Tour Nova Scotia 's Rugged Sea Coast , Stay at Country Inns "” Weeklong Fly-Drive Vacations From Only $1,419 Including Hotel, Rental Car and Airfare

As you follow this weeklong fly-drive vacation through Nova Scotia's most famous coastal communities, you'll hear the adjectives "quaint" and "picturesque" frequently used to describe towns, large and small.

Stereotyping, perhaps. Hyperbole, maybe. Cliché, of course. But the fact remains that Hollywood 's Central Casting couldn't begin to come close to the real thing you'll find as you drive the " Lighthouse Route " on the South Shore and the "Evangeline Trail" along the coast of the fabled Bay of Fundy .

Along with timeless fishing villages and photogenic lighthouses, you'll find hidden coves with sandy beaches and climb rugged cliffs with stunning views. You'll stay at welcoming country inns that are just as you (or Hollywood ) imagined they would be"”probably better.

"Quaint & Quiet Country Inns" is offered by Maxxim Vacations, one of Canada 's most respected travel companies. With more than 35 years' experience, Maxxim has earned a solid reputation as the travel specialist for Atlantic Canada. You'll trace the coastline (which in Nova Scotia stretches for more than 4,500 miles) as you rest along the way at comfortable inns, soaking up their historic ambiance and enjoying the tales of innkeepers.

This flexible program allows you to custom-tailor an itinerary according to your interests. Maxxim's travel counselors will help you plan what works best for you as they mix and match your interests with Nova Scotia 's varied attractions. A sample itinerary might include two nights each at Halifax and Lunenburg, and one night each at Annapolis Royal and Wolfville.

Sampling local foods provides another enticing aspect of a Nova Scotia vacation. Enjoy a bowl of hearty chowder, a boiled lobster dinner in a church basement or a steaming dish of famed Digby scallops. At hospitable inns you'll awaken to hearty Scottish breakfasts of free-range eggs, crisply fried bacon, spicy beef sausages, potato scones and black pudding. Come late afternoon"”teatime"”you'll learn to uncover teashops serving scones with cream and thick strawberry preserves.

You'll have use of a rental car and stay at 4-and 5-star hotels, b&bs and charming country inns. Cost is only US$1,419 per person including six nights' accommodation (based on double occupancy), a midsize rental car with unlimited mileage, admission to selected museums and historic sites, a Gray Line city tour of Halifax and round-trip airfare on Air Canada or United from New York , Boston or Atlanta . Comparably priced packages are available from other U.S. gateway cities. For example, departures from Chicago are priced at US$1,499, from Los Angeles at US$1,539 and from Miami at US$1,589.

Visitor-friendly Halifax is easy to explore on foot, with a beautiful harbor and an enticing range of activities, with historic, picturesque sights only a short drive away. Halifax is busy, with ferryboats and excursion boats chugging across its huge harbor. It also is genteel, with formal Victorian gardens and tearooms where people make time for the civilized ritual of afternoon tea.

Spend time exploring its historic waterfront"”especially the group of 19th century buildings known as Historic Properties. These handsomely restored stone warehouses, such as the Privateer's Warehouse dating from 1800, now house a variety of shops, pubs and eateries. Also along the waterfront you can board the HMCS Sackville, a retired World War II Corvette escort boat. A farmers' market is housed in a beautifully restored brewery building circa 1920 that also is packed with shops and eateries.

Other attractions include the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a star-shaped fortress that has watched protectively over the city since 1828, and the city's most familiar landmark, the Town Clock, which has been keeping time since 1803. On Sundays in summer, outdoor concerts are held at the Public Gardens , the oldest formal Victorian gardens in North America .

Peggy's Cove, an idyllic fishing port dating from 1811 with its gaudily painted clapboard houses and granite cliffs, may be the most photographed village in all of Canada . It also may be the subject most painted by watercolorists and other artists. Focus your lens on fishermen's shacks built on stilts and festooned with buoys, fishing boats bobbing at anchor in a charming little harbor, and a pretty lighthouse.

Lunenburg is a seaside town steeped in history. It was settled by Germans in 1753 and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunenburg is a major fishing port and the cultural and historical capital of the province.

In lush Annapolis Valley , known for the earliest European settlement in Canada , Annapolis Royal is generously endowed with well-preserved Victorian buildings. It also is the site of an historic French fort and beautiful historical gardens.

This is the country of the Acadians, retaining a rich blend of French and British cultures (sturdy Scottish sheepherders followed the French here). Evangeline was the famous fictional Acadian girl who came to symbolize French farmers driven in 1755 from their homes in Nova Scotia to settle in Québec , New Brunswick and Louisiana ("Cajun" is a corruption of Acadian). Evangeline is one of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's most enduring heroines.