Friday, March 31, 2017

Best Places to See in Atlantic Canada

ATLANTIC / MARITIME CANADA is a historic region to visit with nature all around. This blog is from our short trip to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, & Prince Edward Island that covers some of the most beautiful places in Canada. This was an amazing family trip and I highly recommend everyone to visit this part of Canada. You can also be part of our trip by watching the following video.


BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE TRIP


NEW BRUNSWICK

Lots of people prefer to drive from Toronto to New Brunswick, however it's a very long and dry journey. As it would have been a problem for parents to sit for long hours, we took a flight from Moncton. We choose Moncton over Halifax as flight tickets were significantly cheaper and we needed to go to Hopewell Rocks anyways which is very close to Moncton. We rented van and went to the Hopewell Rocks directly from the Airport. Here are the key attractions we covered in New Brunswick:
  • Hopewell Rocks: They are located on the shores of the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape near Moncton. Due to the extreme tidal range of the Bay of Fundy, the base of the formations are covered in water twice a day. However, it is possible to view the formations from ground level at low tide. If you want to see both low and high tide then you can either spend entire day at The Rock Provincial Park or you can come back to see opposite tide. Tide schedule is published here and it is very accurate. You could do boating during early part of the high tide as well. This place reminds us power of nature. Don't miss it.
  • Pays de la Sagouine - An Acadian Village: Purpose of travel is not just to see places but also to learn about local culture. This village was an excellent place and we got to know a lot about acadian culture as well. I highly recommend to go to places like this. This place was amazingly beautiful as well. Surprisingly, this was amongst the best time spent during the trip.
  • Parlee Beach in Shediac: There are many beaches and beautiful spots on the way. We took lot of pictures on the way and found this beach one of the best place to spend few hours for swimming in deep blue water. 
Here is the map of what we covered. You may go further to The Acadian Coast. New Brunswick Tourism website was very helpful in planning.



PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PEI)

It is one of the three Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population. According to the 2011 census, the province of Prince Edward Island has 140,204 residents. It consists of the main island and 231 minor islands. Altogether, the entire province has a land area of 5,685.73 km2 (2,195.27 sq mi).Following Map summarizes the entire island beautifully.

Because of the time limitation we drove from Moncton through confederation bridge and entered PEI at Borden Carleton in the morning. We then covered in the following order:
  • Red Sands Shore: Along the southern shore of the Island, you’re going to find a great many beautiful walking trails and red sand beaches. This is an ideal place to start if you’re looking for easy hikes, picnic locations, and beach combing! Spots like the Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst National Historic Site will give your children a chance to run around while taking in some absolutely beautiful scenery and offering a spectacular view of the Charlottetown Harbour. 
  • Cavendish Beach: This beautiful beach is part of the Green Gables Shore Touring Region.
  • Anne of Green GablesWhen the novel Anne of Green Gables was first published in 1908, most people could only dream of visiting its magical setting. As the book became popular around the world, it's likely that many readers had no idea where Prince Edward Island was. They may have even wondered, "Is it a real place?" Today, millions of the book's fans have made the trip to PEI and discovered the land that captivated Anne in Lucy Maud Montgomery's stories. And for those who just can't get enough of their favourite red-headed girl, or the woman who created her, there are Anne-related attractions all over the Island.
  • Charlottetown: It is the capital of Prince Edward Island. It's on the southern coast of the province. The Province House National Historic Site hosted the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, spurring the country’s birth. Victoria Row has shops, restaurants and the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

We then took the last ferry from Woods Island to go to Nova Scotia. Ferry accommodated our car along with hundreds of other cars. Views from ferry were phenomenal. It was a day well spent. Tourism PEI is the most helpful resource for more detailed planning.


NOVA SCOTIA


Ferry brought us to the town of Pictou where we stayed in the historic Pictou Lodge which was built in 1926. It's a very beautiful resort to spend a day. We drove around Halifax. It's a beautiful town. Here are some of the highlights while we were in Nova Scotia.

  • Halifax International Busker Festival: The Halifax International Busker Festival explodes annually across Halifax's beautiful and historic downtown waterfront. We were lucky to be there at the right time to see many great performances. Kids thoroughly enjoyed.
  • Citadel Hill: This strategic hilltop location with a commanding view of the Halifax harbour was chosen in 1749 for the fort destined to protect the city. The Halifax Citadel’s star-shaped architecture is equally as impressive from the inside and out. You can step back in time with the 78th Highlanders and the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery to learn what it was like for the soldiers and their families to live and work in this historic fort.
  • Peggy's Cove: It is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality, which is famous for the Peggys Point Lighthouse. I recommend you to stay in B&B here. Small cottages here provide a very beautiful outlook and lots of opportunities to take picture without risk. Please do not go very close to the Ocean. Ocean does not respect us. We need to respect Ocean. It can get very wild and rocks become very slippery. Stay safe,
  • Lunenburg: It is a beautiful port town in Lunenburg County in Nova Scotia. Situated on the province's South Shore, Lunenburg is located on the Fairhaven Peninsula at the western side of Mahone Bay.
  • Cabot Trails: We could not cover this most beautiful part of Nova Scotia. Don't miss it if you have time. I need to go back to cover it some day.
Nova Scotia Tourism website is the most helpful resource for detailed trip planning for this province. Don't forget to check local events happening during your trip. These events can make your trip even more enjoyable. 



GATEWAY TO HEAVEN

In a nutshell, it was an amazing trip and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Best time to visit here is in summers. I took the following picture in one of the provincial park in Nova Scotia and it felt like a gateway to heaven. History and Natural beauty is present everywhere in Atlantic/Maritime Canada. It is a must do trip if your schedule opens up some day.