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Traveling from Maine to Nova Scotia: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning a trip from Maine to Nova Scotia? This comprehensive guide provides you with all the information you need to make your journey smooth and enjoyable. From transportation options to must-visit destinations, border crossing requirements to insider tips on local cuisine, we’ve got you covered!

Maine to Nova Scotia
Maine to Nova Scotia

Transportation Options: Driving, Flying, or Taking a Ferry


Driving from Maine to Nova Scotia offers a scenic and flexible way to explore the region. The most common route is to take Interstate 95 north from Maine until you reach the Canadian border. From there, you can continue on Route 1 in New Brunswick and cross the Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island, before finally reaching Nova Scotia.


  • Flexibility to stop and explore charming coastal towns along the way.
  • Opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscapes of both Maine and Nova Scotia.


  • Long driving distances, which can be tiring for some travelers.
  • Potential traffic congestion during peak travel seasons.


If you prefer a quicker and more convenient option, flying from Maine to Nova Scotia is a great choice. Several airlines offer direct flights from Portland International Jetport in Maine to Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia.


  • Saves time and energy, especially for those with limited vacation days.
  • Allows you to focus solely on exploring Nova Scotia without the hassle of driving.


  • May miss out on the scenic beauty and charming towns along the driving route.
  • Potential for flight delays or cancellations.

Taking a Ferry

If you’re looking for a unique and leisurely travel experience, consider taking a ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia. The CAT ferry operates between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, during the summer months.


  • Enjoy stunning views of the coastline during the ferry ride.
  • Opportunity to relax and unwind while onboard.


  • Limited schedule and availability, as the ferry only operates during certain months.
  • May require additional transportation arrangements once you reach Nova Scotia.

Must-Visit Destinations in Nova Scotia



Start your Nova Scotia adventure in the vibrant capital city of Halifax. Explore the historic waterfront area, visit the impressive Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, and immerse yourself in the local culture at the bustling Farmers’ Market. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some fresh seafood at one of the city’s renowned restaurants.

Peggy’s Cove

Peggy's Cove
Peggy’s Cove

A trip to Nova Scotia is incomplete without a visit to the iconic Peggy’s Cove. This picturesque fishing village is famous for its charming lighthouse, rugged coastal scenery, and unique rock formations. Take a leisurely stroll around the village, browse through local shops, and capture stunning photos of the lighthouse against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail

For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Cabot Trail is a must-visit destination. This scenic driving route takes you along the stunning coastline of Cape Breton Island, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush forests. Take your time to explore hiking trails, visit charming coastal towns, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Border Crossing Requirements and COVID-19 Protocols

Before traveling from Maine to Nova Scotia, it’s important to be aware of the border crossing requirements and any COVID-19 protocols in place. As of the time of writing, the following information applies:

Border Crossing
Border Crossing

Border Crossing Requirements

When crossing the border from Maine to Nova Scotia, you will need the following documents:

  • A valid passport or an appropriate travel document
  • A completed declaration form

COVID-19 Protocols

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there may be additional protocols and restrictions in place for travelers. It is essential to stay updated on the latest guidelines issued by both the Canadian and US governments. Currently, all travelers entering Canada must:

  • Submit their travel information electronically before boarding their flight or arrival at the land border.
  • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before arrival.
  • Be prepared to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, unless exempted under specific circumstances.

It is highly recommended to check the official websites of both the Canadian and US governments for the most up-to-date information on border crossing requirements and COVID-19 protocols.

Insider Tips: Local Cuisine, Unique Experiences, and Hidden Gems

Local Cuisine


When in Nova Scotia, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to savor fresh seafood, particularly the famous Nova Scotia lobster. Enjoy a traditional lobster boil or try it in various dishes like lobster rolls or lobster poutine. Other must-try delicacies include Digby scallops, smoked salmon, and blueberry grunt.

Unique Experiences

Whale Watching
Whale Watching

Make your trip to Nova Scotia unforgettable with these unique experiences:

  • Go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy or Cape Breton Island and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Explore the historic Fortress of Louisbourg and step back in time to the 18th century.
  • Visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck and learn about the life and inventions of the famous inventor.

Hidden Gems


Discover some hidden gems in Nova Scotia that are off the beaten path:

  • Explore the charming town of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its colorful buildings and rich maritime history.
  • Visit the Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, where you can hike, canoe, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
  • Take a scenic drive along the Eastern Shore and discover hidden beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and stunning coastal views.


1. What is the best time to travel from Maine to Nova Scotia?

The best time to travel from Maine to Nova Scotia is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is pleasant, and most attractions and outdoor activities are open.

2. How long does it take to drive from Maine to Nova Scotia?

The driving time from Maine to Nova Scotia depends on the route and stops along the way. On average, it takes about 6-8 hours to drive from Portland, Maine, to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

3. Are there any tolls on the driving route from Maine to Nova Scotia?

Yes, there are tolls on the driving route from Maine to Nova Scotia. The most significant toll is the one for crossing the Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island.

4. Can I use my US driver’s license to drive in Nova Scotia?

Yes, you can use your US driver’s license to drive in Nova Scotia. However, it is recommended to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well, as it can serve as an additional form of identification.

5. Is it necessary to book accommodations in advance?

It is advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during the peak travel season. This ensures that you have a place to stay and allows you to secure the best rates.

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to embark on your unforgettable journey from Maine to Nova Scotia. Get ready to explore stunning landscapes, immerse yourself in local culture, and create lifelong memories!

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