We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

I am starting to research a possible trip to Nova Scotia in August and can see there is terrific advice in the posts on this forum. We live in the Washington DC area & are thinking of driving to Nova Scotia. Flying to Halifax & renting a car is also an option, but I am weighing the added cost against the probable frustration and complaints of my 11-yr-old daughter on a long car trip! I visited NS years ago and am planning to focus mainly on Cape Breton; possibly visit PEI as well if time permits. I am especially interested in exposing my daughter to the wonderful music (she plays violin) as well as whale-watching & other animal-related opportunities. Also hope to return to Mabou, which I remember as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Any advice on the drive and other aspects of this plan would be greatly appreciated!

Truro, Canada
Level Contributor
503 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

I know that your daughter would enjoy a visit to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park (www.wildlifepark.gov.ns.ca) which is located between Halifax & Truro.

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

thank you, I'll make a note of it!

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
11,018 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

I think focusing on Cape Breton is a good plan. Be sure to hike (walk!) the Skyline trail where people often see moose. We did not, but did see a young bear at a safe distance.

There is also whale watching from Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay.

Go here to check out the music scene: http://www.cbchoices.com/

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

Thank you for the excellent tips!

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

GranadaH,

Prior to moving to Sydney on Cape Breton Island where my wife and I operate a B&B we lived in Arlington VA for 3 years. We drove from Washington to either Halifax or Sydney several times a year and would always do it in 2 days (albeit 2 long days). Driving time (including minor stops for meals, gas, etc) from DC to Halifax was about 20 hours. If you go straight to Cape Breton instead of going to Halifax you can make it from DC to the Canso causeway which is the entrance to Cape Breton Island in 21 hours.

In August you will be able to catch great fiddle music all over the Island. A good website to see what is happening is www.cbchoices.com . I would particularly recommend 1 night at the Louisbourg Playhouse (www.louisbourgplayhouse.com) and would recommend taking in one or more of the great ceilidhs on the west coast of the Island (www.invernessco.com) . I particularly enjoy the Thursday night ceilidh at the firehall in Inverness.

Whale watching out of either Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay or Bay St Lawrence is wonderful. I don't know if you or your daughter like living history, but the Fortress of Louisbourg is in my opinion the best historical reconstruction on the continent. Our guests usually spend the entire day there, have dinner in the Town of Louisbourg (snow crab is a specialty) and then take in the performance at the Louisbourg Playhouse from 8-10. The Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace Bay (20 minutes from Sydney) is another excellent and memorable attraction as is the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck and the Highland Village in Iona.. All three of these historic sites are excellent for young adults.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

Pfound, Thanks so much for the information and terrific suggestions!

Fletchers Lake, NS
Level Contributor
95 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

We visit Virginia a lot and always drive. Like pfound we always do the trip with 2 nights on the road before we get to our destination.

On a cost analysis basis, driving in your own vehicle is the cheapest way to travel.

We usually travel on the I-81 to the I-84 to miss the traffic in and around the major eastern seaboard cities meeting up with the I-95 just north of Boston.

Gas is notoriously expensive in New York state, so make sure you fill up before passing through. Of course it is less expensive than in Canada!

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

Mapleleaf01,

Thanks for the information and suggestions about routes. Looking on the map, it looks like taking the I-81 would be a bit out of the way for us, coming from Maryland. On the other hand, when you take the traffic on the eastern routes into consideration, it may still make more sense. Thanks again!

Cape Breton Island...
Destination Expert
for Cape Breton Island
Level Contributor
1,436 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

Finding the music for your daughter will involve a coupe of days along the west coast in places like Judique , Mabou , the Glenora distillery , the Inverness fire hall or the Normaway Barn in NE Margaree You want to be in these areas on a Wednesday, thursday or Friday.

Also check out a sites "cbchoices.ca" as he lists every place with music 2-3 weeks ahead.,but certainly watch the venues he mentions .

La Paz
Level Contributor
64 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Driving Washington DC to Nova Scotia in August

Caperbeach,

Thanks very much for the specific information about tracking down the music! This will be extremely helpful as we nail down the exact dates & itinerary for our trip!