Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greeetings all!

With summer upon us once again, we are trying to plan a vacation and are considering staying in Canada for once to see what exists on the (not-so-)near fringes of the Centre of the Universe™. We're looking for suggestions from fellow Canadians, so of course, the first place to ask is teh inter-web.

We'd like to be able to dip our toes in salt water, so either coast would be a good start. We're traveling with a one-year-old, so family friendly would be good. We like B&B's or similar accommodations. Driving time should be kept under three hours to appease the aforementioned little one.

A few people have suggested PEI for its beauty, beaches, and relaxed pace of life. How about Vancouver and the left coast? Has anyone ever been to Tsawwassen and Boundary Bay area?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
 

·
Canadian By Choice
Joined
·
117,692 Posts
Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, you shall be able to get to the eastern "fringe" of North America. Plent to do and see. The only thing you won't get here is hot and humid weather, and smog.
 

·
Canadian By Choice
Joined
·
117,692 Posts
RtC, the doors are always open here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Montreal is my favorite Canadian city, and this fall, while I am on sabbatical, I shall be presenting a paper in Quebec City. It will be my first visit to QC.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,845 Posts
Hard to beat the drive from Banff to Jasper. Leave time at Lake Louise to drive up to Morraine Lake and do some hiking in that area. Locals also love to drive the Kananaskis Loop and it's free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Why not come and visit Vancouver Island, Victoria, Tofino, Comox Valley, Campbell River. It's beautiful over here on the left coast. Big trees, salty water, and lots to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies!

I just had a talk with a friend who recommended Vancouver Island as well. She said Tofino is especially nice, but couldn't comment on the beach as she was there later in the year. Is the water calm enough for swimming? I see from a quick google search that surfing is popular there, so I'm wondering what the waves and water are like?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
+1 for Vancouver Island. The rest of BC might have those "Best Place on Earth" license plates, but they don't really mean it... :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,903 Posts
I also recommend Vancouver Island, although I've never been to Long Beach.

You can fly into Nanaimo, from which a drive of under three hours can get you to smaller places to relax, if you like. More likely to be hotels than B&Bs, I suspect.

You can also go to Victoria for the "big city" feel ( :) ), as well as a small beach. If the beach part of the vacation is significant, then Long Beach is the way to go from what I've heard, otherwise, Victoria has some nice buildings, museums etc. And flowers. Lots of flowers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Personally I want to go see the Atlantic provinces. My sister lived in Halifax for a few years and loved it. So I want to visit there and take Dr G out for fish and chips.
But having said that, you will not regret a Vancouver Island trip. My wife and I took the kids and stayed in Parksville for a few days and loved it. There's tons of places to see within a reasonable car trip... (The MacMillan forest, The Butchart Gardens) and a ton more places, and it's all truly beautiful.
Both coasts will no doubt offer a good and memorable adventure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,530 Posts
I highly recommend the Cabot Trail, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Absolutely gorgeous. (Mind you, I grew up 2 hours away, so I'm a little biased ;))

The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia

I've never been out west, but, I can tell you that the Atlantic Provinces are very beautiful. There's nothing like swimming in the Atlantic on a hot summer day then having a few pints on a patio. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Are you driving across Canada? It's a long but beautiful journey.

My favorite vacation spot continues to be Jasper National Park. It draws more crowds as the years go by, but it is still the perfect place if you love the mountains and wildlife. It is less commercial than Banff. There are many trails, both easy and moderate. With a baby back-pack you can carry your child part way if need be. Kids usually sleep great in the mountains too! Places to see are Edith Cavell, Maligne Canyon, and Athabasca Falls.

One of the drawbacks for some is the weather. If you're looking for a warm beach, well you won't find it.

Another great place is the Alberta Badlands with the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. This area is great for kids who are a bit older and into dinosaurs. You can still climb the hoodoos.

The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is one of my new favourites also, but again, I don't mind the rain like others. It was a refreshing place to visit as there were so few tourists when compared to P.E.I. and Vancouver Island.

Anyway, I think you're making the right choice to see some of Canada.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
31,013 Posts
These are all wonderful destinations a few of which I can attest personally but with a 1 year old Markland on Cape Breton might be the nicest.

The Markland - A Coastal Resort

Long time client tho have not been in touch for a year ( tends to nurse his Macs for ever )

Charlie and his wife and family are affable hosts and can surely arrange some baby sitting for a break.

Cape Breton is all perfect length daytrips.
The food at the resort is excellent ( not cheap ) and there is a wonderful restaurant just a 2 minute drive up the road. It hosts a Titanic museum as well.



Small & Beautiful with attention to quality and detail.
Canada Select Rating:

* National Geographic Traveler (July 1993) "...more modest than Keltic Lodge but just as beautiful". ...."a collection of log cabins on a gentle slope by the sea"
* Frommers Guide "... the best resort location on Cape Breton Island" ..."the best evening meal at the top of the island."
* Travel Holiday Magazine gave the Wanda award to the Markland in 2000
There is good whale watching nearby and the entire island is fascinating. My daughter and I spent a glorious 3 weeks there on a working holiday for Charlie ( mostly holiday )

Safe play areas for a little one and good mix of down east homey and top notch resort.

There are distinct cultures as you circuit the island - there is no place like it on earth.

Travel along the CABOT TRAIL, considered one of the most scenic drives in the world
all in a compact day trip format.

Getting there ...with a one year old....have fun :eek:
Say hi to Charlie for me.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
Hard to beat the drive from Banff to Jasper. Leave time at Lake Louise to drive up to Morraine Lake and do some hiking in that area. Locals also love to drive the Kananaskis Loop and it's free.
I suggest cycling this route. You can't really appreciate it from inside a car.

I've ridden the Icefields Parkway a few times and it is a really wonderful experience.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
I just had a talk with a friend who recommended Vancouver Island as well. She said Tofino is especially nice, but couldn't comment on the beach as she was there later in the year. Is the water calm enough for swimming? I see from a quick google search that surfing is popular there, so I'm wondering what the waves and water are like?
You won't want to go near the water without a good (7.5 mm) wetsuit or drysuit. Summer water temperatures are around 10C at the surface and colder below.

The scuba diving in that area is *spectacular*. If you don't want to try surfing, you might like surf-kayaking or plain sea-kayaking, both of which are immensely enjoyable in the Pacific Rim area (if you can arrange a few days to kayak around the Broken Group Islands, you'll come away with memories to last a lifetime).

Cheers
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,005 Posts
Driving time should be kept under three hours to appease the aforementioned little one.
Oye, Miguel, I don't think you're gonna see much of Canada within that limitation! :p

Seriously, though. I suggest the following:

- Go East.
- Visit our Nation's Capital, the Parliament Buildings, etc.
- Continue to Montreal, the bestest city in Canada, and spend a night or two.
- Still going east, pass through N.B. (sorry New Brunswickers!) and cross the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. Enjoy the beaches.
- Same day, leave PEI from the other end on the ferry to Pictou, near New Glasgow. It's a great ride.
- Hang a left off the boat, and head for Cape Breton. Do the Cabot Trail.
- Spend a night somewhere on the trail before you get to Sydney.
- Optional: add a day and drive past Sydney to Fortress Louisbourg. Try to take in one of the many live concerts down that way on the same day.
- Hop the Joey & Clara Smallwood ferry to Newfoundland. Be sure you get on the right boat, 'cause one goes to the west coast, and the other to the east coast. Go east.
- Drive to St. John's and have dinner with Dr. G. and the Daschunds.
- Take a day to go on a Puffin-watching trip, where you'll be greeted to the bonus sight of lots of Whale-tails slapping in the Atlantic. 'Way cool.
- Take the peninsula loop south, with lots of photo-ops in the ports, and then back to the Ferry.
- Once you're back in Sydney, take the southern return trip to the mainland, and head toward Truro. Hang a left and it's on to Halifax.
- From Halifax, there are two destinations of note: The South Shore, with Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, then cross through the mainland on the road that borders on Kejimkujik national park, to the beautiful Annapolis Valley (too bad, you'll miss the Apple Blossom Festival).
- Wolfville is your destination. Visit the "Just Us!" fair trade coffee museum!
- Back to Halifax, then it's the return drive through Truro, New Brunswick and all points west.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,388 Posts
Oye, Miguel, I don't think you're gonna see much of Canada within that limitation! :p

Seriously, though. I suggest the following:

- Go East.
- Visit our Nation's Capital, the Parliament Buildings, etc.
- Continue to Montreal, the bestest city in Canada, and spend a night or two.
- Still going east, pass through N.B. (sorry New Brunswickers!) and cross the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. Enjoy the beaches.
- Same day, leave PEI from the other end on the ferry to Pictou, near New Glasgow. It's a great ride.
- Hang a left off the boat, and head for Cape Breton. Do the Cabot Trail.
- Spend a night somewhere on the trail before you get to Sydney.
- Optional: add a day and drive past Sydney to Fortress Louisbourg. Try to take in one of the many live concerts down that way on the same day.
- Hop the Joey & Clara Smallwood ferry to Newfoundland. Be sure you get on the right boat, 'cause one goes to the west coast, and the other to the east coast. Go east.
- Drive to St. John's and have dinner with Dr. G. and the Daschunds.
- Take a day to go on a Puffin-watching trip, where you'll be greeted to the bonus sight of lots of Whale-tails slapping in the Atlantic. 'Way cool.
- Take the peninsula loop south, with lots of photo-ops in the ports, and then back to the Ferry.
- Once you're back in Sydney, take the southern return trip to the mainland, and head toward Truro. Hang a left and it's on to Halifax.
- From Halifax, there are two destinations of note: The South Shore, with Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, then cross through the mainland on the road that borders on Kejimkujik national park, to the beautiful Annapolis Valley (too bad, you'll miss the Apple Blossom Festival).
- Wolfville is your destination. Visit the "Just Us!" fair trade coffee museum!
- Back to Halifax, then it's the return drive through Truro, New Brunswick and all points west.
Mark's suggestions are wonderful though I shall boldly suggest making the following alteration.

Out of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay take Highway number 12 cross country to Kentville and back on Highway Number 1(or 101 is faster) to Wolfville. Out of Wolfville head west down (Highway 101) in the Valley to Kejimkujik. After Kejimkujik head west again stop into Bear River. From Bear River HWY 101 head west to Digby to catch the Digby to Saint John ferry. The ferry will save time and gas that will more than make up for the fee on the ferry. Back through New Brunswick or through the State of Maine USA.

And Mark they don't call New Brunswick the drive through Provence without cause. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oye, Miguel, I don't think you're gonna see much of Canada within that limitation! :p
Haha, obviously, I meant driving times in the local area of our destination. The plan is to fly wherever it is we decided that we're going!

Anyway, thanks for the all those detailed suggestions! Especially CubaMark who took the time to detail driving routes complete with hyperlinks! Wow! I hope that didn't take too long!

Right now we're leaning to the east, and I'll fill you all in once we get dates and itinerary set.

Thanks again,

Miguel
 

·
Indigent Academic
Joined
·
8,115 Posts
My favourite cheap Canadian vacation is a two-four on the back deck.... :D

But then my 'back deck' is right on the water overlooking the Rideau Canal... :D

That said, if you do go east, ignore the advice to 'pass thru' New Brunswick. The Bay of Fundy is well worth a visit, and if part of your motivation is to escape the heat and humidity of HogTown then you will find Saint John a refreshing treat. The weather is moderated dramatically by the Bay (Fredericton and non-coastal NB is just like Ontario in this regard). I had an academic gig there 10 years ago and loved it so much I go back every year. The gig consists of teaching Intro Psych and/or Intro Stats for Psych at UNBSJ. A paid vacation is always the best kind - having to eat seafood (for 'fastfood' seafood try the Deluxe - the scallops and fries are excellent) and drink maritime beer is a trial ;) but it is worth it. If you do get to Saint John and like beer try the brew pub Taps - great beers and very acceptable food. Also the Saint John market is one of the oldest in Canada. If I could cut loose from here, I'd move to Saint John like a flash, cats and all!!!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top