Study of the Maritimes: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, & New Brunswick

Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia
Endless blue skies at Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

I like to think that I’m pretty well traveled. But every now and then, I would meet fellow travelers who have seen more of my own home country, than myself. Not until this summer! I went east, and I went as far east as I could (fit into my schedule). I went to the Maritimes.

We visited all three of the Maritime provinces (apparently Newfoundland and Labrador is not a part of the Maritimes!). This was an eight day road trip that covered almost 2,500 kilometers over three provinces.

Date City Morning Afternoon Evening Overnight
Jul 25 Halifax Arrive in Halifax (5pm) Explore Halifax Halifax
Jul 26 Sydney Arisaig & Cape George Lighthouse (10am) Getting lost enroute to Louisburg Sydney
Jul 27 New Glasgow Louisburg Fortress (9 -12:30pm) Cape Breton Park (4-8pm) Arrive to New Glasgow at 10pm New Glasgow
Jul 28 Charlottetown 6:30am ferry to PEI PEI National Park & Cavendish Shores Explore Charlottetown downtown Charlottetown
Jul 29 Saint John Confederation Bridge Explore Saint John Saint John
Jul 30 Moncton Fundy Park (11-2pm) Hopewell Rock (4-6pm) Moncton
Jul 31 Halifax Joggins Fossil Cliff (10-1pm)  Arrive in Halifax around 4pm Halifax
Aug 1 Halifax Lunenburg & Blue Rocks, and Peggy’s Cove Evening Flight (8pm)

Why this schedule?

When planning, we first jotted down the places we really wanted to see. We also knew that we wanted to fly in and out from the same airport. If not, we would get charged a pretty hefty fee to return our rental car in another city. With those things set, we decided to go counter-clockwise since it would be cheaper entering Prince Edward Island by ferry, and leaving via the Confederation Bridge (more on this in a later blog).

One thing I found difficult was allocating travel time between various locations in the Maritimes. From our experience, Google Maps tend to underestimate the time it takes to reach a destination (even though I was a pretty brisk driver).

Money Matters

The Martimes’ peak travel time is in the summer, and so accommodations and rentals were a bit more expensive than other months. Their summer weather is gorgeous, and I think a road trip outside of this season might be dicey.

My sister had great discounts on accommodations and car rental, so please take that into account when referring to our tab. Here’s a rough breakdown of total spending (for 3 people, and in Canadian dollars):

Return Flight (Vancouver > Halifax): $2,417

Rental Car: $392

Gas: $186

Accommodations: $494

Food: $616

Admission: $259

TOTAL: $4,363

Notes:

  • We rented a mid-size Toyota Corolla, and added an additional driver fee to two of the seven days. Without the discount, this would have cost around $650. We also saved around $200 by making sure we had the necessary insurance coverage through our personal auto insurance and credit card travel insurance.
  • We mostly stayed in Hampton Inns during this trip. Without the discount, it would have cost around $1,200 for seven nights. Options are limited in smaller cities, but there are definitely some cheaper options available.
  • Breakfast was also included in all of the hotels we stayed in. This helped us save around $300 in food spending

Reflections

We were time pressed to fit things into our travel, so adding an extra two days would allow for a more leisurely pace. We also lost a day in the beginning because of poor weather and poor GPS directions.

If we had an extra week, we would have also loved to visit Newfoundland. Most of the places on my bucket list are in Western Newfoundland. Some of those include iceberg viewing by Twillingate, explore the Vikings Settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows, or stroll along the Tablelands Trail.

Are you into the details? Check out the details to my time in Nova Scotia here at Lesson One: 5 Days in Nova Scotia 🙂

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One of the many Flowerpot Rocks in Hopewell Rocks

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