Car Hire at Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport
This information is correct as of July 2015.
It might be off the beaten track, but Sydney in the province of Nova Scotia in Canada makes a beautiful destination for outdoor adventures and natural attractions. You will find here the Cabot Trail, a breathtaking scenic drive that follows the rugged coastline, looping around the Cape Breton Highlands. It was named one of the world's most spectacular trips by National Geographic. Fort Louisbourg, on the other hand, the largest reconstructed French-fortified town in North America, can also be found here. Visiting these areas can be convenient if you fly through Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport, which is the main port of entry in the area, then continue on to your journey into the city and beyond through car rentals.
Where to hire a car at Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport
There are car rental companies you can find in the airport, which you can transact with your ground transportation needs. There may be public transport options available, but it can be more convenient to rent a car when exploring this side of Canada. There are three companies to be found here, such as Avis, Budget, and National/Enterprise Rent-a-Car. They offer various selections, which you can check for cars with tough wheels that can last the terrain. These will be more useful when you are going out to the countryside.
Before arriving at the airport, you should already have arrangements made before your trip. This can save a lot of time, especially if you have all your documents ready. Be sure to enquire about restrictions on places where you can bring the car, though, to avoid any penalties.
What to expect when hiring a car from Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport
The traffic around Sydney is comparably lighter than in the more populous parts of Canada. This makes it easier to drive from the airport to Sydney town proper, as well as to the surrounding area. Some of the areas within reach here are Reserve Mines, New Waterford, Victoria Mines, South Bar, Coxheath, Westmount, Edwardsville, Point Edward, Upper North Sydney, and some others. Toll roads have not been built here, as of the time of writing, due to the lack of consensus among the populace. Congestion charges are also not as prevalent here, which allows you to minimise your budget when striking out on the road.
You might also pass by a number of cyclists in area, as well as some one-way roads. Be additionally careful when driving towards or away from them to minimise the possibility of accidents. On the way are some petrol stations such as Canadian Tire Gas+ in Whitney Pier, Esso at Massery Drive, and Georghe Street Circle-K irving in Sydney.
Driving around Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport
To reach Sydney from the airport, you will need to head northeast on Airport Road and then turn to Beryl Marham Drive toward Noonan Drive. Turn left onto Airport Road/Silver Dart Way and make another left onto Grand Lake Road/NS-4 W. Continue straight onto Welton Street/NS-4 W and then turn left onto Charlotte Street. Parking can be difficult to find here, unless you have booked your accommodations with a secure parking slot.
Getting to your destination
A rural village on the picturesque coastline of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island, Donkin is notable for its several sandy beaches, as well as vantage points for birdwatching. You might also spot here whales, seals, and other marine life from the shore, as well as passing boats and ships.
Follow Airport Rd and turn right onto NS-4 E (signs for Nova Scotia 4 E/Glace Bay). Take Dominion St and turn right onto Brookside St/Marconi Trail/NS-255 S (signs for Donkin/Port Morien/Birch Grove). Continue straight onto Donkin Hwy/No 6 Mines Rd. The trip can be accomplished within 25 minutes from the airport. You might have to enquire about parking, though, as some establishments might not have free space by their shops.
A small fishing community, Port Morien first showed on a map in 1580 as 'Baie de Mordienne'. You will find here the first commercial coal mine in North America, as well as a blockhouse built by the French to protect the coal reserves. There is also the Marconi Wireless Station National Historic Site of Canada to check out near the area.
Follow Airport Rd to NS-4 E and turn right onto NS-4 E (signs for Nova Scotia 4 E/Glace Bay). Take Dominion St to turn right onto Brookside St/Marconi Trail/NS-255 S (signs for Donkin/Port Morien/Birch Grove). Turn right onto Birch St to your destination. This trip can be made in 30 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions. You will have to arrange for parking beforehand, however, as these facilities might be limited here.
This community in Nova Scotia can be found on the shores of Bras d'Or Lake, which offers various fishing and boating opportunities. You can also check out the surrounding area for hiking and other outdoor pursuits.
Head northeast on Airport Rd/Beryi Markham Dr towards Noonan Dr. Turn left onto Airport Rd/Silver Dart Way and then turn another left onto Grand Lake Rd/NS-4 W (signs for Nova Scotia 4 W/New Waterford/Sydney). Use the two left lanes to turn left onto NS-125 W (signs for Nova Scotia 4 Trunk W/Sydney/Nova Scotia 22 Trunk/North Sydney/Louisbourg/Canso Causeway/NS-105/Transcanada Highway). Take exit 3 for NS-305/NS-223 towards North Sydney/Boisdale/Grand Narrows. Turn left onto Grand Narrows Hwy/Seaview Dr/NS-223 W (signs for Boisdale/Leitches Creek). The drive can take around 45 minutes from the airport, with limited parking facilities in the town proper.