With the current exchange rate, it’s a perfect time for a Canadian Maritimes Road Trip: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, from the US. If you are located in New York, Pennsylvania or New England it’s easy to do this road trip in a week. If traveling further you may want to add some stops on this New England Road Trip Itinerary to break up the drive.
From Albany, NY to New Brunswick Nova Scotia it’s about a 10 hour drive. Driving through Maine you can stop along the way in Portland or even at Red’s Eats for some lobster rolls. We did but I actually recommend you wait because you will get better rolls (though smaller) for a better price (especially with the exchange rate) in Canada.
We chose to stay in New Brunswick as a basepoint simply because the Hyatt Place Moncton / Downtown is located there and as a category 1 hotel it was only 5,000 points per night. Prince Edward Island would be the ideal place to stay with 1-2 night in Nova Scotia and stopping in New Brunswick on the way in and/or out. But being on a budget this worked for us and since we were visiting all 3 destinations this was a fine option if not planning to switch hotels. We had our dog with us so paying 1 pet fee for the duration of the trip was also a benefit of staying in one location.
Dinner in New Brunswick
On our Drive out we stopped in the town of St Andrew’s by the Sea, New Brunswick for Dinner. It’s a cute little town and there’s many of dining options. We had a wonderful seafood meal that was fairly reasonable in price thanks to the exchange rate.
There’s also a small ramp down to the bay and at low tide you can walk around. It’s very muddy so you need to be careful but if you bring boots you can even go out looking for shells. We ran into a woman with a bucket full of scallop shells.
New Brunswick 1 Day Itinerary
Start your day heading to Hopewell Rocks. Make sure to check the tide tables so you know when low tide is. You have about 2 hours before and after low tide to enjoy the ocean floor. We spent more time than we expected walking as far as were allowed and then back again exploring the area. I would give yourself 2-3 hours from arrival to departure so you will want to arrive no later than low tide and probably best to arrive an hour before.
Hopewell Rocks, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
Hopewell Rocks, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is in the Bay of Fundy which has some of the most drastic tides in the world. You can walk to the floor of the bay at low tide and check out the beautifully carved rocks. Return again at high tide to see a dramatic transformation. Pets are allowed and we saw many but we opted not to bring ours and we were glad we didn’t. It’s extremely muddy impossible to avoid and most pups came out covered. I recommend bringing sandals/flip flops that you can then rinse off after the hike. Crocs work well too. You can also opt for rain boots.
Lunch at Alma boathouse restaurant
Before heading over to Fundy National Park stop and grab lunch. Admittingly there isn’t a ton of time to do everything so if you want to make sure you get a couple hikes in, you may want to pack a lunch to eat on the road.
Fundy National Park from hotel
When you arrive Fundy National Park, stop by the Main Visitors Center (45.595575, -64.950832), You can grab a Fundy Xplorers program which is similar to the Junior Ranger Program in US National Parks. Complete the booklet and you earn a dog tag for each Canadian National Park you visit. There are many Trials to choose from. We chose the following:
Dickson Falls is a 1.5 km loop which takes about 30 to 45 min on a Boardwalk and stairs through tumbling cascades. The bright Greens you see while on this hike are the richest colors I’ve ever seen. It’s a beautiful trail that’s definitely on of the top trails in the park.
Shiphaven Trail is a 1 km out and back trail that takes about 30 min. There’s estuary views, covered bridge at the start of the trail, and possible bald eagles . We didn’t see bald eagles but we enjoyed the short trail down to the waters and exploring the waters edge.
Dinner at Catch 22
Make sure to make a reservation at this popular restaurant which offer Coquille Saint-Jacques and escargot. It’s a short walk from the Hyatt Place Moncton.
- Peele beach
- Parlee Beach Provincial Park – considered the warmest beach in New Brunswick
- Science East (ASTC reciprocity)
- The Giant Lobster statue at the Shediac Market
- Magnetic Hill. When you drive your vehicle to the foot of the hill and put it in neutral, your vehicle will start to roll back up the hill!
- While visiting Magnetic Hill stop by the Magnetic Hill Zoo the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada.
Nova Scotia is huge. You can easily spend half a week to a week just on this Island alone. I recommend at least 2 days to see the highlights, The top being the Cabot Trail which will take you a full day to drive and many spend several days exploring.
Nova Scotia 2 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail.
The Cabot Trail is a Beautiful Scenic Drive with the most drastic views being along the ocean side. If you would like earn an explorer badge, stop by the Ingonish Visitor Centre, Ingonish Beach to get an Xplorer Book.
Make sure to stop at the Green cove rock Trail for a very short hike to beautiful bay views. We were lucky to see a bunch of seals swimming in the bay that were very entertaining.
The Lone Sieling Loop and MacIntosh Brook Trailhead, Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay, takes you past a replica of a Sieling that you can walk into. Then takes you through wood trails to a waterfall. It’s a nice stop to break up the scenic drive.
Enjoy dinner before heading back to your accommodations. We chose the highly recommended Rusty Anchor Restaurant at the end of the Cabot trail but honestly I would seek alternatives as I felt it was not that great of food and very over priced. We got the Fresh Snow Crabs and paid a premium for them they were just ok. We had such great food on this trip over all so this was really disappointing especially with the great views the restaurant gets.
Day 2: Nova Scotia: Lunenburg and Digby
Lunenburg Village (Lincoln St, Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0, Canada)
Lunenburg Village is home to bluenose II. A repiblic of the ship represented on the canadian 10 cent coin. You can take a free tour around the boat. There’s also opportunities to book excursions at one of the booths in the harbor. The town is a pretty harbor town that you can enjoy a stroll and some shopping as well as some nice views around the harbor. As you leave Lunenburg make one quick scenic stop at Cove Rd, turn around at the golf club and while driving back so your on the waterside of the road. Stop along the side of the road for some nice views of Lunenburg. (44.37081072440346, -64.31657923559878)
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse and Village and Mahone Bay: Discover the rustic charm of the renowned fishing village of Peggy’s Cove before making your way to the South Shore. Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Lunenburg, renowned for her fleets of Grand Banks’ fishing schooners. Visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the town’s famous seafaring heritage before heading off to postcard-perfect Mahone Bay where a trinity of 19th century-built churches represents an iconic cultural landscape of Nova Scotia. Enjoy some free time to stroll through the town and chat with the welcoming locals who have been known to share superstitions, legends, and fables that date back to the rum-running days
There’s plenty of spots to park in town and there’s clean public bathrooms available and there’s a variety of restaurants. We were in a hurry so we ordered a pizza and some poutine to go. they also have donners and donner poutine. If you are looking for something nicer, there’s plenty of seafood restaurants.
Port-Royal National Historic Site
Port Royal National Historic site is a really cool replica of an Indian settlement. There’s a lot of things out for a hands on experience. The kids absolutely loved exploring the Fort and the workers were so nice an didn’t charge us for 1 adult because we had our dog with us who could not enter the fort. We were allowed to take turns with the kids while the other walked the dog and enjoy beautiful water views. We even saw seals swimming in the bay. They also have an Xplorer program where kids can complete a booklet
Delap’s Cove Wilderness Trail: Bohaker Trail
This was a cool hike along the coast. It was a little muddy at some places and we saw what oddly looked like oil in on area. There were plenty of area to climb along the rocks which the kids enjoyed.
Dinner at the Crow’s Nest
The Crowns Nest is a wonderful Treat. Order the scallops they are phenomenal. We ordered the trio so we could sample them all.
After dinner head back to your accommodations if you are staying in New Brunswick you have the option of taking the ferry across the Bay of Fundy but it only saves about 30 minutes time and honestly we just didnt want to have to wait for the ferry and took the longer drive.
Prince Edward Island
PEI is a must visit on a Canadian Maritimes Road Trip Itinerary: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. If you are staying in New Brunswick head Northwest to cross the Confederation Bridge, the world’s largest continuous multi-span bridge to Prince Edward. After you cross the bridge top at the visitors center and see a subsection of the bridge and take a bathroom break. If you are able to I highly recommend you stay on PEI so that you can spend several days exploring the area and National Park sites.
Lakeside beach is one of the few pet friendly beaches on PEI. It’s a nice beach and for the time of year it was fairly empty. We hadn’t planned to actually swim but we waded in the low tidal areas and of course our youngest dove in cause she can’t help herself. We got our pup in the water too which is rare. There are giant sand dunes that you must keep off but it’s a very pretty area to walk and feels secluded. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Lunch: Richards Fresh Seafood
Located at 2 Main Street, Victoria-by-the-Sea, PE , this little seafood shack offers fantastic lobster rolls at a great price. If we were staying on the island I would have stopped here every other day for their hot butter lobster burger (lobster roll on a hamburger bun). The location is actually within the Park but it’s still a short drive from the beach we visited.
Greenwich Dune Trial
If you are staying on PEI you can hike in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon. You could spend days hiking the various trails but if you are looking for a nice quick hike this is a great option. I think this hike starts out very unassuming but it’s one of our favorite hikes of the trip.
Prince Edward Island National Park, Greenwich Dune Trails is a .6 mile trail that has a boardwalk through a marsh area. It’s a beautiful walk and ends at a beach. The trail is pet friendly but the beach at the end is not.
- Confederation Landing -Waterfront promenade
- Victoria Row -Carless street/block of shops and restaurant’s
- Victoria Park-Dead man’s pond, rumored to be bottomless
- Green Gables Heritage Site, the alluring inspiration of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables books.
- There’s even a beach that has sand that squeaks (Basin Head)
Dinner on PEI : Blue Mussel Café
Enjoy some PEI Blue Mussels and other local seafood at Blue Mussel Café.
Canadian Maritimes Road Trip Itinerary: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Maritimes Canada is a wonderful Road Trip itinerary: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are stunning. Perfect trip for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for pet friendly travel. The exchange rate makes it a wonderful affordable family travel option where you can enjoy some of the freshest seafood.