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Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Birmingham, Alabama
posts: 481
reviews: 28
Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Posting this question on the three different forums in question, so I apologize for anyone who is reading it twice (or thrice)...

We are considering a summer trip to Canada and having trouble narrowing down the destinations, they all sound so wonderful. I've read the "Where should we go?" tips in the FAQ section and it just added to my indecision. :)

We're 2 parents with a child who will be 8 at time of trip, traveling in July or very early August, flying out of Atlanta. Our son is pretty easy to entertain and is an adventurous traveler.

We'll have 7 or 8 nights to spend in our destination of choice. We are OK with renting a car, though public transport is always a plus.

We like outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and watersports, good (casual) food, dramatic scenery, beach and/or mountains, historical sites and generally a laid-back atmosphere. We enjoy museums and culture as well, but they are not a must.

My husband prefers to limit our "home base" lodging to no more than 2 places (flying into Point A and staying for a few days in one hotel, traveling to Point B and staying a few days in another hotel, then returning to the first spot to fly home).

Here are the tentative itineraries we have tossed around. Given the time of year (i.e. weather) and our interests/needs, I would love any advice about which sounds like the best match.

1. Fly into Vancouver and spend 3-4 nights, take the train to Whistler and spend 4-5 nights, return to Vancouver for a final night before flying home.

2. Fly into Calgary, spend 2 nights, drive to Banff/Lake Louise for 5-6 nights, return home from Calgary.

3. Fly into Halifax for 3 nights, drive to Cape Breton Island for 4-5 nights, return home from Halifax.

Thank you in advance!

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
posts: 6,041
reviews: 81
1. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Well of course I am going to say to come to Nova Scotia!

Cape Breton fits your description well. There is gorgeous scenery, beaches, mountains (not so high!), short and long walks and hikes, whale watching, wonderful historical sites and we Maritimers are very laid back.

Here are some websites to get you started:

www.novascotia.com/en/home/default.aspx

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154972-d18…

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154972-d29…

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g499217-d18…

huffingtonpost.ca/adrian-brijbassi/…

pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index.aspx

Louisbourg named top place to visit on vacay.ca: cbc.ca/news/…ns-louisbourg-travel-site.html

http://www.minersmuseum.com/mine_tour.htm

http://www.cbchoices.com/

http://redshoepub.com/

www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/grahambell/index.aspx

museum.gov.ns.ca/hv/en/home/default.aspx

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154972-i830-k51330…

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154967-i326-k53743…

Here is the list of recent trip reports:

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g154967-c157554/Nova-S…

Halifax
posts: 691
2. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Well as far as I'm concerned if you like "laid-back atmosphere" it's a no brainer Cape Breton. Plus it's one of National Geographic top 20 of 2013 !!!

…nationalgeographic.com/travel/…

Seriously I have been to both your other choices and I am not originally from here I am sure you'll fall in love with it.

Once you have made your decision let us know we can recommend places to stay, eat ,visit etc from personal experience and those of other TA members.

Edited: 2:44 pm, January 26, 2013
Advocate Harbour...
posts: 1,457
reviews: 11
3. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Having lived for 20 years on the west coast, and now almost the same time on the east coast I know its a tough choice you have. But looking at your interests, other than the mountains, the east coast would be the place to go. We do have mountains on the east coast, but they would be considered small hills compared to the Banff and Whistler areas so the mountains wouldnt be the attraction. With your love for the outdoors Cape Breton is a good choice but if you have time you may also want to consider a area that is much less known but very unique - the Cape Chignecto/Cape d'Or area. What makes it so special? Well, where else will you find the largest tides on the planet combined with some of the best hikes in Canada along a coastline of dramatic scenery. Imagine a huge ocean bay that has a tide that rises over 40 feet in 6 hours, and then falls the same amount 6 hours later - its a natural phenomenon that is one of Canada's natural wonders.

The village of Advocate Harbour (at Cape Chignecto) also has the top rated restaurant in the province with the Wild Caraway, a very laid back place with incredible food. Or for something unique in accommodations, how about staying at a operating lighthouse? Check it out: outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-ame…

Banff, Whistler and parts of CB with the numerous tourist related shops and amenities are certainly very different destinations than a sleepy fishing village like Advocate. Not for everyone, but for the outdoor lover where these things are often on the 'to avoid' list, it can be a real breath of fresh air.

New Brunswick...
posts: 1,110
reviews: 40
4. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

I'm from Nova Scotia and Halifax and Cape Breton is a great choice and would meet your wants. I've also been to Calgary and Banff and that would be a fantastic choice too.

Between the two you basically need to decide would you rather be by the ocean or would you rather be in the mountains. You can't go wrong with either.

Birmingham, Alabama
posts: 481
reviews: 28
5. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Many thanks! This helps tremendously.

Halifax
posts: 691
6. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Don't leave us in suspense - let us know which you choose!

Birmingham, Alabama
posts: 481
reviews: 28
7. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

I sure will, Lulu. Thanks!

Birmingham, Alabama
posts: 481
reviews: 28
8. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Just wanted to update: After much research and consideration, I think Cape Breton wins out this time around. Thanks for all the help! We are looking forward to visiting!

Halifax
posts: 691
9. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

Yeah, thanks for letting us know. I'm sure you will have no regrets just hope Mother Nature cooperates and you have fabulous holiday.

If we can help with any of your itinerary just let us know.

10. Re: Which trip w/ an 8 yr old...Vancouver? Banff? Cape Breton?

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