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  • Bras d'Or Lake
  • , Cabot Trail
  • , Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • , Coastal Adventure
  • , Culinary
  • , Fortress of Louisbourg
  • , Golf
  • , Hiking
  • , Living Culture
  • , Music & the Arts
  • , Outdoor Adventure

10 Unforgettable Experiences in Cape Breton Island

Story by: Adam Hill

You may return home after your vacation, but your heart will never leave if you take in some of these unforgettable experiences.

The Cabot Trail

Rising from the sea and clinging to mountains, the 298-kilometre-long Cabot Trail is a winding mix of the roadway, paths, stairs, and stunning beauty that takes you from unreal ocean vistas to quaint fishing villages.

Plan several days to experience the journey of a lifetime along one of the world’s most scenic drives—you’ll need it.

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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site 

Just east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, you’ll discover a portal to the past at one of North America’s busiest 18th-century seaports.

Founded by the French in 1713, this reconstruction of the original French town and fortifications is the largest—and best—of its kind in North America, offering a heavy dose of history and culture with each unique experience.

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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
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Our Island is renowned as a hiker’s paradise, a challenging beauty that demands exploration. Breathtaking landscapes await you on every Highland crest, low-tide beach, and serene trek through old-growth forest. Lose yourself in our wilderness. Discover our wild heart with each trail.

A hiker stops to take in the ocean coastline
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A hiker stands on top of a rock overlooking a dense forest

Culinary Activities

A culinary capital of our own right. World-class shellfish netted right off the shores of the North Atlantic. Sustainably farmed and locally grown ingredients with big flavour. Craft brews and award-winning spirits that entwine our heritage with our land. On our Island, delicious means something entirely new.

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Culture & Heritage

Journey to one of North America’s first multi-cultural societies, where ancestry is treasured and our roots deep. Discover centuries-old legends in one of five First Nations communities. Tap your toes at a Ceilidh. Walk amongst relics of the old country and explore new-world Acadian traditions. Discover our industrious past and our innovative spirit in every community you visit.

Centre de la Mi-Carême
A tour guide shows tourists a traditional Mi'kmaq drum

Ceilidhs & Kitchen Parties

Ever wonder how many people and instruments you can squeeze into a kitchen? The rhythm of life here is defined by such gatherings. Feel its pulse during a square dance as you step to the jigs and rollicking reels.

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3 Fiddler Concerts-Ceilidhs
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Coastal Adventures

Chart your own course for adventure. Through straits and passages, coastal communities and canals, get to know our corner of the Atlantic.

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Two kayakers paddle past a rocky coastline

Camping & RVing

Nestle into a wooded haven. Be lulled to sleep by the ocean tides. Let the wind and wildlife play soundtrack to your wild escapes as you enjoy one of our 5,000-star accommodations.

Three young girls sit outside an a-frame tent in the woods
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Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground


Sweeping cliffs, majestic ocean views, and miles of green—Cape Breton Island was made for golf. Find a course to suit every mood, from championship courses to Canada’s only true links.

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Birdseye view of a golf course next to a tree line, with open water in behind.

The Bras d’Or Lake

With fog-free, sheltered waters, you’ll find unparalleled boating on Canada’s inland sea. It’ll be smooth sailing—much like the rest of your Cape Breton Island vacation.

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Sail the Bras d’Or Lake UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
A sleepy harbour and lighthouse at sunset

Stories about the Island, by Locals and Visitors