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Please help with itinerary

Guernsey, United...
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Please help with itinerary

We are trying to plan a fly/drive which will allow enough time to see selected areas for a variety of experiences rather than seeing the whole of Nova Scotia through a car windscreen! Our main interests are whale watching, waterfalls, woodland and coastal walks and sampling regional food and wine, all of which Nova Scotia has in abundance, but we really could do with some guidance on our timings in each area.

No flights have been booked as yet but we hope to arrive late afternoon Friday, 23 September and journey as follows:-

Day 1 - 3.15pm arrive Halifax Airport, collect hire car and drive for overnight stop in Lunenburg.

Day 2 - Backtrack and spend morning/lunchtime around Peggy’s Cove, Mahone Bay. Afternoon – Follow coast to Liverpool and drive to/explore Kejimkujik National Park. Overnight in Annapolis Royal.

Day 3- Drive to Digby and take Ferries for whale watch. Depending on tides, bookings, etc, do whale watch either am or pm. Other half of the day revisit Kejimkujik National Park and Bear River First Nation Cultural Centre. Overnight in Annapolis Royal.

Day 4 - Drive to Wolfville and the Grand Pre region. Overnight in Wolfville.

Day 5 - Arrange with local agent a wine tour of several vineyards to include lunch/day out. (Suggestions welcome). Overnight in Wolfville.

Day 6 - Take coastal drive via Truro, Advocate Harbour, etc, for Bridge crossing for overnight in Prince Edward Island.

Days 7 and 8 - Explore Prince Edward Island. Hopefully a lobster supper or 2!

Days 9, 10 and 11 - Drive to Cape Breton to stay 3 nights in Baddeck to explore National Park, Cabot Trail, Louisbourg and Bras d’Or Lake.

Day 12 - Drive to Halifax – Return hire car late pm.

Day 13 - Explore Harbour and shopping.

Day 14 - Return flight at 23.45pm enables full day of city sightseeing before flight back to UK.

Before getting a quote from a travel agent we would appreciate some comments on whether we should cut back to 1 night in Wolfville/Grand Pre region and whether we should tag this extra night somewhere else or if we have a good mix of experiences as it is.

Many thanks in anticipation of some assistance.

Christine

Athens, Ontario
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1. Re: Please help with itinerary

Hello Christine,

I've not visited all parts of Nova Scotia, but I will advise where I can.

Day 1: Lunenburg is a great choice for your first overnight stop. We ate twice at the Fish Factory above the museum and the food was excellent. You should be in town early enough to take a Trot In Time horse and buggy through the village. We highly recommend this.

Day 2: I'm assuming you are coming from the UK to Halifax, so waking early won't be a problem. I suggest you head to Peggy's Cove first and beat the crowds. It is a nice place, but we found there were too many tourists and we couldn't get any nice pictures of the scenery. After that, you can see how much time you have to see Mahone Bay, Lunenburg again, Liverpool, or Kejimkujik, but I doubt you will have time for all of it.

Days 3-8: I haven't really explored these parts, so hopefully someone else will respond soon.

Days 9, 10 and 11: I know packing and un-packing daily can be a hassle, but I would suggest you stay the first night on the west coast of Cape Breton. We stayed in Cheticamp and drove into the park to watch the sun setting over the water. It was great. The next day we drove clockwise around the Cabot Trail and ended up near Baddeck for the night.

Days 12 - 14: I think this is a reasonable amount of time to spend in the city. There's lots to do, but everything is located within a small area near the water. Check out FRED (Free Ride Everywhere Downotwn) and the ferry to Dartmouth as a cheaper alternative to the Harbour Hopper tour.

It you do have an extra night, I would spend it somewhere along the Cabot Trail. The one thing we wished we had on our last visit was more time there. The scenery and walks were beautiful.

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2. Re: Please help with itinerary

Hi Christine, we are travelling to NS in July from the UK. Just a suggestion - instead of looking around Halifax at the end of your tour you could take the airport transfer bus to your hotel when you arrive ($19.50 I think) and spend a couple of days around Halifax before picking up your hire car in Halifax (Hertz has a location inside the Marriot Hotel) to continue your holiday. You can drop off your hire car at the airport on your way home with no drop off fees so this option may save you a few dollars.

Our flight too is 23.45 so we plan to spend the day leisurely sightseeing until its time to return the car. Happy hols.

Truro, Canada
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3. Re: Please help with itinerary

Day # 3 seems a bit hectic &, depending on the time of your whale-watching cruise, you may not get to both Keji & the Bear River First Nation Cultural Centre. Since you mention driving from Wolfville to the Truro area on Day # 6, you might consider a visit to the Glooscap Heritage Centre instead before heading out along the upper Bay of Fundy to Advocate Harbour. (www.glooscapheritagecentre.com)

Guernsey, United...
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4. Re: Please help with itinerary

Dear All

Thank you for taking the time to assist with our itinerary and for helping us to come to a few more decisions.

IrishHoneymooners - I will certainly take note of the Fish Factory. You are quite right we have had a few holidays where we have lived in and out of suitcases, seeing plenty of amazing sights along the way and then returning home absolutely exhausted and needing another holiday, let alone going back to work, so I was trying to keep the number of stopovers down. However, I think we shall drop a night in Wolfville in favour of an extra night in Cheticamp as we shouldn't be spending so much time in the car retracing our steps. I hadn't discovered the FRED or looked at the ferries around Halifax Harbour yet so that info has been added to the pile!

Aidens_Granny - We did look at overnighting in Halifax before setting off the next morning, but had to leave this out so that we could get an early start on visiting Peggy's Cove. Although if everyone else decides to do the same it will be busier round there than mid-morning onwards! As the more hectic of our holidays have involved fly/driving we now like to plan on dropping off the car to chill-out a bit at the end. Living on an Island where nowhere is that far, it is quite a relief to return the hire car - hopefully in one piece! But we can see the sense in hiring it from the City as I believe I have read that it is more expensive to hire it from the Airport but never mind.

SuncatcherTruro - You are right Day 3 does look a bit optimistic and I had noticed the info on Glooscap Heritage Centre in the Doers and Dreamers Guide but wasn't sure if we would have time to stop off there but if you think that is doable then that too will go on the info pile. The Centre looks perfect and I would love to visit there. I am keen to replace a pair of gloves that I bought in 1990 when we were taken by our Sister-in-Law (Canadian) and Brother (Guernsey born) to visit Michael Whetung's Ojibwa Arts and Crafts Centre at Curve Lake, Peterborough. They don't get a lot of use as in comparison to Canada we get very mild winters with little or no snow. I hadn't noticed how tatty my once white/grey gloves had become until my daughter told me that she had googled their website and maybe I would be able to replace them! They are my pride and joy and most treasured holiday souvenir so I shall see if I have time to visit either or both Centres.

Thanks once again and if you have any further thoughts then please let me know.

Christine

5. Re: Please help with itinerary

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Removed on: 28 February 2011, 11:05
Nova Scotia
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6. Re: Please help with itinerary

wpfan

I have always thought you must be associated with White Point beach, because of your forum replies.

It is against Trip Advisor policy to promote your own establishment or to use TA as a form of advertising.

Your posting will no doubt be removed by TA as you contradict the rules.

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7. Re: Please help with itinerary

I think you really need to look at your first couple days. You can go to Peggy's cove early in the morning from Halifax and then head on to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. The next day you can go to Liverpool. This will avoid backtracking twice.

I also agree that you should consider spending a night or two in Halifax at the beginning and then rent the car.

It also is unlikely you will have time to back track to Keji from Digby. Distances may be greater than you think!

For wineries, you do not need to have appointments to visit them and can easily do them on your own. Check here:

novascotia.com/en/…default.aspx

However if you do a search you will find some tours are available. I cannot vouch for any of them.

If you are limited in time, I would suggest to go the the wineries (Gaspereau, L'Acadie, Benjamin Bridge) in the Gaspereau region near Wolfville. There are some great wines and innovative things happening there. However I think this part of your itinerary is fine. (I love wine and food too!) A great place for Lobster is Halls Harbour near Wolfville. I believe it may still be in season there.

Day 4-7 are OK. I would leave PEI a day sooner to get to Cape Breton. Take Route 19 when you get to Cape Breton. And I agree that you should consider staying on the west coast.

Edited: 25 February 2011, 19:17
New Minas, Canada
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8. Re: Please help with itinerary

Good Morning CiaoBella,

You have made some good choices to experience Nova Scotia.

It is a difficult decision the first day whether to stay in Halifax or continue on to Lunenburg. Backtracking to Peggy's Cove the next day will make for a very long day. One could easily spend a whole day between Peggy's Cove, Chester, Mahone Bay & Lunenburg, plus a half a day at Kejimkuijk.

Distances are much farther than it looks on the map.

Annapolis is a lovely place to spend a couple of nights, & I would recommend taking the afternoon whale watching cruise. This will allow you enough time to drive down Digby Neck & take the ferries across to the islands. If you have a chance at Tiverton (where you get off the 1st ferry) take the trail to the Balancing Rock.

Wolfville is also a lovely town to spend a couple of nights. The following wineries are within 15 min drive & they all offer vineyard tours & wine sampling. Grand Pre Winery; Gaspereau Winery; L'Acadie Vineyards, Muir Murray Estate Winery, Blomidon Estate Winery & St. Famille Winery.

The Grand Pre Historic site is close by. www.grand-pre.com

At Evangeline Beach it will a good time of year to view the thousands of sandpipers that stop there on their migatory flight south.

There are several good accommodations & restaurants in the Wolfville/Grand Pre area. One of the very few that is a beachfront property is

www.beachbreezemotel.com

Here is also the Wolfville website: www.downtownwolfville.com

The dykes which you can access from the Waterfront Park is a popular place to go for a walk & observe the tides of the Minas Basin.

Hall's Harbour which is aprox a 20 min drive from Wolfville is a great place to observe the tides of the Bay of Fundy while enjoying a lobster dinner overlooking the harbour. www.cameronseafoods.ca

Here is a website where you can check on the tide times. You don't have to wait the full 6 hrs to see the difference between high & low tide. For example if high tide was at 12:30 pm, the harbour would be fairly empty at either 3 hrs before (9:30 am) or 3 hrs after (5:30 pm). That is because the water flows farther out & down the beach to reach the lowest of the low.

www.thehighesttides.com

Also if you have time visit Baxter's Harbour along the coast from Hall's Harbour. A unique out of the way place with a waterfall.

As others suggested you might want to cut back on a day in Prince Edward Island & use it to explore Cape Breton without being rushed.

Another idea to consider is to do the 1st part of your trip counter clockwise.

When you arrive, get your car & take the 0ne hour drive to Wolfville; spend a couple of nights there then continue to Annapolis Royal for a couple of nights, then across to Liverpool & Lunenburg, a couple of nights in that area, continue to Peggy's Cove & onto the rest of your trip.

That would mean a shorter drive on arrival & no backtracking

Just a suggestion for you. Hope that it doesn't confuse you more.

Fundygirl

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9. Re: Please help with itinerary

Excellent suggestions, Fundy girl.

New Minas, Canada
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10. Re: Please help with itinerary

Hi,

I just noted that the Deep Roots Music Festival is taking place in Wolfville on Sept 23, 24 & 25th. www.deeprootsmusic.ca

It's an awesome festival with lots of great talent, but it also means that if you decide to stay in Wolfville that weekend you should book well in advance.

Fundygirl

Edited: 26 February 2011, 17:59