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8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

Jacksonville, FL
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8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

My husband and I are visiting Nova Scotia in late August / early September, and we're working on our road trip itinerary. We were attracted to Nova Scotia by (1) Cape Breton Island, (2) the seaside villages & nature, and (3) the culture. So those are our main priorities for this trip. We're professional photographers, so the scenery is VERY important, and we don't care so much about seeing the bigger cities like Halifax.

Here's what we have so far. I've looked up the travel times between these, and we're good with the driving times. We road trip a lot, so it doesn't bother us. I'm just wondering more if we should spend more or less time in certain places. Take a look, and see what you suggest.

Day 1 - Arrive Halifax International and drive to Peggy's Cove for overnight stay. Visit the lighthouse at sunset for photos. Stay overnight.

Day 2 - Visit lighthouse at sunrise (again for photos), and take the scenic route to Lunenburg to spend the day. Stay overnight.

Day 3 - Head to Digby early that morning. And this is another area I have a question about. Is this the BEST place to stay if you're heading to Long Island / Brier Island for whale watching? We're really favoring Digby over Cape Breton for whale watching, because of the humpbacks. Stay overnight.

Day 4 - Head to Wolfville for winery visiting. Stay overnight. I figured this breaks up the drive to Cape Breton pretty nicely, and we love a good winery.

Day 5 - Head to Cape Breton Island early. Pit stops along the way, but stay overnight in Cheticamp to visit Cabot Trail the next couple of days.

Day 6 - Ingonish

Day 7 - Sydney area of Cape Breton

Day 8 - Finish up Cape Breton & head back to Halifax for overnight stay

Day 9 - Depart Halifax International

So you can see I've placed a heavier priority on the Cape Breton part of the trip, but I still REALLY want to go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy, and I also want to see the amazing lighthouses on the Eastern coast. Is this a good itinerary for two people who love road tripping?

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Nova Scotia
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for Nova Scotia
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1. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

You have a workable plan. It is rushed, but you know that.

You could stay in Digby, or look for a place between there and Brier Island, including Brier Island itself.

You do not want cities so I would suggest you stay somewhere on the Bras D"Or Lakes in the Baddeck area rather than Sydney.

Nova Scotia
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2. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

There are certainly places in stay in Digby ranging from motels to B&Bs, but keep in mind Digby is still 90 minutes from Brier Island including 2 ferry crossings. If the entire purpose of going to the Digby area is for the whale watching and scenery, I would choose to stay on Brier Island itself brierisland.com/our-facilities/rooms-a-rates if possible. While there, check out the balancing rock annapolis-valley-vacation.com/balancing-rock… .

Annapolis Royal http://www.annapolisroyal.com/ is less than an hour's drive from Digby, as you head east toward Wolfville. It may be worth your while to visit one of the earliest English settlements in North America and especially the Historic Gardens http://www.historicgardens.com/

Edited: 9:47 am, June 04, 2013
Cheticamp, Canada
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3. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

Your trip looks lovely!!

As far as concentrating on Cape Breton Island, good thinking! :0)

Chéticamp is the Gateway to the most scenic section of the Cabot Trail (Cape Breton Highlands National Park). We have so much to offer with our music, theatre, cultural festival, Acadian people, not to mention the dining experience and accommodations, shopping etc. that it also makes for a good base while touring the Cabot Trail.

I do agree with Maryann....as photographers the Bras d'Or lakes are spectacular however don't forget Louisbourg 300, photo ops will be promising during the celebrations.

There are some very special stops in between each destination, of course the Province as a whole is extra special. I know you will enjoy your vacation and go home with some beautiful slideshows for your family and friends.

Bonne journée ( Have a great day!)


Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

You seem to be doing a bit of extra driving, if you place all you Cape Breton days together and head to Digby first then it would give extra time I believe....

New Brunswick...
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5. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

I like your plan and think it works well. In the Wolfville area you should think about photos at The Look Off (sweeping view of the Annapolis Valley and Minas Basin - think water, orchards, farmland from high up at a look off point on the north mountain), Evangeline Beach near Grand Pre Historic Site (iconic view of the red cliffs of Blomidon), Luckett's Vineyard has an amazing view of those Blomidon red cliffs from a different angle plus a great old fashioned British phone booth in the middle of a winery orchard. You might also like to take photos at the tangled garden in grand Pre - I always get some really nice photos there - think interesting gardens and herbs and jellies.

6. Re: 8.5 Days - Am I cramming too much in?

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