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Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

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Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Yesterday R and I decided we were going to do a road trip to Nova Scotia - it has been on our want to visit list for years. We are planning on leaving on Tuesday Sept 3 - not a lot of time to plan. Luckily we will be driving and have 2-3 weeks so we can be flexible. I am reading through the forum/s, checking Nova Scotia tourism online and reading through a number of Nova Scotia travel guides. Right now the plan is to leave Toronto and make our first stop Quebec City for 2 nights and then continue on.

We are thinking of driving to Saint John, NB and taking the ferry to Digby. Once in Digby we were going to travel counterclockwise along the south coast to Halifax - stopping/exploring along the way. We thought 5 or 6 nights in Halifax would be good as we could use it to explore the city and the area. After leaving Halifax we would drive across 101 to Wolfville and do the Bay of Fundy. Not sure if we would take the ferry back to Saint John to return home or if it would be better to drive overland.

I wasn't planning on doing Cape Breton this trip as I have done it before and I prefer the Bay of Fundy and beach/coast/ocean sites. I have listed some places I think we would like to see - Digby (stay a night?), maybe Brier Island, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Peggy's Cove, Halifax, Wolfville?, Annapolis Royal.

I would appreciate any suggestions anyone might have on things not to miss and what you think of the first-draft plan. We will definitely be trying scallops and lobster, exploring the towns and walking on many of the beaches. R is more into history than I am so he might check out some of the museums and I will wander around or find a beach to explore. We're not much into the music scene or sports - can't do too much hiking due to bad knees but normal walking is great.

Any suggestions on places see, sites to explore, places/foods to eat, great shops to check out, fun/interesting souvenirs/treasures to buy, reasonable places to stay - prefer a cabin or one-bedroom suite (don't need any spa type luxuries) would be very welcome. Unfortunately there isn't enough time to get the travel guides from Nova Scotia Tourism but we will be stopping for maps/brochures, etc as soon as we board the ferry or arrive in NS.

Thank you.

Halifax
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1. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

That is certainly doable in the time you have. Personally I would not spend 5 or 6 nights in Halifax a couple would be plenty.There are some wonderful Inns, B&B's great restaurants along both the South Shore and Fundy Shore. This is where i would stop more and explore.

Use Trip Advisor to search for places to stay , the reviews will give you good idea. Just plug in ie Lunenburg and then see what strikes your fancy, budget etc.

Canada
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2. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Thanks Lulu. I have been doing more research and now am thinking of staying 3 nights in Digby. We want to explore the way down to Brier Island and back as well as Annapolis Royal and the general area and do everything at a more relaxed pace.

After leaving Digby we are planning on travelling to Halifax via the south shore, making stops and detours and probably staying a night or maybe two along the way. Luckily our time really is flexible so we can add time or move on when we want.

I thought we would book 5 nights in Halifax so we could use it as a base for daytrips and looking around Halifax and area. After leaving Halifax we would travel over the top of the Bay of Fundy and visit Advocate Harbour and Joggins Fossil Cliffs and any other places that catch our eye.

Right now I'm trying to get a general plan laid out and book places where accommodations might be scarce or already booked up. I'm still doing lots of research and reading and am sure I will discover other places we want to see in these next few days as well as once we arrive in Nova Scotia. I am mainly looking forward to walks along the beaches of the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean and that wonderful ocean smell - still remember my first time there as a kid and how much I loved it.

Halifax
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3. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Here's a few ideas and comments not sure of your interests and budget.

Wolfville area great spot to stay close to Halls Harbour, Cape Split, Blomidon, wineries etc.

Annapolis Royal also lovely may prefer to Digby, much more interesting, Historic Gardnes, Fort St Ann, neat cafe, shops .

.Brier Island great if they have vacancy.

Another great spot along the Acadian shore is small motel right on Mavillete Beach-- gorgeous beach.

The Cove Motel and Cottages.

Yarmouth Lakelawn is quite good. nice setting.

Ye old Argyler in Tusket- hidden gem.

If you want a resort White Point in Liverpool has it all and some!!

Luenuburg, Mahone Bay and Chester too many to mention- all so different.

If you are planning to go to Advocate dig out all kayakdovers posts has all the info you will need and recommendations for eat, sleep and paddle or hike.

Hope some of that helps and you have great trip. Maryann our resident NS advisor is on vacation down under so just filling in!!! LOL

Edited: 3:29 pm, August 29, 2013
New Brunswick...
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4. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

I grew up in the Wolfville area of the valley and visit there at least once a year. Here are my top considerations for the Wolfville area:

Farm markets - Hennigar's is very popular but there are a few along that stretch of the road. Buy some local apples and other produce. For apples be sure to try the honey crisp and sweet tango varieties if they are out - in my opinion the two absolute best eating apples around. (My grandparents were apple farmers in the valley and I know my apples haha!)

Wineries - lots of them! My faves are Lucketts Vineyard, Domaine de Grand Pre and Blomidon Estates although they are all nice

Restaurants - Wolfville area is considered a bit of a foodie destination. I would recommend The Port Pub in Port Williams, Between the Bushes (restaurant and blueberry farm out in the country behind New Minas), lunch at Lucketts Vineyard, Le Caveau at Domaine de Grand Pre, McGills Cafe in New Minas, drinks at Paddys Pub. There are also a few great restaurants on the main drag in Wolfville that get lots of great reviews but it has been a while since I have eaten at them. For local fish and chips try Vicky's Seafood - various locations I've been to the one in Coldbrook and the one in Greenwood. Just your basic little greasy spoon fish and chip location but man oh man I think they do the best fish - light batter just perfect.

Halls Harbour and its lobster pound for seeing the Bay of Fundy. Pop into the little shack that contains a store there and pick up a small bag of dulse to try...you might love it or hate it but its a local treat.

Cape Split if you can handle hiking. Great view at the end.

BlomidonProvincial Park. Hiking and also a great spot to walk along the beach underneath the red Blomidon cliffs and play in the mud. You can get to this beach without any hiking. Be very careful about the tides in this location.

Evangeline Beach. Right near historic Grand Pre historic site. You can drive right up to this beach and then just a few stairs and you can walk the beach and see the sandpipers. You will also have the view of the Blomidon Cliffs from here.

Grand Pre historic site. Acadian culture and history.

The Tangled Garden in Grand Pre. This is a really great place for souvenirs. There is a beautiful herb garden to Tour. Afterwards go inside and they make wonderful jellies, chutneys, liqueurs etc with those herbs and sell them. Delicious and beautiful. Recently in Martha Stewart magazine.

Fox Hill Cheese House near Port Williams. Try the gelato yum yum yum and the double smoked Gouda and garlic quark.

Valley Drive In Theatre. If you've never been to an old school drive in theatre this is a fun place located in Cambridge.

Oaklawn Zoo in Aylesford.

Mum's Bake Shoppe in Berwick. Delicious bakery. Best bread ever! They also sell sandwiches, sweets etc. try the Nova Scotia brown bread. Yum! They also make great ice cream drumsticks.

Wolfville is also a really pretty town to simply walk around. You can explore the shops, check and see if anything fun is going on at Acadia university (maybe university football, etc). There are lots of b&bs in the area with lots of charm.

For Annapolis Royal I recommend the evening ghost walk tour at Fort Anne. Lots of fun, history and slightly spooky.

Hope you have a great trip!

Edited: 4:29 pm, August 29, 2013
Truro, Canada
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5. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

If you're heading towards Advocate Harbour, you might want to stop in Parrsboro on the way. There you would find Ship's Company for live theatre and the Fundy Geological Museum. Wild Caraway restaurant is a great place to eat if you can find a time when it's not busy. Further on is Chignecto Provincial Park - if you drive to the Eatonville Welcome Centre (the building is actually closed now but the trails are open), there is a short flat loop trail called Three Sisters which gives spectacular views from above the cliffs. Joggins is great, being a UNESCO World site, and they give 1/2 hour tours relating to fossils on the beach.

I too would say that 5-6 nights in Halifax is a little too long. You might want to consider some accommodations closer to the places you'll be visiting.

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6. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Thank you Lulu C, graywolfpack and musicalclara! Lots of great ideas and suggestions and I am writing them all down and will take them with me.

I am still reading the 4 travel guides from the library and today I "discovered" Halls Harbour and Parrsboro - I love walking on beaches searching for rocks and shells when I travel. These places are definitely high on my list. Good to know you recommend them too.

Cape St. Mary's and Mavillette Beach are on my list - sound great. I think we might stay one or two nights in spots on the way to Halifax from Digby - like the sound of the Cove Motel and Cottages.....basic clean rooms are all we need - luxuries are nice but not necessary to make us happy.

I might not book 5 nights in Halifax now - might book a few nights and add more once we are there and if we decide we want to stay longer.

@graywolfpack - my mouth was watering when I was reading about those apples - I will find them and give them a try. Not too sure about the dulse - my Dad bought a bag for a treat for the family when we were there - many, many decades ago and it I think it might be an acquired taste ;) ....but I was very young then so who knows, I might give it another try.

Halifax
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7. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Yes i would certainly wing it re Halifax as rates to stay downtown steep, and if you stay on outskirts in suburbs not that great, better off going a little further out and experience more local scenery and culture.

One of your days if weather decent I suggest a trip to Musquodoboit Harbour #7 highway and visit some of the beaches cooler area so if hot and humid great place to go.

Lawrencetown popular with surfers, Martinique is amazing and certainly worth going on to Clam Harbour as well.

Halifax
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8. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

For all that are about to or are planning a driving holiday in Nova Scotia

Some great ideas for destinations and exploring here.

ottsworld.com/blogs/…

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9. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Thanks Lulu C - interesting blog, amazing pictures!

Edited: 3:02 pm, September 02, 2013
Little Rock...
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10. Re: Lots of question, not a lot of time to research/plan...

Ditto from me. Nice blog.