We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Cape Breton stay

Rye, New York
8 posts
Save Topic
Cape Breton stay

Due to a death in the family last year, we had to cancel our trip to NS.

We want to plan it again for September but have decided that the previous itinerary for 8 nights, Lunenberg to Annapolis to Truro to Ingonish to Antigonish was way too much time in the car and too many places to overnight. So now we are thinking of spending 7 nights but having only two different accomodations for the entire trip.

Our main focus would be Cape Breton Island as we love the outdoors, hiking, whale watching and admiring the beauty of the location we are in. I am having a hard time figuring out what to make our first stop from Halifax airport.. and how many days to be in one spot... As I said, I would just like to have two different places to stay. is that possible with the size ofCape Breton? Thanks

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Cape Breton stay

Are you going to do only Cape Breton on this trip? ie Do you want 2 accommodations on Cape Breton Island or only one on Cape breton Island and a second elsewhere? On Cape Breton Island are you interested only in the outdoor activities or do you also want to visit the historic attractions like the Fortress of Louisbourg, the Cape Breton Miner's Museum in Glace Bay, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck and the Highland Village in Iona? Do you want to catch local Cape Bretyon/Celtic music in the evenings?

Rye, New York
8 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Cape Breton stay

I am thinking as we don't want to drive too much that we would concentrate in the Cape Breton area, otherwise if we went to Advocate Harbour and then to Cape Breton it would be too much driving, no? We would like to see Louisburg but our interest really lies in hiking and whale watching. Not interested too much in the Celtic music... so was thinking of two different accomodations on Cape Breton. So where do you think pfound, that we should stay? Lantern hill and hollow in Ingonish looked interesting last time so if we stayed there should we stay down by the lake for our second accomodation?Thank you

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Cape Breton stay

With waht you seem to be interested in I would stay in northern Cape Breton for the entire time. You could split your stay and stay somewhere on the western/northwestern side of the Island (anywhere from Mabou to Cheticamp) for the first while and then move to the north eastern side for a few days. Lantern Hill and Hollow is an excellent choice for the eastern side. On the western side take a look at the Inn at Glendyer outside of Mabou, Chimney Corner Cottages just north of Inverness, Ocean Haven B&B north of Margaree Harbour and Pilot Whale B&B just south of Cheticamp.

Cheers

Cape Breton Island...
Destination Expert
for Cape Breton Island
Level Contributor
1,394 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Cape Breton stay

Lets try to deal with the time you have , and routes you can take. The loop called the Cabot Trail is basically a full circle, with no short cuts. An alternate is to travel to Ingonish from Margaree clockwise, have afternoon lunch, then loop back counter clockwise. Like two whole different trips. Car time about 3 1/2 hours. From the airport to the entry point on Cape Breton for someone just cruising at 60 will take you about 2 hours 45 minutes. Then within the next 1 1/2 hours , you can reach your likely staging point along the west coast , be it Margaree or Cheticamp . Hiking in the Park is mainly easy to medium, up to 3 hour trips like the Skyline. Whale watching , Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay have a side bonus as on their trips you travel right along the cliffs where you drive those post card roads of the Trail. SO, concentrate on the the TRAIL loop first, then decide of the base for the loop that might include Baddeck, Sydney, Louisburg ,Glace Bay. Sydney at the Paradise Found is a good base, a you can make day trips to all points from there, then plan to leave the island on Route 4 to 104 and then you can have at least a one night stay on the mainland, depending on your flight departure time . Even if an early morning departure, consider the Briarwood B&B in Elmsdale.

Rye, New York
8 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Cape Breton stay

Thanks caperbeach... I will look into your suggestions.. I hope we are not limiting ourselves too much but I don't want to spread ourselves too thin by sticking to the original itinerary from last year... would love to see more of NS but with a week's time it seems as if that is not enough to leisurely enjoy all of the beauty of NS. If you were planning on visiting CB which other destination would you also do along with it. Maybe we can get CB and another location in if we add a day. thank you

Advocate Harbour...
Level Contributor
1,606 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Cape Breton stay

Hi ryegirl - If you did extend your stay outside of Cape Breton, as you seem to now be thinking of, for your hiking or other outdoor activities (not whale watching) the Advocate Harbour area is the logical choice. While the hiking in Cape Breton is great, you certainly wont see the same type of amazing coast that the worlds highest tides have carved in the Advocate Harbour area. Cape Chignecto Park is known by hikers across the country to offer some of the best hiking expereinces in Canada, especially for its wilderness coastal trail. Its only 2 1/2 hours from the airport, or 3 hours from Halifax. It would be interesting for you to be able to compare these two distinctly different landscapes.

I know some call the drive to Advocate the mini Cabot Trail - but it is really a entirely different type of expereince, largely because of the huge tides - a only place in the world type expereince! If you want to see more of what its like check www.bayoffundytourism.com where you can find Advocate Harbour listed under the "things to do page" or www.fundyfun.com Also some youtube videos of the walks and hikes can be found on the Bay of Fundy travel show on the above Bay of Fundy Recommended Expereinces site.

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
169 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Cape Breton stay

Thank you Caperbeach for your information about driving times. For our trip in September we too want to concentrate our time on CBI. We will be arriving in Halifax at 9:00 at night. Based on your information, I think it would make sense for us to spend the night at a hotel near the airport and then take off the next morning for our first destination which is Margaree Harbour. I'll be looking for an airport hotel. The Holiday Inn Express at the Halifax Airport was rated well on TA Are there any other suggestions for an airport hotel?

We will be spending 5 nights on CBI - 3 on the west coast near Margaree Harbour and 2 near Ingonish after which we'll be driving back to Halifax. We don't want to drive straight through in one day. Can you suggest a 1/2 way location between Ingonish and Halifax where we could spend the night with a water view or other scenic option for lodging?

Could you also confirm the driving time between Ingonish and Halifax? The distance calculator on NovaScotia.com gives a driving time of 9 hours as compared to the driving time on MapQuest of 5 hours and 20 minutes. What's the true driving time?

Halifax
Level Contributor
102 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Cape Breton stay

Hi there MiMi58. My name is Fiona and I work with NS Tourism.

The driving time between Ingonish and Halifax is approx 5h 20mins and the time between the airport and Ingonish would be around 4h 50mins, though depending on the traffic, it might be closer to 6h from Halifax to Ingonish. It might have said 9h because it calculated it using the Eastern Shore and if it started at Ingonish and went over to Pleasant Bay before coming back down.

The quickest way is generally to take the 102 Hwy to Truro, then get onto the TransCanada Hwy 104 to the Causeway (entrance to Cape Breton), after that the Hwy changes to #105 heading towards Baddeck where you can get onto the Cabot Trail up to Inngonish.

As far as a place halfway between the two I would suggest around the entrance to Cape Breton to the Antigonish area which should take you approx. 2.5-3h.

Hope this information helps,

Fiona

Edited: 18 May 2010, 20:46
Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Cape Breton stay

The distance calculator on novascotia.com actually gives driving time from Ingonish to halifax as 5 hrs 37 minutes and you will actually find these tables a little conservative. As Fiona says 5hrs 20 min is about right. If you do want to stop part way to Halifax Antigonish is a good choice. If you want a place right on the water, Sunflower B&B in Pomquet would be an excellent choice. Robert & Bernice are excellent hosts and breakfast overlooking the harbour is glorious.

Did you end up booking at Ocean haven in Margaree Harbour?

Cheers

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
169 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Cape Breton stay

Thanks Fiona and Pfound for the information.

Pfound - I sent off an email to Ocean Haven to find out about availability.