|Subject: Re: New England / Nova Scotia|
My wife, Sara, and I did this very same trip in the Spring of 1999. A
splendid vacation. Beautiful country and wonderful people. We had a much
shorter period of time and I envy you you're two-weeks-plus travel time.
Our trip had us flying from San Diego into Providence, R.I. where we picked up a rental car and drove to Portland, Maine. In Portland we met Cheryl Moreau, the moderator of a now extinct travel mailing list known as Travel-L. We spent one evening and the next day before catching the ferry, the Scotia Prince, for an overnight cruise to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In Portland we visited several parks including Ft. Allen Park, Ft. Williams Park and the Portland Head Light, a wonderful newly-restored market downtown with outstanding food selections, drove up to Freeport for the requisite visit to L.L. Bean (an American catalog sporting goods merchant which is an institution in this country), and a mapmaking company, DeLormé, which has one of the world's largest globes situated in its three-story foyer.
After our day in Portland we boarded the Prince of Fundy ferry about 8:00pm. We both enjoyed the overnight cruise and were well-rested when we drove the car off the ferry early the next morning in Yarmouth. Info for the ferry: http://www.princeoffundy.com/.
That morning we drove along the south shore visiting Shelburne, a coastal mining area called The Ovens, and stayed the evening in Lunenburg. We loved Lunenburg and stayed at the Boscawen Inn. See it at: http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/boscawen/
The next day we drove all the way to Cape Breton. We passed the outskirts of Halifax in a heavy fog and opted to skip the city this trip. Our limited time schedule kept us from seeing all we would have liked. But we so enjoyed our travels here that we will definitely come back.
Cape Breton was outstanding. We stayed in a motel near Ingonish the first night and in another in Cheticamp the following evening after passing through the park. In the park we did several hikes enjoying breathtaking views of the coast and seeing a couple of moose amongst the forests of sugar maple. I highly recommend a side trip up to Meat Cove. Technically outside the park but surrounded by it. Some of the most scenic coast I've encountered.
The next day in Cheticamp we took a whale-watching trip and saw numerous minke whales plus a couple of fin whales (second only to blue whales as the largest living animals ever on this planet). the people of Cheticamp we found to be extremely friendly with a great history (descendants of the Acadians).
We then drove all the way to New Brunswick staying that evening south of Moncton in a town called Hillsborough. We stayed in a private residence that offered rooms. These were quite prevalent and were a cheap alternative to a motel. We stayed here due to its proximity to Hopewell Rocks just to the north of Fundy National Park. This area gives you the best perspective on the incredible power and variance of the tides. We also drove out to Cape Enrage which offered some scenic views of the Bay of Fundy. Then proceeded through Fundy National Park.
Our final night in Canada was in St. Andrews a nice little town just across Passamaquoddy Bay from Maine. Then we drove on down to Boston for three days before flying home to San Diego.
As you can see this was a whirlwind tour of Nova Scotia and only served to whet our appetite and I can assure you that we'll return for more in depth touring of this beautiful destination.
One of the most helpful resources was the Doer's &Dreamer's Travel Guide put out by the Nova Scotia Travel Commission. You can order your free copy at: http://explore.gov.ns.ca/virtualns.
If I can answer more specific questions please ask.
John Rule San Diego, CA