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Author Topic: Maine/Maritimes Trip  (Read 2039 times)

Mdcastle

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Maine/Maritimes Trip
« on: June 25, 2014, 12:19:54 PM »

Going to be driving from Boston to Sydney, NS by way of the ferry on the way down and Prince Edward Island on the way back. Will I need Canadian money for bridge tolls in Halifax (or in general, are credit cards widely accepted in the area?) Is Halifax to Antigonish a long and tedious drive (like CA 1)? Thinking about taking this rather than the freeway. Since the Maritimes apparently don't believe in rest areas what do you do when you nee to take a break from the road?
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oscar

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 01:08:01 PM »

Going to be driving from Boston to Sydney, NS by way of the ferry on the way down and Prince Edward Island on the way back. Will I need Canadian money for bridge tolls in Halifax (or in general, are credit cards widely accepted in the area?) Is Halifax to Antigonish a long and tedious drive (like CA 1)? Thinking about taking this rather than the freeway. Since the Maritimes apparently don't believe in rest areas what do you do when you nee to take a break from the road?

If you're thinking about NS 7 as an alternative to NS 102 and TCH 104 -- NS 7 is slow but scenic along the coast (but nothing like CA 1 between Monterey and Morro Bay or Mendocino and the Golden Gate Bridge), faster but more tedious between the coast and Antigonish.

I don't know about credit cards at the Halifax tolls -- I just paid in Canadian cash.  U.S.-issued cards usually don't have the "chip and PIN" technology used in Canada, which means that sometimes you won't be able to pay at the pump, or do other self-service credit card transactions, and will need human assistance to make a payment.  But U.S.-issued cards do work at the self-service lane on the Confederation Bridge toll out of PEI (the least they can do, considering the ~C$40 toll leaving PEI -- entering PEI is free either by bridge or ferry, but you have to pay to leave).  Also, very few places in Canada take Discover, and I'm not sure about American Express (the former is my favorite card, I don't have AmEx), but Mastercard and Visa are generally accepted except at places that don't take credit cards at all.

You can probably get away with never using Canadian cash for a short visit (the Halifax bridge tolls might be an exception), but if you need to pay cash rather than credit, you'll get an unfavorable exchange rate for using U.S. cash where it's accepted at all.  I've never tried, since I visit Canada often enough that I exchange for more Canadian cash than I'll need and save anything left over for the next trip.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 02:43:35 PM »

Do they take bitcoin?
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1995hoo

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 03:56:07 PM »

I've seldom had any problem using American Express in Canada.

I've found the best option for getting cash is to find out whether your bank has a relationship with a Canadian bank whereby they agree not to charge each other's account holders ATM fees. Last time we were in Nova Scotia, for example, Bank of America had that sort of deal with Scotiabank. Worth knowing about if such an option is available. I avoid using US currency in Canada except at places right near the border that get so much US money that they often give change in US money. (I've been to a few fast food places that have double-width cash drawers for this reason.)

Distances in the Maritimes look short, but travel times are often a bit longer than US citizens are used to because you're not on Interstate-grade roads most of the time. But if you have time when you're on Cape Breton Island, you should make an effort to drive the Cabot Trail. Hugely scenic drive, absolutely worth the extra time.
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Mdcastle

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 07:10:52 PM »

We probably won't have time to do the Cabot trail since my sister wants to go to some of the Celtic Colors events. But the basic plan is this:
Day 1: Fly into Boston, spend the night in the suburbs west of town.
Day 2: Drive to Portland by backtracking south of town to pick up I-95 where I left it to to on I-93 five years ago, drive around the beltway and see Salem
Night 2: Take the ferry to Yarmouth. The won't accept reservations until my sister gets her passport so I'm hoping getting us and our car on won't be an issue.
Day 3: Drive to Halifax, spend the afternoon and night there.
Day 4, Drive to Sydney
Day 5 Sydney
Day 6: Drive to Charlottetown
Day 7 Cavendish
Day 8, 9 Drive back to Boston

Anyone know if Wells Fargo has any agreements with ATMs? Non-ritzy places to get lobster along the route?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 07:22:35 PM by Mdcastle »
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froggie

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 10:26:27 PM »

Quote
Non-ritzy places to get lobster along the route?

Most restaurants on Prince Edward Island.  Also good (and local) mussels on PEI.  Don't remember the names of them offhand, but we ate at restaurants in New Glasgow, Cardigan, and Montague while we were visiting the island.
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oscar

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Re: Maine/Maritimes Trip
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 10:55:11 PM »

Quote
Non-ritzy places to get lobster along the route?

Most restaurants on Prince Edward Island.  Also good (and local) mussels on PEI.  Don't remember the names of them offhand, but we ate at restaurants in New Glasgow, Cardigan, and Montague while we were visiting the island.

At the other end of the spectrum, you might encounter a McLobster sandwich at some McDonald's in the Maritimes.  Don't even think of it. 

Maine is the land of the lobster roll, sometimes sold at roadside food trucks.
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