Just returned from a short vacation in beautiful NB/NS. The country/province is simply spectacular and I would highly recommend this for a ‘get away from it all’ feeling!
Day-1: Drove from the Boston area to Saint Martins in NB (around 7.5 hours with breaks). Make sure to cross the Canadian border at the new crossing in Calais (nice place with zero wait time; once in Canada, you are already on highway 101). Stayed at the Salmon River B&B – good, comfortable place on the Bay of Fundy; hospitality was good and the breakfast (next morning) was excellent. Visited the Sea Caves and the Fundy Trail Parkway late afternoon/evening. It was quite an experience to watch the Caves at low tide and high tide! – what a change in 3 hours! The Sea Caves area is open to the public and appears to be accessible 24 hours a day. The Fundy Trail was simply stunning with amazing viewpoints. Though we spent only 2 hours driving there, one can easily spent several more hours there. I wish they had a nice cafeteria there (like the one at Hopewell Rocks).
Day-2: Drove to Aberdeen (a tiny town between Whycocomagh and Baddeck) in Nova Scotia. Stayed at the Cape Escape B&B – a stunningly beautiful and extremely comfortable place. The hostess, Heather, was very nice and hospitable and the room (actually a suite, complete with a well equipped kitchen) was large and comfortable. We drove around the Ceilidh trail in the evening. Though not as spectacular as the Cabot Trail (that we did the next day), the scenery was pristine and beautiful. In fact, the whole of Cape Breton Island, with lakes, mountains and the ocean, is full of natural beauty.
Day-3: We drove around the Cabot Trail counter-clockwise, starting at Baddeck. The trail is truly spectacular, especially on a bright sunny day. We stopped at the numerous artisans’ shops (please remember they all close between 5 and 6 PM and are probably not open on Sundays) and drove at a leisurely pace. We did the Skyline trail on the West side. I would highly recommend this 5-mile trail for all – easy, straight walk with a rewarding view at the end. We were looking for some ‘spontaneous’ music and musicians along the way but did not find/notice any – and we could not make it in time to any of the organized, formal performances in time. Bottom line – if you don’t visit the Cabot trail in your lifetime you are missing something.
Day-4: Drove to Hopewell Rocks, arrived just after high tide and stayed on for a couple of hours to walk the ocean floor (depending on how high the tide is on a given day, the ocean floor could be opened up as early as 2 ½ hours after high tide). The flowerpot rocks are really a sight to behold! The whole park is a well organized and conducive for spending 2-3 hours easily. Please remember that it takes a good 10-15 minutes of walking to reach the flowerpot rocks area from the main entrance of the park – so, if you plan on witnessing the high tide, please plan your arrival suitably. The (high tide) café is good and the items are reasonably priced. Then visited the Magnetic Hill in Moncton and experienced the interesting phenomenon of our car traveling in reverse ‘on its own’! Worth the visit for the experience! Late evening, drove to Bangor, Maine. While approaching the Canada-US border on highway 101, the signs seem to direct you to the old, downtown crossing – you may have to plan your own route to hit the newer crossing in St Stephen.
Day-5: Drove back home from Bangor.
The trip was definitely enjoyable. The NB/NS is very beautiful and the people are very nice and friendly.