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Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting

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Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting

Group of 6 - 3 couples. September 2013. Plan to fly from US. Suggestions where to start and routes to best see the most. We will be renting a vehicle.

We like scenery, whale watching, possible kayaking, zip line, short hikes, history, local villages and small towns. Prefer to stay in B&B's. Enjoy eating with the locals and love fresh seafood. Would prefer to not move every night , are willing to spend 2 possible 3 nights in one location if enough to do in that location.

Have ordered the Doers and Dreamers but have not received yet.

Thanks for any info you can provide.


Advocate Harbour...
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1. Re: Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting

Hi PaKevin, After flying into Halifax and a night there I would head to the Digby Neck area for a couple of days to get in some of the best whale watching in the province, staying either in Digby at a B&B or right out on Brier Island at the Brier Island Lodge

www.brierisland.com If you stay on Brier Island for the whales check out Mariner www.novascotiawhalewatching.ca The lodge can show you where the easy trails are on Brier - its a beautiful place to explore. Most people just go to do the whale watching but it is a special place to really have a good maritime experience. The lodge has a good restaurant with some great views.

After the whale watching, scenery and walks on Brier I would head to Annapolis Royal for 3 days, which has a lot of nice B&B's such as www.rosesinn@ns.aliantzinnc.ca or www.tuliptree.ca for an idea. Lots of history there www.pc.gc.ca/fortanne and www.pc.gc.ca/portroyal They also have the historic garden, a great place for a easy stroll www.historicgardens.com Nearby there are some hikes into Delaps Cove, which has a nice waterfall to check out, although in September probably not a lot of water so not nearly as impressive as in the spring. Don't miss a drive down to Victoria Beach, another authentic slice of the maritimes. Nearby are the zip lines at upper Clements park www.upperclementsparks.com/zipline.html Its a touristy place but Nova Scotia doesn't have much for ziplines and this is one of two I can think of.

From there I would take the main highway to Truro, then get on the scenic route (#2) along the upper Bay of Fundy coast to the Parrsboro/Advocate Harbour area for 3 days. This area is about as authentic maritimes as you can get, well off the well travelled tourist routes. Here you will find a number of active adventures in one of the most dramatically wild and beautiful areas in Canada. Enjoy some of the best hikes in eastern Canada at Cape Chignecto Park www.capechignecto.net which has the difficult 3-4 day coastal trail, but also some easy short hikes to incredible viewpoints. The nearby town of Parrsboro has some terrific B&B's such as the Gillespie House Inn www.gillespiehouseinn.com

Maple Inn www.mapleinn.ca

Or for something really different you could rent out the entire lightkeeper's residence at the only place in the province where you can stay at a operating lighthouse www.capedor.ca The lighthouse is a good place for some delicious food also, or just down the road at the top rated restaurant in Nova Scotia, the laid back Wild Caraway www.wildcaraway.com Its the place where all the locals hang out and the seafood originates from the local Advocate Harbour fisherman's wharf across the road. Another neat place is the on the beach chalets at Driftwood Park Retreat www.driftwoodparkretreat.com or one of the tourist homes that can sleep your entire crew. Lots of other things to keep you busy here, where the largest tides on earth meet the highest sea cliffs of mainland Nova Scotia to create a fantasy-land of tide carved rock spires and arches - perfect for kayaking.

For history in the Advocate Harbour area, one of the oldest Acadian founded villages in the country where you can still walk along the remnants of the old Acadian dykes from the 1600's - just down the road there is the Age of Sail museum www.ageofsailmuseum.ca or up the road at Joggins for some real ancient history at the UNESCO world heritage site www.jogginsfossilcliffs.com Also nearby is the geological museum at http://museum.gov.ns.ca/fgm A good site for general info on Canada's natural wonder, the Bay of Fundy, is www.fundyfun.com

After Advocate you could head to the New Glasgow area for a night to take in the zipline www.anchorsabovezipline.ca on your way to Cape Breton.

Lots to do in Cape Breton but with what you are interested in it will involve some driving. Best whale watching in the CB region is along the Cheticamp/Pleasant Bay area www.whaleandsealcruise.com A nice B&B is www.bbcanada.com/highlandbreeze Good short hikes in the Highlands Park, on both sides of the park, some good kayaking at North River/Baddeck areas. And of course the huge historical Fortress Louisbourg, which is a day in itself. For the fortress area, some excellent B&B's in the Sydney area such as www.paradisefoundbb.com

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2. Re: Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting

You are so wise to start planning ahead. Two weeks will give you time to see and do quite a bit.

You have been given some excellent ideas above.

On your way to Digby, take in Peggy's cove, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.

The Wild Caraway in Advocate Harbour for dinner is amazing. Plan your trip for this. We go there at least twice a year and we live over two hours away.

Another area worth thinking about in the Annapolis Valley is Wolfville - Grand Pre - Blomidon - Halls Harbour. In this area you have areas of natural beauty, historic interest, wineries, restaurants, hiking, etc.

You will want to spend at least four days in Cape Breton. If you are interested in live Celtic Music, check here for what's on where. There are Ceilidhs all over the place. http://www.cbchoices.com/

The beauty in Cape Breton is breathtaking. There are lots of walking and hiking trails. Louisbourg is a world class historical reconstruction based on blueprints archived in France. It immerses you into life at the fortified town in 1744. Be sure to check out the pub and restaurant. The Glace Bay Miners Museum takes you into a coal mine with a retired miner as your guide. You can have a decent dinner there as well in a restored miners' house. http://www.minersmuseum.com/mine_tour.htm


Do not miss driving to Iona (and the interesting Highland Museum). The drive is beautiful. Be sure to go back towards Sydney on the other side of the Bras D'Or Lakes.

Here is a map to give you some idea of a possible route. I had too many places in it to finish, but it gives you a start.


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3. Re: Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting


The two recommendations you already have are excellent. My wife and I operate a B&B on Cape Breton Island so I am obviously somewhat prejudice to that area. It personifies most of the things on your list.

I would recommend 4 nights on Cape Breton Island -, you could easily fill 5 if you have any time in hand. There are two major attractions on the Island - the Cabot Trail that winds around the northern portion of the Island running through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Fortress of Louisbourg. Additionally there are several others that you shouldn't miss - the Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace Bay, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck and the Highland Village in Iona. Add to this the culture and Cape Breton/Celtic music all around the Island and you have a wonderful, fun-filled holiday.

The Cabot Trail is considered the most scenic drive in eastern Canada. If you are interested in spectacular scenery, great hiking, whale watching, etc, then you will want to do the "Trail over 2 days spending one night somewhere like Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay or Cape North. For a hike, I would highly recommend the "Skyline Trail midway between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay. It is a 2 to 2 1/2 hour, very pleasant hike out along a mountain ridge which ends at a spectacular boardwalk overlooking the ocean. Most of our guests encounter moose along the trail. You can take a 2 1/2 hour whalewatching tour out of either Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay or Bay St Lawrence. If you have had a successful whale watching tour off Digby Neck earlier in your trip you may not want to do another in cape Breton. Whale watching in Cape Breton is virtually 100% guaranteed but you will generally see the smaller species. Having said that, last year there were many encounters with humpbacks.

The Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest, and in my opinion the best, historical reconstruction on the continent rivalled only by Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg. Most of our guests spend the entire day at the Fortress, have dinner in the present day town of Louisbourg and then cap off the day with the 2 hour "ceilidh" at the Louisbourg Playhouse. If you feel that you can't spend all day at a historical site there is a fantastic hike starting from the Louisbourg Lighthouse (first site of a lighthouse in North America) and running along the rugged coast. To do the Fortress of Louisbourg I would recommend staying in the Sydney area so that you can also do the cape Breton Miner's Museum. Many of our guests consider the Miner's Museum, with the associated underground tour with an old retired coal miner, one of the highlights of their trip to Nova Scotia. From Sydney you can also spend a day travelling around a portion of the Bras d'Or Lakes (actually a large inland sea) taking in the Alexander Graham bell Museum in Baddeck and the Highland Village in Iona. The Alexander Graham bell Museum concentrates on the two major inventions Bell worked on during his time in Cape Breton - the development of flight and the invention and development of the hydrofoil. Bell was in competition with the Wright brothers and although they beat him, he did achieve, in Baddeck, the flight of the first fixed wing aircraft (the Silver Dart) in the British empire.

You can find great Cape Breton music all around the Island. Every night there is a "ceilidh" at the Louisbourg Playhouse in Louisbourg. Musicians from around the Island gather at Riollie's wharf in North sydney to jam. Governor's restaurant in downtown Sydney has local music most nights. On the west coast of the Island you can find a local ceilidh virtually every night in one of the small towns along the Ceilidh Trail. I particularly like the ceilidh in Inverness on Thursday night.

You can find fresh local seafood every where on the Island. Lobster and snow crab are local delicacies and scallops and fresh fish are always available.

Wherever you decide to go, I would recommend booking your accommodation as soon as possible. Most B&Bs in the Province have only 3 rooms so with 3 couples travelling together you may already find it difficult to get a good B&B. Over the last several years September has been the busiest month.

Have a great Nova Scotia vacation.


4. Re: Sept 2013 14 day trip just starting

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