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6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Perth, Western...
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6 day itinerary ex Halifax

We will be arriving at Halifax late on a Friday in June, (2 of us) and are keen to at least see the best of the Cabot Trail. We will be driving. We love small hikes on these sorts of trips, about 2 to 4 hours, easy to moderate. We are not keen on churches and castles.

We are coming from Australia and have never been to this area before.

Can you suggest the must do things for us, please, and towns or villages to stay. We won't be camping and B&B's are not for us usually.

We have 6 full days clear for the trip to Cape Breton Island, and we have to finish at Halifax

No idea of the budget, so I guess it doesn't matter that much, athough we generally avoid high rise hotels and most things that are 5 star. We must be inverted snobs. Occasionally we do something special like a helicopter or plane tour.

Daryl

Halifax
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1. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Hi there dazzarapley, my name is Fiona and I work with NS Tourism.

There is certainly a lot of hiking on the Cabot Trail when you enter into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park at the top of the loop. You can find a map of all the trails in the park here: pc.gc.ca/eng/…cartes-maps.aspx

Depending on who you talk to people can suggest a variety of must see and do things. The province certainly has lots to offer. Generally most people suggest the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, the UNESCO world heritage town of Lunenburg, the Cabot Trail, the Fortress of Louisbourg (one of the largest reconstructions in North America), the Bay of Fundy tides -the largest in the world, and whale watching, usually in the regions of the Digby Neck or Cape Breton near Pleasant Bay.

Specific to Cape Breton would be the whale watching, CB Highlands National Park, Louisbourg, and the Cabot Trail. Try getting to one of the local ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lees) for some local celtic style music. The Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck. The highland village in Iona is also a great experience of what the Scottish settler's would have felt like 200 years ago. In Glace Bay some of the highlights would be the Miner's museum and the Marconi National Historic site.

A useful tool is also to go to our website www.novascotia.com and order the 2010 Doers & Dreamers Guide which lists the attractions, the accomodations and lots of other useful information.

Hope this information helps,

Fiona

Edited: 15 June 2010, 17:47
Perth, Western...
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2. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Thanks, Fiona. I have the booklet already, and I downloaded the link to the hiking map, which looks like a good start.

We will only be going to the Cabot Trail, not Bay of Fundy etc - just time restraints and no great desire to drive lots more miles. Disappointing though.

What do you reckon would be the 6 towns or villages that tourists most often stay in if they go from Halifax to CB national park and back, please?

Daryl

Sydney
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3. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

dazzarapley,

Visitors generally come to Cape Breton Island to see 2 major attractuions - the Cabot Trail which is the road running through northern Cape Breton (including through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park) and the historic Fortress of Louisbourg (the largest historical reconstruction on the North American continent). Additionally, as Fiona mentioned, there are many other secondary attractions such as the Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace bay, the Alexander Graham bell Museum in Baddeck and the Highland Village in Iona. Superimpose on this the great Cape Breton culture exemplified by the local Cape Breton/Celtic music and you can have a great vacation. Where you decide to stay would depend essentially on what you want to do. If you answer a few more questions, I will try to give you some ideas.

Do you want to do anything other than hiking/outdoor activities?

Do you want to visit historic sites such as the Fortress of Louisbourg?

Do you want to attend any local music events? (eg Men of the Deeps on Tuesday 29 June www.menofthe deeps.com). The Louisbourg Playhouse has local cape Breton music every night starting on the 27th of June.

What date/time do you actually arrive in Halifax?

When exactly do you depart from Halifax?

If you don't want to camp, don't like B&Bs and don't want to stay at high rise hotels, what type of accommodations do you want?

Cheers

Perth, Western...
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4. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Pfound, thanks for the reply. In answer to your questions,

Other than the usual eating and a bit of browsing the shops (anything we buy we have to lug back to Oz), we play tennis, do underwater photography, cycling (though Gail doesn’t cycle, but she is happy to have a nap while I do), horse riding. We will have just done 2 weeks of riding on a dude ranch, so we will be pretty fit. Eating some of those crabs you are holding in your picture certainly looks like the way to go.

We visit historic sites if they are pretty much on the route anyway. Canadian history is pretty much a blank in Australia, so getting a bit of culture won’t hurt.

The Louisbourg Playhouse and music events, rodeos, etc, would be good idea, but 29 June is no good for us.

We arrive on August 6th at 2.30 pm, and leave again on August 13th at 8.30 am.

No, we are not that fussy about accommodation, really, but usually we will stay in 3 or 4 star motels or hotel rooms. At Niagara for instance we will pay the extra for a Hilton high rise, because that is the way to get the view. And we do like camping, but coming from Australia it is not that practical.

Thanks for the offer to help.

Daryl

Halifax
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5. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Hi there dazzarapley,

If seafood is what you are looking for there is certainly a lot of it here! One festival that is going on at that time is the Festival de l'Escaouette will be going on in the Acadian town of Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail. As far as cycling there are certainly lots of trails in the CB highlands national park. I know you said you have one of the hiking maps, but another great website for a list of the trails is the following: …gov.ns.ca/SharedUse/Images/shared_index.html

If you are interested in music check out the Celtic music centre in Judique if you have the time. They have Wednesday night ceilidhs 7- 9 PM for $5.

Also there is a Gaelic Concert Series on at Christmas Island on Aug 10th http://www.feisaneilein.ca/

If you have any other questions, just ask!

Fiona

Scunthorpe, United...
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6. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Initial thoughts

Aug 6th

Drive to Pictou or Antigonish for your first night. (with 2.30pm arrival at Halifax by the time you have collected luggage and picked up car you won't want to drive too far.

Aug 7th & 8th

Drive to Louisbourg (full day taken slowly with time for stops)

Spend next day visiting Louisbourg Fortress, lighthouse etc

Aug 9th

Drive to Igonish area for the night. Again taking your time to stop on the way

Aug 10th

Drive to Cheticamp area for overnight. Take your time and do some of the walking trails - there are lots to choose from.

Aug 11th

Drive to Sherbrooke area

Aug 12th

Drive back to Halifax and overnight in one of the airport hotels

Aug 13th

8.30 flight

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7. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

dazzer and eesw : assume you are one in the same ?? You have a good trip planned and see you have 2 days at Louisburg .

You have the flexibility here as you have plenty time for your route.

Check out Pictou as the 1st night to see the Historic hector ship that came to NS from Scotland . Check Braeside inn. You can opt to travel Route 104 and route 4 once on Cape Breton as a route towards Sydney and Louisburg. You can opt to take the Englishtown ferry from the 105 to get to the Cabot Trail to head up to Ingonish. After Ingonish, and after Neil's Harbour take the outside the Park route through to the South Haven. At Cape North, go towards Meat Cove at least as far as the John Cabot landing monument at the Cabot picnic Park. You may opt to stay in the Park as opposed to Cheticamp , or head farther south to places like Margaree or even the Glenora SIngle malt Distillery or even Mabou. Cheticamp to the exit from the island is about a 2 3/4 hour drive. there are several little museums on Cape Breton so get their pamphlet at the visitor center when you arrive on the ISland . Also ask where you can catch a Cape Breton fiddling concert !!! For more Scotch history , check the map for the IONA recreated scottish village ; it's a "live" museum ; they act as if they were the farmers of their time .

Edited: 16 June 2010, 21:37
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8. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Hi caperbeach

I'm a bit confused by your first sentence. The itinerary was a suggestion for dazzarapley

(and is in fact slightly different to the one we have planned as we have the 'luxury' of 10 days). Many thanks for the vote of confidence and fleshing out my outline. I was also trying to identify stops which would give dazzer the 3 or 4 star motels or hotel rooms they were after.

Eleanor

Perth, Western...
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9. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

Terrific. that will all be a huge help. I can work it out now, I am sure it will be great (including the crabs). Thanks pfound, fiona, EESW, Caperbeach and Eleanor.

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10. Re: 6 day itinerary ex Halifax

dazzarapley,

The plan that I would suggest for you doesn't vary much from the others but I will try to flush it out a bit with other activities.

Friday 06 Aug - Arrive in Halifax at 2:30. Start heading towards Cape Breton. Where you decide to stay will depend on how much time you are prepared to drive after flying all day. Truro is only 40 minutes from the airport, Antigonish is about 2 hours 15 minutes from the airport. In Antigonish I would recommend either Azelia Farmhouse B&B (now 4 1/2 Stars) or Rose and Thistle B&B but, if you do not want to stay at a B&B, then Antigonish Victorian Inn would be a good albeit much more expensive alternative. If you have dinner in Antigonish I would highly recommend Gabrieau's Bistro on Main Stret - they have an excellent seafood chowder and all of their entrees are superb.

Saturday 07 Aug - Continue on to Cape Breton with the aim of spending the next 2 nights in the Sydney/Louisbourg area. In the afternoon (after checking into your accommodations) you could either visit the Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace Bay or hike the Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail which has just opened. It starts at the Louisbourg Lighthouse and runs along the Atlantic Ocean through a very scenic and historic area. There are many excellent B&Bs in the Sydney area (see reviews on Trip Advisor or go to the website for the Nova Scotia B&B Association) and there are also several excellent hotels (Cambridge Suites for example). In Louisbourg there are several excellent Inns (Cranberry Cove Inn and Louisbourg Harbour Inn are both 4 1/2 Star).

Sunday 08 Aug - This would be your day for the Fortress of Louisbourg. The Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest historical reconstruction on the North American continent. Originally constructed by the French in 1713, it was seiged twice by the Royal Navy and the New England Colonists (American), taken both times and ultimately destroyed in 1760 so that the French would no longer have a military stronghold on the continent. In is an excellent place for a history lesson on english, French, canadian and Americam history. Most of our B&B guests spend the entire day there, follow it with dinner in the Town of Louisbourg (my picture is of me cleaning fresh snow crab on one of the jetties in Louisbourg) and then cap off the day with the 2 hour show of Cape Breton music at the Louisbourg Playhouse (www.louisbourgplayhouse.com).

Monday 09 Aug - Depart Sydney and head around the Cabot Trail with the aim of staying somewhere between Ingonish and cape North for the night. Driving time from Sydney to Cape North is just over 2 hours so you will have ample time during the day for outdoor adventure. There are numerous excellent hikes throughout the Cape Breton Highlands National Park - simply take your pick. Ingonish is the only place on the eastern side of the Cabot Trail where you will find the type of accommodations you seem to want. Glenghorm Beach Resort, Seascape Coastal retreat, Lantern Hill and Hollow are all excellent accommodations. If you want to stay somewhere like Cape North I would recommend Oakwood Manor B&B.

Tuesday 10 Aug - continue around the Cabot Trail with the aim of staying in Cheticamp for the night. Driving time from Ingonish to Cheticamp is only 1 hr 35 minutes but this is the area with the best scenery and the best hiking in the Province. If you are interested in whale watching, the best place to do it is Pleasant Bay. Whale watching tours are generally about 2 1/2 hours. One of the nicest hiking trails in this section of the Park is Skyline Trail halfway between Pleasant bay and Cheticamp. It is a very easy hike, more a walk actually, and it runs out along a mountain ridge and at the end of the trail provides one of the best sea vistas on the Island. It is about a 2 - 2 1/2 hour hike. In Cheticamp if you don't want a B&B you might want to consider either L'Auberge Doucet Inn or Auberge bay Wind Suites.

Wednesday 11 Aug - I would recommend staying in Cheticamp for a second night to take best advantage of the great hiking in this area. Trails like L'Acadien, Fishing Cove, etc are beautiful and challenging. Additionally, while you are in Cheticamp their Festival de l'Escaouette is ongoing and you should be able to catch some local cape Breton/Acadian music either night.

Thursday 12 Aug - head back to Halifax. Once on mainland Nova scotia you can either take the same route you took to get to Cape Breton or, as an alternative, take the route along the "Eastern Shore through Canso, Sherbrooke, Sheet Harbour and on to Halifax. The first will take about 4 1/2 hours from Cheticamp to Halifax, the second considerably longer (about 6 1/2 hours).

Hope this is of some interest. If you have any questions just ask.

Cheers

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