Road-testing Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

The Algonquin Resort recently reopened after a massive refurbishment. Photo courtesy of the Algonquin Resort.

The Algonquin Resort recently underwent a massive refurbishment. Photo courtesy of the Algonquin Resort.

Today, we begin another exciting Live Report here on From the Deck Chair: a weeklong journey through the Canadian maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

This journey has a bit of a twist: there’s no cruise involved. Instead, we’ve got a week of exploration planned within these two Canadian provinces, both of which should be no strangers to fans of the Canada & New England cruises that are so popular at this time of year. I myself am no stranger to their charms, having sailed three separate itineraries to the eastern seaboard of these two countries.

Be sure to visit beautiful Peggy's Cove while in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Be sure to visit beautiful Peggy’s Cove while in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo © Aaron Saunders

But to really get to know a place, you have to spend time there – and both Provinces have been on my personal wish list for a while now. Over the course of the next week, we’ll guide you along from one end to the other on a journey that begins in Halifax and ends in the picturesque city of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.

The full itinerary, both here and on-land:

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At the heart of this trip is the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, which first opened its doors 124 years ago. During that time, it has seen stars, dignitaries and ordinary people just like you and me pass through its doors, and this year it is being given a massive refurbishment after its acquisition as part of Marriott’s luxurious Autograph Collection of boutique hotels.

The refurbishment is so new that the Resort isn’t actually open to the public yet. We’re being given a sneak-peek of the property – which I can share with all of you here, on From the Deck Chair.

The Liscombe Lodge is secluded in beautiful Liscombe Mills, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of Liscombe Lodge

The Liscombe Lodge is secluded in beautiful Liscombe Mills, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of Liscombe Lodge

All the other properties on our list – including the historic Algonquin – are managed by Connecticut-based Newcastle Hotels & Resorts. Under their umbrella are 27 properties ranging from Hiltons to Marriott’s that can accommodate a total of 4,279 guests on any given day of the week. That’s the technical part. The cool part, though, is that Newcastle also represents several boutique, independent hotels – which is where the Liscombe Lodge, Keltic Lodge, and Digby Pines come in.

Even our starting base –the Westin Nova Scotian, one of the best properties in Halifax – is managed by Newcastle Hotels.

Just like a good cruise, a good land tour is nothing without unique experiences ashore – which is why, during the course of our road trip, we’re going to embark on some interesting adventures.

Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo © Aaron Saunders

We’re going to tour two breweries: Big Spruce Brewery in Nyanza, and the Glenora Distillery. The latter makes their own single malt whiskey, while the former makes – as you might have guessed – hand-crafted beers. Since I’m driving a car on this trip (and a rental, at that!), I’ll hopefully be able to take some samples in a “to-go” bag to enjoy later.

We’re also going to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum  in Baddeck. Bell was an inventor who gave the world the first practical telephone, and he retired to Beinn Bhreagh, not far from Baddeck, Nova Scotia. As such, the museum houses numerous artifacts and exhibits related not only to Bell, but also to his time spent in Canada.

Near the end of our Maritimes Adventure, we'll set out on an Off-Kilter Bike Tour! Photo courtesy of Off-Kilter Bike.

Near the end of our Maritimes Adventure, we’ll set out on an Off-Kilter Bike Tour! Photo courtesy of Off-Kilter Bike.

There’s also some other neat adventures planned, like enjoying cheese and port wines by the fire, several different hikes, whale watching on the Petite Passage, a sunset sail, and an Off-Kilter Bike Tour. What is an off-kilter bike tour, you ask? Well, it’s a bicycle tour with one very special twist: you have to wear a kilt while riding. And, presumably, shorts. But it’s something that’s generating a huge buzz out on the East Coast, so, When In Rome! We also get to sail – briefly – aboard the Princess of Acadia as she makes her way from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick.

So stay tuned – our weeklong Maritime Adventure starts now!

Our Live Trip Report continues tomorrow, as we report from Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Westin Nova Scotian! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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