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Thread: Nova Scotia In March

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia In March

    Really off topic question, even for me, but the vast amount of travel experience on this forum is hard to ignore so I apologize in advance for the odd question. My wife and I are going to be taking 5-6 days off in early to mid-March and we're looking to do something unconventional for a short getaway. I think we've settled on the idea of an off season (i.e. not Key West), ocean side getaway somewhere with good food and good drinks in a town that is essentially a walk around place. Anyway, without boring everyone to tears with our deliberation process the idea of Halifax in Nova Scotia came up. We've wanted to visit there for awhile now (admittedly in warmer weather though) and from what I'm seeing and reading online it looks like it fits the bill. It's only an 11 hour drive from us in CT and allows for several side trips on the way there and back so it offers a lot of flexibility too for altering the itinerary. Looks like the ferries don't run in Winter and flights were relatively expensive given our short window so the drive makes sense.

    So I guess what I'm trying to determine is the following:

    1) It looks like a nice easy ride on sizeable highways. Has anyone made this drive/driven in the area before that would weigh in on it? Are there poor roads, should I expect wintry conditions along the coast for that time of year, etc?
    2) Will Halifax be a desolate ghost town in March or does it have a year round "scene"? Several of the websites I've been to advertise various year round excursions and activities and most of the downtown restaurants do not appear to be seasonal.
    3) If you have actually been there do you have any recommendations for a hotel, restaurant, excursions, etc?

    Any info at all would be helpful. Apologize again for the weird, non-hiking question.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    It was nearly 40 years ago so you better take this with a grain of salt but we took the ferry over and drove back (to Mass) and the drive was pretty easy and scenic as I remember it. The tides in the Bay of Fundy are legendary. It was September so I can't comment on March in Halifax which I don't remember at all though we did pass through. The two places that stay in my memory are Kejimkujik National Park in the south and Cape Breton National Park in the north. They were special places and the circuit around the Cape Breton Highlands is striking. Louisbourg, in the far northeast, is kind of a Canadian version of Colonial Williamsburg.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  3. #3
    Senior Member miehoff's Avatar
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    I rode the Cabot Trail touring style on a crossbike and I can honestly say that the food along the trail was pretty bad and boring. We started and ended the ride in Mabou and spent the evening listening to killer music at the Red Shoe. That is the only place that I can recommend. Food was good. We avoided Halifax, so I can't give you any information pertaining to that area. I do realize that is the area that you want to spend your time, but if you venture out, the west side and north of Mabou is coastal and absolutely beautiful. The East side north of Halifax isn't so nice.
    Miehoff

  4. #4
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    Was up along the Cabot trail 3 year ago.
    The roads are modern and fine getting there.
    Can't speak to Halifax specifically. We didn't get over that way.
    The coast line of Nova Scotia is beautiful but the 2 times we have been there were in perfect September weather.
    The people were very friendly.
    Enjoy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    I live across the harbour from Halifax, in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. Coincidentally, I'll be in Boston and the Whites in March. Highways are twinned all the way. Take 95 until it ends, then cross the border and take the Trans Canada highway East to Halifax. Lots of restaurants. Go to www.novascotia.com then search for tourist accommodations. Forex is very good for you, bad for me. Try www.whitepoint.com 95 miles from Halifax.
    Last edited by Mac; 02-16-2020 at 05:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    I live across the harbour from Halifax, in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. Coincidentally, I'll be in Boston and the Whites in March. Highways are twinned all the way. Take 95 until it ends, then cross the border and take the Trans Canada highway East to Halifax. Lots of restaurants. Go to www.novascotia.com then search for tourist accommodations. Forex is very good for you, bad for me. Try www.whitepoint.com 95 miles from Halifax.
    Thanks. Downtown Halifax looks packed with restaurants, breweries and stuff to do. As miehof mentioned we heard the food outside of the major cities was pretty bad but that was also multiyear old info. My wife is trying to get in touch with her old Store Manager at work. Apparently her father lives in Nova Scotia as well and she has been up there a lot so hopefully they can provide some good info on specifics.

    And yes that exchange rate is looking pretty good right now. Another plus.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #7
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    In March? Did a southern Nova Scotia several years ago. Took The Cat from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. Did a 4 day 3 night trip up the east coast as far as Halifax, then back to Yarmouth down the west coast. Stopped at many cool coastal towns and hiking spots. About the only thing I can add to your planned trip is maybe driving down to Peggy's Cove. It looks like it's about 45 minutes from Halifax. I've no idea what it will be like in winter but it is an absolutely beautiful and unique area. The landscape around Peggy's Cove is described as being alpine zone like. Yet it is at sea level. I'll try posting a pic but last time I tried Tim said it wasn't visible. Anyway, I don't know how it will look in March, but quainter coastal fishing town you will not find. I think kicks the crap out of Rockport, MA.





    Joe

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    JustJoe: Is there no end to your photo collection? I can see myself asking about some obscure herd path in Central Kyrzkstan and you'd be like "Here are some cool shots of that area and a nearby camp site, which is pretty close to where you'll be."

    The weather I researched sounded pretty comparable to Boston or similar for this year so I'm not worried about that. We're just looking to hole up somewhere quaint and different, eat some good food, tip a few good cocktails and do some short excursions in the area. We didn't want to do anything cliche like Portsmouth or Portland or Boston that we're already familiar with. We're only talking about maybe 2 nights and we'll try to hit some places on the way in and the way home. Wife is a non hiker so I'll likely not be doing anything adventurous. We'll check out Peggy's Cove if it is that close. Ferry isn't running at this time of year. That was our original thought but the drive isn't too bad and will allow us to see more as we drive in and out.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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