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Traveling with toddlers

Toronto
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Traveling with toddlers

I am heading to Cheticamp for 10 days in July with a 1 year old and 3 year old. Any suggestions as to day trips and things to do?

toronto
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304 posts
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1. Re: Traveling with toddlers

You'll be right on the spectacular Cabot Trail scenic drive and also right on the edge of the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Intense hiking might be out with young ones (? unless you use a baby back pack and high tech stroller), but there are many excellent trails in the park and some are quite short and easy and popular with families. Here's the park website with loads of information: www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ns/cbreton/index.aspx . There are whale-watching tours from Cheticamp and nearby Pleasant Bay. There are also good beaches all around Cape Breton, some in the park with picnic facilities, etc. Look for the book Exploring Nova Scotia (available online). The Fortress of Louisbourg is a huge historic recreation with costumed actors role-playing, the 3 year old might enjoy that. You might also look for afternoon Ceilidh's with some of Cape Breton's famous fiddlers if the children like music.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Traveling with toddlers

Great tips! We will also be visiting this summer with a 2 year old and a 5 year old for a family reunion. Do you have any recommendations on where to stay? Somewhere family friendly, by the beach at a decent price?

Burlington, Canada
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3. Re: Traveling with toddlers

About 65 kms south of Cheticamp is a lovely place called Margaree Valley. There is a very family friendly Inn located on 250 acres called "The Normaway Inn". They have the Inn itself as well as cabins. It's about a 45 minute drive to Cheticamp so it might not be the location you're after but I thought it might be worth a look.

By the way, I stayed there a couple of years ago and found it to be quite a nice experience. They also have live music in the parlour most evenings and they hold dances in the barn on certain weekends. All the info is on the website provided. Also, we paid $99 per night for one of the green cabins which was a very reasonable price. If you stay for longer they may give you a discount if you ask. The staff were very friendly and accomodating. Dinners in the dining room were excellent but they also provide small BBQ's if you want to grill something for yourselves.....

Map and location of Margaree Valley......

fooddaycanada.ca/wp-content/…map-Normaway.jpg

Normaway Inn website...

http://thenormawayinn.com/

Edited: 23 March 2013, 15:03
Halifax
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4. Re: Traveling with toddlers

I'll second that re Normaway great spot. There is a lovely sand beach in Margaree Harbour less than 10 mins away for the children.

toronto
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5. Re: Traveling with toddlers

There is a nice long beach in Ingonish with a variety of accommodation scattered around nearby that you might look into (I'm not sure what "decent price" is to you but the nicer properties can be a little pricey). A number of these accommodations offer kitchens and are easy to research using the Nova Scotia Doers and Dreamers website novascotia.com/en/…default.aspx. This area is on the Cabot Trail, adjacent to the east entrance of the National Park and within reasonable day-tripping distance of most of the other sights and attractions including other beaches, trails, Baddeck (for museum, art shops, etc), Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay (for whale-watching), etc. We have even day-tripped to the Fortress of Louisbourg from Ingonish.

Burlington, Canada
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6. Re: Traveling with toddlers

If you plan on staying in Ingonish I would not recommend "The Knotty Pines Cottages" to my worst enemy. Old, rundown and dingy describe this place best.

Toronto
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7. Re: Traveling with toddlers

Getting a bit panicked as the days grow closer on how I am going to entertain a 3 and 1 year old. Beaches are great for a few days but hoping there is at minimum a few other things to do???

toronto
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8. Re: Traveling with toddlers

Your original post mentioned just Cheticamp. Are you there the whole 10 days or are you touring at all? I think many of the ideas below were already mentioned, but just reinforcing them anyway:

There are boat tours out of Cheticamp and nearby Pleasant Bay to see whales and other sea life. I don't know about the feasibility of these for the 1 year old, but you can ask.

The National Park offers opportunities to see wildlife too. We've seen whales from some of the headlands and watch for bald eagles and moose (the latter especially at dusk or early morning on the roads!). Binoculars are always useful for wildlife viewing.

Hiking in the park is a wonderful experience. Skyline Trail near Cheticamp is longish but not difficult - we've seen lots of families with kids (and might even be possible for stroller - check with the Visitors Centre on the park side of Cheticamp). We've seen moose close up on this trail, and the view at the end is extraordinary.

Bog Trail is very short and wheelchair accessible (Park website says "ideal for strollers"). Interesting plants include orchids and carnivorous Pitcher Plants, lots of frogs, moose possible. Check here for other Park ideas: pc.gc.ca/eng/…randonnee-hiking.aspx - there are also links to other park pages accessible from this page.

For afternoon music (ceilidhs) nearby go to http://www.inverness-ns.ca/ceilidhs.html and click on the links. Also try googling ceilidhs or ask around town (the kids might enjoy the lively fiddle music and dancing).

Baddeck is about an hour away - charming town, beautiful setting, arts and craft shops, cafes and bakeries. Alexander Graham Bell Museum (which I have not yet visited) has, I understand, interactive displays and a children's area. There are boat tours from and near Baddeck which you can google. Lots of Bald Eagles around the Bras d'Or Lakes which Baddeck sits on.

Louisbourg is maybe a 2 hour drive away but it's a pleasant and scenic drive (as are most on Cape Breton) with stops on route possible. The kids might enjoy the large impressive fortress and buildings with its costumed interpreters acting out Fort life from the 1700's.

Cape Breton is spectacularly beautiful. Consider some of the above activities but also just pack picnics and tour around, planning to stop wherever you find it appealing whether it's a small town, a craft shop, a nature trail, or a beautiful coastal area.

toronto
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9. Re: Traveling with toddlers

Oh - and for beaches, there are a number to choose from for variety. As well as the big beach at Ingonish (which is handy to amenities), there are lovely beaches near Cape North (Cabot's Landing and others nearby), smaller ones within the park at Broad Cove and Black Brook, an extensive beach at Inverness, and the provincial parks near Mabou (plus secluded little spots dotted here and there along the coasts).

Toronto
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10. Re: Traveling with toddlers

WOW thanks so much!!

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