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travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

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Scotland
posts: 93
reviews: 35
travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

Hi we are travelling next September from Boston to Nova Scotia and would welcome some advice on accommodation (4 Adults) We arrive in Boston lunch time and would like to drive a couple of hours for an overnight? we have also allowed for another night prior to Nova Scotia. On our return we will have two nights on way back to Boston and two nights in Boston before flying home?

Thanks

Nova Scotia
posts: 1,361
reviews: 139
1. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

Not sure where in Nova Scotia your first night is, but I have two suggestions:

The Greystone Bed and Breakfast in Calais Maine http://www.greystonecalaisme.com/ is an absolutely stunning place to stay and we stay there 2-3 times a year. Candace and Alan are wonderful hosts, and the breakfast is thoroughly enjoyable. Calais is on the border of Maine and New Brunswick. If you chose to cross over into Canada, (remember the time will advance one hour to Atlantic time zone from Eastern time zone) you may wish to stay in Saint Andrews by the Sea http://www.standrewsbythesea.ca/visit/ in New Brunswick. Nova Scotia is an easy drive away. There are several choices of hotels in the town, the most famous of which is the Alonquin Resort http://www.algonquinresort.ca/

Another choice in New Brunswick would be the area of Alma http://www.villageofalma.ca/ where you could experience the high tides of the Bay of Fundy.

You could stay one night in the area of southern Maine for your overnight from Boston, and then onto northern Maine or New Brunswick for your second night.

Depending on where you are travelling to in Nova Scotia, the option exists of catching the Princess of Acadia ferry http://www.nfl-bay.com/ in Saint John New Brunswick, which will bring you to Digby, in the southwestern portion of Nova Scotia. However, if your plans only include Cape Breton, or Halifax, there is no time saving by taking the ferry.

Scotland
posts: 93
reviews: 35
2. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

This is what I have presently jotted down as an itinery Pictou will be our first stop for three nights then Baddeck for three nights, moving on to lunenburg for two nights and then a night near Digby.The intention is to go somewhere each day and see as much as we can ???

We plan to use the ferry to cross over to St John and work our way back to Boston. Where do we cross the border into Canada?

Nova Scotia
posts: 1,361
reviews: 139
3. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

So, if you are planning as Pictou as your first stop in NS, you will not need to take the ferry from Saint John into Digby. You will love Baddeck, as it is in the heart of Cape Breton and the stunning scenery there. Lots to see in 3 short days! Lunenburg is a UNESCO world heritage site, and home to the schooner Bluenose, as featured on our Canadian dime. It is so picturesque. The south shore of NS features charming towns like Chester, and Mahone Bay, as well as Lunenburg. Digby is home to the world famous Digby Scallops, and of course, the departure port for the ferry. You may want to consider staying in Annapolis Royal http://www.annapolisroyal.com/ which is a short drive from Digby, depending on what time of day you plan on catching the ferry. Remember you are required to be at the terminal one hour before departure time.

As for your last question....if you drive north from Boston into Maine, there are two main border crossings that most folks use...you can take Interstate 95 up to Houlton cbp.gov/xp/…0106.xml and onto Woodstock New Brunswick, or you can follow Interstate 95 up to Bangor, and follow the directions for route 9, or as it is known locally, the "Airliine" route. Route 9 will take you to Calais, which I mentioned in my first reply. Calais is the border crossing with St. Stephen NB.

We always use the border crossing at Calais- St. Stephen. Others only use the one at Houlton, as they like the fact they can use the Interstate 95 the entire trip through the state. Route 9, for the most part is two lane highway, and some feel it is a slower route. We like it, and we like the fact we arrive in Saint Stephen and are only an hour from the port of Saint John, if we are planning on using the ferry.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,983
reviews: 131
4. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

Considering you're going to be passing through Saint John, New Brunswick on your way back to Boston, I'd consider something like -

-- First afternoon - Boston to Portland, Maine

-- Next day -- Portland ME to Frederickton, NB via I-95 (crossing the border at Houlton, ME)

-- Next day -- Frederickton NB to Pictou NS

The first afternoon's drive should take you about two hours so long as you're out of Boston before 3:30PM (avoiding rush hour traffic)... should get you into Portland in time to mke a quick trip over to Portland Head Light lighthouse in nearby Cape Elizabeth (an outstanding example of a Maine lighthouse -- Google it for photos) and dinner in the restored Old Port district.

Next day's drive will be about five and one-half hours.... Maine section will all be on Interstate highway (two lanes in each direction with an unpaved median (separator) between northbound and southbound traffic. You'll see a wide variety of Maine geography, including an outstanding view of Mt Katahdin (Maine's highest mountain) from the roadside turnout just north of the Meday-Millinocket Exit. Other than that, it's a mix of rural scenery -- farms and a couple of small cities between Portland and Bangor, and miles-and-miles of undeveloped woodlands between Bangor and Houlton, with some potato farmland as you approach Houlton. Maybe not "classic" scenic driving, but definitely non-stressful with generally little traffic, especially north of Bangor. Keep in mind that while there are some around various highway exits, gas stations for the car and restaurant choices for its passengers may be scarce between Bangor and Houlton....so plan accordingly.

From Frederickton to Pictou should be another four and a half hours or so....

On your way back to Boston, I'd go from Saint John NB through the border crossing at Calais and take Rt 9 to Bangor -- it's two lane, non-divided highway, but has been totally rebuilt (in sections) over the past several years, so is in generally good condition with widened roadside shoulers, passing lanes to get past slower traffic on hills, etc. Depending on your timing once you get off the ferry, you could look at overnighting in Calais ME or Bangor ME (and remember, you'll gain an extra hour of travel time crossing the border from New Brunswick back into Maine because they're in different time zones). For planning purposes, Calais to Boston is a bit over six hours; Bangor to Calais is a little over four hours driving time.

Nova Scotia
posts: 1,361
reviews: 139
5. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

I usually always agree with MOTG for his excellent advice, but I have to take exception to his statement that Bangor to Calais is 4 hours driving time. We drive that road 2-3 times a year and as he pointed out, the road has been upgraded to a nice two lane highway. It is approximately 95 miles and 2 hours of driving. By the way, midway across, is a nondescript place called the Airline Snackbar and Motel. emainehosting.com/AirlineSnackbar/motel.html Worth a stop in there. The food is homemade, the prices are extremely reasonable and it is a place to stop and rest up and get gas, if you need some. The Airline route isn't the most scenic, with lots of woodland, and few blueberry fields, so this is provides a much needed break.

Maine
posts: 792
6. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

I'm thinking MOTG made a typo on that one and meant to say Bangor to Boston is a 4 hour drive.

Scotland
posts: 93
reviews: 35
7. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

This info is just fantastic!!! thank you all so much. I do have another couple of? when we get to Boston we would like to return the car to the airport. How easy is it to get around ?and how far is it to downtown Boston? what would be our best option for accommodation downtown or near airport

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
posts: 4,123
reviews: 120
8. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

The airport is located just to the north of Boston, so your car rental return will be easy. From the airport you can take a short trip into the city by taxi or public transit (the MBTA or "T" for short). Although there are "airport" hotels, all hotels in Boston's tourist areas are not far from the airport. Most visitors prefer to stay in-town. Some areas to consider staying are Back Bay, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market (not Quincy, which is a city south of Boston), Boston Common, Beacon Hill, Theater District, and Downtown/Financial District. Boston is compact and easy to get around on foot and by T so it's not difficult to get from one of those areas to another. For more detailed information, ask on the Boston Forum.

Edited: 7:12 pm, November 27, 2012
Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,983
reviews: 131
9. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

Thanks to K.C. and Soxfan for catching my typo... great knowing you guys have my back when I'm both tired and hurrying... Yes, I did mean to say Bangor to Boston, not Bangor to Calais.... K.C. has the Bangor-Calais timing about right, but I respectfully have to disagree with the assessment that the drive "isn't the most scenic"... all depends on your interest in and tolerance for natural wildlands.... I personally love seeing the vast woodlands and blueberry fields (regardless of the season).... To me, those are far preferable to the roadside billboards, chain restaurants and "big box" stores and other things I see on longer travels outside Maine. Guess "scenic" really is in the eye of the beholder.

Agree with Rt 128 that airport-to-in-town Boston is not that difficult.....mostly a matter of deciding which form of transportation matches the amount of luggage you're carrying... subway (known locally as "the T" or the MBTA for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) or cabs are readily available at the airport. Once you know your hotel destination, jump over to the Boston Forum (under United States, Massachusetts) for directions via either to your hotel of choice. They also are generally very helpful with specific lodging destinations depending on where in the city you want to be closest to and your budget....

Edited: 10:31 pm, November 27, 2012
10. Re: travelling Boston to Nova Scotia

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