WHAT TO EXPECT

Once you tour the Atlantic Provinces you’ll want to return.  There is so much to enjoy in this
area.  In the
Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) you’ll enjoy
the pastoral beauty mixed with small fishing ports.  This is in contrast to the raw and rugged
terrain of Newfoundland and Labrador. You’ll learn the area’s history often intersects with the
US.  Surpassing the marvelous scenery is the friendliness of the people.  And, enjoy the
lobsters!

You’ll see fantastic forty-foot tides as you travel New Brunswick’s coast.  In Nova Scotia you
will see diverse scenery and learn of the early history of Canada.  In Newfoundland &
Labrador you’ll see where the first Norsemen landed in the Western hemisphere.  Also, you
may see icebergs, moose, caribous, whales, puffins and more.  On Prince Edward Island
(PEI) you may enjoy the many festivals and fairs as well as learning the reason it is called the
“birthplace of Canada”.  Little girls know of PEI as the home of the book
Anne of Green
Gables
.
As you read this you may wish to trace the route on your road map.
(C)  2002-2009 J. Watson       All rights reserved  
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The Atlantic Provinces of Canada
  • New Brunswick,
  • Newfoundland & Labrador,
  • Nova Scotia,
  • Prince Edward Island
GENERAL THOUGHTS:
The popular summer tourist season of the Atlantic Provinces is
quite short with most touring done in July and August.  June and
September are generally pleasant during the daytime with chilly
nights.  Bring cool weather clothing in case the weather is cooler
than normal, this is especially needed in Newfoundland &
Labrador where you can anticipate daily highs during the summer
in the 60s.  On the other hand bring your bathing suit to enjoy the
beaches of Prince Edward Island.  Many people prefer to visit
Newfoundland in early summer when they say you get the best
view of the icebergs.  

The background of the area’s people is intertwined with both the
British and the US as many “Tories” moved there after the
Revolutionary War – so, way back in your family  tree your
ancestors may have migrated to the Maritimes.  (I met a distant
cousin on Prince Edward Island.)  English is the primary language.

To most enjoy the provinces you should make an effort to visit
the outports, enjoy a lobster roll at a waterfront “take-out”, talk
with the residents, take it easy and relax.  Some of our best
memories are of people, young and old, who took the time to tell
us of their interests and concerns.  



    Approach the province of New Brunswick from Maine or
    Quebec.  If arriving from Quebec SEE ROUTE J.  

Maine

Bangor you have two major routes – the more direct route is to
head east on route 9 to Calais, ME and cross the border into St.
Stephen, NB, Canada.  This route has been improved in the past
few years and is more direct than taking US-1 along the coast.  

(We sometimes take a third and less direct route from Bangor
north on US-2 to Lincoln and then east on Route 6 and crossing
into Canada at Vanceboro, ME and then on to
Fredericton, the
capital of New Brunswick.  This is a less traveled route and quite
scenic.)  

    ALTERNATE.  A bit out of the way is the coastal route.  
    Take some of the side roads off US-1 to view the rocky
    coast.  Stop in at Rockland and Camden — what a grand
    view of Penobscot Bay from the mountain top at Camden
    Hills State Park.  Then to…

    Bar Harbor to visit Acadia National Park.  This park is on
    the rock bound coast of the Atlantic.  A grand view can be
    seen from the top of Mt. Cadillac.  Take time to walk along
    the shoreline.  Return to Ellsworth and continue north on
    US-1 to visit the …

    Roosevelt Campobello International Park.  This was the
    “summer cottage” (34 rooms) occupied by Franklin
    Roosevelt until 1921.  This is located in Canada at the US-
    Canadian border.  Now head to Calais and cross the
    border to …

New Brunswick, Canada

    As you enter Canada you will pass through Canadian
    customs.  Be aware of the border regulations, especially
    concerning pets, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages,
    mace, children under 18, etc. Also, be sure you have
    proper documents to enter Canada as well as those
    required for you return to the US.  Prior to leaving home
    you should get a certificate from your insurance carrier
    showing you have coverage for your vehicle in Canada .  
    (There is no fee for this.)  As you continue, take route 1.  

    ADVICE.  You may wish to use an ATM when you enter
    Canada to make a withdrawal of Canadian funds.  Since
    you will be able to use credit cards in Canada to the same
    extent as in the US you will not need a great deal of cash.  
    There is no reason to exchange US money as you’ll use it
    after your return.  There are ATMs in many communities in
    the Atlantic Provinces where you will get Canadian funds.   

St. Stephen is a Canadian entry point (across the river from
Calais ME) and has a small business center.  Take Route 1 or
the interesting back roads to historic
St. Andrews by the Sea or
Dipper Harbour
(photos) on the way to…

St. John.  As you approach St. John you will see signs for the
ferry to
Digby, Nova Scotia.  Take the ferry across the Bay of
Fundy to…

    NOTE:  Other New Brunswick locations follow the section
    for Prince Edward Island on the return to the United States.

Nova Scotia

Digby.  This is considered the “scallop capital of the world”.  
Enjoy.  Take time to walk out on the wharf to see the effect of the
famous Bay of Fundy tides, which moves boats up or down 20+
feet every six hours.  As you leave Digby, going north you
approach…

Annapolis Royal.  You are now in the Annapolis Valley, which is
noted for apple crops.  Apple trees are everywhere you look.  On
your right you will see the Tidal Power Generating Station.  By all
means take time to visit this – the electric power is generated
both as the tide rises and as it goes out – see how this is done.  
Use of the tide is practical because of the pressure of the 20-30
foot tides.  Then visit ...

Fort Anne National Historic Site.  This fort changed hands
several times between the French and British forces.  Walk about
this fort and learn the historic importance of the fort and the life of
the early settlers when the town was the capital of Nova Scotia.  
The nearby Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens give an insight of
life in the town as well as pleasing gardens.  I was interested in
the dykes that were built to protect the fertile farmland.  

Head south on route 217 to see the
Port Royal National
Historic Site
The Habitation (photo). This is a recreation of the
1600s town.  See the craft shops, living quarters, governor’s
residence and other buildings.  Now head north to …




Grand-Pre National Historic Site.  This is the site of an Acadian
village (photo) that was the scene of Longfellow’s
Evangeline.  
Learn of the Acadians who lived here and were forcefully
deported in the mid 1700s by the British.  Many went to the
Louisiana area west of New Orleans.  From here head east to…



Peggy’s Cove.  The seascape at the lighthouse is one of the
signature views of Nova Scotia.  Parking can be tight but the
scene is exceptional.  Then go north to …

Halifax.  Two out of five Nova Scotians live in this city.  There is
much to see, notably the
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.  
This is an excellent example of forts that were constructed in the
early to mid 1800s.  It was built by the British to defend the city –
after they had no use for it the Canadians used it, until after
WW2.  

From here head north to
Port Hastings.  After you cross the
Canso Causeway you’re on
Cape Breton Island.  (When we
first traveled the area in the 1970s a sign advised “for
experienced drivers only”, since then the road has been
improved).  Either go west on Route 10 or go north on TCH –
route105 (TCH = Trans Canadian Highway) to
Baddeck.  Both
routes are scenic.  


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The Habitation
Grade-Pre National Historic Site
St. Andrews by the Sea
Dipper Harbour