Halifax is Atlantic Canada’s center of business, research and education. Strong emphasis is placed on cultural diversity, historic restorations and the preservation of heritage and culture. The Halifax Citadel Fortress dominates downtown Halifax. Take a stroll along the waterfront past restored buildings and warehouses of Historic Properties, or a walk in delightful Public Gardens, the oldest Victorian gardens in North America. Halifax’s sister city of Dartmouth lies on the opposite shore and is reached via the oldest saltwater ferry in North America. The spectacular view of Halifax harbor makes the trip worthwhile. Housed in former Dominion Building, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia features Nova Scotia folk art and maritime artists. A two-hour walk will easily show you the major highlights of historic and scenic Halifax. Visit Historic Properties, St. Paul’s Church and Province House, the latter two being the oldest buildings in the city. Granite Springs is rated one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in Atlantic Canada.
Canada’s smallest province is known as the "Cradle of Confederation." Charlottetown is the island’s capital and one of Canada’s oldest towns. The old part of town offers many historical monuments, including important government buildings, churches, old mansions and museums, along with parks and gardens. Outside of Charlottetown, discover miles of farmland, small villages, a scenic coast, and the legacy of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, the feature of Charlottetown’s annual major theater festival. Victoria Row Officially called Richmond Street, this area between Queen Street and Great George Street is lined with wonderful brick buildings from the 1880s. Known as Fanningbank, Government House is designed in Palladian fashion. Located in the historic setting of the harbor, Peake's Wharf offers a special collection of casual dining and shopping experiences. Crowbush Cove Golf Course, opened in 1994, was named Canada’s best new course by Golf Digest.
Baddeck is located in the heart of Cape Breton. It is the 'beginning and end of the Cabot Trail' and is a popular stopping place on the Trans-Canada Highway. The Village's charm and character, and it's dramatic scenery, have provided memorable experiences to visitors for generations. Experience the magnificent setting overlooking Cape Breton's beautiful inland sea, the Bras d'Or Lake. The Alexander Graham Bell Museum depicts the genius of this extraordinary man. Best known for the invention of the telephone, he also invented flying machines and communications for the deaf. The Scottish history and culture comes alive with concerts, celtic crafts and fashion shows of Gaelic College. The Village Shops provide a variety of quality gifts and crafts. Boat Cruises can be taken from the village. There are amenities for visiting yachts. Take the ferry boat from the Government wharf to enjoy the public beach and nature trails of Kidston Island.
Many travelers miss downtown Moncton, 115 mi/185 km east of Fredericton, because they stop on the TransCanada Highway at the Magnetic Hill—a naturally occurring perceptual illusion that will have you convinced your car is rolling uphill—it even looks like the stream is flowing uphill.
Or they visit the adjacent Magnetic Hill Zoo (with tigers, lions and camels) or the Magic Mountain Water Park (waterslides and other theme-park attractions). Some even come for the Tidal Bore on the Petiticodiac River, but, unfortunately, its name is all too accurate. The bore is a wall of water that moves upstream at high tide, but it's not worth waiting around to see.
There's more to Moncton, however. Kids love the Crystal Palace amusement park, which has a carnival atmosphere year-round. The University of Moncton is the province's major French-language college—it's like a minitrip to a Paris university. Its museum and art gallery are the main attractions for visitors. The city has plenty of shops downtown and at suburban malls. We like to grab a snack or drink at one of the downtown cafes.
Moncton is a good base for a couple of day trips, too. The Rocks Provincial Park (Hopewell Cape) is where you'll find the famous "flowerpots"—eroded rock pillars that have trees growing on top of them. Be aware that if you go at high tide—which, at 55 ft/17 m, is very high, indeed—you won't be able to walk on the beach at the rocks' base—it's underwater then. (You can also rent a kayak and see the flowerpots from the sea.)
Another popular area near Moncton is Parlee Beach, in Shediac, known for its warm water, lobster and annual sand-sculpture contest.
Among Moncton's notable events are the Jazz and Blues Festival (June and July) and the World Wine and Food Festival (late fall).
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, is astonishingly lovely: It is a land of rocky coasts, rugged mountains and peaceful valleys, all surrounding a vast, brackish inland sea known as the Bras d'Or (Arm of Gold) Lake. The best way to experience this island is to drive (or, even better, be driven) along the Cabot Trail, a 185-mi/298-km scenic highway that circles the island's north coast.
Cape Breton is the most popular tourist destination in Nova Scotia, and once you've been there, you'll understand why. Inventor Alexander Graham Bell, a longtime resident of Baddeck, put it this way: "I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all."
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