We just got back from a fantastic trip, and want to thank all of the contributors who unknowingly helped us put together this brief but memorable vacation. It's not easy with so much to see and do and drive to!
I will try to condense this as much as possible; see my reviews for more information on several items.
We are a couple in our 50's traveling without children; looking for the legendary food, wine, scenery and quiet adventure of Nove Scotia. We also like art and fine craft, nature, and genuine local flavor. We visted from June 12-19, 2010, and found it overall to be before the regular season, before the schools let out, and uncrowded. We enjoyed solitary walks and having restaurants and inns nearly or totally to ourselves (unlike what we were used to just south of the border). Yet the days were mosty sunny and 75 degrees. I hope I don't find you all there next June because I wrote this, ha.
Day 1: Flew in from South Florida to Halifax, rented a car and drove to Braeside Inn, Pictou, for the night. Dined at their restaurant and walked the town.
Day 2: Took the 8 am ferry (short car line, no reservation needed) to PEI, drove the scenic south coastal route and arrived in Charlottetown by 10:30 that morning. (Personally, we found the city to be a lot less charming than the surrounding countryside.) Continued north to Cymbria near Rustico to see the Gaudreau Woodworking shop. It was now more ceramics, but all crafts of extremely high caliber, and an interesting shop tour. Stopped by the National Park, saw beautiful dunes, continued west to Port Hill Ships Museum. The museum part was okay and the Yeo House, included in admission, was more interesting, with a mother and daughter as guides in costume giving spinning and carding demostrations for fun. Arrived at West Point Lighthouse Inn around 5, found dinner in O'Leary's Rodd Resort 30 minutes away. Really enjoyed staying IN a lighthouse!
Day 3: Meandered toward Cap Egmont. Spotted the amazing cathedral and cemetery on the beach at Mt.Carmel, unreal. Had a lovely time and tour at Maisons de Bouteilles (Bottle House Museum) in Cap Egmont, where this guy built houses out of liquor bottles; you gotta see this. Also a great gift shop with lots of Acadian items and music CD's. Took back roads to the Confederate Bridge and drove to Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Note: there are very few food sources on that route, only convenience stores for chips, etc. We were starving and relieved to overeat at the Fossil Cliffs' excellent cafe. We had dawdled on the way and missed the low Bay of Fundy tide, but found a couple of feet of beach to look for fossils, and visited their excellent museum. Bring a warm jacket. Then onto Parrsboro for the night, chosen because we did not want to spend all of our time in the car and arrive home exhausted from a vacation. BTW, our GPS put us on Boar's Back Road, due south to Rt. 2, instead of the parallel Hwy 302. Boar's Back is a DIRT road, but smooth enough that we stayed on it down to 2. Great room at Parrsboro's Evangeline's Tower and tour of a unique town, with a very tidal beach. Loved the rock & mineral store.
Day 4: The long and winding roads, Rts. 2 and 215 around the Bay to the Wolfville area. It is long, but absolutely stunning as you watch the tide along the way. Again, no food, so eat a big breakfast. We crawled into Newport Landing, off 14, to see the ship museum and mostly the tearoom. We almost cried when they said they had only soup that day, and set our hopes on our next planned stop, the Fox Hill Cheese House all the way in Port William. (There are restaurants at Exit 5A off of 101.) We found the addictive Port Restaurant and also ate some cheese samples and gelato. Fantastic stay at the Olde Lantern in Grand Pre. Excellent dinner at Acton's in Wolfville.
Day 5: For a Fundy experience if you have only one: Hall's Harbour. Seeing it empty and fill is an experience. Superb dinner at Grand Pre Winery next door to Olde Lantern.
Day 6: Drove to Lunenburg in the rain. Went to the Maritime Museum and ate great at Magnolia's but did not linger at the scenic places because they were shrouded in rain and fog. Checked into Anchors Gate B&B, Bayside.
Day 7: This was to be our Halifax day, but we opted to retrace some of the Lighthouse Route because the sun reappeared. For the authentic scene, try that New Harbor mentioned elsewhere, also Fox Point. And, Peggy's Cove was so photogenic at 9:30 am before the tour buses arrived. We drove to Halifax in the afternoon, did the waterfront and Maritime Museum (4 stars), great dinner at Chives before checking into the Hampton Dartmouth.
Day 8: We actually had time to drive back into the city and walk around the Citadel before driving to the airport for our departing flight. I can't believe you read this far. And we actually are not overweight.