Nova Scotia and Toronto?
I'll be in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a couple of weeks at the end of August for work purposes. I'll probably have evenings and three weekends free to go wander around with my RZ: any recommendations? Particularly recommendations of locations on the NS peninsula.
There is also the possibility that I'll be able to take my wife and therefore a week of leave in Canada at the start of September. I reckon we'll be sick of Halifax after 3 weeks and since our flight home goes via Toronto and probably Vancouver, where should we spend a week? Montreal I think would be nice, but I suspect that won't line up with the travel plans.
All suggestions welcome, but dramatic landscapes that I'm not gonna see in Australia would be best.
In Nova Scotia, head south down the coast to Lunenburg, on the way stopping and wandering around Mahone bay and Blue Rocks. Go on past Rose Bay to Kingsburg. Nice day trip and some great local color. Kingsburg was a settlement of German fishermen- 100 families in all. It was still pretty much intact when I last visited a few years ago... don't know, though–even in NS things change. Still, the coast is lovely around there. In general, stay off the highways–there is, by law, nothing on them and you get the feeling you are driving through one vast Christmas tree farm. The side roads are great along the coast, all the way around. The interior, for reasons unknown to this visitor, is still largely unpopulated. I have never been to the eastern end, the famed highlands of the Cabot Peninsula, but I have every reason to believe you wouldn't go wrong heading that way either. If you want fog, amazing tidal changes and gritty fishing towns, try the Bay of Fundy coast, north of the long ridge I believe they call North Mountain. Annapolis Royal is nice at the western end and Cape Blomidon can be pretty spectacular at the other end. Remember, though, they are serious about the tide warnings- two cubic miles of water passes through the straights off Cape Blomidon every 6 hours, and it moves fast!
First, welcome to Nova Scotia!
Whiteymorange has covered most of it off on a provincial level. If you have more than a couple days, Cape Breton is worth the drive to see the Cabot Trail, Highlands and Bras D'or Lakes. That'll require a car, four or five hours of driving, a hotel, and at least a few days to explore.
The Bay of Fundy and its tides certainly are a sight to see. It doesn't matter which coastal road you travel, there are many, many villages along the way.
As for the downtown peninsula (where I live), it's mostly about the history of the place. Lots of 19th century buildings; old cemeteries; nice Victorian public gardens; colourful houses; the Citadel National Historic Site overlooking the downtown; and of course, the harbour with sailboats, container ships, navy ships and anything else that floats. There are a few universities downtown (including the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design), galleries (you'll be a couple months early for the large Leibovitz exhibit recently gifted to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) and other places to wander when it rains (because if this spring is any indicator, it will rain ... a lot). You could take a whale watching boat out to the ocean if that's your thing.
And of course, lots of places to drink and eat. People here *love* to go to the pub.
As with most things tourist-related, there's a website for that: http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/di...ovascotia.aspx
Hope that helps. Fire me off any questions you have, I've lived here six years now and have explored much of the city and province.
If you stay in Toronto, the Cape Croker area near Owen Sound is perfect for landscape, About three hours north west of Toronto, right on Georgian Bay. If you decide a local of that area is always open to showing some of the more unique areas and I can put you in touch.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you his website and info.
If you are considering Vancouver, there are lots of alternatives.
Rugged mountains, beautiful groups of islands, even near-desert areas are nearby.
Lots of Australians seem to gravitate here - especially the surfers and skiers :).
As Bob says, Bruce Peninsula will be nice, the closer to Thanksgiving the better; Algonquin Park or the Parry Sound area are not bad either if you can find a cottage... Toronto in itself is the last thing I would suggest to anyone. Go Vancouver! :p
Thanks all; we'll ignore Toronto except for the flight transfer then. Vancouver is hard because it's just a stop on the flight and I think more expensive if we want to split it there.
We're now considering a drive to Montreal via Quebec City (I understand the distance, I'm Australian); one way at least. Are we going to see anything much interesting on the way or should we just hop a flight? Would Saint John and Riviere du Loup be good places to overnight?
If you do the drive, be aware that the mileage will cost and there will probably be a drop off fee for one way drives. I'd look into flying into Montreal for a few days, then taking the train to Toronto for another few days.
When you're in Halifax, try and find a few days to visit Cape Breton Island. The drive is gorgeous, similar to the Great Ocean Road, just no Apostles ;)
I can recommend Quebec City and Montreal. Specially Montreal has some nice Art Deco architecture (http://artdecomontreal.com) and because of the French background both have a different atmosphere than say Halifax, Ottawa & Toronto. My wife and I always find Montreal a breath of fresh air compared to Ottawa. And since it's only a 2 hour drive for us we go there fairly often. It helps if you speak a bit of French but you can also easily get by with just English. I'm typing this from B&B Maggie Macquire in downtown Montreal (also recommended). There's a good train connection between Quebec City and Montreal which ends up probably being faster than flying. For flights, check out Porter Airlines. It's a local airline that serves you region of interest and the service is supposedly a step above the major other airlines.
awesome, thanks. Trains would certainly be a nice option.
At this stage, we plan to take a weekend trip to Cape Breton Island (staying a night at Sydney or Glace Bay or something) and another weekend trip to do a lap around the southern half of the peninsula. I'll probably have a third weekend available; would Prince Edward Island be a good place to spend it? Or should we go back to see more of Cape Breton?