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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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We will be vacationing in Maine and are interested in a one-day or overnight trip from Maine to Nova Scotia.

Any recommendations for travel from Bar Harbor(Cat Ferry?) & tour packages or tours on Nova Scotia once you get there? Is Yarmouth worth visiting?

Trying to decide on a side trip to Nova Scotia or 2 nights in Cape Cpd? What do you think?

Help !!?
geordias is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Cape Cod is better.

I'm not an expert on Nova Scotia, by any means. But we took the Cat from Bar Harbor, and then drove from yarmouth up to Halifax on the Lighthouse trail. It was a pretty long drive, and really quite boring. We didn't see anything much in Yarmouth, and were unimpressed by Lunenberg and Mahone Bay.

I'm not trying to be down on Nova Scotia. I thought Halifax was very nice. And it's possible the north route, up to the Bay of Fundy is prettier than the lighthouse route. But I think you'd be better served spending your time in Maine. Not sure how long you'll be in Bar Harbor, but taking the ferry to Winter Harbor, and seeing the Schoodic peninsula would be much better. Or driving to Camden or Boothbay.

Cape Cod is a pretty long drive from Bar Harbor, not sure why you'd want to do that? And what time of year/day of the week are you travelling? in the summer, that can be a VERY long way, if the traffic is bad. I mean, I like Cape Cod. If you're headed back to Boston anyways, okay. But otherwise I think there are better, closer choices.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 12:19 AM
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From this and your other post, it would still be helpful to have a little more info. How longis entire trip?, how long in Boston, flying in/out Boston or driving?

The CAT ferry is tentatively scheduled to go on alternate days from Bar Harbor and Portland to Yarmouth, NS this summer. The idea was to add the Portland departure to replace Scotia Prince which is no longer sailing from anywhere (and was housing law enforcement personnel in New Orleans at last report).

However, there may be some issues with the addition of Portland as departure point - dock space, disrepair of same, legal stuff - mentioned in last Sunday's New York Times.

If it does sail from Portland, that might make sense, since Portland is about 2 hours from Boston. You could visit southern Maine and still get to Cape Cod.

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are beautiful, though - and if you have enough time it would be worth the trip, even without NS. However, if you did that route, I would not try to add Cape Cod, but either spend more time in Boston or Maine or add the additional day to NS.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 03:08 AM
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I've only done the Scotia Prince from Portland as a long weekend. The ferry to Yarmouth was an overnight, then an overnight in Halifax and then a night in Yarmouth. Halifax is a long drive.I wouldn't go on an overnight, you don't see enough of NS. I also had the impression that the overnight trips were basically for gamblers. The Cat is faster but it's still not worth the trip just for one or two nights. OTH we've enjoyed spending almost a month exploring PEI and NS. Maine has a lot to see and do. The mid-Coast area is our favorite part. You can easily spend a week visiting various towns. For that reason we liked staying in Searsport which was convenient to Bar Harbor to the north and Camden to the south. I think southern Maine is somewhat comparable to Cape Cod although there are numerous sandy beaches on the Cape. North of Portland ME I think there is only one sandy beach since most of the coast is very rocky. In Maine you have the advantage of big city assets like great restaurants and museums in the Portland area and great outdoor attractions further north. Rockland has the great Farnsworth Museum that features Maine artists. Also in Maine you have a better chance of finding a small lobster shack and no long lines. We had to warn another couple to wear hats and sunglasses when they visited our favorite place. We like to sit at a picnic table that is only a few feet from the water. And the view in all directions is scenic. We also like to take a picnic lunch or snack plus binoculars and a good book to places like Pemaquid Point and Mount Battie (overlooks Camden Harbor). The drive to Cape Cod isn't worth it IMHO for a 2 night visit. I would split my time between two areas of Maine instead.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:22 AM
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i don't think a one nighter to nova scotia is worth it. while i disagree with the above post regarding lunenburg and mahone bay, (i thought these were great little towns), i still would not do it unless you planned on two nights at least. it is a pretty long drive from yarmouth to halifax. another option would be to head south/west and spend your time around digby and anapolis royal. but still not unless you have two nights.
cape cod is great too. if you were leaving from freeport area and trying to get to central cape cod, it's going to be 5 hours or so. not bad i guess as long as you are staying for two nights.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:23 AM
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I also think you should save Nova Scotia for another trip. One where you can spend (at least!) a week or more.

BTW, I think Lunenburg and Mahone Bay are both quite nice and can be easily seen together in one day. Yarmouth is OK but there's not a lot of sights there.

So... save it for when you can spend a day or two on the lighthouse trail, 3-4 days in Halifax, a day or two in the Bay of Fundy area, and at least 3-4 days in the Cape Breton area, a full day at Louisburg!, and much, much, much more.

Go for the 2 nights in Cape Cod instead.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 03:21 PM
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We loved NS, but I would NOT recommend it for such a short trip. The best part is Cape Breton, and that's too far to go in 2 days.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:33 PM
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The CAT Ferry has a trip to Bay of Fundy. If you have never seen the tide changes it is really neat to see. If you are up for a hike, do the hike out to Cape Split. Check tide times & hit it when the tide is coming back in. Digby also has a restaurant right on the dock that serves fresh fish. Don't go to the restaurants on the main drag, go to the actual fishing pier. Doesn't look like much but scallops & chowder are fantastic. I agree with the others along the main highways there isn't much to see, but the road to Cape Split back thru the dikes and orchards is amazing. The farm land is beautiful. Have a good trip!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for all the information. We are spending 3 nights in Boston, then thought we would spend two nights on Cape Cod, then up to Maine. Friends live in Belfast and that is pretty centrally located. But, we started to see ads about a ferry to Nova Scotia. After reading your replies, I think you have us convinced that it is not worth a day trip or overnight. Maybe we'll go another time.

Thanks again
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