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Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

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Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

My wife and I will be returning to Nova Scotia for a twelve day vacation. We were there in Sept. 2007 and loved it but did not have time to explore Cape Breton so that's our focus this time.

Here's our itinerary..please feel free to comment.

Day One: Fly from Phila. to Halifax..arrive by 1PM...pick up rental car and drive to SeaWind Landing Country Inn in Larry's River. Travel via Rtes. 212E, 224E, 7E. Melrose County Harbour Rd., and 316S. Estimating 4 1/2-5 hours drive. Is there a good place to get lunch shortly after leaving Halifax Airport that's on our way?

Day Two: Leave Larry's River and travel to Louisbourg staying at the Spinning Wheel B&B. Have read some posts about which route to take..Rte 247 then the drive through Gabarus Lake or Rte 4 along the east shore of Bras d' Or Lake to Sydney and then over to Louisbourg? Comments please! No rush getting there..

Day Three: Spend as much time as we want at the fort then drive to Baddeck to Mother Gaelic's B&B...again, no rush!

Day Four: Sight see around Baddeck..probably drive north around the Cabot Trail as far as Neil's Harbour or North Harbour then turn around and drive back to Baddeck for a second night.

Day Five:More sight seeing around Baddeck then head south and west to Mabou stopping by Iona to visit the Highland Village Museum. Staying at The Inn at Glendyer for three nights.

Days Six & Seven: Travel north to the Cabot Trail passing through Cheticamp going as far as Pleasant Bay or North Harbour (if we didn't get there on Day Four), visit The Red Shoe for some Ceilidh, the Canadian Whisky distillery at Glenora and other interesting places. Comments?

Day Eight: Leave Mabou and drive to the Carwarden B&B in Port Williams (stayed with Mary in 2007). Visited Pictou, Cape d' Or lighthouse, Bay of Fundy, Parrsboro in 2007...will probably bypass most things until we get to Truro then take Rtes 236 & 215 along the Bay of Fundy to Rte 1 then through Wolfville to Port Williams. Once we get through Truro we will be revisiting places where we were in 2007.

Day Nine: Go north to Hall's Harbour, visit some local wineries, eating and drinking our way around. We have reservations for the Tempest restaurant for 9/13...suggestions for 9/12?... read good things about the Port Pub and Paddy's Pub.

Day Ten: Leave Annapolis Valley and drive to Lunenburg for three nights at the 1826 Maplebird House. Try to eat dinner at Magnolia's Grille...loved their FRESH scallops!!

Days Eleven & Twelve: One day go to Halifax..(Alexander Keith's Brewery..love their beer!)..spend time there and in Dartmouth and the other day lounging around Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Blue Rocks, La Havre bakery, etc

Visit the Ironworks Distillery, whatever we feel like!

Day Thirteen: Drive to the airport for an early afternoon flight back to home.

We have gleaned a lot of information last time from blondie091 and Fundygirlr as we planned our trip and this time I've relied on a lot more of the Cape Breton experts (caperbeach and pfound as well as maryann-ns and oneeyedlove).

We are very excited about our return...please add suggestions for good, reasonably priced local eateries, comments on places not to miss, etc.!!

Halifax, Canada
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1. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

The route you have chosen from the airport is very rural. The Old Guysborough Rd. (212) has very little in the way of businesses or anything else on it that I can recall. If you are going to want to eat soon after landing, I would suggest a very slight detour into Enfield off exit 7. If casual pub food would suit you, Curly Portables is odd but well-liked spot. I've only eaten there a couple of times, but service was good, food was tasty, and portions huge. The decore ranges from antique photos to news clippings to a stuffed boar. Otherwise, you could stop at the Superstore in Enfield and pick up something for a picknick when you get to Dollar Lake park. All of these are on google maps.

I can't help you much with Cape Breton, as most of the time I've spent there was either tenting or long ago. If you're up for a very steep but otherwise doable hike, the view from Tenerife in Aspy Bay is spectacular

In the Wolfville region, I would highly recommend Domaine de Grand Pre winery restaurant for a foodie lunch. Their courtyard and pergola are beautiful on a nice day. For something more laid back, Paddy's is a huge favorite of mine. I have found experiences varying a lot lately when they're busy, though. Try the veggie nachos, pulled pork., or filet mignon. If you're there on a Sunday, they have local musicians who come and have celtic music jam sessions in the front Sunday evenings. For a scenic drive, take the loop behind Wolfville through Gaspereau. If anyone on your Christmas list is a knitter, stop in at Gasperau Valley Fibres and ogle the wares, watch the sheep and llamas, and talk to the wonderful staff.

Too many places in Halifax and Dartmouth to know where to start, and I'm not that familiar with Lunenburg.

New Minas, Canada
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2. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17


Your itineray sounds very relaxed & going at your own pace; the way a vacation should be. I'm sure that Mary at Carwarden B&B will have lots of info for you, but here's a couple of comments on ideas for restaurants in that area.

I've just returned from a couple of weeks of being a tourist in my former home province & even explored areas I'd never been! Anyway, we went out for dinner at the Port Pub in Port Williams & was disappointed with both the food & the service. I have eaten there a few times in the past & sometimes it was good, sometimes not. One of my favourites is Rosie's at Paddys Pub in Wolfville; have eaten there several times, great food & service.

A favourite with the locals is Evangeline Cafe in Grand Pre. Excellent seafood chowder & the best homemade pies you ever want to taste.


Between the Bushes restaurant is very good & not very far from the Carwarden B&B. www.betweenthebushes.ca

If you enjoy gardens, the centre at Acadia University, Wolfville is lovely.


Also, Tangled Gardens in Grand Pre (near Just Us Coffee)


Enjoy the Wineries in that area, there must be at least 5 or 6 there now

We managed to visit 3 of them & get a variety of Nova Scotia wine to savour while dining back at home.


Scunthorpe, United...
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3. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

Day 2 Rte 247 then the drive through Gabarus Lake or Rte 4 along the east shore of Bras d' Or Lake to Sydney and then over to Louisbourg?

I had the same dilemma last year.... My original intention had been to drive through Gabarus as I thought this might be the more scenic route. I told by the B&B in Louisbourg that they didn't recommend the route as it was very lonely with no mobile coverage. The day we arrived in NS I was talking to a tour leader in Halifax who was waiting for her group to arrive. We got on to the topic of routes and her advice was route 4 as it was more scenic. She said the Gabarus route was through forest all the way and there were no views. It was inland from the coast and you didn't get views of the coast unless you took some of the side turnings. She assured me route 4 had much better views and scenery.

In the end we took route 4. It was a pleasant drive but I must admit we weren't over impressed by the views and there were still a lot of trees. It is supposed to be a better road and faster driving. However last September there were long stretches of road works which slowed us down. A lot of settlement is marked on the map, however these are areas where the houses just get a bit closer together.

If you get to Neil's Harbour we can recommend the Chowder House. It is a very basic no frill cafe. Meals are ordered at the counter. It has the most superb view from the windows and the fish chowder was pretty good too. Portions were ample and cheap.

If you have time do continue the drive to White Point. Find somewhere to park and do the easy walk to the headland. This is well off the touristy part of the Cabot Trail and is a delightful spot.

Louisbourg Fortress is the most amazing pace and Iona Highland Village Museum is good too. Make sure you allow plenty of time to talk to the staff who are knowledgeable and entertaining in both places.

In Baddeck we ate in The Village Kitchen. This was recommended by our B&B when we asked for somewhere serving good, honest food with no frills. It is popular with coach tours and service can be a bit slow if there is a group in. The fish and chips was freshly cooked and excellent (good crispy batter). Prices were reasonable.

Nova Scotia
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4. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

What a great plan you have. I have stayed at Seawind Landing and loved it. I don't have any other suggestions. We drove along the Eastern Shore last year, but for lunch we were in the Sherbrooke area and I don't think you can wait that long.

Your Cape Breton plans sound great. I have not driven in the Louisbourg area for a while but would drive along Bras D'Or. We love the Mira River Area. You could stop in to Rita's Teahouse in Big Pond. http://www.ritamacneil.com/tearoom.html

In the Annapolis Valley be sure to visit the Gaspereau area and the several wineries there. It's been a few years since we were in that area and we loved the Port Pub.

Let's hope our currently great weather continues.

Cape Breton Island...
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5. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

I would also recommend travelling Route 4 rather than the Gabarus way. It is long, boring, no views, and nothing around. It felt very deserted. While in Louisbourg besides the Fortress, there is Lighthouse Point which is stunning and Kennington Cove Beach which is also very nice. Lighthouse point has a beautiful walking trail with some really nice views. There is also a picnic park area right before the lighthouse that you can have a snack and see the Fortress in the distance. At the picnic park we always too the little path down to the water in front and took a dip. Kennington cove which is about a 10 min. drive from the Fortress is two beaches side by side that are really beautiful with not many people there. The warmest time to swim there is eary September with its still cool refreshing huge waves. In Baddeck besides the bell Museum there is a few places that I also liked one being the Yellow Cello and the ice cream place a few doors up. You can also take a little walk on ferry ride to Kidstons Island which the cost is silver donation. You can walk the trail while over there or take a swim. Have fun.

Cape Breton Island...
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6. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

I almost forgot, if you are in Louisbourg check out the Louisbourg Playhouse to see what is playing there. and if you like lobster, have some in Louisbourg :)

Edited: 01 September 2011, 13:02
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7. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

In Wolfville area your best restaurants for fine dining would be Tempest, Actons, Blomidon Inn. For more casual dining I prefer Paddy's Pub, if Paddy's Pub is full I generally go to Joe's. You must go to the Evangeline Cafe for lunch, also known has Sterling's by us locals. They have the best home made pies, very good soups and sandwiches. Also this place is quite cheap so I generally get a soup, sandwich, pie and a drink for under $20. Just a note this place however doesn't serve french fries or alcohol. I don't generally go to the Port Pub most people either like it or they don't but I wouldn't recommend it.

8. Re: Twleve days in Nova Scotia 9/5..9/17

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