Cape Breton Island Region
You may want to check your brakes before heading to Cape Breton. The world-renown Cabot Trail, with its dramatic coastal views and highland scenery, can be rather steep. Not to mention - you’ll want to stop a lot while on the island.
Don’t Miss Outdoor Adventures
- Go salmon fishing on the Margaree River.
- Hike the Highlands, Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s 26 hiking trails.
- Cycle the Cabot Trail.
- Kayak with the Songwriting Kayaker and The Painted Kayaks.
- Take a Bird Island Boat Tour to the Bird Islands to see Puffins.
- Sail the Bras d’Or Lakes with Cape Breton Sailing Charters
- Cycle the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
- Golf at Cabot Links, Canada's first true links course... and don't miss Cape Breton's Fab Four - Highlands Links, Bell Bay, Le Portage, and Dundee.
Get to know Cape Breton Island
Take a side trip back to the 18th century at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest reconstruction of its kind in North America. Then visit An Clachan Gàidhealach (the Highland Village), a living history museum for Gaelic language and culture - and the only re-enactment of its kind in North America. Explore more recent industrial history by descending to the deeps on a coalmine tour a mile beneath the ocean floor.
Sail on the Bras d’Or lake, one of the worlds’ largest salt water lakes, and where famed inventor Alexander Graham Bell set up a research laboratory. It was here, in the winter of 1909 that Bell Labs’ Silver Dart flew off the frozen ice -- the first heavier-than-air powered flight in the British Empire.
Don’t Miss Experiences
- Take an interpretive journey through songs, stories, dance and music at Cape Breton’s Celtic Music Interpretive Centre
- A whiskey tour and tasting at Glenora Distillery
- Spend the day swimming and beachcombing at Inverness Beach
- Dine at the Beggar’s Banquet at the Point of View Suites
- Experience the life of a French settler at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
- Walk in a miners’ footsteps at the Cape Breton Miners’ Museum
- Stroll through a Gaelic Village by candlelight, Highland Village Museum
- Share a traditional feast, hearing stories and music with Eskasoni Cultural Journeys
- Experience Celtic Music at Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours Festival
- First flights, kites and White Glove Tours at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
- Try apprenticing with a Blacksmith at Firehouse Ironworks
- Watch art being created before your eyes at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design
- Delve into la vie acadienne at Les Trois Pignons
- Dive into the world of whales at the Whale Interpretive Centre
- Stop by Rita's Tea Room in Big Pond, created by legendary songstress, Rita McNeil.
Cape Breton island enjoys a depth of unique culture matched only by a diversity of geography. And while tourists are more than welcome at the fiddle-filled Celtic Céilidhs, First Nations Pow Wows, and Festivals Acadien, we’ll be celebrating regardless of who joins us. (But we’d really prefer if you could make it.)
Best Photo Spots
Inverness Beach, Inverness
Stoll along the boardwalk along the sand dunes to reveal a 1.5 km sandy beach bordering on some of the warmest ocean waters in Nova Scotia. Continue walking a bit further down the boardwalk to take in some of the golfing action at Cabot Links, Canada’s first true links course.
Highland Village Museum, Iona
Located in picturesque Iona, overlooking the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake, the Highland Village Museum brings to life Nova Scotia’s Gaelic culture, heritage, and hospitality. Experience life as a Gael during your tour of this living history museum and be sure to take part in a traditional céilidh. Sláinte!
Skyline Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Experience an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail from a headland cliff while hiking this mostly level boardwalk in the Cape Breton National Highlands Park. Keep an eye out for whales in the Strait below and for wildlife and the many boreal birds that call the area home. Be sure to pack your camera for this hike.
Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Having received such accolades as the Best Motorcycle Trip in North America by USA Today, and 20 Roads You Should Drive in Your Lifetime by Business Insider, visitors flock here to experience the breathtaking Cabot Trail. From panoramic roadside look-offs, pristine beaches, and maintained hiking trails, you won’t be disappointed.
Bell Estate overlooking Bras d'Or Lake, Baddeck
One of 16 designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Canada, the Bras d’Or Lake is Canada's largest inland sea, a perfect mix of salt and fresh water. Located in the heart of the Island, sail, paddle, and explore by land the many hidden coves and islands located throughout the lake.