Can anything in N.S. compare with the Hopewell Rocks?
February 21, 2011 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Dreaming of a maritime summer - Is the Nova Scotia side of Bay of Fundy as awesome as the New Brunswick side?

I'm taking my recently immigrated, desert-raised husband to the Canadian East Coast this summer for a couple of weeks. I've been before so I have a pretty good handle on what we should see and what gets a pass.

But the one area of Nova Scotia I've never been to is the Bay of Fundy - I've seen it from the New Brunswick side (Hopewell Rocks and Bay of Fundy Park), but that is pretty far out of our way since I wasn't planning on spending time in New Brunswick this time around.

1. If you've been to the Nova Scotia Bay of Fundy coast, how does it compare? The trade off would be a whole day or day and a half of NS Bay of Fundy exploration versus a quick, couple of hours visit to the park in NB (based on the rest of our itinerary).

2. If Nova Scotia has some hidden (or not so hidden) natural gems along the Bay that makes it worth the sacrifice, what are they?

3. If you have ever rafted the tidal bores, was it worth it? Worth scheduling around or simply if the tidal timing happens to work? Is it suitable for my (young-at-heart) 66 yr old mother?

Thanks! Any Bay of Fundy advice is appreciated.
posted by scrute to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This Halls Harbour webcam is one of two at this site and includes a 24-hour history so you get a sense of the place. I'd go there in a heartbeat, especially if the tide times would work for you and I'd eat lobster. YMMV
posted by Anitanola at 6:19 PM on February 21, 2011

1. The area of NS that borders the Bay of Fundy is beautiful; probably my favourite region of NS. I've never been to that part of NB or the park.

2. The NS side does have some adorable little towns that would be worth stopping in. Specifically I guess the area around Kentville, Wolfville (home of Acadia University) and Windsor (birthplace of hockey). I think you'd be pretty close to Grand Pre historical site that memorializes the expulsion of the Acadians and Longfellow's poem Evangeline. Don't forget the food - scallops, blueberries, apples, depending on the season. Also Joggins has some interesting fossil deposits.

3. I've never seen the tides myself but during my time working in tourism in NS, we didn't advise people to go because those that did thought it was boring (get it? tidal bores? boring? but they really did say that). I would say that your mother could certainly do it, but it's not worth it.

Depending where you're coming from (Halifax or PEI and even Quebec), getting to and from the NS Bay of Fundy is way easier than driving all the way down to NB so you'd have more time to sight see and could get a little farther down the coast. It also has a slew of bed-and-breakfasts and the NS tourism website makes it really easy to find them.
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:52 PM on February 21, 2011

Halls Harbour Webcam should be a link.
posted by Anitanola at 8:03 PM on February 21, 2011

I haven't done it yet, but you should try tidal bore rafting. You should check out the Minas Basin, which it the far eastern end of the Bay of Fundy. It fills and empties again every 12 hours. It may just blow your mind. Get on route 215 and just drive it.

Digby and Brier Island are nice in the summer.

I've spent almost no time on the New Brunswick side, but as a Bluenoser, I would say the Nova Scotian side is probably more awesome.
posted by Brodiggitty at 4:04 AM on February 22, 2011

The Annapolis Royal Generating Station is the only tidal power generator in North America. It's located near, surprisingly enough, Annapolis Royal, site of a 1605 French settlement, making it one of the earliest European settlements in the New World. Port Royal was the capital of the French Acadian settlement.

Speaking of which, up the road a ways is the Grand Pré National Historic Site, featuring a monument to Evangeline and memorializing the Expulsion of the Acadians. Lots of history in that part of the country.
posted by valkyryn at 6:50 AM on February 22, 2011

I haven't been to the New Brunswick side, but I wouldn't waste my time driving to it. Some parts of teh Bay of Fundy in NS can be delightfully empty of tourists. Digby is beautiful. The Joggins cliffs are super neat, and Cape Split is spectacular - if you have the time for a 5 hour hike. I recommend going to Cape Split when the tide is low.
posted by Gor-ella at 7:30 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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