In exactly one week, Tristan and I will say goodbye to Toronto for 2-months as we head out to Atlantic Canada for the summer. We’re so incredibly excited and I can’t believe the trip is just around the corner! But I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous, as it’s been over 4 years since we last did a trip of this magnitude. We’ve been saving up for over a year and furiously planning our route over the past few months. And there’s still so much to do over the next 7 days before we hit the open roads! We’re also finally (finally!) going on our honeymoon, so there’s a lot to be excited for.
Departing from Toronto, our route is fairly straightforward. We’re making a straight dash out to the east coast as we want to maximize as much time as possible in Atlantic Canada. We’ll be starting in New Brunswick, followed by Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and then taking a ferry over to Newfoundland and Labrador before heading back to Toronto in early September. We’ve planned a fair amount of our route but we’ve left some room for flexibility and places of interests we’ll discover along the way.
In total, we’ll be spending just over 2 weeks in New Brunswick. We’re kicking things off at Mt. Carleton Provincial Park, home to the highest peak in the Maritimes. We figured, after sitting in a car for 2 days, a bit of hiking to get the blood circulating again was in order. From Mt. Carleton Provincial Park we’re essentially going to drive in a ‘Z’ formation around the Province. We’ll head up towards Campbellton, follow the coast east to Bathurst and out to the Acadian Peninsula. We’ll then cut down and across the province along the Miramichi River Route to Fredericton where we’ll explore New Brunswick’s capital city. From Fredericton, we’ll head south to Saint John and then east along the coast where we’ll check out the Fundy Trail. From there, it’s into Fundy National Park where we’ll spend a few days staying in one of Parks Canada’s oTENTiks, exploring the area and doing some hiking. We’ll use this as our base to explore the iconic Hopewell Rocks in The Rocks Provincial Park. Then we’ll head up into Moncton for a couple of days and then across Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.
Prince Edward Island
Although PEI is Canada’s smallest province (only 2 ½ hours to drive from tip to tip), we’re giving ourselves 5 nights on the island to take it all in at a leisurely pace. For our time on PEI, we’re partnering up with Kampgrounds of America and staying at two of their properties: Cavendish (in an RV Trailer!!) and Cornwall/Charlottetown. Based on the property locations, we’ll split our time on the island between what the locals call the North Shores and the South Shores (or as I’ve been calling, the left side and right sides of the island). We haven’t planned too much of our visit on PEI but we definitely want to check out the various beaches (including the red-sand beaches and the Singing Sands), try our hand at oyster shucking, cycle part of the Confederation Trail, explore the streets of Charlottetown, and of course, meet Anne of Green Gables!
From Prince Edward Island, we’ll take the ferry from Wood Islands over to Caribou, Nova Scotia. From there we’re going to drive counter-clockwise around Nova Scotia along the coast for about 10 days. Again, we haven’t planned much of this part of the route opting to see what piques our interest as we go. But once we near Halifax, we’ll be checking out the picturesque town of Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, and Halifax of course! There’s one very meaningful visit that I’m really interested in and that’s visiting the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the location where both sets of my grandparents first arrived in Canada during WWII.
We’ll continue east from Halifax and head over to Cape Breton. We originally gave ourselves a week to check out the island but have since extended that to 10 days because it’s one part of this roadtrip that we’re most excited for. We don’t want to rush through it and want to have the chance to explore all the little inlets and coves. We’ve already got a couple of nights booked at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and another night at the historic Fortress of Louisbourg sleeping in an 18th century-style tent. And of course, we can’t visit Cape Breton and not do the Cabot Trail! So that’s on the agenda as well.
Newfoundland and Labrador
To cap off our time in Atlantic Canada, we’re taking a 16hr ferry ride from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Argentia, Newfoundland to check out the fourth province of the trip. Over the final 3 ½ weeks, we’ll explore St. John’s (and Canada’s most easterly point) and follow the Trans Canada Highway north and west around the northern part of the island stopping in places like Bonavista, Tera Nova National Park, Gander, Fogo Island, Twillingate, Cottrell’s Cove, and Deer Lake. But the one spot in Newfoundland (and this whole trip in general) that I’m most excited for is spending 5 nights in Gros Morne National Park. It’s one of Canada’s most stunning parks and I can’t wait to hike the trails and photograph the amazing landscape! After Gros Morne National Park, we’ll drive up the west coast, hop on another ferry into Labrador and spend about 4 days exploring southern Labrador. After that, it’s a straight drive home to Toronto!
What You Can Expect From Us During the Trip
As you can imagine, we’re going to see and do a lot of awesome things over the next two months. We want to be as present as possible and soak in these experiences to their fullest. As such, the majority of the content will start to roll out in the fall and early 2017 (just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday!). But during the trip, I’ll be working to put out 2 vlog-style videos each week over on my YouTube Channel. I’ll also write some posts here and there as time permits and Tristan will also be contributing articles as well. I’m actually really excited he’ll be writing again for the site because I love his perspective and witty writing style. To see what I mean, check out Tristan’s experience at a Korean Baseball Game or his Tips For Renting a Motorbike in Southeast Asia.
Throughout the trip, I’ll be sharing lots of content on my social media channels, so if you haven’t yet already, make sure you’re following me on all these platforms so you can be a part of the roadtrip as well:
You can also follow along using the hashtag: #SYSroadtripCA
I’m also so excited to share that I’ve added a drone to my video equipment family! I picked up the Phantom 4 about a month ago and have been practicing every week to get comfortable flying it. Incorporating drone footage will give me the chance to give you all unique perspectives and angles on the places we’ll be visiting. Seriously, I’ve been geeking out about it and what I’ll be able to film with it even before I got it. There are still some legalities that need to be cleared first including securing special insurance, completing a 15-page application for Transport Canada, and getting the appropriate permission with certain locations (so for all you thinking of flying a drone in Canada, do your research first!). But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything gets approved so I can capture aerial footage legitly.
If you have any recommendations for places to see and things we HAVE to do during our roadtrip, please leave them in the comments below!
7 more sleeps…