The Next Trip: Eastern Canada

road trip route
In what is becoming an annual thing for me, I’ll be starting on another North American road trip soon. Compared to my road trip around the western US and Canada last fall, this should be relatively short.

I am pretty apprehensive about this trip. My father left the hospital this week was placed in a nursing home/rehabilitation facility. He is no longer on dialysis, had his tracheotomy tube removed and has been breathing on his own for a few weeks now. He is still very weak however, and has issues with his memory. He can’t seem to remember anything beyond a few hours and thinks he was in the hospital because he was in a car accident. Right now we are just hoping he gets stronger so he can have the heart surgery he needs.

I’ve talked to my mom about it and she agrees that I should go. If something should happen while I’m gone, I’m no more than one long day of driving from my dad.

My plan for the east coast trip is to basically make a giant loop around the Great Lakes, with most of my time being spent in the Maritime provinces. I’ll be gone most of August. One of the reasons I’m doing this trip is because I’ve never been to the New Englands states or the Maritime Provinces. It is the one part of North American I’ve never really explored. Depending on how long it takes, I might swing through Minneapolis to attend the wedding reception for my college roommate.

Several highlights of this trip will be:

  • The National Mall and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. The Air and Space Museum is one of my favorite in the world.
  • I’ll be meeting with some travel industry people in New York and Boston.
  • The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
  • Some spectacular photos in Newfoundland
  • The French Territory of St. Pierre off the coast of Newfoundland.
  • Visiting the old parts of Quebec City and Montreal
  • Mackinac Island in Michigan. I haven’t been there since I was a kid.

I’ll also be able to get some photos for 10 World Heritage Sites, 8 of which I’ve never visited before:

  • Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
  • Independence Hall, Pennsylvania
  • The Statue of Liberty, New York
  • Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Nova Scotia
  • Old Town Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
  • Gross Morne National Park, Newfoundland
  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Newfoundland
  • Miguasha National Park, New Brunswick
  • Historic District of Old Quebec
  • Rideau Canal, Ontario

These will be a huge step towards my long term goal of writing a photo book about about 250 World Heritage Sites. I’m almost half way there :)

If you live anywhere along my route and would like to meet up, feel free to drop me a line.

31 thoughts on “The Next Trip: Eastern Canada”

  1. Hello,
    I just discovered your site and I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I just wanted to let you know then if/when you come to Ottawa, I would be more than happy to meet up with you if you have time!
    Keep up the good work, and enjoy the lobster in the maritimes!

  2. I’m also doing a three week tour of the Maritimes in August – but I’m hitting all the places you aren’t. I plan to bike PEI, check out the Iles de la Madeleine ( & try a little kite surfing) – about a 5 hour ferry ride from PEI ,and finish with a weeks biking along the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. I look forward to lobster & scallops at $5.99/lb. Newfoundland’s people are some of the friendliest on the planet. Look for the book – Where to Eat in Canada – and it will take you to some hidden gems all over the Maritmes. Great restaurant at L’Anse aux Meadows. Lived in Wolfville, NS one summer & used to love the hike to Cape Split.
    Chester, Lunenburg & Peggy’s Cove are all worthy of your time.
    Very sorry to hear about your father’s recent passing.

  3. Gary, I really think you should add Toronto to your itinerary. You have many friends here!

  4. Looks like your map passes through my hometown, Amherst, MA. I’m in Europe, but if you would like any tips for the Pioneer Valley (Western MA), feel free to send me an email…

  5. Is there any way you could add to your travel plan? If you like driving along the ocean and seeing beautiful scenery, you should really add the Gaspe coast to your trip. I’ve traveled all through eastern Canada and it has some of the most spectacular coastline scenery I’ve ever seen. There are miles and miles of coastline and some wonderful little villages and towns.

    If you decide to include it in your trip, when you come up from New Brunswick to Quebec, turn east instead of going through the Matapedia Valley. Drive all around the coast and it will bring you back to St. Flave on the north shore of the peninsula, where the road from Matapedia connects.

    The drive can be quite comfortable done in 2 days and still provide you with time for several stops. I would make it longer, however, and allow more time to stop and explore.

    Enjoy your trip, regardless!


  6. Little late, but be sure to check out the Lakes Region in New Hampshire- looks like you’re just sticking near the highway but you won’t be far off!

  7. That must have been a blast. I have relatives that lived in Montreal and Quebec for a while. I’d like to get up that way into the French portions of Canada.
    I also love your site and would like to add a travel element to my basic blog, which would allow me to post a lot of unique pictures. Suggestions Gary?

  8. Hey Gary,
    We’re currently in Montreal, let us know if you need a place to crash or want to grab a coffee/drink!

  9. If you ever need tips on where to eat in Montreal or other things, let me know. I’ve lived there my whole life, I know a few places.


  10. I’d be quite happy to meet up and help you save $15 on parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center, if my schedule allows. And I went to the University of Virginia, so I can give you some tips about Charlottesville. Please do get in touch; it would be an honor to aid you in your travels!

  11. Looks like you’ll be coming right through my area of central Ontario when you head north around Georgian Bay. If you plan to stop in Orillia, drop me a line.

  12. Hasn’t been too bad so far SpunkyGirl, some days have been warm but overral its been ok. Nights are perfect with a nice breeze. I think your making the right decision Gary in making a trip where you are near home. I’ll keep your father in my prayers.

  13. I see you are going to drive around the lower peninsula of Michigan, but if you ever are in the Detroit area, I’d really like to meet you. I love the daily photos, but am excited you’ll be back on the road again.

  14. Make sure you go to the Udvar Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space Center. The other is cool, but a bit dated. Hazy is near Dulles.

      • That’s the first full weekend where Bank of America cardholders get free admission to many museums, like Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, I’ll be there this weekend and will have to pay to enter such a fine museum.

  15. Hey Gary!
    I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and my parents have a cottage less than 30mins from lunenberg ! Let me know when you are in town! :)

  16. Have fun! I currently live in Ottawa but am from Québec City and there are a lot of wonderful places in Ontario and Québec. If you drive on the 132, the scenic route between Montréal and Québec City, stop in Gentilly, my hometown, for the best poutine in the white and red chip wagon (called La Roulotte à Patates)! =)

  17. Enjoy Eastern Canada, the weather can get pretty hot and sticky over that way. Quebec and Newfoundland are gorgeous!

  18. Gary-
    I enjoy following you on Twitter and reading your blog. First, my best to you at this difficult time–I wish you the best for your Dad.
    I’ve hit all 50 states and all but two Canadian Provinces. No trip in North America makes me look at a map and wonder “how did I do that?” more than the one I took through the Maritimes in 97. Great, great experience. Love National Parks in general, and was stunned by Gros Morne.
    While you’re welcome to check out my blog, I haven’t gotten around to snipping out my own travel writing and loading it in there, though I’ve thought about it (so, this is not a shameless promotion of it :) ).
    Have a great trip.

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