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Old 06-16-2009, 01:55 PM   #1
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Nova Scotia/PEI planning & camping tips

We are planning to spend Jul and Aug in PEI and Nova Scotia. Any great campsite recommendations? Any tips on roads or areas to avoid? And on the flip, any recommendations of places/routes to definitely do? We'll be coming up through New England. Checked the Bar Harbor ferry but it seems pricey. Given that time is on our side, we thought it might be better to just drive it all. Thanks for any advice!!
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:40 PM   #2
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We did CLE to HFX three times, two with U-Haul trailers, once with our AS.
If you go up through Maine and cross into NB, take LOTS of money for the Maine Pike. Then that stretch of the QE from Holton ME to roughly Monckton has spotty cell coverage and minimal gas stations. But it is a BEAUTIFUL drive!
We sayed at the Halifax (Sackville) KOA - pretty nice.
Didn't do PEI - saving that for another trip.
Be sure to visit Peggy's Cove and fisherman's cove in HFX.
We also crossed at Calais and went through NB along the coast - also a beautiful trip!
Drink LOTS of Tim Horton's coffee and Tim Bits!
Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy is a great way to spend a day.
Take the Harbour Hopper tour of Halifax - it is a hoot!
And have some Kilkenney Ale in a pub in HFX - not available in the states and it's YUMMY!
The waterfront in downtonwn HFX has lots of good restaurants and shopping.
Have a GREAT trip - take a good camera - there are LOTS of great pictures!
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Another ferry option is the St. John-Digby NS, which is mush less expensive than "The Cat". Saint John Digby Ferry Service — Bay Ferries We did this with our Safari in '04. Due to a long line at the border, we got to the ferry terminal too late for the last run, and they told us we could just park overnight and be first in line for the first run in the morning! We had fun crawling around the old fortifications (WW2?) near the terminal, and watching the 20+ foot tide blast in to the Bay of Fundy.
Luneneburg has a great city-run campground perched at about the highest point, with great harbor views. We had a wonderful time hiking around town, buying lobsters for dinner (something like $8 a pound), and seeing the area. We used Lunenburg as our base for exploration. The drive from Digby to Lunenburg was a bit rough, but as long as your rig is in good shape, you should be fine. It's a great trip- have fun!

Brad
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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In PEI there is an Airstream Park - Bayside RV Campground that gives discounts for Airstreams and is owned by Airstreamers.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:23 PM   #5
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In PEI there is an Airstream Park - Bayside RV Campground that gives discounts for Airstreams and is owned by Airstreamers.
The owners Michael and Leonard are very nice people.The campground is located in Oyster Bed Bridge PEI.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Hi!
I am from PEI and we go camping every weekend in our Airstream. I would be happy to give some recommendations, what do you like to do?
PEI has many great campgrounds, beaches, restaurants......
I would recommend taking the ferry over to the island, do a few nights and leave the Confederation Bridge. (you pay only when leaving the Island, and the ferry is more expensive for a truck/trailer)The bridge is pretty neat, 13K, and although you can't stop on the bridge, while you are driving it is quite beautiful to see over the Northumberland Strait from your truck.

For campgrounds, I like the Provincial Campgrounds over the National Park Campgrounds. The Provincial Campgrounds are always clean, and are way less expensive than the National Campgrounds, where you have to pay the park entrance fee as well, so it is almost $50 per night and not worth it for what you get, as the beaches are not any nicer, and the roads are bad within the National Park boundaries.
(not that the roads are good anywhere in eastern Canada...but it is worth it)

I would definately recommend spending one night at least touring the east end of the Island. A great Campground in Eastern PEI is Red Point Provincial Park. It is on a really nice beach, in an area famous for "singing sands" and also close to Basin Head, where there is also a nice beach and place to jump off a small bridge with us crazy locals.

If you are just getting off the ferry and want to set up the BBQ quick and get drink, the Northumberland campground is along the shore as well, 5 minutes from the ferry, and has nice big sites, (it is very quiet there- don't get too upset if you don't get to meet many people) The Northumberland is a great starting point for a nice bike ride or drive along the shore to Murray Harbour, for some nice seafood Chowder at Brehaut's Restaurant.....a bottle of wine at Rosignol Winery

I would also recommend spending some time around the Rustico area, and you could contact Michael or Leonard at Bayside RV Park in Oyster Bed for reservations at their park. They are airstream owners and I believe that there are at least 3 airstreams there all summer. That area is beautiful, rustic, friendly. Deep sea fishing in that area would be fun. Cavendish is OK, but overrated in my books. It's small ports like Rustico,that give the Island it's character.


Some highlights of PEI you wouldn't want to miss:
-a day at the beach, a sunset on the water,
-bring your gold clubs if you like golfing.......(I can't help you in that area)
-Seafood, and fresh veggies at roadside stands and farmers Co-ops and markets
-a kitchen party or Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) for local music/dance/party
-if you cycle, the Confederation trail is great
-a play at The Confederation Centre in Charlottetown
-dinner and drinks in Charlottetown (lots of great choices)
-a lobster supper at St. Ann's Church
I could go on and on. PEI is a beautiful place in the summer, with lots to do. Maybe I could better help if I knew what you like to do, and if you are travelling with children, etc..........I also know every campground on the Island, so if you have any questions.....please ask!
While you are here...if you need any advice, or help, you could also contact me......we know so many people, honest mechanics, etc.
I am excited for you. It will be a wonderful trip!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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Many thanks all for the great advice!

Added info is that it will only be my wife, dog and myself traveling. We have the two months so we were thinking of parking our RV in several spots on each island for a few weeks per spot as a base to explore from. Any additional "base location" suggestions would be appreciated. For that matter, is half our time on each island a good allocation?

Also any tips on internet/phone? Our provider (AT&T) has lousy Canadian plans with charges/min and per kilobyte. Is Wifi generally available everywhere? Suggestions about the province campgrounds sounds interesting. Do they generally have full hookups? We could bring a generator with us if necessary.

Thanks again in advance for any suggestions!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Very timely post and responses - Page and I will be about a month behind. We're heading up that way in Aug-Sep. Not sure of our plans, but this helps a lot.

Melissa, you are a valuable resource. Thanks so much.

Pat
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dukester View Post
Added info is that it will only be my wife, dog and myself traveling. We have the two months so we were thinking of parking our RV in several spots on each island for a few weeks per spot as a base to explore from. Any additional "base location" suggestions would be appreciated. For that matter, is half our time on each island a good allocation?

Also any tips on internet/phone? Our provider (AT&T) has lousy Canadian plans with charges/min and per kilobyte. Is Wifi generally available everywhere? Suggestions about the province campgrounds sounds interesting. Do they generally have full hookups? We could bring a generator with us if necessary.

Thanks again in advance for any suggestions!
We went to NS and PEI last year with our Airstream club to attend the Region 1 Rally and found that all but one of the campgrounds we stayed at had WiFi (though at most of them we needed to go to the office as the WiFi didn't reach our site). Our Verizon service also had / has crappy rates for Canada so we purchased a 100 minute calling card to use with our On-Star system in our truck which worked out for us as we used Skype to call out when we had an internet connection. You could purchase a MagicJack which will give you cheap inbound / outbound voice over IP too (you'll need an internet connection of course). What I missed when we traveled "up north" was the ability to use my mobile phone's interenet access while we were in transit. I could have used it but the per minute charges for this service in Canada made it cost prohibitive.

Oh, full hookups are available in most private campgrounds in NS and PEI.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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There are both 2 way/dump stations and 3 way sites at all Provincial campgrounds that I have been to here on the Island. I am not sure about WiFi, b/c we escape/ hide out from our family/customers while we are Airstreaming!
The only campground on PEI that does not allow animals is New Glasgow (private) Too bad because it is a lovely park, I have walked through, but couldn't stay- No cats allowed!
There are a few concerts happening on the Island this summer- Reba and Tim McGraw play in Cavendish at a three day event July 10-12 is a big one. It would be hard to get a campsite close to Cavendish on those dates, heads up. I would probably just stay out of that area on those dates, unless you are into Country Music.....there could be tickets still available- $60 per day.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:13 PM   #11
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Don't miss Cape Breton , and if you play an instrument bring it with you , they will adopt you . Two months in the Maritimes will be a blast no matter where you go.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #12
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Stop in

Hi,
Silverbeauty did a great job introducing the Island and if you get to Rustico would like to welcome you to stop in for a visit. We live in Tn but have had a cottage in Rusticoville for 31 years. It's on Rustico bay with great views of Rustico fishing village. We will be arriving the second week in July and stay past Labor Day. Maybe we could help you to get your bearings in that area.
We always stop in the Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park (don't miss the Schoodic Pennisula section of Acadia NP) area on the way up and I'd suggest driving up through NB with a stop at Hopewell Rocks and then a couple of days at Fundy National Park.
If you're interested send a pm and I'll give you some contact info. The Island is a great place, sure you'll have a great time there.
GreggH
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #13
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Fundy Park in NB wonderful for hiking and exploring. The sticky buns at the bakery within the park are worth the drive by themselves.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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Little article in the NY Times today that might be helpful:
Q&A: Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - In Transit Blog - NYTimes.com

Brad
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