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Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Toronto
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Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Greetings,

My wife and I (both 25) are planning a road trip from Toronto to NS, PEI, NB in July for about 10 days. The problem is, neither of us have ever been and we have no idea where to start.

We are thinking about doing 50% camping 50% hotels and such for accomodations. Are there good provincial parks and camping spots along the way?

We are into nature/wildlife, music, and fun romantic activities.

Any help that could be provided as far as itenerary and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I haver also ordered the N.S. guidebook from their tourism board which will hopefully come in handy.

Toronto
7 posts
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1. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

I forgot to mention, I realize ideally you'd probably need more time for this ambitious a trip but we'd like to see as much of the maritimes as we can in that span of time.

Thank you in advance

Cape Breton Island...
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2. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

It would help a little better if we knew your dates in July. There are many things going on in July and we could help you schedule your trip better. To start I would stay 5 days in N.S, 3 in N.B, and 2 in P.E.I. As for N.S. Being 25 as you said I would spend 2 1/2 days in Halifax for fun activities,shopping, and music and 2 1/2 days camping in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park for your nature and wildlife. Keep us informed.

Toronto
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3. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Leaving the 9th of July.

Also, would you recommend making accomodation through priceline in advance or waiting to get there and playing it by ear?

Cape Breton Island...
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4. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

There is so many places to choose from but I can suggest two...Ingonish campground...www.pc.gc.ca Be sure to hike the Highlands. and Englishtown Ridge Campground...www.englishtown-ridge.com. If you go to Englishtown be sure to take a Bird Island tour...www.birdisland.net You are coming at the beginning of the tourist season. It is usually very busy around the middle of July. As for hotels etc. I would also suggest maybe Dundee Resort... www.capebretonresorts.com/dundee.asp Good Luck and happy planning. Your N.S. Book will be the best thing for your trip. I have most of the Provinces books and N.S is by far the best and easiest to read.

Toronto
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5. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

We were thinking about going or coming back the American way. Is that recommended? Interesting? Has anyone ever done it?

Barrington, RI
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6. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Realistically, with only ten 10 days to work with, you'll be on the road every day all day, especially if the 10 days includes the time from Toronto. It'll take you a full day minimum just to get to New Brunswick. This reduces your time in the Maritimes to 8 days.

To enjoy anything meaningful, I'd concentrate on PEI and Nova Scotia, and just pass through New Brunswick this time, returning there when you have more time. This is because it will be closest to come back to, and there's not as much there to see. If you do do NB, I'd save it for last, and concentrate on the Fundy shore [very scenic] and Fredericton/St. John/ Moncton triange.

I'd divide the 8 Maritimes days into three parts, with 2-3 days in PEI , 2-3 days in Northern NS/Cape Breton, and 3 days in Halifax/ central NS,

I'd do PEI first, coming over on Confederation Bridge and exiting on the Caribou Ferry. Especially if you want to camp, I'd choose one central place to stay each period and make circuits in different directions each day you're there. On PEI, I'd stay centrally, then take a day each driving circuits around Prince (west), Queens and Kings (east) Co. If you have to choose, spend most of your time centrally between Ch'tn, Cavendish and Summerside. The parks on the North Shore are a good central starting place.

Then I'd do 2-3 days in northern NS / Cape Breton. (I'm more partial to PEI and lower NS, not as familiar with Cape Breton--which is really "out there." You'll not have much more time than to circle Cabot Trail, but it's worth doing for its beauty. Lighthouse Trail Rt 7 is also beautiful).

In central NS, I'd do a day exploring metro Halifax/Dartmouth and immediate shore areas, a 2nd day circle down Annapolis Valley through Wolville / Kentville to Digby and back, then circle the South Shore to Peggy's Cove/ Lunenburg/ maybe Bridgewater & back the third day.

You can go all the way down to Yarmouth if you want to connect the big circle, but again, it's a pretty fair jaunt that forces you to stick to the highway for time. Much of the beauty is on the back roads. As an alternative, on your last day of circling, you could exit out NS over the Digby Ferry to St. John NB and then leave the Maritimes that way, instead of coming all the way back up around the TCH (but you would miss completing the Annapolis Valley circle and northern NS Fundy area.) You could even then come home by the NB Fundy shore through the States instead of the TCH again [if you really want to see some interesting country---cheaper on gas too] .

The downside to all this is that you have to sacrifice something! But overall, I find this to be the best introductory way to see the most places and still have room to breathe. Just my opinion.

For what it's all worh..... Enjoy!

Atlanta, GA
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7. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Pilgrim73,

Enjoyed reading your post. We have a similar question. We are in our 60's and not campers but love quaint towns, shopping and scenery which we hear is what ns, pei, and breton offer.

We have 13-14 days so would you help us with some suggestions. We were going to at least see the "GEMS" listed in our AAA book.

Thanks,

Fred & Joy

Toronto
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8. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

WOW really good suggestions! You guys are awesome!

I'm really looking forward to this trip; with every passing day, my anticipation grows! I'm a teacher and I'm dying for a break! My classroom was 36 degrees today!

Thanks again! Keep the suggestions coming if you got em!

Barrington, RI
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9. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

This is in response to Sundowners (Fred & Joy)----

The AAA "GEMS" are all fine as far as I'm familiar with them. Regarding Cape Breton, I'll defer to Proudcaper and others who are far more expert. But having lived on or travelled PEI and lower NS since 1975, I'll just add this:

For scenery, you can't go wrong with the official provincial tourism maps that outline the scenic routes. The quaint towns and villages are all found along these routes and some of the other unnoted back roads. On PEI the Transcanada Hwy (TCH) is scenic, but does not pass through the villages. In NS, the TCH and other Express routes (101, 102, etc) afford little true scenery. Use them only to make time. Because you have more time, I'd take a day to meander through each of the tourism regions as outlined on the provincial maps.

More personally, I recommend PEI's northern Blue Heron route from Kensington to Tracadie. The river passages at New London, Stanley Bridge, Rusticoville etc are all breathtaking (North Rustico Harbour is the village seen in the distance at the opening of the Anne of Green Gables movie.) Contrary to its popular image, Cavendish is mainly a wannabee tourist trap. I don't recommend much there. The cliffs on the western shore of Prince County are also breathtaking.

In NS, I also recommend the "back roads" fronting the Bay of Fundy from Cape Blomidon and Halls Harbour to Victoria Harbour & Morden (where the Acadians were expelled) to Margaretsville, Port Lorne & Parkers Cove. Some of these roads are gravel, but reveal some of the quaint places usually passed by in travel write-ups.

As for shopping, it depends what you're looking for. Halifax, Truro, Charlottetown and Summerside all have the large malls and chain stores. In the older quarters of downtown Halifax and Charlottetown you will find the more specialized and antique type stores. Most other shopping in the mid-sized towns / villages is of an in-between "five-and-dime" flavor that takes one back to the "40s" and "50s."

Chester Basin...
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10. Re: Help! Help needed to plan out a road trip!

Hello laroquo"

Pilgrim has some good ideas for an itinerary. I agree with concentrating on PEI and Nova Scotia, considering your limited time line.

Once you recieve the Doers and Dreamers Guide I'm sure you will be able to put it all together. It really is a wealth of information for planning a trip such as the one you are planning.

All the things you mentioned originally, nature, wildlife, music and fun/ romantic activities are surely available here in abundance.

I agree once again with Pilgrim, who mentioned the "back roads".

Of course you can't travel all the back roads but in some areas it's well worth the diversion.

Looking forward to assisting you further...The Guide will be more than "handy"..

regards...