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  1. #21

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    It's too bad the ferry between Maine and New Brunswick has been discontinued That would have saved you a lot of time.

    Given that your husband has a 6pm flight to catch, I'd say yes, it's too much to squeeze in unless you want only a cursory glance of places. Also, customs is hit-or-miss. Sometimes it can be sloooooow. I don't know the priorities of your interests, but I think you're misjudging some timing.

    Some things depend on timing. For instance, if you want to see the Fundy tides, something I recommend, you have to time your visit accordingly. The weather can also get bad, preventing you from enjoying some of the sights until a later day. This is more relevant in Newfoundland, but the weather in the Maritimes is unpredictable in general.

    Why don't you fly to Montreal or Halifax and rent a car? Since you're in NJ, I assume you're flying out of New York, Newark, or Philadelphia. All those airports have direct flights to both Montreal and Halifax.

    If you fly to Montreal, which is probably a better option, I would recommend not renting a car until you're done with Montreal, as it can be difficult to find parking.

    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    If you're coming in thru Maine, stop in St. Stephen's and eat some chocolate at the Ganong chocolate factory. Stopping to see the Bay of Fundy is a must.
    I previously said there was not much worth seeing in New Brunswick but forgot the Bay of Fundy is there--definitely worth seeing!

    The Maine coast is also stunning, but I don't think you'll have time for that.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 01-31-2011 at 09:49 PM.

  2. #22
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    Thank you everyone for the sanity check! I thought it was too good to be true to be able to visit them all!

    Ok, we will focus on NB and NS this time. Montreal and QC are not too far from NJ and we can pop over another long weekend.

    Now the revised itinerary: (Can you tell I love vacation planning? One of few things in life I actually start early )

    Day 0: Start driving after work, probably get to Boston
    Day 1: Do the coastal drive via Route 1 from Maine to NB, crossing the border at Saint Stephen,
    Day 2: Visit Fundy (hopefully time it right to see the tide, do I have time to see Cape Enrage and Hopewell Rocks?)
    Day 3: Take the ferry (it sounds interesting!) and visit Halifax (should I plan another day for Halifax and the Evangeline trail?)
    Day 4: Visit Louisbourg, Cabot trail
    Day 5: Visit Cape Breton, we both love wilderness
    Day 6: Drive from Cape Breton to PEI, the Sunrise trail, right?
    Day 7: Visit PEI (I love bridges and do not want to miss it)
    Day 8: Do the scenic drive northbound (Appalachian trail?) in New Brunswick (I want to see Chaluer Bay)
    Day 9: Turn around and continue the scenic drive southbound to somewhere close to the border (which way do you suggest I take?)
    Day 10: Drive back (DH needs to be in the airport by 6pm. I may ask him to book the flight out of Boston instead of Newark NJ. I will drive the last 5 or 6 hours home to NJ by myself)

    Day 8 and 9 are contingency days. If any of previous days takes longer, I will give up Chaleur Bay. The bottom line is, we need to be somewhere close to the border at the end of Day 9.

    We both actually enjoy driving very much and don't like flying. But I will consider that option if there is no way to get around. To me, any driving less than 6 hours is a short drive.

    And yes, I certainly look forward to having lots and lots of lobsters and poutine. We both lived in Boston for years and had our fill of lobsters. But neither of us has ever had poutine before.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    Day 2: Visit Fundy (hopefully time it right to see the tide, do I have time to see Cape Enrage and Hopewell Rocks?)
    It takes all day to see the tide because to really see what is amazing about it, you need to see both high and low tide. Same for reversing falls in Saint John - you have to go twice to see it "reverse".

    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    Day 3: Take the ferry (it sounds interesting!) and visit Halifax (should I plan another day for Halifax and the Evangeline trail?)
    Ferry from where? If you mean from Saint John, it doesn't go all that close to Halifax. It goes to Digby which is 2-3 hour drive away (I think). So you won't have a whole lot of time left to see Halifax on that day.
    Creating drama!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    We both actually enjoy driving very much and don't like flying. But I will consider that option if there is no way to get around. To me, any driving less than 6 hours is a short drive.
    With that scheduled itinerary, you'll be doing plenty of driving! But flying there--a short flight--would essentially give you two extra days and allow you to see some of Quebec.

  5. #25
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    Obviously not going to fit into your trip this time but when you do decide to come to Newfoundland, let me know
    We have all sorts of wonderful things to see!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    Ferry from where? If you mean from Saint John, it doesn't go all that close to Halifax. It goes to Digby which is 2-3 hour drive away (I think). So you won't have a whole lot of time left to see Halifax on that day.
    Yes. If you choose to go to Fundy National Park, and Hopewell Cape, you are much closer to drive to Halifax. I mentioned the ferry in case you decided to explore the Fundy Trail instead.

    But- when you take the Sunrise Trail back from Cape Breton, you can take the ferry from Caribou NS to Wood Island PEI, and then you leave the Island by the Confederation Bridge. The last time I took that ferry, they had live music on the deck during the trip. (about 2 hours)

    If you drive through New Brunswick on the Trans-Canada, you'll see nothing but trees and rocks. Don't use it unless racking up kilometres is your goal. The old highway that parallels the Saint John River has some of the most scenic views in the country. (Hence NB is called the Picture Province.) I must warn you though, that there is a lot of wilderness in Northern NB, and you'll drive through a lot of forest, crossing from the coast to the western part of the province.

    There's a campground up there- Mount Carleton Provincial Park, that caters mostly to people who want to canoe and hike and camp.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  7. #27
    waiting for Spring :(
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    If your going to squeeze some of Quebec in.. I would suggest doing Quebec city but skipping Montreal and instead driving south through the Eastern townships crossing the border at Vermont or New Hampshire.. Quebec city is like visiting Europe - the old city is incredible and if you love architecture and little shops, cobble streets and wonderful cafe's .. you will love it.
    Montreal is terrible for traffic - you could lose a day just with that.. the Eastern townships are beautiful, scenery on par with the Maritimes.. and would give you a different return -

    if your anything like me (we do driving vacations all the time with crazy schedules) you likely hate driving back the same way you came? So by adding this to your schedule - you can do a full circle and not have to cover the same place twice
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

  8. #28

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    Whatever you do, don't miss a lobster feed. You can go to a church supper put on by locals, or to a restaurant. The best is to buy them at a lobster pound, fresh from the boat. Take them to a nearby park (I'm thinking of Shediac) and have a feast. There are oil drums conveniently placed for the inedible parts.

    If you are really lucky you can buy some wild blueberries at a roadside stand and eat a few handfuls for dessert.

    ETA I never travel to the Maritimes without taking my lobster-eating equipment. Makes for trouble at the airport, though!

  9. #29

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    I think it is going to be difficult to do Cape Breton and Halifax consecutively especially as you pass the turn-off to PEI midway between the two places. Cape Breton and Halifax are your most northerly and southerly points on your itinerary. I would suggest doing NB, then Cape Breton, then PEI, then Halifax.

    To give you some ideas of driving times, here are some driving distances/times that we have done from Halifax:

    Driving time on the highways between Cape Breton and Halifax is 4 hours, Halifax to PEI is 3.5 hours to the end of the bridge and then extra time to get anywhere else in PEI (besides Summerside where the bridge ends.)

    Driving time between Hailfax and Moncton, NB (Bay of Fundy) is 3 hours, Boston to Halifax is 14 hours, Bangor, ME to Halifax is 7 hours, North Conway, NH to Halifax is 11 hours, St. John, NB to Halifax is 5 hours.

    Have fun, I think you will enjoy it.
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  10. #30
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    I would suggest that visiting Louisbourg and the Cabot Trail both in one day means that you really won't experience either one. Not to mention that you don't just walk in the gates of the reconstructed fortress from the car park - you park at a visitors centre and await transportation to the site on a bus, doing the same thing on your return.

    When I had an English cousin visiting 2 years ago, we spent 3 nights in Baddeck (overlooking the Bras d'Or lake) - driving to Louisbourg and touring there one day and spending another day doing the drive around the Cabot Trail. We had spent the night before in Shediac, NB and spent the following night on St. Margaret's Bay (outside Halifax) near Peggy's Cove. [We didn't see much on the 2nd half of the Trail due to the arrival of fog and rain & might have appreciated an extra "contingency" day.]

    For the suggested driving distances mentioned above - remember those are on the major highways which, as stated above, do not allow you to actually see the scenery. When I drive back to Nova Scotia each summer the drive has become more and more boring through New Brunswick as I no longer see the Saint John River Valley views but rather see a lot of rock cuts, trees, and moose fencing. If you want to see the local scenery, you need to get off these sometimes four-laned highways and that's guaranteed to increase your driving time.

    There is so much to see and experience in the Maritimes - trying to do it all in one short trip may mean that you really won't enjoy any of it
    Can't skate but love to watch

  11. #31
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    Just to whet your appetite, here are links to some live webcam views from Nova Scotia:
    * Peggy's Cove lighthouse - http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/sou...#axzz1CYBA4Wkx
    * Peggy's Cove village - http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/sou...#axzz1CYBA4Wkx
    * a taste of the level of tides in the Bay of Fundy in Hall's Harbour, NS - http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/bay...#axzz1CYBA4Wkx High tide twice a day - can come close to top of the wharf; low tide twice a day - reduces the water to what appears to be a brook leaving boats high and dry
    * Halifax waterfront area from across the harbour - http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/hal...#axzz1CYBA4Wkx

    Of course, in July it will all look a bit different

    There are other tabs and links on the Nova Scotia webcams site - you can even watch the rebuilding of the Bluenose II currently taking place in a specially constructed shed on the Lunenburg waterfront.
    Can't skate but love to watch

  12. #32
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    Thanks victorskid! I love webcams in interesting locations.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    Thanks victorskid! I love webcams in interesting locations.
    You're welcome. Note that there are links to webcams on three of the upcoming Winter Games sites (Ski Martock, Ski Wentworth, and the speed skating oval on the Halifax Commons). Also, for (almost) all the cameras there is a 24 hour tab where you can go back and quickly scan through the changes over the 24 hours. Sometimes you're lucky and find a rainbow, big waves at Peggy's Cove, etc.

    With the storm conditions coming, some of the cameras may get covered with snow or lose power.
    Can't skate but love to watch

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