Nova Scotia 15 days in August

Discussion in 'Other North America/non U.S.' started by kupman, Mar 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. kupman

    kupman Silver Member

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    Hello all -

    We are planning a trip to Nova Scotia this summer. We would start in Halifax and would like to drive around the province. finishing back in Halifax. Our main interests are nature, history, culture, music, and we love hiking
    1. We would appreciate any tip regarding places to visit, places to stay, places to eat etc.
    2. Does anyone think a side trip to PEI would be a good idea?

    Thanks
     
    Exit Row likes this.
  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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  3. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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  4. kupman

    kupman Silver Member

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    Thanks milchap
     
  5. Tinkerer
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    Tinkerer Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint, kupman!

    We spent two weeks in the area - we covered the Fundy trail on the New Brunswick side and then went to Nova Scotia - Advocate Harbor, Cabot Trail, and Halifax area and loved it!

    * It sounds like you would really enjoy the Cabot Trail. You drive around a peninsula in the Northern part of Nova Scotia and have really great views. We didn't stay on the trail, but would do that differently in a future trip. It is a long drive around especially if you stop to see the sights and hike a bit which you will most definitely want to do. So, I'd stay at each of the hotels and split the Cabot Trail into a several day trip. If you are interested in Celtic music and culture, leave some time to explore ceilidhs ( traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing) just South of the Cabot Trail ... they have parties and fiddle.

    * Depending on how many days you will spend in parks and how many museums you want to stop by, consider getting a Canadian National Park and Historic Sites Discovery Pass which gives you unlimited entry (you can get individual or family passes). You'll need to pay for the days you are in the Northern part of the Cabot Trail and there's many other parks in Nova Scotia (we enjoyed the Alexander Graham Bell Museum which we frankly probably wouldn't have stopped by if we didn't have the pass). If you are a AAA/CAA member, you can buy the passes at a discount from the Alberta Automobile Association.

    * Check if the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is going on while you are in the Halifax area (July 1 - 8). We were very lucky when we went to be able to attend and it was wonderful.

    To get into more details, it would help to know how much driving you'd be willing to do (e.g., if you don't mind driving a bit, I'd highly recommend Hopewell Rocks on the New Brunswick side, and if you are willing to go a long way away, I'd consider doing a circuit down the New Brunswick side of the Fundy Trail to see the ocean rise and fall and also explore the Fundy National Park and take a ferry back over the the South of Nova Scotia before making your way back up to Halifax through the picturesque towns in the South of Nova Scotia).

    We considered going to PEI when we went but the more we asked for the local point-of-view the more feedback indicated that it is very, very touristy especially during the Summer and that other places would be higher on the recommendation list if you had limited free time (like the Cabot Trail).

    Also, Nova Scotia Tourism has some great tourism books on their website that covers every region of Nova Scotia in depth - it's well worth downloading the big pdf!
     
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  6. kupman

    kupman Silver Member

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    Thanks Tinkerer. This is very helpful. I think the picture is much clearer now.
    I first heard about Cabot Trail on Stewart Mclean's radio show, during a trip to the Canadian Rockies . He made it sound like the most beautiful place on earth. So we definitely would like to see it. Hopefully we will have enough time to see it all.
    Thanks again
     
  7. Tinkerer
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    Tinkerer Gold Member

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    You're welcome. One thing to keep in mind is that it takes longer than you think to go from Halifax to the Cabot Trail (taking the highways, you have to go West then North then back East to get to Cape Breton or you can go through small roads which take about as long) so budget your time carefully so you don't end up having to compress the Cabot Trail ;) That being said, the drive is nice and there's lots of picturesque places to stop along the way.

    Cabot Trail plus the Celtic areas of Cape Breton plus Halifax and a couple day trips (or a circle) around the South of Nova Scotia and you'll be all set. Do try to see the Fundy Trail (could be via the Advocate Harbor area on your way up to Cabot Trail*) - it is a truly unique phenomenon in nature to see the tide rise and fall so much and is something you must experience to really feel/understand/be in awe of. I don't think you'll have time for PEI or New Brunswick on this trip if you want to take the time to hike, but if you want to do New Brunswick let me know and I'll give you more info on that side.

    ---
    * If you decide to go to Advocate Harbor, you should explore the Lighthouse at Cape D'Or. It's a cool place to hike a bit around and they have a good restaurant with a great view. They do have accommodations but think hostel/cabins in a provincial park with old beds. The experience is very unique (we stayed overnight on a stormy night and heard the horn throughout the night) but for more classy accommodations, consider the Advocate Harbor Bed and Breakfast (Elke is absolutely wonderful and she and her husband also serve as sea kayaking guides so you can experience the changes in tide first hand). It's a short drive to Cape D'Or one way and to a Provincial Park the other way. On your way down or up the peninsula to Advocate Harbor, if you like cheese, it's well worth stopping at That Dutchman's Farm where they make all sorts of Dutch cheese and a special blue cheese that they ship worldwide on site.
     
  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    did you go on your Nova Scotia trip this past summer?
     
  9. kupman

    kupman Silver Member

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    Yes we did. It was excellent, thank you all for everything.
    We loved it there. It is so beautiful. We ended up visiting New Brunswick (Saint John to Moncton along the Bay of Fundy) and PEI as well.
    We loved Halifax (Go Keith's), the Bay of Fundy (especially the NB side), Saint John NB (strange right?) and Cape Breton (The Cabot Trail and the so interesting Fortress of Louisbourg) and PEI.
    Thanks again for everything and we welcome ideas for next year trip...
     
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  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    AGREED !!!

    In July of this year, we drove the Cabot Trail http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabot_Trail the views were stunning.

    We chose a very cheap seaside place to stay in Pleasant Bay www.midtrail.com , simply a clean bed & shower was all we asked for and all we got. It was great being on the west side of the peninsula so that we could watch the sun set over the Gulf of St Lawrence. The Mid Trail motel is next to a harbor where whale watch tours go out of.

    Some dining highlights of our time on Nova Scotia:
    Red Shoe Pub in Mabou
    www.redshoepub.com - some of the best seafood chowder I've had, very light cream, chunks of potato & seafood.

    Rusty Anchor in Pleasant Bay
    www.therustyanchor.ca- terrific lobster roll sandwich

    We had stuffed ourselves with seafood during the whole drive along the Cabot Trail so by the time we hit Halifax, we wanted some spice. Found the Chinese restaurant called JiXiang www.yelp.ca/biz/jixiang-chinese-restaurant-halifaxThe Cumin Lamb and Twice Cooked Pork were great (especially the cumin lamb, I’m still drooling over that dish). Such a good meal before doing some harbor side bar hopping! Actually a weird night as it started out sunny, then went into a VERY heavy fog by night's end.
     

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