Boston to Portland to Nova Scotia

Old Jun 29th, 2019, 07:39 AM
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Boston to Portland to Nova Scotia

My husband and I and his brother and sister in law are planning on trip from 9/18 to 10/2 from Boston to Nova Scotia. We plan to fly into Boston and depart from Portland. We will have a rental car. We are mid 60's and enjoy history, good food and photography and nature. My initial plan is to spend three days in Boston area. Then we will travel to Bar Harbor and spend a couple of nights. This is where I get confused...not sure how many days in each place we should stay. We also have St John and Portland on out list - but when looking through the forum it looks like there are many wonderful places to visit. Would there be a good base where we could stay several day and take day trips? I want to see the beautiful rocky shores and see lighthouses as well. Any advise would be very welcome.
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Old Jun 29th, 2019, 11:32 AM
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From Portland you can drive easily to Cape Elizabeth, Ocean Park beach, Kennebunkport, The Sebago Lakes Region.

Stay in Camden/Rockport to visit the mid-coast, and the lake areas nearby should start to show some fall color in late Sept.

"Acadia Night Sky Festival" takes place in Bar Harbor Sept 25-29 so you may want to adjust your dates if that interests you.
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Old Jun 29th, 2019, 03:55 PM
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Thanks but we prefer to avoid huge crowds and festivals if possible
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Old Jun 29th, 2019, 04:27 PM
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I am thinking 4 nights in Boston. Then head to Bar Harbor for 3 nights. St Johns for 2 nights and Halifax for 3 nights. Heading back to Portland for 3 nights. Is this too much?
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Old Jun 30th, 2019, 06:57 PM
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Lemme see...

You have roughly 14 nights...

so lets begin with your vision:

3 nights in Boston area

2 nights in Bar Harbor area

So from there you have 9 nights, beginning in Maine:

that's enough time to give yourselves a nice tour of Cape Breton, and it makes sense to get to your farthest-reaching destination somewhat quickly, so you can better assess how much time is left and what more you have to choose from.

Were it me, I would target one night between Maine and Baddeck, NS, which would make for a great initial base for a couple of day trips.

The path between Bar Harbor and Baddeck seems to take about 9 hours, without traffic, but perhaps the traffic delay mentioned in online mapping right now is a typical delay at the border, and thus unavoidable?

Perhaps a good midway point to stay, would be in Moncton, NB, which is said to be about 5.5 hours from Bar Harbor.

From there you should definitely take a side trip down to Hopewell Cape, NB before setting off toward NS.

Time it so you can visit Hopewell Cape at LOW tide

Place for advance tide tables is at this link: 7 days Tidal Predictions - Tides, Currents, and Water Levels

Ideally you could time that visit for EITHER the evening of your arrival in Moncton, or for the next morning.

The tidal bore at central Moncton is worth viewing if you're in the area at an ideal time.

then press-on toward Baddeck... schedule two nights there.

At the first indication of CLEAR weather, make a day trip around the Cabot Trail, and with your other day venture to Sidney, Louisbourg or something else which strikes your fancy.

Then venture down to Halifax ( Baddeck to Halifax is 4 hrs. 15 minutes when you're lucky) for 2 or 3 nights there...

Day trip to Peggy's Cove, or even Lunenburg on one day... perhaps day trip to the Bay of Fundy at Burntcoat Head Park on another day, where you can walk hundreds of yards out on the ocean floor at low tide.

There is plenty to do and see in Halifax, even if you don't do any day-tripping.

So now where are we?

3 Boston
2 Bar Harbor
1 Moncton
2 Baddeck
3 Halifax

That leaves you 3 more nights... and we're going to allocate the last of them to your being back in the Portland area for your flight.

SO, envision yourself in Halifax needing to get to Boston in 10 or 12 hours of driving time.

(that's nearly 700 miles)

With two nights to plot, you could even use one to go and see (Charlottetown) PEI, if you wanted... otherwise you could see if you could do what I did, and spend a night at a lighthouse beside the Bay of Fundy at Cape D'or, NS. (it's a Bed & Breakfast run by a really nice man).

If you were to select one of those options, there would still be one more night between there and your Portland night, and that could be for St. John OR Fredericton, which should have you in good shape for getting back to Portland for your flight.

Obviously all sorts of whimsical ideas fit into your window, and with what little you know you want to accomplish, but those are just a few of my thoughts, from having been to most of those spots.

I hope this at least helps you further clarify what you want, and what you don't want, so that you can narrow-down your visions.
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Old Jun 30th, 2019, 08:44 PM
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Wonderful information~ This is exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks so much. Time to do some more research.
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