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8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

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Columbus, Ohio
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8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for posting such valuable information about Nova Scotia. My husband and I are celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary and I am going to surprise him with a trip to Nova Scotia. I have read and read and read so many posts over the past 3 days. My husband and I are well-seasoned travelers but still haven't conquered our issue of trying to cram too much in to one trip. We have trouble focusing because we want to see it all! There is so much to do in Nova Scotia, but we only have 8 days...

Can you please help me refine my itinerary? I welcome any suggestions and realize we have a lot of driving ahead of us, which we are used to. We really want to see the highlights of Nova Scotia and prefer a mixture of activities (coastal drives, hiking, definitely biking, whale watching, etc.).

Here is our very-tentative itinerary:

Day 1 (July 7): Halifax- explore the city, see the Citadel, etc. (stay at the Marriott Harbourfront, $80/night on Priceline.com)

Day 2 (July 8): Halifax- Pipefest and the Tattoo (my husband is Scottish and has to see this)

Day 3 (July 9): Peggy's Cove - Mahone Bay - Lunenburg (stay at the Lunenburg Arms Hotel)

* We'll have to skip Shelbourne and Yarmouth due to the limited time we have.

Day 4 (July 10): Kejimkujik National Park (rent a bike and go cycling); maybe a short hike - proceed to Digby for a scallop dinner - back to Annapolis Royal (stay at the Hillsdale)

Day 5 (July 11): Brier Island whale watching - big drive to Truro area (any suggestions for lodging)? Is there a better place to stay on our way to Cape Breton?

This is where we get into a lot more driving...

Day 6 (July 12): Belle Cote or Cheticamp? We really really want to see the Cape Breton Highlands. Maybe stay at the Island Sunset Resort?

Day 7 (July 13): Fortress of Louisbourg OR Beinn Bhreagh? We only have time for one. Any suggestions for lodging?

Day 8 (July 14): Very big road trip back to Halifax - Jazzfest (stay at the Marriott Harbourfront, $80/night on Priceline.com)

Day 9 (July 15): Fly back to Cincinnati

Any suggestions or glaring omissions?? I realize we have a lot of driving to do on this trip. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks!

Cape Breton Island...
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1. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

For your day 6 and 7 I would choose St.anns area and take a visit to the Great Hall of the Clans The Gaelic College www.gaeliccollege.edu. Summer concerts, history and artifacts. Your Husband will be sure to love this. Luckenbooth B&B would be a very nice spot to lay your head. www.bbcanada.com/3624.html then on day 7 I would do the Fortress of Louisbourg, Kennington Cove Beach, and Lighthouse Point. Start early and enjoy. Stay at Point of View www.loiusbourgpointofview.com. Have a great lobster dinner there and just take it all in. Enjoy.

Halifax, Canada
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2. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Hi Bendw8 On Day 4/5 you might want to consider Brier Island Lodge & Restaurant for your stop. That way you would already be out on Brier Island for the Whale watching. www.brierisland.com

Halifax, NS
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3. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Day 4 will be a very long day. I'd suggest spending the night in Digby.

I'm glad you'll be seeing the Tattoo - it's fabulous.

Sounds like a great, but busy, 9 days.

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Thanks Nova Scotia Holly for recommending the Brier Island Lodge for Day 4...excellent suggestion! Thanks to everyone else, too...your experience is invaluable!

Chester Basin...
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5. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Hello bendw8"

That's a very good itinerary for your first draft --excellent ...

Day 1 & 2 you'll enjoy those days in Halifax and have lots of time to see and experience all the city has to offer. I do believe the Tall Ship's will be in port at that time ( July 14th - 24th ?)

www.tallshipsnovascotia.com

The Tattoo is awesome --a one of a kind experience for sure.. enjoy.

Day 3 Bluenose Coast from Peggy's Cove downwards to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. Lunenburg Arms --a very good choice.

Day 4 Keji ( you'll love it) and Hillsdale in Annapolis Royal is in my opinion the best choice. The walking and graveyard historical tour is one of the very best we have here in Nova Scotia. If time allows participate in that if you can, it's excellent.

www.tourannapolisroyal.com

Day 5 Brier Island Whale Watching - you have chosen the best area to do this type of tour. If you are still wanting to drive upwards to Truro I would suggest one of the early scheduled tours if possible. If you take the #101 highway and bypass all the valley towns, you should allow about 2- 3 hours to reach Truro from Brier Island. This is perfectly do-able.

Since you seem to enjoy good B&B's I will suggest you look at these options for the Truro area"

Tulips and Thistle B&B

www.bbcanada.com/tulipsthistle

Deer-in-the-Meadow B&B

www.deerinthemeadow.com

John Stanfield Inn

www.johnstanfieldinn.com

Proudcaper our expert for Cape Breton Island will surely assist you with idea's for that leg of your journey ...

Sounds like a nice vacation and please do post back if we can help you further.

regards,

blondie **

Columbus, Ohio
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6. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Thanks, Blondie! Your help is much appreciated...I can't wait to visit Nova Scotia!

Nova Scotia
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7. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

The others have given excellent advice. I too would stay in Briar Island.

I love Cheticamp in Cape Breton. I have gone whale watching here three times and always been thrilled. (I also went once from Briar Island and it was great. The trips from there are much longer.) Cheticamp has some nice little Acadian (French) restaurants. Don't miss the Cheticamp rug hooking cooperative.

Louisbourg cannot be missed! You will really be taken back to 1745! Be sure to eat there too.

the tall ships this year in Halifax will be great. They just announced a pirate theme for this year. You can prebook boarding passes at their website. The Halifax waterfront will be alive and kicking!

Mid Coast Maine...
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8. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

When you're in Lunenburg, you should book a sail on Bluenose II, which will be in port during your stay there. She was built in Lunenburg and it continues to be her home port. She is a magnificent tall ship and it is an exhilarating experience to sail on her. I would highly recommend you reserve tickets in advance, because they do tend to sell out. She sails at 9:30AM and 1:30PM. If possible, I would book the afternoon sail because there is usually no wind in the mornings, but usually lots by the afternoon, which makes for a much better sail. For more information, you can check out her website http://museum.gov.ns.ca/bluenose/index.html

The tallships will be in Halifax July 13-23, so you should add that to your schedule when you return to the City. You can find more info on the website http://www.tallshipsnovascotia.com/

Oh, and go to Fortress Louisbourg so sure. I tend not to like those types of things, but LOVED it!!! Very, very interesting.

Mid Coast Maine...
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9. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Correction to my previous post (thanks Bedlace for your post), the tallships will be in Halifax July 13-16, then in other ports throughout Nova Scotia until the 23rd. Some are scheduled for Lunenburg, but I'm not quite sure when exactly.

Columbus, Ohio
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10. Re: 8 days Nova Scotia and so many decisions...

Thanks again for the excellent advise, everyone! I have a couple more questions...

1) On our way to Cape Breton, we were planning on staying overnight in Truro. Is a rafting trip on the tidal bore worth the time? My husband and I have been white water rafting several times. I'm curious if this is a unique experience compared to white water rafting?

2) Since we have very limited time on Cape Breton, should we go to Cheticamp, Ingonish or Baddeck? I am convinced that we need to do a drive around the Cape Breton Highlands. Do you agree thIs is a must?

We've added the Fortress of Louisbourg as a definite stop and a cruise on the Bluenose while in Lunenburg. :)

Thanks again!