You are probably here because you asked for recommendation of things I did on my trip out east, so without further ado.
We started off in Hamilton and drove to Montreal to pick up a friend (5.5hr) and stopped for a quick lunch at a Québecois classic.
A chain restaurant that serves up the poutine I think about when I think about poutine. The submarine (buncha meats and veggies and french dressing) is what I used to get after school and is either delicious or nostalgic or both.
After lunch, we began our drive towards Métis-sur-mer for our friend’s wedding (6.5hr).
We stayed in cabins at Domaine Annie, which was recommended by our friends who were getting married. The chalets had an amazing view of the St. Lawrence river and was just a few steps from the rocky beach.
We ate at Le Matelot, a well-loved seafood restaurant – it was okay (3.5/5), good seafood but nothing mindblowing. We also ate at a casse croute called “Place Petit Miami” at the intersection of Rue Beach and Route 132. Just a regular snack-bar, but coming from Toronto, a $3 cheeseburger is an anomaly and I wouldn’t have even been mad if they had brought out a plate of dirt. I had my first lobster roll here ($12 with fries).
Next, we drove out to Forillon National Park (4hr) to hike Cap Bon Ami, the tip of Quebec’s “tongue”.
Entrance fee was $7.50pp. Hike was moderate but we were lucky to have cooler weather (15 degrees) so we weren’t burning on the way up. We hiked up to a observation tower that gave you 360 degree views of Gaspesian coast.
After our hike, we drove to Percé to spend the night (45 minutes).
Apparently this rock is super famous, but I had never heard of it. Look at how the sun hits the rock at sunset. This magical moment lasted barely a half hour.
Because the sun sets in the west, the rays spray across the sky turning it a cotton candy colour which is then reflected in the water. Sitting along the pebble beach with ice cream cones in 9 degree weather was serene, beautiful, and an almost mystical experience.
I heard that tourists to Percé take day trips out to Bonaventure island.
Dinner at Comptoir Monsieur Emile. It was fancy (a bit pricey) and they use all local and seasonal ingredients. We were dressed in hiking gear but as I’ve learned from my asian family, my money is as good as anyone else’s. The food was A+, the view is A++.
Our airbnb was the HIGHLIGHT of our trip. The hosts of the bed and breakfast also sled huskies in the winter so they live on the property. They slept just outside our window and we got to play with the puppies. The host also made us a wonderful breakfast in the morning where we got to eat with other travellers staying there.
The next morning we drove to Shediac (6.5 hr) to spend 5 minutes taking photos with a giant lobster.
Next was Hopewell Rocks (1hr).
If you go during low tides (pictured above), you can walk on the ocean floor. Bay of Fundy has the world’s highest tides, so during high tide, you can rent kayaks to paddle around the rocks. You can find the times for high and low tide on the website.
We then drove to the Tidal Bore Rafting Resort (2h45m) where we were staying the night.
We arrived at 11pm, which is a shame because the facilities were so amazing. I wish we could have spent several days here. Super clean, safe, fire pit, bbq.
The next day, we went out tidal rafting on the resort. While I couldn’t bring a phone (and you wouldn’t want to anyway) here’s a video of what it’s like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX7NXCH7zJo
- When they offer you the spare shoes to wear, take them. You walk into the water with them, so you don’t want your shoes to be soaking wet and take 2 days to dry (like I did).
- When they say the entire boat fills with water… it does. At some points, the water level was up to my chest.
- The water, while it looks like chocolate milk, tastes like sea water.
- SUPER FUN
Next, we drove to Halifax (1hr).
We stopped at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market for the best lobster roll I had all trip from Gold Water. $17 for lobster roll and chips (or salad). FULL of fresh lobster in a buttery roll. UGH. So good.
Took a day trip out to Peggy’s cove (45m one way).
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE.
Picturesque, can’t even take a bad picture here. So serene. Lots of tourists but still tranquil. At least it was for us. The drive up to the lighthouse has such an alien terrain.
For dinner, we had donairs at King of Donair and Tony’s Donair and Pizza. Can’t leave Halifax without having them. They’re like spiced doner kabobs with a sweet garlic sauce. I prefer King of Donair, but Tony’s has a crispier pita. Both are good, KoD sells meat and sauce so that you can take home and recreate (which I did). Kept everything on ice until we made it back to Toronto.
We stayed the night in Halifax, but before we left, we went to The Canteen for a Crobster Roll (Crab and Lobster) in Dartmouth. It was full and buttery and had lots of dill. Pricy (I think it was $22 after tax and tip for just the sandwich). Not worth the price but good nonetheless.
If you’re going between Halifax and Dartmouth, pay the $1 to cross the toll bridge and save yourself 30 minutes of going around.
The next few days called for rain, so we decided to get a jump on it, and hiked the Skyline Trail (5hr) on Cape Breton island before the rain.
I would consider the trail pretty easy. Well paved with loose gravel, wide, mostly flat, and the payoff of the wide Atlantic is pretty fantastic.
We stayed the night in Sydney with family (2h30m).
My cousin took us to Black Spoon Bistro in North Sydney because I asked her to take us for the best seafood chowder and gosh darnit this was the best seafood chowder I’d ever had. Very reasonable prices. I need a place like this back home.
Apparently the Lobster Pound nearby also has amazing seafood chowder (recommended by locals).
The next day, we headed back to the Cabot Trail (1h45m).
We hiked the Franey Trail. This trail was DIFFICULT. I was huffing and puffing. Steep staircase climbs. We didn’t do the loop, just to out to the lookout and back and it was still 8km. The views were fantastic with well appreciated wind at the second lookout. The pictures don’t do it justice here.
We stayed the night at an “equipped camping” site offered by Parks Canada at Ingonish Beach. For $70, they provide all the equipment you require – tent, cooking equipment, firepit, utensils, etc. You just need to provide your sleeping accoutrements and food. We forgot to bring a pillow (big mistake) and sleeping on the thin sleeping pads kind of sucked. An air mattress would be better.
For $100, you can get an otentik , which was bigger (more cabin-y), sturdier, seems more comfortable, sleeps six, and actually has mattresses and a door. I would recommend that.
The next day, it was time to head home. We stopped by Lick-a-chick for lunch after going to Cabot’s Landing (just a quick monument)
With a name like this, we had to go in. The fries were nostalgic, the chicken was reminiscent of KFC but less salty. BUT the chicken was so soft.
That was the end of the trip and it was time to go home. We took one last small hike to see some waterfalls at Victoria Park (4h).
Short and sweet hike (1.8km round trip) that was nice for us to stretch our legs. An easy hike, paved, and had lots of families.
We stayed the night in Fredericton (4h) and ate at St. Mary’s Fish and Chips. $13 for 3 pieces of fish, an upgraded side (deep fried pickles) and coleslaw. The man behind the counter was SO nice, and the fish was meaty, well battered, delicious. I wouldn’t travel far for it, but if you’re in Fredericton, I would definitely recommend.
The next morning, we went to see another giant attraction – the World’s Largest Axe in Nackawic (45m) which was on our way home.
Set in a beautiful park and very big.
I then dropped my friend off in Montreal (8h) and then just drove the rest of the way home to Toronto (6h).
If you have any questions, please reach out.