|Clouds settle over Halifax harbor.|
Factor in the friendly, hospitable natives, the beautiful coast and countryside, menus rife with lobster and it is well worth the wait and extra effort.
VIA Rail, which comes into Halifax twice a week, is an alternative. You can go from Montreal up along the Gaspe Peninsula to Truro and Halifax, a pretty spiffy itinerary.
TIP: Stay at the historic but updated Westin Nova Scotian and you are a mere hallway away from the railway station to reception. Well located to see Halifax, too.
HalifaxHalifax, the capitol, is a good place to start if you arrive by air or auto. The city is hilly but walkable, especially if you aim north to south or vice versa.
Tip: I recommend the Big Pink Bus, despite having to go up a few steep steps to reach the first level of the 1960s London Royal double-decker bus. Staff is very helpful and the narration is excellent.
Don't miss the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Tip: Both have elevators and/or escalators.
A good downtown lunch spot is The Stubborn Goat, an excellent gastropub with innovative, delicious dishes perfect for sharing. Try the fiddleheads.
Tip: The Goat is on the level but not its bathroom which is downstairs.
Liscombe Lodge, a couple hours drive away from Halifax, is where to go for isolated relaxation in a beautiful setting. The indoor pool is heated, there's a marina, plenty of trails and activities and the food is excellent. En route you will encounter the colorful home of folk artist Barry Colpitts and Black Sheep Gallery where his work and that of others is exhibited. Not far is Sherbrooke Village, a recreated 19th century port village where you can try your hand at everything from blacksmithing to costuming.
Tip 1: The Lodge is on the level but the ground around it can be hilly.
|Digby visitor center is painted in the style of the late beloved folk arts Maude Lewis.|
To the north, Annapolis Royal claims to be the oldest permanent European settlement in North America (1605, two years before Jamestown, VA, an oops 40 years after St. Augustine, FL). It is a charming town with a Historic Garden for strolling, excellent restaurants and a ghost tour that many enjoy. To the south, you will find the Acadian Center, Rendez-vous de la Baie, and the tallest wooden church in North America. All are on the famous Bay of Fundy complex.
|Digby Pines Resort.|
Tip 2: The "Stones, Steeples, Ships and Seafood" tour of Digby involves walking up a steep hill toward the end.
Tip 3: For good food in Annapolis Royal, Bistro East and Restaurant Compose (don't miss the strudel) are recommended.
Tip 4: If buying scallops to cook at home, the 10 to20 a pound size are what you want, according to native Digby resident and tour guide Greg Turner.
|On the ferry to New Brunswick.|
|The Algonquin Resort.|
Tip 1: For great food, the sleekly sophisticated Braxton's at the Algonquin Resort and Rossmont Inn are highly recommended.
|In search of whales on Passamaquoddy Bay.|
Tip 3: You will encounter a broad flight of steep steps at the front entrance to The Algonquin. Circle around to the side portico for an easier access.