We are planning a trip to Nova Scotia this summer and our main highlight will be Cape Breton. We have a 30 foot travel trailer and require full hookups. We also have young children so setting up and moving on every couple of days is preferred but we'll do it if its the best way to see the area. We prefer to set up for 5-7 days at at time. We play to spend 7-10 days in Cape Breton. Up to a week in halifax area and up to a week in the St. John area.
Anyone have suggests on how best to tour the region and specific campground recommendations? Specifically on Cape Breton island? What are the must sees?
We were there last summer, wonderful place. CloudDriver gave good suggestions. Bell Museum was great, full of interesting things.
Pulling your trailer, you MAY not want to drive it around the full length of the Cabot Trail and instead leave it in Baddeck or elsewhere for day trips. Others may disagree and we did see all sorts of big trucks and RVs, so it is do-able.
Not towing ourselves, we drove it clockwise (to be driving against the hill rather than against the guardrail) and spent the night in Dingwall at the campground up there with an oyster market. In other words divided the trail into two days.
There's an inexpensive whale watch tour at the top of the island. Google Oshan. Enjoyed that a lot, not only the whales but incredible scenery of the tip of the island, eagles, etc by sea.
The west side is easier to drive up to the national park. Coming down on the east side got a little scary with the steep grades and tight turns, even not towing. IMHO.
Plan a full day at Fort Louisbourg...kids should enjoy it, as there are kids in colonial costumes, sheep, lots to walk around and see. Several good campgrounds nearby.
For Halifax we stayed in Shubie Park, close to the city in Dartmouth suburban area. See RV park reviews. We found it convenient. Kids should enjoy the Citadel fort on top of the hill in the city, especially the firing of the Noon gun. Wonderful maritime museum down on the waterfront. Titanic exhibit very interesting. It's a marvelous city.
We visited the Fundy and St John area and enjoyed it, especially the scenic Fundy Trail and Hopewell Rocks. (Stayed at New River Beach Provincial Park a half hour west for St John. Very nice PP.) We also stayed in Fundy NP...road to get down there was pretty bad. There's a campground very close to the rocks at Hopewell.
Full hookups were readily available in Nova Scotia. It's very visitor-friendly overall.
I can't offer much in the line of new info, but will comment on some of the great info already here.
I haven't stayed in Baddeck, but I can tell you that my sister and her family have stayed there every year in the last 7 or 8 years. The Cabot Trail is incredible, but better enjoyed over two days than one.
If you're a scotch drinker, swing by www.glenoradistillery.com
the first single-malt whisky distillery in North America. They have a hotel there if you wish to overnight and their restaurant is excellent. I can give first hand testimony of this
As for NB, I have tent-camped in Fundy National Park near St John. I don't know what the availablility of hook-ups is as that was several years ago, but the hiking and scenery were pretty spectacular. I can also back up the recommendation for Hopewell Rocks, really impressive.
Good luck and enjoy!
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Not a bad piece of advice in any of the responses here!
I currently live in Cape Breton and make it a point to spend a couple weeks of the summer touring the Island myself. If you want to set up for 5 to 7 days I would recommend Seal Island Bridge KOA as it for the most part centrally located to some of the more popular activities. You are about 20 minutes from the start of the Cabot trail, 35 minutes from Baddeck and the Bell Museum and about an 1.5hrs from the Fortress. The camp ground itself is well equipped with 30 and 50 amp 3 way sites with drive through available, games room, dog park, playground and Mini Golf, (was under some construction but still playable in 2012). Cap all this off with a awesome view of the water and a location regardless how dry never falls under a fire band.
There are a couple other spots of interest. Joyful Journey also known as St. Anne's bay may have the nicest spot at the foot of the Cabot trail but they do not have 3 way hook up. There is three way hook up available but would go to Seal Island first as the spots with two way at Joyful Journey are 5 feet from the beach and the 3 way you can't even see the water.
Port Hood Camp Ground is a nice modern camp-ground but on the opposite side of the Island with not a lot of attractions other then their hospitality, food and great views. They are located on possibly one of the best sandy beach's in Nova Scotia with the warmest water you will find which my wife has no issues burning up a week on.
If you know the approximate dates I may be able to point you to the areas which will be celebrating their come home days or special events that can make for added bonus stops during your trip.
As for PEI, personally I am not going for any less then two weeks but that is based on the price. Usually in PEI you get a better rate at the camp ground when staying two weeks while the price of the boat or bridge is the same price for one or two weeks. From a time stand point there is a lot to see and do on PEI especially for the kids and you can easily set up in one camp ground for your entire stay!
If golfing is on your agenda let me know, Cape Breton is home to 5 top rated golf course while PEI has an endless count of them.