It's been a couple of weeks since having a blog post up, and that's because our next section in the Road Trip series is The Canadian Road trip of a lifetime. We are driving across the country, stopping off all major cities, from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island, so have your bags backed for a couple of weeks, have your vehicle gassed up, and we can start the first section of our Canadian Road trip of a Lifetime. Now this Canadian Road trip of a lifetime is very long, and because of that, I will be breaking it into driving sections and times when to take a break from driving. Our first driving section is within the Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI.
Our Atlantic Provinces, from the shorelines to the mountain top views these provinces are what we are proud to call home- New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Now my starting point is, Moncton New Brunswick, so how I planned this road trip was to drive into Nova Scotia, around Digby, Yarmouth and back into Halifax, then Halifax to PEI - of course, I will go into more detail of things to do, what road we are taking and the time it will take. Everyone's starting point may be completely different; for me, I have never driven around Nova Scotia that way before, so something I would love to check off my bucket list.
So let's start this road trip! From Moncton to our first stop Wolfville, the party town of Acadia University. Wolfville is a small town with plenty of breweries and wineries to explore and have fantastic taste testing; of course, we do not recommend drinking and driving. If you drink, please find a campsite local in Wolfville to stay for the night. From Moncton to Wolfville, it will only take 3 hours and 15 minutes in driving time to get to the beautiful Annapolis Valley. To get to Wolfville, you'll leave Moncton on Highway 15 and take the exit that signs Trans-Canada Highway 2 for Nova Scotia; stay on the same highway until you reach Lower Sackville, where you will take the exit for NS-101. This highway will take you straight into Wolfville- now there are small towns that you can stop off at to visit and explore around; I would b-line it for Wolfville because in this section of the road trip, there are 12 hours in driving time and our end destination is Charlottetown, PEI.
Our next stop on this part of the road trip is Digby, Nova Scotia; this beautiful small fishing town is a tourist attraction for all with the brightly coloured fishing boats and the quaint old fishing houses lining the harbour. With plenty of restaurants in the town, you will have plenty of choices for choosing where to eat. When you are done exploring the town, I would highly recommend going to Balancing Rock Trail; this all-year-round groomed trail is a 2.5km hike to incredible views of the Bay of Fundy but also to, of course, what it's named after, see the balancing rock. This would be an excellent time to hike and get the blood pumping after driving from Wolfville to Digby, which is only a 1 hour and 32-minute drive; but so far, we have driven 4 hours and 31 minutes out of our 12-hour drive.
From Digby, we will be driving further south to the bottom half of Nova Scotia, Yarmouth. Now this drive is going to be a 1 hour and 49-minute drive, and that's because I am highly recommending taking highway 1 because of the amazing sea view drive you'll have driving; of course, you can always choose to go on highway 101, which will be a little quicker but like the quote says "Always take the scenic route." Now, we will be passing a lot of small fishing villages and towns so, if you feel the pull to stop and explore the town, beaches or harbours, do so, because whenever are you going to do this drive again! By my calculations, we now should be arriving in Yarmouth around 2 and 3 pm, but don't 100% trust them because I've always been bad at math. This can be a great time to once again get out of the vehicle for a stretch of the legs to get the blood pumping. There is plenty to see and do in Yarmouth. It can be a great place to explore the town; I will say that Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores have a starlight destination, the first one in North America by the International Starlight Foundation. So if you do want to see this, this could be a nice spot to camp for one night to see those amazing stary night skies; I would love to come back down to see the night sky because it gives you more nights to be able to stargaze.
Our next destination is Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. With 2 hours and a 31-minute drive from Yarmouth to Lunenburg, we will be taking the highway to save some time since we are nearly halfway through our 12-hour drive. With the beautiful coastal drive around Nova Scotia to Lunenburg, which is known for the brightly coloured homes that are from the 18th and 19th-century that are still standing as bright today as ever, to take in these beautiful views, you can walk down the harbourfront to see all the tall ships mored to the harbour - lookout for the Bluenose 2 that can be seen mored at the harbour.
Lunenburg will steal your heart within seconds of breathing in that salty air and those brightly colours homes lining the harbourfront. Lunenburg is known for its history for being the best surviving planned British colonial town in North America, and when you are in the heart of Lunenburg, you'll see why. I would highly recommend getting out of your car to explore Lunenburg to its fullest with your own eyes and get a true feeling for what Lunenburg is all about. While exploring the town, you can browse all the local businesses along the streets and if you're hungry, grab a bite to eat in one of the many award-winning restaurants.
When you are ready to hit the road once again, we will be travelling to Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia. Now I have two options of which road to take: option one you stay on the NS-103 E highway that will take you straight into Halifax, which is 1 hour and 9 minutes in driving time or option two is, taking a slight detour (which if you haven't been, I highly recommend going) that will lead to around Peggy's Cove and this will be a driving time of 2 hours and 4 minutes to Halifax. Like always, I will recommend the slight detour to see more of Nova Scotia's history and probably the most famous lighthouse I have ever known/ heard of.
After driving from the slight detour to Halifax, seeing the impressive Peggy's Cove Lighthouse is 100% worth going the extra mile to see something beautiful. Now arriving in Halifax in the evening around 6 pm or 7 pm, meaning supper time. Halifax has A LOT of options for excellent restaurants to choose from; I would suggest parking near the harbour boardwalk and finding a restaurant among the downtown Halifax scene. This way, you get to see what the nightlife is like plus you can find a fantastic restaurant close by. Now, if you are tired from driving all day, you can easily find a place to stay in Halifax or the surrounding areas. However, if you've still got the energy in you to get to Charlottetown, PEI, that will be the end of the day for this part one of The Canadian Road trip. If you stay the night in Halifax, you will have time to explore more into the city in the morning and find some fantastic breakfast spots.
From Halifax to Charlottetown, PEI will be 3 hours and 31 minutes in driving time, the last leg of this 12-hour road trip around the Atlantic Provinces. There are no slight detours for this part of the drive, so we are travelling up to Charlottetown on the Trans-Canada Highway NS-104 W. Once again, with my calculations, we should be arriving in Charlottetown between 9:30 pm and 10 pm. So, the perfect time to get into your hotel or camping spot for the night to explore more of Charlottetown in the morning.
Now that we are rested for the night and are on day 2 of the Canadian Road trip of a lifetime, we can start by exploring Charlottetown a little more in the daytime. Charlottetown is bursting with things to see and do in such a beautiful city, from the architect of the grand churches and the small fishing homes that still are prominently lining the waterfront. Charlottetown is the city that makes you feel welcomed in by the locals and embrace you exploring their city; it's honestly my favourite place to go. While exploring the downtown scene of Charlottetown, I recommend you walking along the boardwalk with a coffee in the morning; it's so peaceful and quiet. A great way to start the day, you can easily spend the day exploring the Island if you needed that break from driving and have a rest day. Here are some places, if you want to rest day, to visit:
- Cavendish Beach
- Explore the downtown Charlottetown
- Brackley Beach
- Research into the many different craft beer breweries
- Green Gables Shores
Plus so much more to explore, see and do on the Island. But suppose you're ready to leave the Island; if that's ever a thing, our next destination is St. John, New Brunswick, which will be 3 hours and 21 minutes in driving time, so remember to gas up before leaving the Island. We can carry on this Canadian road trip of a lifetime.
The next part of this road trip will be 10 hours and 30 minutes in driving time; from Charlottetown to Quebec City. Firstly we will be heading to St. John, New Brunswick, we will be passing through Moncton and Sussex, so if you need to stop for any reasons like road trip snacks and drinks, you can do so at those places; now we can B-line it to St. John. Depending on when you leave the Island, you could see the Rising Falls in St. John and explore the city while grabbing a bite to eat or a coffee in the uptown St John area before heading off to our next stop, Fredricton, New Brunswick. St. John is more of a quick stop along the way because most of the time today will be spent on the road getting to Quebec City before the night. If you wanted, you can skip out St John and go straight to Fredricton; that way, you can save time driving those extra 3 hours, but this is all down to your preferences.
Heading to Fredricton, we will be heading North on the NB-7 that will take us straight into Fredricton; this way, we can do a lot more exploring of the downtown area of Fredricton while browsing all the local businesses and restaurants. It will take you a driving time of 1 hour and 12 minutes to get into Fredricton. When arriving in Fredricton, there are plenty of things to see and do, from heading to the different breweries in the downtown area to walking along the riverfront trail to get the blood pumping before our next leg of the journey. Fredricton is a great place to grab lunch that will keep you filled for the next section of the journey, which will be 2 hours and 38 minutes in driving time. Also, make sure you are filled up for this next leg of the journey since there won't be much until we get to the border Edmundston.
After a long drive from Fredricton to Edmundston, this can be a great time to get our your vehicle to stretch your legs and get some fresh air before setting off to drive into Quebec City; I would recommend going to the Botanical Garden.
This concludes Part ONE of the Canadian Road trip of a lifetime, where we will be travelling from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island. The next road trip section will leave New Brunswick to head into Quebec City and then explore Quebec City to Toronto, Ontario.