Every great journey involves some thinking and planning before your feet ever hit the soil. There is only so much you can do during a single vacation to the Cabot Trail, and you want your stay to be memorable. But, no worries; people are always coming back for more!
Baddeck & Area
Take some time in the morning to stroll along the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes as you watch them come alive with the sailboats and yachts that speckle their surface. Head down to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and take a walk through the life of this famous historian.
Sample our gift shops, including the Blue Heron and The Water’s Edge Gallery, and discover a wide variety of Cape Breton and Maritime goods on your way for lunch.
Enjoy a freshly prepared meal at one of our restaurants; perhaps take in the gorgeous view from a deck. Once you’ve tantalised your senses with the beautiful views and the heat of the sun, head down for a sail on the schooner Amoeba, and take in the village from a new perspective.
Later, don’t forget to take time to enjoy the local trails and wildlife – visit a famous couple on the shoreside boardwalk…
At supper time, head to McCurdy’s Restaurant at the Silver Dart Lodge and enjoy the fresh meals and seafood with a touch of Scotland as you’re entertained with nightly performances. Let the vision of the town and the Bras d’Or Lakes be etched in your mind as you sip a refreshing drink.
After supper, there’s fun for the whole family at Rocking Horse Ranch, where you'll enjoy the sunset as you ride the powerful, yet docile horses that we’ve come to love and respect.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Travelling along one of the world's most striking coastlines on the Cabot Trail, your whole family will be thrilled as you discover all that Cape Breton Highlands National Park has to offer.
Start your day off by getting your adrenaline pumping on one of our many beautiful hiking trails featuring numerous bird-watching opportunities. After your hike, take a picnic down to the beautiful Ingonish beach and let the sun warm you and the magic of the ocean soothe your body and mind. Take part in a kayaking tour and marvel at the magnificent rivers that cut through the rolling highlands.
Spend your afternoon golfing at the Highlands Links Golf Course, which regularly appears on the best-in-the-world course lists for its spectacular setting and challenging holes. Finish off the day with a hearty seafood dinner, Acadian dishes, or a home-cooked meal in one of the communities that surround us. And remember to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Cheticamp & Area
From wilderness expeditions and sandy beaches to lively ceilidhs and traditional music, not a day goes by without excitement or adventure on this part of the Cabot Trail.
Start your day off right with the hearty Fisherman’s Breakfast at the Auberge Doucet Inn. Continue on to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where you can join a guided nature tour or take to the hiking trails that wind through some of the oldest forests in the province.
After a morning of discovery, cool down with a dip in the ocean at Petit Etang Beach. Then, embark on a whale watching tour with Chéticamp Whale Cruisers. On your way for dinner, stop by l'Église St. Pierre (St Peter's Church) Acadian Museum — architectural splendor matched with enchanting ambiance and historical roots make it a must see. Then, dig in to a true Acadian dish at Le Gabriel Restaurant.
Enjoy a relaxing evening horseback riding at Little Pond Stables, but, as the sun sets, keep in mind that the ceilidhs are just beginning! So put on a pair of dancing shoes and head out to enjoy some Celtic music, great food, and drinks for all ages.
Ingonish & Area
Every minute will count as another memory as you uncover the key to the beauty of Ingonish.
Begin your day with a stop by one of our cafés or bakeries to enjoy a just-baked pastry and coffee as you take in the fresh salt air. Climb on board with our lively Fiddlin’ Whale Tours or Sea Visions Whales by Sail and we’ll take you alongside the majestic whales that visit our shores. Once you return, waste no time finding a beach — we have both fresh and salt water — as the sun rises high above. Spend your afternoon swimming in the clean waters along our shores or head out kayaking to take part in some bird watching.
In the afternoon, grab your gear and discover the lake and stream fishing our community offers. Or, if you love golf, you’ve come to the right place! Ingonish is home to the world-renowned Highlands Links Golf Course — one of Canada’s best courses, complete with stunning ocean-side views.
When you’re ready for dinner, there’s a place for everyone. Take the family for a casual and entertaining meal at the Thirsty Hiker Pub, or enjoy a romantic evening at the Keltic Lodge’s Purple Thistle Room. But the night doesn’t end here…
In Ingonish, when the sun goes down, we keep going! Bring the family along to a ceilidh and get your feet moving to the music as we celebrate our rich culture. When you’re tired, head back and rest yourself at one of our great accommodations, knowing that tomorrow will bring just as much excitement and just as many possibilities!
Margaree & Area
The Margaree Valley is an amazing place to visit. Start out early with coffee and juice and a pastry from the Dancing Goat Bakery and Café. Then set off for a day filled with lots of fun with the family. Take a drive down to the Margaree Valley to visit the Margaree Salmon Museum — the history of salmon fishing in the area is over 100 years old, and the Margaree is a world-famous salmon river. Then, visit the Margaree Fish Hatchery, the second oldest salmon hatchery in North America.
Take the gravel road toward the Big Intervale Fishing Lodge. The road seems to bring you further and further back in time, passing by beaver ponds, huge trees, farms, and relics of the past. But drop by Anne Morrell Robinson's studio. Here, the walls and floors are covered with amazing, colourful, handmade quilts and hooked rugs. If you plan ahead, Anne may be hosting a quilting workshop!
After a suculent, Swiss-influenced meal at the Big Intervale Fishing Lodge, take a walk along the river. Enjoy the peace and quiet, as well as an opportunity to watch salmon or salmon fishers. By late afternoon, head back through the Margarees, stopping for a browse at the Cape Breton Clay pottery. Then head to the Margaree Lodge for a evening of music and great food, or to the Normaway Inn for a dance and Cape Breton fiddle music at the Barn.
Pleasant Bay & Area
Whether you spend a day or a month in Pleasant Bay on the beautiful Cabot Trail, not a minute will go by without excitement and adventure amid breathtaking scenery.
Start your day with coffee and fresh baked goods as you experience the magic of a bustling fishing town in the early morning. Step into your hiking boots and take off for Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Join a nature tour throughout the summer, be awed and inspired by the colours of the autumn leaves, or discover our winter wonderlands on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
Next, come down to where the rolling hills meet the crashing waves and experience the thrill of whale watching with Fiddlin’ Whale Tours. Once back on land, check out the fascinating Pleasant Bay Whale Interpretive Centre.
When stomachs are growling, indulge in a delicious seafood feast at the Rusty Anchor, MidTrail Restaurant, or Mountainview Restaurant. As you head to bed, let the sounds of the ocean and the breezes off the sea lull you to sleep in our quaint fishing town.
St Ann's Bay
Sit back and relax as you watch the sun rise over the ocean in St Ann’s Bay, while enjoying some local pastries. Spend a day touring the shops of skilled crafters — watch them create treasures in clay, pewter, wood, fibre, glass, or leather. Shop for Cape Breton quilts, fine art, even an antique.
Hike or snowshoe a local trail, or one of our rocky shores. Stand atop the rolling hills and stare down at the bay below. Bring along a fishing rod and cast a line into our many rivers or lakes, or try your luck in the ocean at Jersey Cove.
Heed the call of the ocean and join a kayak tour (lessons available!) as you discover the therapeutic touch of the sea. If you’re a bird lover, be sure to take a boat tour out to our Bird Islands – don’t forget your camera! In fact, wildlife and riotous plant life are waiting everywhere for the avid photographer or painter.
It's easy to spend a day at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts. Explore the museum displays and the College gift shop, wander the grounds. In the high season, take part in a traditional music ceilidh, or hear an evening concert of Cape Breton's music. Sign up for a class!
However you spend your days in St Ann's, don't forget to watch the moon rise out of the sea; what a finish!
Top of the Island
At the Top of the Island, you can wake up to the call of the birds and the rush of the waves luring you out to explore. Start your day with a hike to Beulach Ban Falls — one of nature’s most mystical gems. Take along some fishing gear and discover our teeming rivers and shores.
Continue along your travels and discover the North Highlands Community Museum. Here, learn about shipwrecks, the early settlers of northern Cape Breton, and much more. Next, try Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures — take a kayak out on the ocean to go shorebird watching. You can also rent bikes or take a guided nature tour! Spend your afternoon working up an appetite for a fresh seafood dinner.
Choose among the many fine diners and restaurants this area has to offer. With fish, lobster, and seemingly endless seafood delights, we are sure you’ve never had better!
After dinner, take some time to roam our picturesque villages and charming shops. Take a look around Courtney’s Country Crafts to discover some of the finest handmade goods created by talented Maritime artisans.
At the end of your adventure-packed day, take some time to sit back and listen to the sounds of nature as you look up at the star-studded sky. This is a beauty that only paradise can offer.