I had the lovely opportunity to visit the Maritimes for a second time recently. My first time out east, I was a bit too young to enjoy all it has to offer. Although, I do remember that the ocean was frigid and I went swimming regardless. I also remember having an amazing lobster roll (or two) at a spot in Peggy’s Cove.
I had planned for a week out in the Maritimes but that was definitely not enough. I did pack in as much as would be comfortable and ended visiting all three provinces. I will share with you what I did in those seven days. Please note, we did rent a car in order to get around.
My friend and I took early morning flights out of Ontario to reach Halifax, NS by 10AM. Upon arrival, we decided to take the airport shuttle downtown ($22/person). We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in the North End and our host was amazing. Once we dropped off our luggage we set out downtown to explore the waterfront. There are many restaurants and tourist shops along the water, yet it feels very casual and welcoming.
I had a list of attractions to visit (Halifax Central Library, Halifax Oval, Point Pleasant Park, Seaport Farmers’ Market, Halifax Public Gardens) and was only able to visit the Halifax Citadel Site. It was a glorious historic site with many exhibits and guided tours. We were relatively tired and ended up having an early dinner along the waterfront and headed back to the apartment.
We picked up our car and made our way down to Lunenburg, NS. Lunenburg was about an hour drive from Halifax and a straight drive with many hills. The town itself has beautiful piers, ships and a main area with shops and restaurants. It’s a vibrant spot with lots of colour! I had reserved a 2 hour sea kayaking excursion at Pleasant Point (10 minutes from Lunenburg). Sea kayaking was scenic and offered a nice breeze on a hot sunny day. You kayak along the oceanside although, protected by a natural rock barrier.
After kayaking, we stopped by Lunenburg for a late lunch at the Half Shell for the famous Nova Scotia lobster roll. Afterwards, we drove to Peggy’s Cove on our way back to Halifax. The roads leading to Peggy’s Cove were fun and curvy.
We had dinner at Stillwell (amazing food) and drinks at Obladee Wine Bar.
We popped by the Nook on Gottingen for a quick coffee and breakfast stop before heading out of Halifax towards Prince Edward Island. The coffee was superb and the food tasted wonderful as well. Be sure to stop by Vandal Doughnuts if you like your sweets!
We decided to take the PEI Ferry to shorten up the driving time. We made a short stop at Caribout Provincial Park near Pictou for a dip in the ocean. The PEI ferry was a 75 minute ride across the water and was equipped with food, COWS ice cream and other amenities. Upon arrival in PEI, the red sand and dirt was quite stunning!
We had dinner at the Merchant Man Restaurant in Charlottetown.
We popped into Leonhard’s for brunch and it was delicious! They also have a bakery and coffee to go at the front. We then drove out to Cavendish and were able to explore the Anne of Green Gables area and attended a guided tour. The walking paths around the property are very picturesque and serene. I would highly recommend taking them!
We then headed out to Malpeque Beach at Cabot Beach Provincial Park. Malpeque beach is a beautiful red sand beach with red sand cliffs along the waterfront. It is a stunning spot to have a picnic, swim or just lay in the sun. After a few hours on the beach, we popped over to the Malpeque Oyster Barn for an afternoon snack. I got the Malpeque oysters (light and divine) along with seafood chowder. I would highly recommend visiting the Oyster Barn if you have the chance!
On our way back to Charlottetown, there was torrential downpour. We made the best of the weather and stopped by the COWS Creamery Boardwalk for some souvenir shopping and ice cream. We also stopped by the PEI Preserve Company in New Glasgow prior to returning to Charlottetown. The Preserve Company has a restaurant in the back that I would love to try someday. It’s located on a beautiful lake and offers many seafood options.
We had dinner at a pub with live music and it was very fun!
We nabbed some coffee before driving over to the Charlottetown Farmers Market. It was fun to see local businesses in another city. We then stopped at the COWS Creamery Factory to check it out. It’s a fun spot for everyone!
On our way to the Confederation Bridge, we visited Victoria by the Sea. It’s a beautiful small town along the water with a pier, restaurants and some shops.
We drove across the Confederation Bridge and made a stop at the Cape Jourimain Nature Center. Here, you can get a wonderful view of the bridge as well as relax on the beach or hike through the bush to look for wildlife.
In Moncton, we had dinner at Tide and Boar (previously on Canada’s Top 100 restaurants). It was amazing food, a great patio and offered a cool breeze on a hot day.
We walked over to the Duo Cafe for coffee and breakfast this morning before departing for Hopewell Cape. We planned our arrival in the afternoon to see the low tide and stayed until the high tide. We were able to walk along the ocean floor and run through the mud. We stopped by the Low Tide Cafe for some hot dogs and ice cream. We watched for about an hour as the tide rose up the Hopewell Rocks.
We proceeded to have dinner at the Pumphouse Brewpub.
We had a lovely time out east! Everyone was friendly and always willing to help. The weather was beautiful (cool a night and hot during the day) and the seafood was as fresh as can be. We lucked out and it only rained one evening throughout our entire trip.
Atlantic Canada, we will be back!