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1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

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1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

2 couples in early 50's want to drive from Halifax to Portland Maine. Want to see lighthouses and quaint fishing villages, budget friendly hotels, whale watching.

We can come in late April or mid Sept or Oct. When is best time or when is off-season?

We are from Georgia but will fly to Halifax and fly home from Portland.

Any suggestions?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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1. Re: 1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

I wouldn't come in late April. Unlike Georgia, it is barely Spring that early in the year. Although there will no longer be snow on the ground, there will be no leaves on the trees. It will seem very much like winter to you. The leaves and the season doesn't really get going until at least mid-May. That might sound like a good thing to you. But it really isn't. There will be few lodging and restaurants open at that time of year. Mostly the villages will be busy cleaning up from winter, getting some last minute road construction done, stocking stores, and doing things of that ilk. It doesn't make for a good time to visit.

Mid-September would be much better. Even better would be early October when you can expect to see some nice foliage.

Nova Scotia
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2. Re: 1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

Agree with bonniemaev about not coming in April.

Keep in mind, first of all, there is a time change once you cross the border from Canada into Maine. The time will fall back one hour from Atlantic to Eastern time zone. 7 pm will become 6 pm, for example, as you enter Maine from New Brunswick. Also keep in mind, as you leave Halifax for New Brunswick on the transCanada highway, there is a section called the Cobequid Pass that is a toll section. Cost is $4.00 per car. They will accept U.S funds, if you don't have any Canadian money at hand.

Halifax in late April can still be fairly cool and depending on the winter, there may still be snow banks! Certainly, nothing in the line of tourist attractions will be open at that time of year and there will be no whale watching tours during that time period.

Not sure how you want to spend your time travelling from Halifax to Portland, as you certainly do it in one long day, if you wanted. You could drive from Halifax to somewhere around Alma,http://www.alma-nb.worldweb.com/ or St. Martins http://www.stmartinscanada.com/ in New Brunswick, to see the Bay of Fundy for a day or two.

Not sure of your budget as far as hotels. Keep in mind those little villages that you want to see are the same ones that everyone else does too, so finding something on a budget may be hard. It does pay to plan ahead.

If by chance you decide to travel as far as Calais Maine from Halifax, please stay at the Greystone B&B. http://greystonecalaisme.com/ It is by far, the nicest accommodation in the area, and the hosts, Candace and Alan are charming folks and the breakfasts are absolutely amazing.

Central Maine
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3. Re: 1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

Of your three schedule possibilities, I'd strongly recommend mid-September..... as already noted, April will be too early in the season -- little to no foliage, possibility of big temperature fluctuations. could still be "mud season" (underfoot) here.... Early October puts you into Fall Foliage season -- great views of abundantly-colorful foliage, but, because of its popularity and demand, generally won't be "budget friendly" -- mid-September will definitely offer greater hotel/motel/b&b availability and most likely better prices as well....

I'd plan on a couple of days from Halifax to Calais, ME with stops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (if you haven't already done so, I'd ask for advice in those Trip Advisor Forums for specific ideas for those two provinces).... Once you get into Maine, West Quiddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec is the easternmost lighthouse in the United States and is extremely colorful and photographic..... and Lubec is a nice little coastal community...

Rockland ME has a lighthouse at the end of the breakwater protecting Rockland harbor and you can walk/scramble over the breakwater to get out to the lighthouse itself .

I''d also be sure to include Pemaquid Light lighthouse in my itinerary -- it's down a peninsula from US Rt 1, but well worth the side trip....

And once you get to Portland, be sure to leave time for a ride out to Portland Head Light lighthouse in nearby Cape Elizabeth -- oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Atlantic seaboard -- superb photo ops....

For possible overnights along the Maine coast, I'd consider Lubec, Camden, Pemaquid area and Portland (for easy access to the airport for your flight home). Unfortunately, with the distance you have to travel and lighthouse visits along the way, you really don't have enough time to make a meaningful visit to Acadia National Park, so I didn't add it to the list. To do the basics at Acadia at a leisurely enough pace to really take them in, you'd need at least a full day there, staying somewhere nearby the night before and night after your Park visit....

4. Re: 1 week road trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Portland, Main

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