Where To Stay In Baddeck: The Inverary Resort
The Cabot Trail loops in either direction starting at Baddeck, so this is a great spot to begin your journey.
It takes about a 4 hour drive to get to Baddeck from the Halifax airport if flying in.
Once you reach Baddeck spend the night at the Inverary Resort before departing on the rest of your journey to explore Cape Breton.
The Inverary Resort is a super cute and charming resort. You can see why this is such a popular wedding venue and destination!
They have lots to do on site including a golf course, pool, paddle boards, and kayaks.
I loved my stay at the Inverary Resort and it was a great place to start my time on Cape Breton Island.
Kluskap Ridge Rv And Campground
Nestled into the woods on St. Anns bay is Kluscap Ridge RV and Campground. This open and wooded family campground comes with 33 overnight sites in addition to 35 seasonal sites. This is an elevated location on an ocean inlet, featuring pay showers and a bath, a convenience store, canteen, firepits, wood, laundromat, free Wi-Fi and more!
Cabot Trail Accommodation: Pleasant Bay
If you want to stay inside the park but not camp, a good option is to book a hotel in Pleasant Bay. Its a small fishing community near many of the best hiking trails in the park . Its also where many whale watching tours depart from.
Budget: If youre traveling solo or looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, there is a HI-hostel in Pleasant Bay.Ive stayed at various HI locations throughout the world, and they are always good quality!
Mid-range: A good option is Mountain View Motel & Cottages, which offers self-contained cottages with kitchens. Perfect if youre a family and want extra space!
Luxury: Another really cool place to stay inside the park is True North Destinations. These 5-star eco-conscious, luxury geodesic domes are one of the most unique places to stay along the Cabot Trail. All the domes have ocean views I would love to wake up in one!
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Have A Snack At Danenas Bakery & Bistro
Danenas Bakery & Bistro, originally established in 1982 by Danena & Larry Cook, has become a must visit spot for eats and treats along the Cabot Trail.
Here youll find the best in sweet & buttery Scottish baked goods, as well as tons of home cooked and wholesome food recipes.
Although Danena herself is no longer here, her daughters run the bakery and have done a great job keeping it the same place the locals have grown to love.
At Danenas you can expect excellent service & hospitality, authentic Scottish baked goods, along with a fine selection of fresh wholesome food. Enjoy!
How Much Time Do You Need To Explore Cape Breton Island
Although some people drive the entire island and the Cabot Trail in just a day, I recommend taking at least 3 days to do it.
This way youll truly get to experience a lot of the sights that Cape Breton has to offer.
Youll quickly see from this post that there are a ton of them!
Starting at Baddeck, you will drive headed north along the west side of the island and loop back down heading east.
I recommend starting your trip by spending a night in Baddeck, then along the way stay in Ingonish, and finally Chéticamp.
On your way back to Halifax I recommend spending one last night in Baddeck just for ease of travel! Thats what we did.
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Glenora Inn & Distillery
On the western side of Cape Breton, near Inverness, the Glenora Inn & Distillery is a perfect destination with quaint chalets that look out over the area, or rustic rooms in their inn.
Rooms are perfectly priced for a stay of a few days or even a week, and larger groups can try the two and three bedroom chalets for the perfect space to spread out and enjoy the beautiful rural setting.
Plus, for anyone who loves whisky, the distillery is excellent, and you can sample a dram in the bar or restaurant, or take home a bottle if you really fall in love.
Try Out A Beautiful Inn:
We understand a lot of people either dont want to try out AirBNB or would rather stick to a more traditional accommodation with an Inn. Over the summer we stayed at a few different Inns across Cape Breton and really enjoyed the experience.
Castlerock Inn, Ingonish: While making your way around the Cabot Trail, youll inevitably end up in Ingonish. Its probably best known for National Park camping and beaches. Just outside of the town youll find Castlerock Inn. We didnt have an opportunity to eat at their restaurant but if youre there on a nice day the views are stunning and they have a fabulous outdoor patio.
Chanterelle Inn, North River Bridge: If youre looking to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds, then this place is for you! Youll again find some stunning views around the property and theres also an onsite restaurant that sources the majority of their ingredients locally.
Clairestone Inn, Arichat: On the other side of Cape Breton, just off the coast on Isle Madame youll find the town of Arichat. The recently renovated Clairestone Inn is the perfect place to stay while visiting the area. The rooms are bright and airy and the huge front patio again has amazing views!
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Facts About Staying In Cape Breton
Where is the best place to stay in Cape Breton?
Sydney, Baddeck, and Cheticamp are some of the most favored places to stay in Cape Breton.
What are the best hotels in Cape Breton?
Holiday Inn Sydney – Waterfront , Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney Nova Scotia , and Hearthstone Inn Sydney are all highly rated places to stay in Cape Breton.
Stop For Ice Cream And A Picture With The Lighthouse At Neils Harbour
Neils Harbour is an unincorporated area in the Municipality of the County of Victoria on Cape Breton Island.
Originally settled by Acadians, Neils Harbour has approximately only 300 residents!
Although there are a few cottages here, most of the residents are in the lobster and crab fishing industry.
Neils Harbour is such an adorable little place to stop, not only to see the quaint little seaside houses and fishing boats dotting the water, but because they have a pretty lighthouse too!
The Neils Harbour lighthouse is now an ice cream shop and is a great place to stop for a sweet treat before continuing to explore Cape Breton.
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Take In The Stunning Views At Whale Cove
Although its not along the Cabot Trail, Whale Cove features some pretty stunning views and is definitely worth the pit stop while touring Cape Breton Island.
Here you can expect panoramic views of the surrounding cliffsides, crashing waves below, and fields as far as the eye can see.
You might even be lucky enough to catch a view of a whale or two here!
Campgrounds & Rv Sites
Get back to our roots and fall in love with Cape Breton Islands natural charm. RV around the Cabot Trail, camp cliffside with the sunrise as your alarm clock or simply venture backcountry to disconnect. Experience a night in a luxury geodesic dome nestled into the woods, or imagine a glamping site that overlooks the Margaree Valley. Whatever your camping and RV desires, these sites are sure to impress.
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Cedar House Bakery & Restaurant Boularderie East
For the drive to Ingonish from Sydney, or headed from the Highlands down to Sydney, if youre looking for a road-side diner, Cedar House Bakery & Restaurant is incredible.
They have a great menu with soup, nachos, sandwiches and burgers, hot turkey or clam strips, baked beans, fishcakes, and even personal sized pizza.
And dont forget to browse the bakery before you leave. They have amazing breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries.
Book Yourself An Unforgettable Helicopter Tour Of Cape Breton
Theres nothing quite like witnessing a new place from a birds eye view, and Cape Breton is no exception.
With the incredible landscape of rolling hills, lush green forest, sandy beaches, cliffs, and waterfalls all surrounded by the ocean seeing Cape Breton from above is truly an unforgettable experience.
You can book a helicopter tour of Cape Breton through Celtic Air Services which is the best helicopter tour company in the area.
The flights with Celtic Air Services leave from Chéticamp and will definitely leave you in awe!
This I hands down one of the best things to do in Cape Breton Island!
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Hampton Inn By Hilton Sydney Membertou
Sydney has a few hotels, inns, and B& Bs, and my favourite was the Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney in Membertou. The hotel is newly renovated, offers a pool with a slide, a free hot breakfast, and there are suites, a gym, and laundry available.
Located across the street from the Membertou Convention Centre, its a short drive to the waterfront, numerous excellent restaurants, parks, biking trails, and the Membertou Entertainment Centre.
The hotel is also pet-friendly, and affordable, with excellent rates. Since its a short drive to a lot of what Sydney has to offer, including the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, its a great place to stay for a few days.
Stop By The Adorable Chticamp Lighthouse
You cant visit Chéticamp without checking out the Chéticamp Harbour Lighthouse!
The Chéticamp Lighthouse is painted in the Acadian flag colors making it oh so instagrammable and the perfect place to stop for a photo.
While youre here take some time to stroll along the boardwalk too and just take in the peace and quiet.
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Spend A Night At The Incredible Keltic Lodge
The next spot you will be staying at along the Cabot Trail is the incredible The Keltic Lodge in Ingonish.
The Keltic Lodge sits on a strip of land jutting out into the water, so youre surrounded by incredible views on both sides that will leave you feeling mesmerized.
Its definitely one of the hot spot resorts in Cape Breton and was my favourite place we stayed at during this trip!
Enjoy A Lobster Roll At The Freight Shed: Waterside Bistro & Market
The Freight Shed is a very highly rated restaurant located just off the marina in Baddeck.
If theres one restaurant you definitely do not want to miss during your time on Cape Breton Island this has to be!
The Freight Shed serves arguably one of the best lobster rolls on Cape Breton Island.
Whether for dinner or lunch, make sure book yourself in for a meal here to try it out!
You definitely wont regret it.
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Stop By Sew Inclined The Funky Hat Boutique
Sew Inclined is a quirky little hat and clothing shop thats been open in Englishtown for over 28 years!
The owner Barbara Longva is so passionate about sewing and designing clothes. She started designing clothing at the age of 5 and hasnt looked back since.
Beyond being super fun and colorful on the outside visiting Sew Inclined is a unique experience in itself.
Once you walk into the shop youll be greeted by Barbara herself who will hand pick a hat for you that she thinks suits you best.
She was the sweetest and so passionate about what she does!
Try Moon Mist Ice Cream
Moon Mist Ice Cream is a Nova Scotia classic and an absolute favourite amongst kids there.
Although the flavours to me as an adult were a pretty wacky combination, you cant go to Cape Breton without at least TRYING a small sample of Moon Mist ice cream.
Moon Mist ice cream is a mix of banana, grape, and blue bubblegum ice cream.
Its loaded with flavour as you can imagine, and they say its truly out of this world.
Ill let you be the judge on that!
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Best Things To Do In Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia
Posted on Last updated:
Planning a trip to beautiful Cape Breton soon? This guide on the best things to do in Cape Breton Island is here to help you plan your trip!
I recently spent an incredible 4 days in Cape Breton with the Cape Breton Tourism board and got to experience the best that the island has to offer.
From incredible beaches to charming fishing villages, scenic hikes to cute lighthouses, whale spotting and so much more. This guide has everything you need to plan your incredible trip to Cape Breton.
*Please note that these are definitely not in order of preference, some of my favourite things to do are actually near the end of the list so be sure to scroll through them all!
Before we get started be sure to follow me on , TikTok, and . I share a lot of travel content on those that never make it to the blog!
Oh, and you might also want to check out this post:
Now, pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime! Youll soon realize why I immediately fell in love with Cape Breton!
Go For A Hike And A Swim At Gypsum Mine
My second favourite hike in all of Cape Breton was the hike to Gypsum Mine!
The Gypsum Mine Quarry & Trail is a 2.6km trail that leads you to a secret swimming spot: an old Gypsum quarry.
The waters here are so stunning and I wish I had the time to swim!
You can also climb up the rocks above to get an incredible view but be careful as it is quite steep. There are ropes to use to climb up but do so at your own risk.
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Have Lunch At Salty Roses & The Periwinkle Cafe
Salty Roses & The Periwinkle Cafe is a cute little cafe and shop located along the Cabot Trail in Ingonish.
The building itself is one of the oldest and most charming buildings in all of Ingonish.
The Periwinkle Cafe features fair trade coffee and delicious local fare.
Youll find all sorts of home baked goods, delicious sandwiches, and of course amazing seafood additions.
The shop itself features lots of carefully curated arts, crafts, jewelry and the likes made by all sorts of local artisans and creatives.
This is a great place to pick up a small souvenir for you someone you love back home!
Enjoy An All You Can Eat Lobster Dinner At Baddeck Lobster Suppers
Since you started your journey along the Cabot Trail in Baddeck, and the Cabot Trail is a loop, you will be finishing your journey here too.
Spend your last night in Cape Breton enjoying a classic all you can eat lobster dinner at Baddeck Lobster Suppers.
There really is no better way to toast to an amazing time in the East Coast!
Each all you can eat meal comes with unlimited bread, mussels, and chowder followed by your main of choice and dessert.
If lobster isnt your think dont worry! They also have snow crab, steak, and salmon in the all you can eat menus!
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Keltic Lodge At The Highlands Ingonish
Keltic Lodge is one of the top places to stay in Cape Breton Island, and the upscale hotel offers one of the best restaurant on the island too: the Purple Thistle Dining Room.
The hotel has a great golf course, and its located inside the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, with a trail right around the corner for hikers. Charming, and a little old fashioned, the historic hotel has a spa, an outdoor pool for the summer, and your choice of rooms inside the lodge, or in a cottage or suite.
The views from the rooms are impressive, and the cozy rooms offer everything youll want while you take a little downtime after exploring.
At the restaurants, you can enjoy upscale dining at the Purple Thistle Dining Room, with a focus on locally sourced dishes and seafood, or enjoy a relaxed pint, their delicious kettle chips, or fish and chips at the Highland Sitting Room.
Where To Stay In Ingonish: The Keltic Lodge
The Keltic Lodge is a beautiful and historic resort hotel located in the village of Ingonish and is a must stay at during your time on Cape Breton Island.
The Keltic Lodge sits on a strip of land jutting out into the water, so youre surrounded by incredible views on both sides.
Beyond the unique architecture and incredible views, The Keltic Lodge features extremely comfortable and spacious rooms, a beautiful on-site golf course, pool overlooking the water, spa, and wonderful dining options.
You can easily see why the Keltic Lodge is such a popular event and wedding destination. We actually saw a few bachelor and bachelorette parties while we were here!
Its definitely one of the hot spot resorts in Cape Breton and was my favourite place we stayed at during this trip!
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Day One: Inverness And The Cabot Trail
The adventure begins before even setting foot on the delightful Canadian island here, its about the journey as well as the destination, and the arrival via the Canso Causeway is as scenic as it getsthe perfect intro to a Cape Breton weekend.
Before even checking in, be sure to take a leisurely drive on the Cabot Trail, the islands two-lane highway that connects many of its scenic small towns and natural areas. This is a great way to get a feel for the island and to become acquainted with its enchanting atmosphere filled with diverse histories, cultures, and heritage.
- Grab a brew and late afternoon bite at Big Spruce Brewing, 64 Yankee Line Road, Baddeck
- Optional Stop: Celtic Shores Trail stunning coastline views
- Continue along the Cabot Trail to the lovely historic town of Inverness. Take a stroll or bike ride around Lake Ainslee, or scope the colorful sea glass at scenic Inverness Beach.
- Check into the Cabot Cape Breton, home to a variety of accommodations: luxe villas cliffside residences cozy lodge rooms and hillside homes, in addition to a spectacular golf course and some of the islands most stunning views Rates vary by season but start at $245 and up for lodge rooms in the Early/Late Season, see website for more info