Maine offers so much for vacation fun by herself.
But her proximity to Atlantic Canada means crossing the International border is so easy and expands your visit to create a two nation vacation. Just roll down your window, ask a few easy questions and hand over the paperwork. Then you are on your way and in another country.
Too many blog posts on travel concerning Maine have tried to squeeze the most out of a quick dash 48 hours in and out of Southern Maine. But those blog posts that are directional tractor beam designed to pull from the Boston Metro forget what if you already live in Maine? If you don’t have to fight the traffic in southern New England to waste precocious off time to weave your way carefully in and out of stop and go traffic. To high tail it from a urban city setting to get to wide open rural Maine.
But when you live in Maine, say the center of the state around Brownville Junction, in the area around Milo or Dover Foxcroft, you can easily have some exciting day trips.
You are already in Maine. Not a lot of precious time eaten up just getting into the Pine Tree State and to reverse directions back out quickly. To sample Maine recreational outdoor entertainment before the return to the rat races outside of Maine.
Canada is our friendly neighbor. Mainers are related to those on the other side of the US – Canadian border and we grow up visiting our over home cousins.
rips to PEI happen when you live in Maine. So does travel to Quebec City. And Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Maritime provinces is another international location to vacation as you share what both sides of the border offers.
In my day job I will get asked a lot is it dangerous being this close to Canada when you live on the Maine border.
Heck no. Fear of the unknown when you don’t grow up near Canada may be part of the uneasiness. That is usually caused by statements made by people who have never been to either Maine or Canada. But Johnny on the Spot anyway to give there two cents based on not very much actual knowledge.
Try it out for yourself. Cross that Canadian border and see what awaits near Maine. And the same advice for our Canadian cousins who love to beeline to Old Orchard, Wells, the other beaches especially.
Remember, it is hard to be an expert on a new area if you have not stepped foot in the area. If you have no frame of reference or history to draw from and share with others.
Nova Scotia, New Scotland became self governing in 1848.
A half dozen colonial wars created some neat forts and classy armaments to make them effective. More on the early history of Nova Scotia. Seems the Scottish headed to the Cape Breton Highlands and did not fill major portions of the early days if you got an impression from the New Scotland title that things would play out differently.
You’ll see the plaid kilts, hear the bagpipes and think of Brave-heart. When the military demonstrations in the enactments happen at the forts, but Scottish imprinting is not going to hit you everywhere you turn.
You may visit the Titanic wreck cemetery grave site, learn about the harbor explosion a couple years later that caused two thousand deaths, shattered so many windows back in 1917.
See the black and white photos of the heroes in the events that shaped Nova Scotia that are proudly displayed. And like many power
struggles when new governments want to control who runs a land, Nova Scotia Canada is no different. Had some back and forth pushing and shoving to exert authority among the usual cast of nations with strong naval forces. Read more than the skim that happened when you were a kid holding a history book. Get the page two, rest of the story with the local color, the background of the what, why, where, when.
Halifax, the capital features one very prominent star shaped Citadel used for efficient protection from attackers how tried through out history to take over the government.
Victorian public gardens, a harbor boardwalk and ferry service to Dartmouth and other points are just part of the attraction to this area of Atlantic Canada. Adrian the tour guide working with the driver skippering the Harbor Hopper #6 said relations with Dartmouth across the harbor were a little strained.
In his mic presentation while hanging on in the sway of the street turns with his other free hand, he relayed the good news that both communities are lead now under a mayor from Dartmouth. Working together has taken a lot of work but is gaining traction. What was the initial cause of the cold shoulder between the two harbor towns? Something about a ratty looking European vessel that was not allowed in the Halifax Harbor. Turned away so it drifted across the channel, to be secured by thick boat ropes to pilings in Dartmouth.
Beaches are an attraction in Nova Scotia Canada.
There are over 40 beaches to visit. Being a peninsula and have several offshore islands, Nova Scotia is a playground for paddling in a kayak, splashing in the waves while swimming or just admiring the lighthouses, puffins, seals and all the maritime activities out on the water as you soak up the sun on a sandy beach.
Crystal Beach, Peggy’s Cove are a couple destinations to make sure to visit. When you are a point of land, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, parked in the Bay of Fundy and have a large collection of islands, you need lighthouses. Lots of them like the one at Peggy’s Cove for example pictured below.
Take it home. Capture it with your camera to help remember the memory making and post those images to entice others to red rover red rover come on over to the land of the maple leaf. Have a waffle cone ice cream and pick up a knick knack for your Christmas tree, a magnet for your refrigerator, a photo for your fireplace mantel.
Sample the sea food, take in the coastal sights, fill your lungs with Nova Scotia harbor marine air. Extreme ocean tides happen in the Bay of Fundy too. Watching whales from aboard a tour boat is just one more vacation option on how best to spend your day in Nova Scotia. Have a tin of pop, some made by a local brewery and sit on a terrace or along the boardwalk taking in the sights. No thank you to the dulse.
Tour the sixteen acre park with ponds, a Titanic small scale boat, flowers of all colors as you sit and reflect on a bench. Tour the public gardens, consider what Nova Scotia was like, is now and where she is headed.
But never forget about the million immigrants who sailed to this new land, a better place. Learn about Pier 21, read and hear about the stories from historic records of those who thought of Halifax as an “Ellis Island” port of entry to a better place.
Lots to sum up and it takes extra time, more trips into Canada to absorb and collect. Which is easier when you are already deep into the heart of Maine for a jump off point.
Come to Maine to vacation but don’t feel you can not straddle the border. Go back and forth. Don’t let the customs and immigration border crossing process hold you back. From missing out what lies on each side of the line. The best of both sides of the international division can be combined for a richer experience when you make time to experience what each country, state, province has to offer.
When vacationing in Canada, feel free to include events and activities on the Maine side of the dotted boundary line too for a true two nation vacation. Post those pictures, share the experience online so others can know the true flavor of both sides of the two nation vacation.
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