East Coast

Drive to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia? Sure, Why Not?

The Carful of Kids embark on a 7000-mile road trip to Nova Scotia and back.
The Carful of Kids embark on a 7000-mile road trip to Nova Scotia and back.

In the summer of 2012, the carful of kids road tripped our way east–going as far as North Carolina; this trip we will continue where we left off. It is an ambitious 23-day road trip, logging close to 7000 miles that includes crossing the US-Canadian Border.

This is first trip that the carful of kids needed a passport and I opted for a passport card (used for land and sea crossings only) due to the kids’ age and the cost. This trip has me driving some long hours and required many hours of planning.

My faithful, best friend, Melissa, joins me for the first leg and my husband finishes up the trip with us. I will give you a bit of a teaser–there is an international incident of sorts during this trip.

Below is the carful of kids’ itinerary packed full with visits to the national parks, historic sites and cultural icons on our way to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and back. Some places we want to spend more time and others will return to on other trips.

Road Trip to the Edge of the Continent and Back

Day 1
Leave Home in Central Texas
Stop at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas
Spend the night in Memphis, Tennessee

Day 2
Tour Graceland 9AM
Visit the Peabody Ducks 11AM
Tour Sun Studio tours at the bottom of the hour
BBQ lunch at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, Downtown Memphis
Spend the night in Asheville, North Carolina

Day 3
Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Shenandoah National Park
Spend the night in Waynesboro, Virginia

Day 4
Visit Shenandoah National Park
Walk around Charlottesville and University of Virginia
Tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Spend the night in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Day 5
Tour Hershey’s Chocolate World
Tour Hershey Gardens
Dinner at Anchor Bar, Buffalo for original Buffalo Wings
Visit Niagara Falls at night
Spend the night in Niagara, New York

Day 6
Ride on the Maid of the Mist to visit the Niagara Falls up close
Stop over at the Women’s Right National Park in Seneca Falls, New York
Spend the night in Rutland, Vermont

Day 7
Drive by the covered bridges west of Pittsford, Vermont
Tour Shelbourne Farms Tour
Tour Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Tour Trapp Family Lodge
Tour Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream
Spend the night in South Burlington, Vermont

Day 8
Drive to Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Visit Parc du Mont-Royal
Spend the night in Brossard, Quebec, Canada

Day 9
Visit Montreal Botanical Garden and Insectarium
Visit Montreal BioDome
Explore street festival for Canada Day
Spend the night in Brossard, Quebec, Canada

Day 10
Drive to Parc National du Canada de la Mauricie
Spend the night in an A-frame tent in Parc National de la Mauricie

Day 11
Drive Portland Maine
Visit Portland Lighthouses
Stop by LLBean Flagship store—open 24 hours
Spend the night in South Portland, Maine

Day 12
Drive to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Visit the Reversing Rapids in Saint John
Reservation for the Jolly Breeze Tall Ship Whale Adventure at 4:30
Spend the night in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Day 13
Drive to Fundy National Park
Visit Hopewell Rocks
Spend the night in an A-frame tent at Fundy National Park

Day 14
Drive to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Stop at The Red Shoe Pub in Mabou for Celidh
Spend the night in an equipped campsite at Chetichamp in Cape Breton Highlands
National Park

Day 15
Explore the Cabot Trail
Spend the night in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada

Day 16
Take the Ferry to Prince Edward Island (PEI)—departs at 9:30
Go clam digging
Walk through Charlottetown, PEI
Visit Province House National Historic Site
Stop by Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site
Visit the beach at Prince Edward Island National Park
Spend the night at Cavendish Cottage Escape outside of Campbellton, PEI

Day 17
Tour Green Gables Heritage Place
Walk to L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish Home
Visit Prince Edward Island Preserve Company for Dinner

Day 18
Drive to Maine
Stop at the Saint Croix International Historic Site
Spend the night in Bangor, Maine

Day 19
Explore Acadia National Park
Dinner at a Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound
Spend the night in Boston’s Back Bay

Day 20
Boston in a Day
Walk the Freedom Trail
Tour the USS Constitution
Tour Harvard and MIT
Have dinner at Pinocchio’s Pizza in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ride the “T” back to the hotel
Spend the night in Hartford, Connecticut

Day 21
Tour the Statue of Liberty National Monument
Dinner at RU Hungry on Rutger’s University
Spend the night in Emporia, Virginia

Day 22 and Day 23
Drive Home

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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