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Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

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Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

My husband and I are coming to NS in mid-August. Our original plan was to hit Cape Breton after a few days around Halifax/Lunenburg. We'd stay one night in Mabou, drive the Cabot Trail, stay one night in Cape North, and then drive to Louisbourg the next day, with the day after also in Louisbourg for the fortress and playhouse.

However, we've realized we've planned a lot of driving. Also, my husband isn't as keen on the Fortress of Louisbourg and is more interested in the lakes. What else is there to do around Louisbourg besides the fortress and playhouse? What is there to do around the lakes? I think we'd be interested in going to Iona and the historical set-up there. Would Baddeck be the best place to stay?

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1. Re: Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

The Fortress of Louisbourg is likely the best historic reconstruction on the continent. I would compare it somewhat with Colonial Williamsburg although I prefer Louisbourg as it isn't nearly as commercial as williamsburg. But if you aren't interested in history it isn't the place to go. The other point of interest in the Sydney/Louisbourg area is the Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace Bay. Many of our B&B guests find it the highlight of their trip to the Island. But again, if history and culture doesn't particularly interest you then this side of the Island likely isn't for you. Baddeck is a lovely village but I find it a little too "touristy" for my liking. The Highland Village in Iona is a nice stop. It is historically interesting and has one of the most commanding views on the Bras d'Or Lakes.

You are likely aware that the Bras d'Or Lakes aren't actually lakes but a large very irregular arm of the sea. The water is saline with a salinity about 20% less than the ocean as a result of the large runoff into the "lake". All the life in the Bras d'Or is sea life (lobster, oysters, etc). I actually have a home on the Bras d'Or and love it but from a tourist's perspective it isn't as dramatic as any of the other coastal areas in cape Breton.


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2. Re: Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

Hi travelgirl326, take a look at novascotia.com/en/home/whattodo/default.aspx to find out what to do/see in Baddeck & Louisbourg.

You'll find festivals, museums, outdoor activites, and dining. This should help, as you can search for the types of things you and your husband are into.

Have a great day!

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3. Re: Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

I think we need to hear just how many days you have on the ground for this trip. If you have a full seven or more, than all your selections can be done.

On Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail is one loop and you can do Louisburg and Iona in another loop

I suggest you get Cape Breton done first so the farthest locations are done when you have more flexibility. From central Cape Breton to Lunenburg can be done in say 5-6 hours and that would be your longest day really.

I can suggest accomodations in all the locations, especially teh Margaree area, Dingwall, Ingonish, Sydney and even Lunenburg.

You can leave Ingonish, do Louisburg, and next day pick up Iona on the way off the island for example.


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4. Re: Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

About Iona, yes it does have a beautiful view at the Museum of the Bras d'or Lakes. It will only take you at the most I would say would be 2 1/2 hours there. Parents and a class of grade 4's just went there on Friday. I do have a few pics that I will put up some time today. Just click on my username then contributions-photos and you will see Cabot Trail, Baddeck, Fortress of Loiusbourg, and Highland Village in Iona.

5. Re: Skipping Louisbourg for Baddeck/Bras d'Or Lakes?

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