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suggestions wanted

Newcastle Australia
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suggestions wanted

Hopefully the area experts can assist us with our travel plans. As we plan on travelling through various different areas I will post my enquiry on several different forums .

We would have at least 6 weeks to do the following but could take longer if it is felt the extra time is needed. The time would be September/October 2011. We are not into art galleries or heaps of museums. We love natural scenery and generally when on holidays walk each day till the legs just will not go any further. We would fly into New York where we plan on spending approximately 4 days. We then thought of catching the train to Niagara for 2 days where we would pick up a hire car to move on to Quebec and Quebec city. From there to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, Boston then New York for our flight home.

As this is the time of Autumn folliage we are unsure whether to travel to the North first leaving our days in New York to the end.

We have arranged home exchange stays (for 6 to 7 nights each home) in BoothBay Harbour and Searsport/Maine – Ripple Cove/ Nova Scotia – Cape Pele/New Brunswick and Quebec City which we are really excited about. We wou ld plan on stopping off at spots between our exchange homes. We are really excited about our travels to this area of the world and would appreciate any information, suggestions and advice.

West Grey, Ontario
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for Toronto
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1. Re: suggestions wanted

Hi imagine2;

It will be next to impossible to find a car rental company that will rent you a car from Niagara Falls, allow you to travel to the east coast, and then drop the car in New York City.

Most car rentals have some sort of geographic restriction, that the car must stay within the province that you rented it, or there are surcharges for the out of area mileage. The rental company will use the onboard GPS to track your usage. The extra per mile charges will add up very quickly on such a long trip.

Also, the vehicle must somehow be returned to the point of origin, towed if necessary. Niagara Falls is approx. 420 miles / 670 km from New York City. To cover the cost of returning the car to Canada, most car rental companies charge a "drop fee". If you are able to find a company that will allow this rental, don't be surprised to find a drop fee of $500 to $1000, over and above the rental charges.

Best Regards

Athens, Ontario
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2. Re: suggestions wanted

Hello imagine2,

Looks like you have a great time ahead of you. Renting a car in the US that gives unlimited mileage and allows the car to enter Canada is probably the best idea.

Between Niagra Falls and Quebec City I would suggest looking into the following areas for one or two night stops (although you could spend more time in all and enjoy yourself):

- Toronto (Canada's largest city)

- Sandbanks Provincial Park (large beach area on Lake Ontario)

- Kingston and Gananoque (the 1000 Islands Region and my recommondation)

- Ottawa (Canada's Capital)

- Montreal (another large city)

I'm not as familiar with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but we have visited and we fell in love with the scenery in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. If you are in Nova Scotia and you don't spend a few days there, you are definately missing out. The Bay of Fundy and the UNESCO designated village of Lunenburg (which is near Halifax) are both beautiful.

There are walking and hiking trails throughout these provinces and September and October are great months to get out and enjoy them. The temperature is lower, the bugs are nearly gone, and the leaves are starting to change.

The travel guides from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are very nice. You should go to their tourism websites and order a copy of each. Other than that, TripAdvisor is a great tool. After you figure out when and where you will be staying, please feel free to come back and ask some more specific questions.

Happy Planning.

Nova Scotia
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for Nova Scotia
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3. Re: suggestions wanted

All the above advice is excellent. When you have some better idea of your itinerary or some more detailed questions, do come back. For Nova Scotia information go here: www.novascotia.com/en/home/default.aspx

It is great you have so much time. If you want to see the autumn leaves you generally need to be here is the second week of October or after, so that may not be possible.

Kentville, Canada
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4. Re: suggestions wanted

Have you also considered the following:

Instead of picking up a rental car in nagara Falls, continue taking trains from Niagara falls to toronto to Montreal to Quebec City to Halifax, breaking your trip whenever necessary. Once you get to Halifax, then you get your rental car.

Chester Basin...
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5. Re: suggestions wanted

Hello "

I have to agree with manfredz's advice, the train would be a great mode of transport from upper canada and rent a car when you arrive, certainly something to think about. We would be happy to help you further once you have your itinerary a bit more organized, there's alot of help here for all geographical area's, best wishes,

blondie *

Newcastle Australia
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6. Re: suggestions wanted

Thank you all for your help. I will certainly explore the train option for the Canadian portion of the trip. Afterall a car is generally a pain in cities. Can you please advise if Niagara is easy to get around with public transport?

Once again thanks - all advice is very much appreciated.

Kentville, Canada
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7. Re: suggestions wanted

Niagara Falls Ontario has a bus service that runs parallel to teh Niagara River, that operates on a day pass system. Very handy.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: suggestions wanted

Hi Imagine2,


Great advice given so far....

Public Transit in the most populated corridor of Canada is generally quite good... Niagara Falls - Toronto - Ottawa - Montreal - and Quebec City. The advantage to having a car is you can see even more of the countryside... which quite frankly is what makes Canada great… our spectacular scenery.

You might look at renting a car for the journey from Toronto thru to Ottawa and then up to Quebec City (via the Northshore route), with a drop off back in Montreal (a circle route). As Toronto & Montreal are Canada’s two biggest cities, and “relatively close” (5 to 6 Hours apart) there is a fair bit of traffic between the two… and hence a demand for rental cars… so usually much lower Drop Fees.

From Montreal you can easily fly or take the train downeast to the Maritimes... the train will be more expensive but a good way to see the landscape.

Then rent a car for the portion in The Maritimes… you’ll want it so as to have totally flexibility to see the countryside.

Drop the car in a major city down east (Halifax or Saint John NB) and then you can make your way to Maine by public transit (Plane or bus)… then pick up another car for the New England portion (if you have the time, which I think you will… you can use the car to see Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and MassachusettsBoston, Plymouth and Cape Cod all deserve a look see… and anywhere that isn’t a BIG “city” in North America is best done by car… as the one thing that Travellers say over and over again when visiting is “Wow… I was amazed by how much open country there is… you get outside a city and you drive a long ways before you come to another city” (in Canada for example… 2 to 8 Hours is sort of the norm).

Hope this is helpful,



PS… As I have travelled “all” of the region you are looking at… and know it very well (sometimes I refer to a good chunk of it as “my big backyard” because most of it I can get to within an 8 Hour Drive from Ottawa)… as I said in an earlier post, I’m working on helping you build an Itinerary so as to get the most out of your extended visit.

Advocate Harbour...
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9. Re: suggestions wanted

Liking to "walk all day till the legs just will not go any further" and wanting to do it in a setting of amazing natural scenery, when in Nova Scotia dont miss Cape Chignecto Park. From easy day walks to a 3 - 4 day challenging coastal hike that can be broken down to day hikes, you will not find a more fascinating destination. With the largest tides on earth carving the highest sea cliffs in Nova Scotia into a geological fantasy-land it is amazing. To get a better idea check out www.capechignecto.net and the pictures of the area at www.glooscaptrail.com/gallery/index.cfm… For information on the Bay of Fundy Recomended Experiences you can check out www.bayoffundy.travel

Newcastle Australia
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10. Re: suggestions wanted

Hello again all experts. I would appreciate your feed back again. I know September 2011 is a long way away but we are getting excited about our visit and are continually reviewing our itinerary. We have decided to not visit Niagara and Quebec which disappoints us but it just seems that we would be taking on too much in the time available and would not get to appreciate the original destinations we were interested in. Hopefully in future years we can revisit and explore more of what the region has to offer. The attached itinerary is currently what we feel will work. As we would pick up a hire car in Portland and return it to Portland we would avoid hire car drop off costs and not have the problem of hiring a car and returning it in either the US or Canada. The majority of the stays as stated will be home exchange or hospitality stays which we have found a great way to travel. It is not only cost effective but the bonus is we have met some wonderful people and have been able to experience the country and people as it is instead of from a hotel room. (of course we have always reciprocated ) We would plan on doing day trips from each of our home stay locations and hopefully have the time to relax, go biking, walking, kayaking and just enjoy meeting the people and experiencing the way of life. We may not have allocated enough time for New York but we are not really city people. You may advise otherwise. We are interested in the history of Boston. We would appreciate opinions. Thanks in advance.

Day 1 Find accommodation Depart Australia and Arrive New York

Day 2 Find accommodation New York

Day 3 New York

Day 4 Home exchange Train New York to Portland pick up hire car – go to Fry island

Day 5 Frye island

Day 6 Frye island

Day 7 Frye island

Day 8 Frye island

Day 9 Frye island

Day 10 Home exchange Pemaquid point

Day 11 Pemaquid point

Day 12 Pemaquid point

Day 13 Pemaquid point

Day 14 Pemaquid point

Day 15 Pemaquid point

Day 16 Home exchange Searsport Maine

Day 17 Searsport Maine

Day 18 Searsport Maine

Day 19 Searsport Maine

Day 20 Searsport Maine

Day 21 Searsport Maine

Day22 Searsport Maine

Day 23 hospitality Cutler

Day 24 Cutler

Day 25 Cutler

Day 25 Cutler

Day 26 Cutler

Day 27 Night Saint John Drive to Saint John 151 kms if possible ferry to Digby

Day 28 Night Digby If not possible previous day - Ferry to Digby

Day 29 hospitality Drive to –Halifax 235km

Day 30 Halifax

Day 31 Halifax

Day 32 Halifax

Day 33 Halifax

Day 34 Halifax

Day 35 Find accommodation Drive to Cape Breton

Day 36 Find accommodation Cape Breton

Day 37 Find accommodation Cape Breton

Day 38 hospitality Cape Breton to Cape Pele/Moncton

Day 39 Moncton

Day 40 Moncton

Day 41 Moncton

Day 42 Find accommodation Drive to Portland 500 kms (big day) hand in hire car

Day 43 Find accommodation Early Train to Boston

Day 44 Find accommodation Boston

Day 45 Find accommodation Train to Newport - or area near

Day 46 Find accommodation Late afternoon train to New York

Day 47 Find accommodation New York

Day 48 New York Depart late afternoon Flight home

Day 49 In air

Day 50 Arrive home in morning