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Old 04-23-2015, 01:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 87
Looking for ideas for family trip to Eastern Canada

Our family lives in Central Alberta. We know Alberta and BC quite well and have done a number of extended canoe trips in Northern Saskatchewan too. Last year we decided to get an Escape 21 and had a great year with it travelling to Moab, UT in April, Cold Lake, AB in July and Jasper/Banff in August.

This year the we have a weekend conference in Fredericton, NB in July and so we've decided to take the month of July to head east. We want to enjoy the trip across Canada and back, but primarily want to focus on seeing Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. We're a family of four with two boys ages 13 & 9. The boys are in French Immersion which is why we'd like to spend some time exploring Quebec - put them in a situation where they can see French used in everyday situations. We're leaving the canoes and bikes at home this trip and want to concentrate on heritage/historical sites, day hikes (the kids can easily handle 15km day hikes in the Rockies), exploring neat towns, beachcombing, etc. We will have an annual family Parks Canada pass.

We're a busy family and soccer and baseball seasons are just beginning so I'm starting to feel the time crunch for planning this trip. Any ideas and suggestions as well as resources you can point us to will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-23-2015, 02:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Trailer: 2015 Escape 21
Posts: 644
We drove from Vancouver to PEI with our children many years ago and made a point of mixing history, geography and fun. We stayed in motels though. Our route went east to Toronto via the northern States, then to New York and Washington D.C. (SMITHSONIAN!!!), looped back to Eastern Canada and returned home through Canada via the great lakes and prairies. If you can possibly manage it, the Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian alone are worth the detour. New York City was awesome too.

We saw many more sights than these here , but the family favourites were:
Louisbourg Fort (incredible reconstruction of French Fort complete with actors; allow several hours)
The Smithsonian
The old Quebec City (Vieux Quebec)-festive with music and art
Rides and rollercoasters at Wonderland, just outside Toronto
Niagara Falls
Cabot Trail
Ann of Green Gables play in Charlottetown (along with excursions to Lucy Maude Montgomery’s home)
Lobster dinners (including buying a large one at the war in Alma and eating at nearby, awesome, The Rocks Provincial Park, where we explored the famous Flower Pot Rocks in the Bay of Fundy.)
Peggy’s Cove (a jewel for photographers)
Alexander Graham Bell Museum at Bras d’Or
Empire State Building
We would have sailed on the Blue Nose II but Halifax was shrouded in fog and she didn’t sail.

I hope this helps. We did the Utah trip with our old trailer and in 3 weeks time can begin traveling with a new Escape 21. I can see us going to the East Coast again now that we are retired.

Bob K

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Old 04-23-2015, 04:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2012 Escape 15 A
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We made that trip in 2013 . For Quebec City we would highly recommend finding an rv park on the Levis side of the St. Lawrence , and park at the ferry terminal then walk onto the ferry , which takes one right into the old town . The old town is very walkable and there are more things than one can possibly see in a day , all in walking distance . Also beautiful views from the ferry - plus it is cheaper than parking in the city . Quebec City is tight and congested - seemed like non-stop traffic . Traffic signs are different than in the west .
We had 6 weeks for our trip , would do it again if there were not so much prairie in between , pretty prairie - just too much . That 6 weeks did not allow us enough time to explore Cape Breton or go over to NFL .....still on our bucket list .
We did find it very worthwhile to get a KOA membership ( lots more in the east than there are here ) . They offer a lot of special deal days , ended up being cheaper than we had allowed for using KOA .
It is an awesome trip to take ......
All things in life are easier to swallow with a good cup of tea .....
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 19' & 2013 15B
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We did the drive across the country twice, once was Calgary to St. John's, NF and the second was St. John's, NF to Edmonton. My suggestion would be to travel fast across western and central Canada and maximize your time in the East. Some suggestions:

- Parliament buildings
- National Aviation Museum (excellent)
Quebec City:
- Old central part of city
Prince Edward Island
- Confederation Bridge (I worked three years on that project)
- Prince Edward Island National Park
- Fisherman's Wharf Lobster restaurant
Nova Scotia:
- Cape Breton Island
- Cabot Trail
- Fortress of Louisbourg
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:09 PM   #5
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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If you want to take some time along the way, there's lots of nice nature along the north shore of Superior and Huron, from Sleeping Giant park in Thunder Bay right through to Killarney and French River Provincial Parks. (I haven't made it to Killarney myself yet, but from what I understand, if you stop there you'll be regretting leaving your kayaks behind). Then you've got Algonquin park enroute to Ottawa.

(But, if you take this route, you'll miss southern Ontario, including Niagara and Toronto).

Lots to do around Ottawa -- Parliament Hill, museums, Rideau Canal, Gatineau Park. If you can be in Ottawa for July 1st, it's quite a party on the hill.

Going further east, there's Montreal and Quebec City. Me, I'd skip Montreal and spend the time in Quebec. Others have covered it. Good suggestion about staying in Levis.

Given your time frame, you probably want to head straight on to PEI. Lots of fantastic beach time there. Bring masks and snorkels, and you can chase the lobsters. I recommend the beaches on the north side, Cavendish and Rustico vicinity. All the Green Gables stuff is very touristy -- unless you're a bi fan, I'd give it a miss.

I'm not as familiar with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia... I can recommend Hopewell Rocks and Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

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Old 04-23-2015, 11:46 PM   #6
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Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
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Hi: bpjod... While in the Rustico area you must eat at Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant in N. Rustico PEI. The seafood is heavenly and the dinner rolls like "Manna". Customers actually come in to buy a dozen buns instead of at the bakery across the road!!! Alf
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:44 AM   #7
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Location: Kamloops, British Columbia
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Travelling with a 10 & 11 year old many years ago we enjoyed

National film board in Montreal
Quebec City, old town
Upper Canada village
Fort Henry
A circle tour of Nova Scotia that includes Annapolis valley, Yarmouth, Peggy's cove.
Ottawa, halifax, Charlotte town parliaments
....and other sites mentioned by members

Most of all it was the campgrounds the children enjoyed as the travel is quite extensive...but now a cherished memory
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:20 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 87
Wow! Thanks for all the great replies so far. We'll definitely be spending some time in Ottawa as my aunt works at Parliament and has promised us some tours not only of the popular tourist areas, but also some behind the scenes things we should find interesting.

Thanks so much gabeck for the Quebec City camping suggestion. That's exactly the kind of tips I'm hoping to get! I love Quebec City and since both my parents were born there and a number of the Heritage buildings and sites were our ancestors' (our family history there goes back to the founders), and I haven't been there in about 20 years, it's also on my list to get to. Good tip on the KOA membership too. Recommendations on places to camp are very much appreciated.

Good tip on the mask and snorkels too. We all love to snorkel (wife and I SCUBA dive as well, but won't be on this trip). For some reason I wasn't thinking of bringing them along, duh!

Like some have suggested, I think we'll fly past the prairies as quick as possible - they're so accessible anytime we want anyway. We'll also skip Southern Ontario as we have a lot of family there and have spent a fair bit of time there with the kids already. That area is another trip all on it's own, especially when you have to make time to visit with family.

Thanks again for the tips so far. So many places to see and things to do!
Keep them coming!

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