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Summer specials by the sea in seductive Atlantic Canada

At the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, tradition reigns. At the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, tradition reigns. (RICHARD CARPENTER FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)
Email|Print| Text size + By Richard Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / May 6, 2007

All of Canada is a delight in summer, but the provinces of Atlantic Canada -- New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador -- exert the most powerful pull on me. Maybe it's the friendliness, or the seascapes, or the scrumptious seafood. Or maybe it ' s simply that each province offers something special. Here is a sampling:

One of the most charming towns in Canada is St. Andrews by - the - Sea , New Brunswick. The people are friendly, the shops are unique, and activities range from whale watching to visiting fascinating sites such as nearby Ministers Island and Campobello Island , where Franklin Delano Roosevelt's family had a summer home. Lodging ranges from quaint bed-and-breakfasts to the upscale Kingsbrae Arms to the landmark Fairmont Algonquin hotel .

The Algonquin's Bay of Fundy Sea Kayaking Package includes a night's accommodation and a three-hour sea kayaking excursion on the bay . The package, valid through Sept. 30, begins at about $270 . For a similar price the Fundy Bay Watch Package includes accommodations, a whale and wildlife expedition on the bay, and a buffet breakfast, including tip. The package, valid June 1-Sept. 12, is per couple with an additional price of about $32 a night for children under 12 and $65 for older children.

Visit fairmont.com/algonquin or call 866-540-4403 .

Halifax, Nova Scotia, is enjoyable almost any time, with historic sites such as the Citadel , waterfront pubs , craft shops and galleries , casino gambling, and outdoor adventures . But from July 11 to 16, the Tall Ships will be visiting, with public boarding beginning July 13 and a Parade of Sail on July 16. The Cambridge Suites Hotel Halifax has an Early Bird Special beginning at about $145 a night if booked by June 1 for a minimum of two nights. Parking and continental breakfast are included.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts-based Serendipity Traveler , which specializes in small-group travel for women, has a Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island trip July 14-21 that begins in Halifax while the regatta is in port. The tour, including many meals, costs $2,295 .

For early bird rates, visit cam bridgesuiteshalifax.com or call 800-565-1263 . For the women's trip, visit serendipitytraveler.com or call 800-975-2357 . For Nova Scotia information, go to novasco tia.com . For Tall Ships details, visit tallshipsnovascotia.com .

Prince Edward Island has taken to calling itself the Gentle Island, and that it is with its farms and friendliness, red roads, green fields, and beaches in your choice of pink, white, or champagne-colored sand. The island province is also known for its music, a lot of which emanates from the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown . This year, the shows at the summer-long Charlottetown Festival will include "British Invasion!," the jazz and blues of David Clayton-Thomas , the Les Girls Acadian soiree, " Ode à l'Acadie ," several other performances and concerts, including a free outdoor show, and of course, "Anne of Green Gables," Canada's longest-running musical. The Rodd Charlottetown hotel has Best in Musical Theatre packages ranging from about $100 to $225 a person that feature lodging and tickets to "Anne," "British Invasion!," the hotel's Feast Dinner Theatre, or two of those shows.

Visit roddvacations.com or call 800-565-RODD (7633). For Prince Edward Island information, go to gentleisland.com . For the Confederation Centre schedule, visit con federationcentre.com and navigate to Charlottetown Festival.

Along with its rugged beauty, Newfoundland has a wondrous melange of accents and a language of its own. One way to get to know the people is with a self-drive, 10- or 14-night Newfoundland Hospitality Tour . The trip, from Maxxim Vacations , is customized to your interests, with stays in country inns, bed-and-breakfasts, or hotels. The price, with airfare from Boston, a mid size rental car, and ferry transfers to Labrador if you choose that route, is $1,869 for 10 nights and $2,239 for 14 nights.

Visit maxximvacations.com or call 800-567-6666 . For Newfoundland and Labrador information, go to newfoundlandlabrador.com .

Jazz ed in Montreal
Excitement is everywhere during the annual International Jazz Festival of Montreal, June 28-July 8 . Several hotel packages are available, some at lodgings downtown near the main festival site and several in Old Montreal as well. Every reservation gets you a compilation CD, what the festival calls privileged access to indoor concert tickets, and a $20 gift certificate for the Casino de Montréal. Room prices, including breakfast, begin at $119 . Some examples: Quality Hotel downtown $119; Travelodge, Montreal Centre $123; XIXe Siècle , a boutique hotel, $163; Hôtel Godin, another boutique hotel, $180; and the Hyatt Regency Montreal, the official festival hotel, $228 Thursday-Sunday and $167 Monday-Wednesday.

Visit montrealjazzfest.com or call 888-515-0515 .

Cultural Ontario
With its Stratford Festival in Stratford through Nov. 3, its Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the Lake through Oct. 28, and Toronto's lively theater scene year round, Ontario is a bastion of the arts. This summer will also see two important exhibitions in the neighborhood of the capital: "Renoir Landscapes" at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and just across the Ottowa River in Gatineau, Quebec, "Treasures from China" at the Canadian Museum of Civilization . A two-night getaway that includes tickets to both exhibits begins at about $101 per person. Book with a Visa card and also get a poster from each.

Visit ottawatourism.ca and click on Packages. For information on Stratford, Shaw, and other festivals, go to ontariotravel.net or call 800-ONTARIO (668-2746) .

Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard Carpenter can be reached at carpenter@globe.

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