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Where to go with grandson in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick , PEI

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Mar 30th, 2014, 03:01 PM
  #1
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Where to go with grandson in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick , PEI

We are traveling to these area with our 12 year old grandson for 5 days in July . We fly into Halifax and want to know where we should spend most of our time...want to kayak, fish, bike, look at light houses. Bay of Fundy is a must! What's the most interesting, convenient, accessible towns to stay in? What should we eliminate...where to stay...where to go? What's a good itinerary for us? We will rent a car.
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Mar 30th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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Five days doesn't exactly afford lots of lallygagging around. I think the age of twelve is a good time to be captivated by the awe of the Bay of Fundy... and I have to say that perhaps the best single spot for getting a feel for it is at Hopewell Rocks, NB. So I think you should go there.

But I will admit, also, that many beach areas on the Fundy shore can let one romp waaaaaaaaaaay out in the sand, near the distant water line, during low tide.

There are lighthouses in many different spots, as you might expect... the one at Peggy's Cove is famous, and makes for a short lunch trip from Halifax.

I'm no expert on kayaking but perhaps river rafting up stream might be a thrill to you. Look for a business not far from Truro, NS which hosts such a unique experience each time the Tidal Bore comes in during daylight hours.

I have many other thoughts about touring NS as offered to many other people here at Fodors, but yours I'm tailoring to a 12-year-old grandson and to just 5 days to make something of it all.

IF, say, I were landing in Halifax on a Monday at noon, and flying out of Halifax at noon the following Saturday, I might do the following:

Upon arrival, rent car and high-tail it toward the area of Moncton, New Brunswick (162 miles, 2 1/2 hours). Spend the night in that area, and make a special effort to see the Tidal Bore at Tidal Bore Park there in Moncton. (I went outside to watch it at 11:30 at night, and then saw it again the next day in daylight)

That (phenomenon) should capture the attention of a 12yo. Then you go down to Hopewell Cape timed with low tide and walk around on the sand, and take pictures against the huge flower pots.

You don't really even have time to think about waiting around for high tide, so it's back in the car and back the way you came. You will have taken the fast way en route TO Moncton, so how about leaving the main freeway at Amherst, NS to go down to the Fundy shore at Parrsboro and then drive on the peaceful shoreline on the path back to Truro?

IF you want the most beautiful scenery the area has to offer then you have to go north, toward Cape Breton, and the Cabot Trail. It's rather daring to bank on ONE day for making the loop around the Cabot Trail, because of potential fog or other less-than-ideal weather.

IF the timing is favorable... maybe finesse your 2nd night for somewhere near to Truro mainly only in the event of your having reservations to go white water river rafting with the Tidal Bore near Truro the next day.

IF interested in going north for the Cabot Trail, I'd target Baddeck for the 3rd night (hopefully after a fun time on the water with the Tidal Bore) (Truro to Baddeck = 155 miles, 3 hours).

With good weather in the A.M. you get out early and head right for the Cabot Trail...

Baddeck to Breton Cove to Pleasant Bay to Port Hawkesbury entails 215 miles and five hours of DRIVING time.

For the next night, however, I think I might target Antigonish or Pictou (Port Hawkesbury was just a point of reference)


So lets see, where ARE we:

(does "5 days" entail "5 nights" as well??? )

(pretending it does)

Night 1: near Moncton, NB

Night 2: near Truro, NS (based mainly on the river rafting)

Night 3: near Baddeck, NS (based on your possible interest in the scenery)

Night 4: near Pictou, NS (scenic town)


Next day you drive 105 miles/95 minutes back to Halifax... from there you schedule a lunch or dinner trip 30 miles/45 minutes away in Peggy's Cove.

Night 5: Halifax (and you're ready to fly out the next day)


And yeah, of course I had to leave a million things out... but I tried to keep thinking about the grandson while balancing that between you all getting a pretty good representation of the whole area.

Obviously there is a lot there, and much of it is made extra pleasant by the fact that it isn't on the way to anywhere else.

Perhaps your grandson will go back one day, after you've afforded him a pretty thorough visit for the time available.

My first awareness of Nova Scotia was upon reading the Guiness Book of World Records at age 8, and seeing the unforgettable image of a boat tied to a dock while sitting on the ocean floor, with the low tide hundreds of feet off in the distance behind it all. I didn't get there for a quarter-century after that, but I was in awe of the place upon my arrival. (had to stop on the side of the main highway from New Brunswick to photograph the "Entering Nova Scotia" sign).


Hope this gets you started, as far as a blueprint.
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Mar 30th, 2014, 04:38 PM
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At 12 I found the tidal bore, uh, boring. Wish we had gone to the fortress at Louisbourg but Cape Breton Island may be too far afield for your schedule. http://louisbourg.com/
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Mar 31st, 2014, 12:55 PM
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This is fantastic! I have never written to a forum to get any type of help, but this is beyond my wildest expectations. Thank you so much for all this great information!
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Mar 31st, 2014, 04:12 PM
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What kind of activities does your grandson like? The Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck is great for anyone who likes inventions. Our son was about 12 when we visited and was enthralled.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 04:28 PM
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That museum sounds perfect for him! Thanks!
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Mar 31st, 2014, 05:49 PM
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Oh, I kindly forgot to give the link for the TIDE TIMES:


http://bayoffundytourism.com/tides/times/


IF you already know the window for your whole trip, I advise you to print-out NOW (even) the tide times for a handful of spots around the bay, for the entire window OF your trip. Sooooooooooo handy to have it in-hand as you drive around the Maritime Provinces.

Definitely have the tide table for Hopewell Cape, Truro, Parrsboro, and maybe Wolfville. On the back you can even write the times for the Tidal Bore rafting experience near Truro. (write them for all 5 days, juuuuuuuuust in case.

Oh, and your grandson might be jolted into understanding the seriousness of the Bay of Fundy by the sign from Hopewell Cape pictured here: http://www.canada-photos.com/images/..._2265-2188.jpg

Glad we could help!
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Apr 1st, 2014, 03:59 PM
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Never met a kid who didn't love a P.E.I. beach day in the summer. Heh, adult either.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 10:47 AM
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I haven't been to NS yet (trip planned for May) but I have looked into kayaking there. There are some kayaking (half) day tours at Hopewell Rocks but obviously there the schedule is dependent on high tide (http://www.thehopewellrocks.ca/learn...re/tide-tables). There are also kayaking tours from along the Cabot Trail and also in St. Margarets Bay (Peggy's Cove, Lunenberg, etc.).
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 07:02 PM
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The Springhill Miners Museum might be interesting.

http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...ew-576556.html
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Apr 7th, 2014, 04:38 PM
  #11
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One more thing...any suggestions on best company to use for the Tidal Bore River Rafting.
All your comments have been very helpful. Thanks.
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