Eastern Canada Tops for Summer Vacations

Written by  Stillman Rogers

USA
Clients looking for cool summer getaways close to home can have a “foreign” vacation in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. The lively French-speaking cities of Montreal and Quebec offer all the urban cultural and entertainment options, as well as fine dining and a European feel.
The world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy provide neighboring New Brunswick with plenty of natural attractions, and Gulf Stream waters give it the warmest swimming beaches north of Virginia. More beaches line peaceful Prince Edward Island’s shore, while Nova Scotia is fringed by charming coastal villages. Newfoundland has a far-away feel, and dramatic coastal scenery that rivals the Norwegian fjords.

Montreal
By contrast, Montreal, the largest city in the Province, has a vibrant contemporary ambiance that’s still unmistakably French (www.tourisme-montreal.org). Its downtown has some of the finest modern architecture in North America, and is a paradise for dedicated shoppers. On the repurposed waterfront, Pointe-â-Callière is a museum that invites travelers to literally step back in time and walk original streets of the Old Port. The Museum of Fine Arts will delight art-loving clients, while nature lovers won’t want to miss the outstanding Botanic Garden or the ecosystem wonders at the Biodome.

NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick provided a home for loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, and clients can visit several historic sites with connections to that era, including the museum village of Kings Landing (www. kingslanding.nb.ca). The province’s greatest attraction is its beautiful coastline, most of which is along the Bay of Fundy, famed for the world’s highest tides. Fundy National Park is a spectacular outdoor destination for hikers, birders, cyclists and nature lovers. Be sure clients don’t miss seeing Hopewell Rocks, giant flowerpot-shaped rocks sculpted by the powerful Fundy tides.
www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca
Suggest clients set sights on the charming old seaside resort of St. Andrews, the historic port town of Saint John or the miles of golden beaches along the Northumberland Strait. This beautiful area has a heavy French influence dating back to the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, the same migration that brought the “Cajuns” to Louisiana.

NOVA SCOTIA
Across the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia has a heavy English flavor liberally flavored by the Scots who migrated here (www.novascotia.com). Antigonish holds its 154th annual Highland Games July 2-9, and Celtic Colours International Festival is set for October 6-14 on Cape Breton Island, at the Province’s eastern end. Historic Halifax, the capital and cultural center, is a lively destination filled with history, museums and Celtic music. An annual highlight is the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, in 2017 from June 29 to July 6.
Nature and beach lovers should seek out Kejimkujic National Park for its hiking trails and beautiful beaches on the Atlantic. Nova Scotia’s rocky southern shore is dotted by fishing and seafaring towns such as Yarmouth, Shelburne and Peggy’s Cove. The Cabot Trail is a scenic drive around Cape Breton Island, where clients can also find the completely restored Fortress of Louisbourg, the largest historic restoration in North America (www.fortressoflouisbourg.ca).
A high speed ferry carries passengers and cars from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (www.ferries.ca/thecat), and another ferry crosses from St John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Connected to New Brunswick by bridge and to Nova Scotia by ferry, Prince Edward Island is a gentle green land ringed by the sea (www.tourismpei.com). Its northern beaches in PEI National Park are warmed by the Gulf Stream, and the island is a bicyclists dream. The Confederation Trail stretches 171 miles from Tignish to Elmira and side trails bring the total to 272 miles.
Charlottetown, its lively little capital, is where Canada was founded in 1864, and the north shore is called “Anne Country” - it’s where PEI author Lucy Maude Montgomery created the Anne of Green Gables novels. For an added treat clients can take a ferry from Souris on the eastern tip of the island to the Isles de la Madelaine, a group of sandy islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence that are part of Quebec (www.tourismeilesdelamadeleine.com).

Quebec
The Province of Quebec, where the French presence in North America began in 1608, is the very heart of French culture in North America. Travelers love to savor the Old World atmosphere as they stroll through Quebec’s historic streets and walk the ramparts of the only walled city in North America.
www.quebecregion.com
The famed Chateau Frontenac and the adjacent Promenade Samuel De Champlain dominate the bluff overlooking the St Lawrence River and Vieux Quebec. Now a Fairmont Hotel, Chateau Frontenac is sure to please clients with its sumptuous rooms and glorious views.www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec
The nearby 4-star Hôtel Manoir Victoria is home to the outstanding Chez Boulay-bistro boreal, a pioneer in innovative cuisine using ingredients from northern climates.
www.manoir-victoria.com
A short distance east of Québec, the spectacular Montmorency Falls and the Ile de Orleans, where a food trail takes visitors to taste local wines, cheeses, and other treats, provide a day of adventure in the countryside.

New Foundland & Labrador
The most northern of the Atlantic provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador is both Canada’s oldest settlement and newest province, a land of magnificent landscapes and exceptionally friendly people (www.newfoundlandlabrador.com). Its capital, St. John’s (warn clients not to confuse it with the New Brunswick city of Saint John, especially if they are flying there) is a charming, down-to-earth small city with a slightly colonial feel. At its heart, George Street claims the most breweries, bars and pubs per square foot of any city in North America. The big social events of the year are the George Street Festival (July 27 to August 2) and the Quidi Vidi Regatta, the oldest sporting event in North America.
In western Newfoundland, Gros Morne National Park is a 697-square-mile natural wonderland of dramatic fjords cut deep into the mountains, scenic coastline and geologic sites where the earth’s mantle is exposed. Farther north, along the Viking trail, clients can watch whales spout and giant icebergs float past as they drive to the L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, where the Vikings established the first European settlement in the North America.

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