Cape Breton Island

Travel Guide
Sydney which includes a small town or village and street scenes

A rich Celtic heritage blends with First Nation and Acadian cultural influences on this remote and breathtakingly scenic Nova Scotian island.

Cape Breton Island draws visitors from all over the world due to its famous hiking and driving trails and unique local culture. Witness the Celtic influence running through the music and customs of this special island, the only place in North America where Scottish Gaelic is still spoken.

Visit the island to explore traditions preserved since settlers arrived from the Scottish Highlands in the early 19th century. Find signs of the even earlier Acadian settlers in towns such as Chéticamp, where the Acadian French dialect can still be heard. Explore the heritage of the first people to dwell on this land, the First Nation communities who still thrive here.

One of the major attractions of the island is the Cabot Trail. Drive this 186-mile (300-kilometer) trail that winds around oceanfront cliffs for astonishing mountain views. Make time to stop at some of the numerous hiking trails, scenic lookouts and charming towns scattered along the route.

Another popular natural attraction is the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Discover its diverse mountain and forest habitats, home to animals including moose and eagles or head to Bras d’Or Lake to spot a huge array of waterfowl.

To experience Celtic culture at its strongest, time your trip to coincide with one the festivals of Scottish music and dance held throughout the year. Also be sure to visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a museum dedicated to one of Scotland’s most famous sons, the inventor of the telephone. The museum is located in village of Baddeck on the northern shore of Bras d’Or Lake.

The Membertou community is one of the island’s five First Nation communities. Learn about their fascinating history at the Membertou Heritage Park. Explore a different experience of island life at the Fortress of Louisbourg, a detailed recreation of an 18th-century Canadian settlement, complete with actors in period dress.

Fly to Cape Breton Island’s domestic airport, the JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. Although Cape Breton Island is now easily accessible by air, its remote location at the northern point of Nova Scotia has meant that it has historically been hard to get to. That’s why its patchwork of local traditions remains so distinctive.

Where to stay in Cape Breton Island

Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
3.5 out of 5
380 Esplanade, Sydney, NS
The price is $117 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Located in the heart of Sydney, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Centre 200, and Bethel Presbyterian ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (969 reviews)
"Trio restaurant had the best steak ever❣️"

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2021

Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
300 Esplanade, Sydney, NS
Fully refundable
The price is $123 per night from Nov 12 to Nov 12
Located in the heart of Sydney, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, World's Largest Fiddle, and Centre ...
4/5 Very Good! (950 reviews)
"The location of the hotel was great. We had a nice view over the water and could see a bit of the sunset. It was within walking distance to a lot of things. The man at the reception was very unfriendly and terse. The bathtub was gross, it had those non slip things at the bottom but they were all ..."

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney Nova Scotia
Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney Nova Scotia
2.5 out of 5
60 Maillard Street, Membertou, NS
The price is $119 per night from Nov 13 to Nov 13
This family-friendly Membertou hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Cossit House Museum and World's Largest Fiddle. North Sydney Historical ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (968 reviews)
"The staff are always excellent here. They are very helpful and accommodating."

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2021

Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney Nova Scotia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Chisholms of Troy Coastal Cottages
Chisholms of Troy Coastal Cottages
3.5 out of 5
1327 Highway 19, Troy, NS
The price is $104 per night from Nov 17 to Nov 17
Situated by the ocean, this cottage is within 9 mi (15 km) of Port Hastings Historical Society Museum and Archives, Port Hasting Museum, and Port Hawkesbury ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (148 reviews)
"The view was beautiful and the area was well kept."

Reviewed on Oct 7, 2021

Chisholms of Troy Coastal Cottages
Lighthouse Cottages
Lighthouse Cottages
3 out of 5
8537 Route 19, Port Hood, NS
Nestled on the beach, this Port Hood cottage is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Port Hood Station Provincial Park and 1.9 mi (3 km) from Inverness Beach Boardwalk. West ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (66 reviews)
"We stayed in the mini home on site,it was great and the sunset there was beautiful."

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2021

Lighthouse Cottages
Cape Breton Villas
Cape Breton Villas
4 out of 5
27 Deepdale Rd, Inverness, NS
Situated in Inverness, this golf vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Cabot Links, and Inverness Miners Museum. Sea Wolf ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (46 reviews)
"the place is nice, clean and quite. We love our stay here!"

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2021

Cape Breton Villas
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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