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.

Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
300 Esplanade, Sydney, NS, B1P1A7
Fully refundable
The price is $97 per night from Feb 14 to Feb 15
$97
per night
Feb 14 - Feb 15
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Sydney. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,010 reviews)
"My go to in Sydney! Gym and pool were closed this trip, but they should open again soon. I will be back."

Reviewed on Jan 31, 2023

Holiday Inn Sydney - Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney
Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney
2.5 out of 5
60 Maillard Street, Sydney, NS, B1S 3W3
The price is $109 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$109
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this family-friendly hotel in Sydney. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (1,035 reviews)
"Signs at elevators warned to not use the elevators during a fire but to use the stairs instead. There was no direction as to where the stairwells were. Televisions had a poor program guide."

Reviewed on Feb 5, 2023

Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
3.5 out of 5
380 Esplanade, Sydney, NS, B1P1B1
The price is $99 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$99
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this 3.5-star eco-friendly hotel in Sydney. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in our ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,014 reviews)
"The room is very nice and spacious. Very clean but it’s misses the mark on the little things. No bottled water, no water cup or glass for the bathroom, no alarm clock in the bedroom, overall a nice hotel with great staff."

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2023

Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney
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.
Big Intervale Fishing Lodge
Big Intervale Fishing Lodge
2.5 out of 5
3719 Big Intervale Road, Big Intervale, NS, B0E2C0
Stay at this cabin in Big Intervale. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the restaurant in our reviews. Popular ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (103 reviews)
Perfect cozy cabin spot for a fall time getaway
"We had a fantastic experience, loved the old school hospitality and the location was perfect for the fall colors viewing around which we had planned our trip. Would highly recommend to all travellers"

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2022

Big Intervale Fishing Lodge
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
Stay at this vacation home in Pleasant Bay. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and a patio. Popular attractions Whale Interpretive Centre and Gampo Abbey are located ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (16 reviews)
Cozy lodging
"Very nicely decorated suite and great location. Full kitchen and hosts were easily accessible. Enjoyed the hot tub!"

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2022

Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
Stay at this cottage in Pleasant Bay. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and a patio. Popular attractions Whale Interpretive Centre and Gampo Abbey are located nearby. ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (15 reviews)
"It was our one of the best stay. I liked the cottage so much. Even prefer in future too. Thanks a lot."

Reviewed on Nov 4, 2022

MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
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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