Over this past summer, my parents and I took an RV trip up the East Coast to Canada (you really learn about personal space in a tight RV for two weeks). We saw wonderful, beautiful landscapes, breath-taking sunsets, and beaches unlike any other. Unfortunately, we saw no moose the whole trip. Where were they all hiding? This is the story of our wild, wonderful adventure up the East Coast, from Western Pennsylvania to Nova Scotia.
(Pictured: Nova Scotia National Park)
First Destination: New Brunswick, Canada (July 15, 2018)
We started our journey by driving 8 hours on Saturday to stay in a park right at the border between New York and Canada, then woke up and drove another 10 hours to reach Val-Cameau in New Brunswick. The East Coast looks so small on a map, but it’s amazing how far the it stretches out. The whole time we were in Canada, we had no cell service and no way to reach the outside world. Since entering Canada, the Canadian provider has been RODGER (seriously, how Canadian can you get?). But being without cell service has definitely brought me more appreciation for the beauty that was around me. It was a little stressful at times though, as we couldn’t make any reservations to state parks or RV parks beforehand. We had no access to maps, no way to call anywhere without it costing a fortune. We were completely roughing it in the wild, no strict travel plans, just driving and driving until we saw signs for where we wanted to go. I loved it. Traveling without completely knowing your destination was an adventure in and of itself.
New Brunswick was lovely. We only stayed two nights in New Brunswick on our way up to Prince Edward Island, but the sunsets were absolutely beautiful.
(Pictured: Val-Cameau in New Brunswick)
At the RV park in Val-Cameau, we met the most wonderful couple (with an absolutely adorable little fluffy dog) who lived right across the bay. They said the winters in Canada can reach -30°C and can have snow accumulations up to 10 ft. with snow banks. Umm… Yikes! I will never complain about our PA winters again!
The beach at Val-Cameau was different than I was used to, and different from all the other unique beaches I would encounter the next two weeks. Even though it was mid-July, the water was absolutely freezing. Even sticking your toes into the water felt painful. That was something different compared to our normal Florida vacations. The sand was a very dull color, covered with hundreds of rocks. Because of the rocks, there were no shells anywhere, as they got broken up before they could reach shore.
Many of the people here in New Brunswick don’t speak any English. As we’ve been driving through the countryside and stopping at gas stations, we’ve had to try and brush-up on our French a little. Turns out, we’re not very good at French anymore. It was hard to communicate with anyone around this area, but that also made it fun.
Although New Brunswick was beautiful, we didn’t explore it too much other than hiking around the campground. Since it was our first couple days of vacation, we just relaxed, walked around the campground, and enjoyed the sunsets. After leaving New Brunswick, we drove another 5 hours to get to Prince Edward Island (probably my second favorite location the whole two weeks).
Second Destination: Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada (July 17, 2018)
(Pictured: Prince Edward Island Beach)
The beaches at Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) were completely different from the beach in New Brunswick. P.E.I. also had a LOT of rocks (as can be seen in the picture), but the sand was bright red with large reddish rocks leading out to the sea, making it a beach unlike any I’ve seen before. The climate here is cool during the day, though it’s warm when you’re directly in the sun. It’s definitely too cold to lay out. I was surprised that it was this cool in mid-July. No cute bikini tans for me!
(Pictured: Loving Prince Edward Island)
P.E.I. is located off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There is one bridge to get to the island and the same bridge to get off the island. The toll to get on the island was approximately $50. This seemed insane to me, but after being on the beautiful island, I didn’t want to leave. After walking along the beach for a while, we decided to go explore the Island. There were shops galore; my mom and I LOVED it (my dad not so much… sorry dad!) We went into this little shopping/welcome center on the other side of the island where we explored the very touristic shops.
(Pictured: Anne of Green Gables Statue)
At the welcome center, there was this beautiful statue of Anne of Green Gables. Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, is set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s where Montgomery grew up. Every tourist shop we went to had Anne of Green Gables souvenirs. It was a wonderful sight for people who love Anne of Green Gables.
July 19, 2018
I started out the day at 5:45 AM to get pictures at the beach. However, I already missed the sunrise. It rises so early here.
(Pictured: 5:45 AM at P.E.I. beach)
Today was a shopping day for us. Around noon, we left to go to the shopping area in Cavendish. The shops there were so lovely. Some of the shops were very touristic, but there were a couple of cute stores with handcrafted and homemade items. We even found a store that had homemade items from all across Canada. The shop owner of another shop we went actually grew up in Lancaster, PA! What a small world. He owns a jewelry and knick-knack shop. In the winters, when the snow starts accumulating and they don’t get any tourists on the island, him and his wife make all the jewelry by hand.
After shopping our hearts out, we went to go find some seafood. We ended up at Carr’s Oyster bar and I tried lobster for the first time! I don’t think it was my favorite…
Tomorrow we leave for Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. This beach and the campground were absolutely beautiful, but I’m excited to see something new again and continue our adventure!
(Pictured: Landscape at P.E.I.)
Third Destination: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (July 21, 2018)
Cape Breton was absolutely fascinating, but man it is cold here. We went hiking a lot, then had to go back to the RV to warm up. Still no moose spotting. The landscape here is impressive, but the weather seems gray all the time. It’s cold, windy, and gloomy. There are so many trees you can’t imagine. The little town of Cape Breton before driving to Cheticamp National Park had 2-3 shops, about two restaurants, and some fishing and bait shops. We felt like we were at the edge of the world. It was so windy here that we felt our RV shaking as we drove through town. We were worried we were going to go right over the cliffs!
(Pictured: Me, freezing my butt off in Cheticamp National Park)
We only stayed here for a few days because our RV started having some engine problems. We decided to try and drive back all the way to Maine (about a 12-hour drive) so we could be across the border if our RV decides to breakdown completely.
Fourth and Final Destination: Bath and York, Maine (July 23-July 28)
After driving the whole previous day and some hours in the morning, we decided to stop for lunch in Bath on our way through Maine. Wow… the most quaint little coastal town. We stopped at Kennebec Tavern Restaurant & Marina. The food was absolutely delicious (10/10, would recommend to a friend) with wonderful scallops and this Italian ice gelato that was the most incredibly light dessert ever. It was lemon and mint and it just melted on your tongue the second you put it in your mouth. So delicious.
(Pictured: Ice gelato at Kennebec Tavern)
The restaurant was beautiful too, overlooking the river. After having RV problems, we felt like we could finally relax a little and breath. It was a nice sunny day; still a little chilly with the wind, but absolutely wonderful. After eating, we decided to walk through Bath. Again, there were so many homemade, handcrafted stores and I loved it. We found ourselves in this old bookstore, owned by a guy who used to live in Italy. I could have gotten lost in there for hours.
(Pictured: Old bookstore in Bath, Maine)
We decided to try and find somewhere close in Maine to spend a few nights and relax. We kept driving until we hit York, a little town in Maine. We found the most gorgeous RV park overlooking the ocean: Libby’s Oceanside Camp (we loved it so much we ended up staying almost a full week). I think York was definitely my favorite destination this whole trip.
The beach was absolutely breathtaking. Again, it was different from P.E.I. and from New Brunswick. There were rocks covering the entire beach with almost no sand visible. But the color of the ocean was stunning. It kept changing from light greens and blues to dark blues. The waves would smash across the high rocks, making a roaring noise. I felt awestruck and peaceful being in this little town.
(Pictured: Libby’s Oceanside Camp in York, Maine)
Another really cool aspect of York was that you could take a little trolley ride from the campsite to the little shopping town they had. You could stop at a few beach stops along the way or ride all the way through to York’s Wild Kingdom (a small zoo and amusement park). We got off a little before the zoo and found ourselves surrounded by the cutest restaurants and shops.
(Pictured: Goldenrod Kisses, York, Maine)
If you find yourself in York, you have to stop off at Goldenrod Kisses. They make their own saltwater taffy (you can watch them making it through the window) and they have an old-time soda fountain. The homemade ice cream is delicious if you need a little break from walking.
The people in York were friendly and everything felt clean and well taken care of. There was so much to do, from shopping in one of the many cute shops to going to an arcade, from taking a hike up to the Nubble Lighthouse to spending the day at the beach. There were wonderful breakfast diners, candy shops, and pizza shops. If you want the most wonderful place for summer vaca, York, Maine might be just right for you. The cutest coastal town I’ve seen.
That concluded our trip! We drove all the way home from Maine, filled with wonderful memories and plenty of seafood.
I hope you enjoyed my travel adventures!
(Pictured: Enjoying the sunset in P.E.I.)