Family trip through Atlantic Canada
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2013 10:56 PM Last Post By: sprite
Jan 17, 2013 8:19 PM
Family trip through Atlantic CanadaHello lovely TT Community!
I'm currently living in Montreal, and later this year my family are coming from out West to join me on a 2-week tour de force of Atlantic Canada. We're a family of 4 adults - parents are in their mid-50s, and myself and my sister are in our mid-20s. We've already booked a cabin in Neils Harbour, and for the rest we'll be doing hotels/motels. Here's what our itinerary looks like so far:
Apr 29/30: Montreal
May 1/2: Quebec
May 3/4: Saint John
May 5: Hopewell Cape
May 6/7: Charlottetown
May 8/9: Halifax
May 10: Neils Harbour (Cabot Trail)
May 11: Miramichi
May 12: Rivere-du-Loup
May 13: Fly home from Montreal
I've got Montreal, Quebec and Halifax covered, but never having been fortunate enough to visit these other places, I want to make sure that we don't miss out on anything too epic along the way!
Here's an idea of our route so far:
I'm looking for suggestions of route alterations, as well as sites not to be missed. We'll be traveling near the end of the low season, so we appreciate that certain things will not yet be available/open. We're most interested in nature, as well as history, but I personally wouldn't mind getting in some ocean kayaking (guided) at some point as well. (My dad's health isn't awesome, so major hikes and the like are out.) This is an epic road trip, so suggestions of good pit-stops/food along the way are equally welcome.
Thank you so much :)
Jan 17, 2013 9:37 PM
Jan 17, 2013 9:42 PM
2although it is a long old haul from quebec to saint john, and you wouldn't really be able to stop on teh way, which is a shame as there are some nice bits. as a toursit i prefer fredericton to saint john, but my family says saint john is better for living. it often smells of the pulp mill, and is a bit more rough and tough thanks to the shipping/oil industry.
Jan 19, 2013 1:07 PM
3There is a major problem with your schedule. You are apparently staying only one night in Neils Harbour and then leaving the next day for Miramichi. It is over 8 hours drive to Miramichi through Cheticamp and 5.5 h from Halifax to Neils Harbour. You apparently don't have time to see anything in Cape Breton except for the quick drive through the Cabot Trail through Cheticamp despite all of the driving to CB and back.
You describe your trip as a "tour de force" however as you are spending four days in Montreal and QC, ten days is not enough time to get to Cape Breton and back and see anything. Unless you can make your trip longer you may have to cut out CB as you currently aren't going to see much there as it stands.
Alternatively you should take the ferry from PEI to Caribou NS and visit Cape Breton before Halifax to avoid backtracking.
Jan 20, 2013 4:15 PM
Jan 21, 2013 10:41 AM
Jan 23, 2013 8:01 PM
Feb 2, 2013 3:28 AM
7Like the other's said, you're not giving yourself much time for travel, especially in CB. From Miramichi to Rivière du Loup is going to be at least 5 hours, and probably 5 hours again to Montreal the next day. That doesn't give you much time to see the city. Also, the drive to CB is quite a drive just for one night, and I usually drive 500km+/day on a road trip. I would either cut out Charlottetown and spend more time in Cape Breton, or skip Cape Breton all together as it's a shame to drive all the way out there just for one night. Someone mentioned already, but you could take the ferry from PEI to Pictou which would shorten your drive, then go from CB to Halifax. If you do that, it would probably make more sense to go to Fredericton instead of Miramichi since it's less out of the way, and the road from Fredericton to Montreal is twinned the entire way whereas getting to and from Miramichi you'll be having to take some back/secondary roads which may be a little roughed up right after the winter.
I would also suggest seeing Fredericton over St. John anyway. St. John can be interesting since it's Canada's oldest city, but it usually smells really bad and it's quite ugly since it's mostly an industrial city. Fredericton is beautiful, though, and it's always maintained since it's the provincial capital. If you do go to St. John, though, make sure to check out the Fundy Trail. It's less than an hour's drive, and you get there through St. Martins which is a gorgeous little village right on the Bay of Fundy. The trail is great because you can park your car at one of many lots and walk as little or as much as you like -- you don't have to do the whole thing and back. The walk from lot 5 to Big Salmon River is amazing, especially for the scenery at the end. The whole Fundy Trail is pretty easy, not really a hike at all, since it's all groomed trails and even paved in some parts.
Feb 3, 2013 10:56 PM
8saint john has some lovely bits, but as said it can smell pretty bad and is not as easy to get around on your first go.
f'ton is pretty, relaxing, and has in addition to a decent historical museum (ask about the architecture of the building as it's very unusual for a military construction in canada) there is an excellent art museum (the beaverbrook). it isn't free, but while small it packs in world class items.
near f'ton is a place called 'kings landing' where people spend the day recreating loyalist english new brunswick. it isn't just old houses and exhibits, you can talk to people and ask about what they're doing. (not to be a snob, but i remember fort edmonton being not quite as cool) and it has a decent pub. you can whip through in 2 hours, but most people take 3 or 4 and enjoy the scenery, then take the wagon ride back to the car park. there is a french version called 'la sagouine' i believe, also excellent, as well as something similar in lunenberg NS. you should try to get at least one in.
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