Canadian Maritime Itinerary
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Aug 4, 2012 5:49 PM Last Post By: saskja
Jul 24, 2012 3:52 AM
Canadian Maritime ItineraryPlease see below our revised 26-night itinerary, that starts and ends in Montreal, and includes a little Quebec, two of the maritime provinces, and some US New England.
● Montreal (3 nights) (flight from Calgary)
● Québec (3)
● Tadoussac (2)
● Campbellton (1)
● Moncton (1)
● Truro (1)
● Chéticamp (2)
● Port Hawkesbury (1) (via Cape Breton Highlands NP)
● Halifax (2)
● Fundy NP (2)
● Saint John (Grand Manan Island) (1)
● Lubec Maine (1)
● Bar Harbor - Acadia NP (2)
● Portland ME (1)
● White Mountains NH (1)
● Burlington VT (1)
● Montreal (1) (train to New York City)
We arrive in Montreal initially on 30 May, and return the rental car there on 24 June. We will stay in (HI) hostels wherever it works, and outside that, budget motels and/or park cabins. We are Australians and have travelled extensively in the US, but nothing in Canada east of Calgary so far. If anyone has any comments or suggested improvements, they would be much appreciated.
My first specific question - is it rewarding to include Halifax (and some south coast), given the scale of the diversion to get there and leave again? Or could we allocate those two nights (and associated driving kms) better elsewhere, such as Grand Manan Island, Tadoussac, or Cape Breton, etc?
A second question - are there any particular advantages (or disadvantages) between taking the ferry from Les Escoumins to Trois-Pistoles versus the ferry from Saint Simon to Rivière-du-Loup? We will then head across to Campbellton after we disembark from the ferry.
Jul 25, 2012 5:35 AM
Your posts on the USA branch are always so helpful that I'm sorry the favour hasn't been returned in kind here. I suspect that most posters here are much more knowledgeable of the west than the east. I'm not so different so I can't offer much other than: 1) if I were making the trip, I wouldn't allocate so much time to New Brunswick and instead head straight to Halifax and explore the city and surroundings. However, I haven't spent much time in NB since a childhood trip so perhaps those stops (including Truro) are worth it. I guess most tourists do the Halifax-Peggy's Cove-Lunenburg tour but that doesn't necessarily make it better. 2) The HI hostel in Montreal is right smack downtown. I'm always sensitive that visitors to Montreal never leave the downtown-Latin Quarter-Old Montreal axis even though the Plateau/Mile-End area is much nicer. That latter area is the heart of the city and where you'll find the best restaurants, cafés, bars, and shopping. It's really where Montréal's unique place in North America comes out. Accommodation is tough to find there. If you can't then try to head up there as much as you can. You can easily take the metro from the HI (Lucien l'Allier station) to Mont-Royal or Laurier stations. 3) When taking the train to NYC, sit on the left/east side for better views. If the staff doesn't let you, insist!
Have a great trip!
Jul 25, 2012 4:11 PM
2Never mind ... I don't expect the Canadian regulars to pay the "debts" due from the US Branch.
Our time in New Brunswick (sort of along the north-east coast) is to get us from Quebec to Cape Breton Island, and we definitely do not like budgeting more than 300km driving per day - hopefully less than that. And places like Truro and Moncton are indicative only ... we might stay in smaller places in the general area, and where HI hostels are located.
Although looking at the modest numbers in these provinces and cities, it seems the population density is about the same as Tasmania (and I trust not in both senses of the word). and I want to go to Moncton, to see what it's like to live in a place named after the supreme climate change denier (and first-class nutter).
Thanks for the Montreal details, and the tip about the Adirondack train. I think we will keep our two nights in Halifax, and have a trawl around the south coast.
Aug 2, 2012 4:18 PM
I’ve done the Northern New Brunswick to Cape Breton trip countless times, so I might be able to provide some insight. Personally, if I were to making that trip, I would stop in Sackville, NB rather than Moncton. Honestly everything you want to experience can be done without leaving the car! Sackville is on the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border. It’s a small town and home to a University that rents out dorm rooms come June. I would also remove Truro from the Itinerary and just drive right to Cape Breton and stay around the causeway. That would put you right around your 300km mark and make it easier to get to the Highlands. Also if you’re headed down to Fundy area from Halifax you could also drive from Halifax to Digby and take the ferry to Saint John’s. If you have any questions about the Maritimes feel free to ask, I may be able to help.
Aug 2, 2012 5:12 PM
Aug 4, 2012 1:38 PM
Aug 4, 2012 3:47 PM
6Thanks #3 ... moving our nights to Campbellton > Sackville > Port Hawkesbury does seem to make equally good sense, so will check out accomm options.
And thanks saskja - "Chéticamp (2)" was just a generic description - we were definitely planning to stay at the Cabot Trail Hostel Pleasant Bay. And thanks for the details of acomm in both Montreal and Québec. We will look at the university college options ... have used them before elsewhere and they have usually been basic but fine. However l'Auberge alternative du Vieux-Montréal looks very good.
If we were to linger at Baie-St-Paul for a night (and take the island ferry ride), would you drop a night in Montreal, or a night in Québec (bearing in mind that we return to Montreal for a final night at the end of our loop)?
Aug 4, 2012 5:49 PM
7Of course, Lionel-Groulx metro station. What was I thinking ;) ?
Metro map here
As to which city you could shove 1 day off, should you decide to stay in BSP overnight, it depends what your taste and travelling style are, regarding cities: big, metropolitan ( Mtl ) or smaller, laidback, quaint, European flare ( Québec City )?
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