views it is known for.

Another possible issue - I don't know what stays open in these tourist destination towns at that time of year, particularly if you're visiting on a weekday. It might be worth phoning/emailing the Tourism offices in places like Lunenburg and Annapolis Royal to check.

newyorkais35 Nov 7th, 2014 02:41 PM

Thanks for the responses thus far!!!


Daniel_Williams Nov 12th, 2014 09:23 AM

Hi Ross,

My suggestion would be to enjoy Nova Scotia this time around and save PEI for a time when you can actually savour the gentle isle. There's much to keep you occupied with Halifax and vicinity Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg, as touched upon in Mat's post above. Again, November may present issues. Rushing through PEI in my opinion kind of misses the whole point of what it is most people enjoy about the place. I'd also recommend planning a visit to PEI in June-September.


newyorkais35 Nov 13th, 2014 09:23 PM

Thanks, Daniel.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:36 PM.