Exploring Canada

Exploring Canada

By CAROLYN VITTNER

We recently had an assignment to cover golf in two of the Maritimes of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Being such a good spouse, I volunteered to go with my golf-writing husband and cover some of the places we visited.

The first stop on our trip was New Brunswick at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in Fredericton. This beautiful historic hotel located in the center of town and walking distance to many shops and restaurants in the area. Next door to the hotel is Isaac’s Way. On their deck overlooking the St. John River is where we enjoyed our dinner that first evening. The weather was lovely so we walked a few blocks where we enjoyed live entertainment at Officer’s Park. In addition to their summer season concerts, this old heritage area features changing of the guard, complete with cannons and bagpipes; definitely a must-see. This was a great beginning to our vacation.

The next day we drove to the town of Saint John where we took a three-hour ferry ride to our next destination in Digby, Nova Scotia. We arrived at the right time, as the village was celebrating their annual Lobster Bash. This festival includes contests, demonstrations and competitions galore. Live entertainment and fireworks that night all added to this fun event.

Our accommodations that evening were at the 4-star Digby Pines Resort & Spa. This gem is located just five minutes away from the ferry and features 85 guest rooms and 31 guest cottages. The Churchill Restaurant is located in the lower level of the hotel overlooking their property. After dining on Digby scallops we did a little tour of the grounds. The Pool and Fitness Centre, tennis courts, shuffleboard area, playground and fire pit all make this resort a true family getaway. As if all this isn’t enough, the newly constructed Spa at Digby Pines is there for you to indulge your mind and body.

The next afternoon we headed to Halifax. The following morning, while my husband golfed, I made use of my time alone by taking a four-hour tour of the area. Al DesLaurier, owner of Halifax Tour Guys, was my guide. This beautiful seaport is brimming with history and he seemed to know it all. We toured the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, drove by the Victorian era public gardens, and visited the Olivet Cemetery where victims of the Titanic were laid to rest. No tour would be complete here without a visit to beautiful Peggy’s Cove. I believe my four hours were better spent than my husband’s (just saying).

Our drive that afternoon was scenic one to Inverness. It is there at Cabot Links Lodge where we spend the next two nights. This upscale oceanfront golf resort overlooks the Northumberland Shore. Cabot Links’ premier restaurant is appropriately named the Panorama Restaurant; the ocean views are spectacular, as was our dinner that evening.

I had planned to relax at the nearby beach the following day, but I realized it was time to walk off all the calories I had consumed on our trip. So I joined the golfers at Cabot Cliffs Golf Course and I am glad I did, as it was truly spectacular. As I wasn’t really golfing, I was able to take in the dramatic seaside beauty around me without the distraction of actually hitting a golf ball.

The next morning we had to leave this beautiful spot and head back to New Brunswick. We stopped at he beautiful Residence Inn Moncton and the next morning drove to our last stop the luxurious resort in the quaint seaside town of St. Andrews. The Algonquin Resort is rich in history. Just imagine traveling in 1889 by train to a newly opened resort to enjoy a healthful retreat from urban life when the rates were $3 to $5 a day and where all of your needs are met. Now, of course, you would arrive by car to this landmark in Canadian hospitality and step back in time and enjoy your own respite from your contemporary life. Don’t worry, though, you will have access to every modern convenience of the 21st century. This resort had a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2012. You can have the best of both worlds, checking your smart phone while sipping cocktails in a rocking chair on the veranda. Personally, I would chuck the phone and enjoy the view of the gardens and outdoor pool area. There is also an indoor pool complete with a three-story water slide–so bring the kids. Everything that you would expect of a world-class resort is here including the Algonquin Spa, their on-site haven for complete wellness.

Our vacation to our neighbors up north was wonderful. We met a lot of locals along the way, and I must say they were some of the friendliest people you could find anywhere. My only regret is that we weren’t able to stay longer at each location.

Carolyn Vittner’s business card says T-A-L. It stands for tag-a-long.

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