Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bi-country road trip: Boston to Halifax

See some of the east coasts of bot the US and Canada with this 3-day trip!

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Day 1: Boston- Augusta

Boston, one of the oldest cities in the States, is the capital of Massachussets. It is a city of learning and culture, with a number of schools within the city limits- including, of course, the famous Harvard. There are a number of museums for visiting, some of which include the Museum of Science, the Children's Museum and more. Sports fans should tour Fenway Park, and there is also a Sports Museum!

by Emmanuel Huybrechts Flickr Creative Commons

Heading out of Boston, get on the I-95 and start up the coast, through New Hampshire. The historic port of Portsmouth is a nice spot to stop, a very historically and culturally rich town on the border of New Hampshire and Maine. There are beautiful beaches here as well as a number of museums- a submarine converted into a museum, an American Independence Museum, a Children's Museum and more.

by Doug Kerr Flickr Creative Commons

Continue up the coast of Maine and through several towns such as Biddeford- remember to stop somewhere for some of that famous Maine Lobster! Portland on the coast is home to more than a third of Maine's population and another historical port. It is a haven for foodies, so maybe get your lobster here!

The highway heads away from the coast after Portland. If you want great water activities, head off the route a bit to Sebago Lake- head along Main Street which becomes Cumberland Street then River Road out of Portland. This large lake is great for swimming and boating.

 Sebago Lake
by Lizard10979 Flickr Creative Commons

For Augusta, exit onto ME-11. Augusta is the capital of the state, a small city with plenty of art and nature to see and visit, for example the Pine Tree State Arboretum, the several parks in the city, America's oldest surviving wooden fort and the Maine State Museum. Park up for the night at an RV Park and get some sleep before the next leg of the journey!

Day 2: Augusta- Millinocket

See some of the countryside that Maine is famous for on this drive to Millinocket. Continue on the I-95 north past the many small lakes and through Waterville on the bank of the Kennebec River. Lakes abound along this part of the route, such as Sebasticook Lake and Hermon Pond.

 Kennebec River
by EAWB Flickr Creative Commons

The next city is Bangor, which has a lovely riverfront for strolling as well as lots of nature trails. Shoppers will delight in the city's 2 indoor malls and many shopping centres. Harness racing happens here from May-July, and worth a visit is the Bangor Museum and Centre for History which offers 'Best of Bangor' tours during summer.

Cross the beautiful Piscataquis and Penobscot Rivers and exit onto Medway Road/ME-11 to get to Millinocket, across Dolby Pond. Millinocket is a former mill town and located very close to many lakes, making it the perfect place for those who love the outdoors and outdoor recreation.

 Millinocket- lakeside
by dwstucke Flickr Creative Commons

Day 3: Millinocket- Fredericton

Get back on the I-95 heading north towards Canada, through Island Falls and Oakfield. The city of Houlton is just before the border, where you can see well-preserved Victorian houses from  when the city was extremely wealthy due to potato and logging industries. Canoeing and ATV riding are high on the list of favourite pastimes for locals and visitors, so try them out if you get a chance!

After Houlton, cross the border into Canada- and enjoy the brief moment of being in 2 countries at once! Exit right onto NB-2/ Trans-Canada Highway when you reach the junction and follow along beside the big and beautiful Saint John River. There is an RV Park at Woolastook where you can day park (Or spend the night if you like!) to enjoy the facilities and the river which spreads out here as it turns a corner.

 Saint John River
by Bill Flickr Creative Commons

Fredericton is not too much further along the highway- get off onto NB-8 for the city. It is set on both sides of the river so is wonderfully picturesque and has miles of riverfront trails to meander along! The Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a great way to get a taste of life there in years previous, and the Lighthouse on the Green is the spot for great food, visitor information, a Play and Learn exhibit for the kids, and bike rental.

by Tom Hiltz Flickr Creative Commons

Day 4: Fredericton-Halifax

Head out of Fredericton on the opposite bank of the river to that on which you arrived- following NB-105. Along here is the Portobello Creek National Wildlife Area and Grand Lake Meadow. Soon the road joins back up with NB-2/Trans-Canada Highway.

The next major city is Moncton which is at the base of the Nova Scotia peninsula. This up and coming city is full of things to do- There's the Magic Mountain Water Park, the 280-acre Centennial park in the centre of the city, several beaches and a perplexing natural phenomenon- the Magnetic Hill, in which your car when placed in neutral will roll backwards- seemingly uphill!

by Brian Flickr Creative Commons

Continue on the highway through Sackville on the water, where you will find marshes and coastal cliffs. The Sackville Waterfowl Park is great for bird watchers, and the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre will give visitors a glimpse of Sackville's seafaring past.

 Sackville Marsh
by Chris Campbell Flickr Creative Commons

The Highway will take you through or past several more cities and towns as you proceed onto the peninsula- Amherst, Oxford, Truro. Halifax is quite a drive- right on the outer coast of Nova Scotia. Based around a bustling harbour on a rocky and dramatic coast, it is a lovely place to visit. It is a university town, meaning it has a fun and youthful vibe and there are a lot of festivals and events at various points during the year. If you're lucky, you might be there for the Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Atlantic Fringe Festival, the Nova Scotia Multicultural festival or one of many others. Have a look here for a full list! If you have time left on your holiday, why not explore Nova Scotia using Halifax as a base?

by Brian Flickr Creative Commons

See here for USA RV Rental, or here for Canada RV Rental!

Author: Phil Wright+

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