How long do you plan to stay in NS and PEI? There's a lot to see and many people mistakenly believe they can do it all in one week. If you're thinking of one week in NS, then do the northern half and ride the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton. If you've got two weeks, then you can pretty much cover the whole province. PEI can be explored in two or three days. Caution! High winds on the bridge to PEI can be quite interesting, if you catch my drift (Pun intended).
I am 1/4 Nova Scotian. My grandmother was from Mahone Bay and my older brother lives in Pleasantville, just south of Bridgewater along the LaHave River.
1. Place names. They look easy to pronounce but visitors always get them wrong. I've found that if I deliberately mispronounce the name, I'm pretty close to getting it right. For example - the ferry from PEI to NS, docks in Pictou (Pick-tow). The ferry you're on is probably the Caribou (Cari-boo). Go figure.
2. Food - as my brother suggests, "You can't go wrong with anything served out of an old school bus." My advice is to check the license plates in the parking lot. If they're all from the states, it's tourist fare. If they're all NS plates, then it's local fare with local customers. I tend to pick eateries with hand painted signs on sheets of plywood. They spend their money on food, not advertising. If the menu says "fish," it's cod. Any other species will be named, i.e. haddock, flounder, swordfish, etc. If you see that a local fire department is having a clam bake or doing planked salmon, follow your nose.
3. Routes to ride - the ferry from St. John to Digby is the way to go. The scenic rides (trails) are all named for local features: Glooscap, Lighthouse, Cabot, etc. I've ridden them all and they are all top notch in my opinion. You should be able to find a brochure at the visitor's center in Digby. At one time there was one devoted to motorcycles.
4. Since you're from Louisiana, you'll be retracing the ancestral steps of the Acadians (Cajuns). If you're not familiar with their journey, brush up on your history about their forced migration and subsequent return. It's quite fascinating.
5. Places to see: In Cape Breton a visit to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum is worth the time. Fortress Louisbourg is incredible. The dirt road to Meat Cove, the northernmost point, is doable, but not for the faint of heart. (I did it two up on an '02 R1550RS.) If you're into birdwatching there are several tour boats leaving from nearby English Channel.
Halifax harbour is a great place to walk along the docks and enjoy the food and festivities. If you have a chance, check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and learn about the Halifax explosion in December of 1917.
Along the south shore head for Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and the Ovens. The museum in Lunenburg is great and the shipbuilding history is phenomenal. My great uncles worked on the Bluenose II and replicas of the HMS Bounty and HMS Rose. (The Rose is renamed and was the ship used in the movie Master and Commander. Alas, Peggy's Cove while still scenic, has become too touristy with overload tour buses for my likings. Head south through Bridgewater along the La Have River and make it a point to stop for coffee and fresh baked goods at the La Have bakery.
If you're into UFOs, continue south and head for Shag Harbour.
Round the tip of the province a spend a night on Brier Island. (Southernmost point on the province. Excellent opportunity to go whale watching.
Head north through the Annapolis Valley and you're on your way back to Digby.
Where to stay? B&Bs and provincial parks are my usual choice. My preference is B&Bs, the owners know the lay of the land and can usually direct you to select points of interest. Note! Do not ask them, "Where's a good place to eat?" They'll direct you to the usual tourist eat it and beat it joints. Instead, ask, "If you were going out to dinner, where would you go.?"
I know I haven't given much devotion to PEI, but IMHO, there isn't much there since it seems as though 80% of the provincial economy is geared toward Anne of Green Gables. (My apologies if you're a fan.) But is is a lovely province and the southern beaches are about the only beaches where to water is warm enough to go swimming in the Maritimes.
If you're time is limited, remember this dictum, "See enough to say you were there, but leave enough so you have to go back."
Have a great journey.