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.

traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

Allentown...
Level Contributor
10 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

flying into Halifax then driving to Cape Breton want ideas of where to stay where to go to see the most in 9- 10 days can check in and out of hotels if that is the best way to see the whole area we don't want to spend all of our days driving we want to enjoy the scenary, enjoy the food, music, sight see any suggestions?

Allentown...
Level Contributor
10 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

if flying into halifax which would be better to do Prince Edward Island first or cape breton? and how long of a drive is it? f want to see as much of each location as we can in the time without spending the entire day driving as far as the cabot trail, we want to do a few things along the way so where should we stay to do these? we want to to do a ceildh(I believe they said the west coast of Cabot trail is best) whate watching , artisans trail, fortress of louisburg and the alexander graham bell museum but still want time to enjoy the scenary and the food plan on a Thurs to the following Saturday.....

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
11,278 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

You have enough time to see quite a bit in Cape Breton and PEI. You should probably limit it to that though we could go on and on about other places worth seeing.

Here is a map with some travel times to help you plan:

http://bit.ly/zGnfZQ

There is a ferry from near Pictou to PEI, but I cannot get the routing to go that way. It takes about the same amount of time as driving to the Bridge.

Be sure to get the guidebook and map here:

www.novascotia.com/en/home/default.aspx

Cape Breton Island...
Destination Expert
for Cape Breton Island
Level Contributor
1,459 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

Timing of your flights is rather key here . What time of day do you arrive and what time do you have to leave? It's that time on the round that counts . If you leave the airport , it is 3 hours to the entry point onto Cape Breton . I would aim to get to Cape Breton first and then do things after Cape Breton in PEI and maybe even to Halifax and Lunenburg as your final loop.

You can find our CB music in some venues like Judique and Glenora during the day, and in the evenings in Mabou, North East Margaree , but these evening ones are usually just one night . If we know the days of the week we could tell you . There is chap that does music schedules at think "CB Choices".

Bell Museum needs at least 2-3 hours and Louisburg needs 3-4 , so a stay in Sydney is good place . Check the B&B's for anyplace on Cape Breton , best way to enjoy your trip.

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
11,278 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

http://www.cbchoices.com/

Allentown...
Level Contributor
10 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

thank you so much for the info will check into the things you suggested we will be arriving to Cape Breton on a Thursday and we fly out of Halifax the following week on A Saturday so appreciate your suggestions wondering if we stay in Sydney, and want to do things during the day and evening different areas as you suggested , will it be alot of driving from Sydney to these areas.? Don't want to keep hopping hotel to hotel but don't want to spend the bulk of our time driving either......

I am glad for your input since I thought going to PEI thurs to Saturday would be best and then head to Cape Breton and then back to Halifax so anything you can tell me to make my planning easier I appreciate...

Cape Breton Island...
Destination Expert
for Cape Breton Island
Level Contributor
1,459 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

If you don't want to drive an awful lot, then that limits you. These are not long distances on Cape breton really , but because the Cabot Trail is a 300 kilometer circle, with no short cuts , you have to travel at least 75% to see it.

So Also if you want the music , that again limits you primarily to the West coast of cape breton. The music is easiest to find on the weekends . You say you'll you arrive on Cape Breton on a thursday , then your music choices are at Judique, Mabou or the Glenora distillery . You likely would then go around the Cabot Trail on the Friday , but may not go as far as Sydney .

So plan Thursday night to stay near Mabou or the Glenora distillery , best to get a cabin at West Mabou . the next I suspect you'll only get part of the way around the cabot trail but you'd be able to play that one as you go that day ,but decide by noon.

Cabins or B&B's or thew inns are the way to stay on Cape Breton. It's a lot like a Scotland or an Ireland .

there are distance and time charts on the official Nova Scotia map and website and their times are conservative .

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

ibnanc3,

With the days that you have available this is what I would recommend to see Cape Breton & PEI:

Thursday - drive to Cape Breton and plan to stay somewhere on the west coast of the Island. I would recommend staying somewhere like Ocean Haven B&B just north of Margaree Harbour. It is a lovely B&B with excellent hosts and a stunning panoramic view over the Gulf of St Lawrence. The sunsets are breathtaking. If you stayed there Thursday, Friday and Saturday night you could have 2 full days of activities in the area. Thursday evening I would highly recommend driving 20 minutes back to Inverness to attend the local "ceilidh" in the Inverness firehall. I find it one of the best on the Island and it will give you a real good snapshot of the vibrant Celtic culture that permeates that side of the Island.

Friday - go whale watching either out of Cheticamp or Pleasant Bay. If you are into hiking you could also do the "Skyline Trail" which is halfway between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay. It is a great hike, more of a walk really, as it winds along a mountain ridge overlooking the ocean. Friday evening you should again be able to find some great local music in Cheticamp. I don't think this year's schedule is out yet but Cheticamp's "Festival de l'Escaouette" usually runs most of the summer and the nightly musical events will give you a good taste of Cape Breton's Acadian history.

Saturday - continue exploring the west coast of the Island. It is well worthwhile spending some time in Cheticamp itself. The visitor's centre "Les Trois Pignons" is well worth a visit. The display of "Cheticamp Rughooking" by Madame Lefort is world class and shouldn't be missed. If you want to spend any time on the beach, this is the place to do it. Whale Cove about 10 minutes south of Ocean Haven B&B is one of my favourites but all of the beaches from Port Hood right up to Cheticamp are superb. There are also many other great hikes in the area. Saturday evening you could take in more music in Cheticamp.

Sunday - spend the day travelling around the Cabot Trail aiming to reach Sydney by supper time. Driving time from Ocean Haven to Sydney is about 4 hours so you will have plenty of time to liesurely drive the Trail. Don't forget to deviate off the Trail into White Point and Neil's Harbour. Sunday evening you can dine in one of Sydney's fine restaurants and will have no problem finding good local music.

Monday - visit the fortress of Louisbourg. Most of our guests spend the entire day there, stay in the Town of Louisbourg for dinner (snow crab the specialty) and then attend the nightly show at the Louisbourg Playhouse (www.louisbourgplayhouse.com) from 8-10 before returning to Sydney (only 20 minutes away) for your second night..

Tuesday - Do a day trip around a portion of the Bras d'Or Lakes passing through Baddeck to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and then Iona to visit the Highland Village. Try to arrive back in Sydney by about 3PM to then head to Glace Bay to visit the Cape Breton Miner's Museum. Many of our guests find the Miner's Museum with the associated underground tour with a retired miner one of the most moving experiences of their visit to Nova scotia. You could then have dinner at the Miner's Village Restaurant and, if you are lucky, attend the Men of the Deeps performance at the theatre of the Miner's Museum (the Men of the Deeps perform most Tuesday evenings throughout the summer - unfortunately their schedule isn't out yet but you can find it at www.menofthedeeps.com).

Wednesday - head for PEI. Driving time from Sydney to Charlottetown is 5 hours. This includes the 75 minutes on the ferry but does not include any wait time , time for lunch, gas stops, etc.

Thursday - explore PEI

Friday - Continue to explore PEI in the AM and then head to Halifax for the night before a Saturday departure.

I hope I've provided you with a snapshot of what is available. There is a lot to do/see in Cape Breton and whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy our wonderful island.

Cheers

Allentown...
Level Contributor
10 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

thank you so much for all the info and help planning

Cape Breton Island...
Level Contributor
224 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

everything pfound said sounds great put to save some time and travel i would start my tuesday in glacebay and then start to work my way across the island satying either in baddeck that night or even Port Hawksbury to shorten your trip

Pleasant Bay, Canada
6 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: traveling to Cape Breton for first time in August

For hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Pleasant Bay is a great location, It is considered the halfway point of the Cabot Trail. The hostel is a great place to get info from other hikers on the conditions of the trails. If you are wanting to visit the Gampo Abbey be aware they are only open for a few hours in the afternoons during the week and closed on the weekends.

Have fun.

Get answers to your questions about Cape Breton Island