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Three Days in Cape Breton

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Three Days in Cape Breton

This is Ebuc again who asked for help before in planning our Eastern Canada Itinerary. Once again, I need some help in choosing specific locations. I'd like your suggestion where to spend the night in Cape Breton. We are just driving thru the place for sight seeing and visiting important sites, cultural events and museums. We will have no time for camping, hiking, boating or swimming. We are driving from Halifax from 9/3 to 9/5. We want to finalize the reservations of lodging but couldn't decide the best place to spend the night perhaps due to lack of knowledge of the terrain and time spend in driving or stopping along the way. If you will travel the island, where would you spend for the night. Is Sept. a rainy season in this island? Thanks in advance for the tips.

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1. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

I am confused. Are you leaving Halifax on September 3 and returning on the 5th? If so you would have two nights on the road.

I cannot answer your question without knowing at what time of day you will be leaving Halifax and how many nights you will have.

Here is a map showing the drive from Halifax to Cape Breton and the scenic drives on the Ceilidh and Cabot Trails and then the drive back to Halifax. This would be the bare bones drive with no diversions.

http://goo.gl/maps/mhir8

If you have a bit more time then you could take the scenic drive through Iona and around more of the Bras D'Or Lakes: http://goo.gl/maps/fMmUf

If you do have two nights on the road then stay somewhere on the west coast the first night (Mabou to Cheticamp) and perhaps in the Baddeck area the second night.

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2. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Sorry to confuse you Maryann-ns, we'll be in CB on the nights of 3rd, 4th and 5th. We're not heading back to Halifax on the 6th but looking also for a strategic location to cover Annapolis and Bay of Fundy. I was thinking of Truro. I know the driving will only be few hours apart but we're maximizing the best place for scenic, not too pricey, with evening folk show entertainment.

You suggested heading to Northwest in Mabou, I was planning the other direction to Baddeck and also cover Sydney and then back to Cabot Trail Rd on the way to Neils Harbour. We will go around the island to Cheticamp and Mabou.

On the 7th, we'll be heading back to Halifax via Yarmouth, Lunenberg and spend the night near Halifax airport. We leave on the morning of 8th to Montreal.

Edited: 03 June 2013, 16:16
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3. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

For the Annapolis Valley/bay of Fundy, I would push on to Wolfville. It is more central, with great restaurants and shops. It is also closer to what you want to see.

You will have a crazy long day driving even from Wolfville via Yarmouth:

http://goo.gl/maps/g8SPT

If you stick to the main highway you will have many hours with little to see. I would suggest you cut across country and have a bit of time to see something along the way.

http://goo.gl/maps/YpAQ2

http://goo.gl/maps/0bUOx

This last route would make for a much better day with time to see the coastal villages and scenic beauty.

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4. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Bonjour!

I see you had a climate related question about Cape Breton Island....is it a rainy season? Like most seasons on Cape Breton Island it is very "unsure". We could get a cool breeze and by the time you've reached for your jacket the sun could get so hot that you'd have to strip layers let alone change your mind about the jacket. :0) September is a beautiful month and last year people were still swimming in the Atlantic ocean. We usually don't get much rain on this side of the island, as my name suggests I live in Chéticamp. My favorite time of year is Autumn, when the colors explode in the Cape Breton Highlands.

Chéticamp is a small Acadian (French) fishing village full of culture and music....we're known to be "toujours chantant" which translates to "always singing" the people, the culture, the wind blowing, the waves crashing..

you will always hear music in the area. If you are here for 1 day or 4 days you are guarenteed to participate in a cultural activity, be it in our popular theatre, La Place des arts Père - Anselme - Chiasson, on the boardwalk with local artists or perhaps violin in a local restaurant.

I hope that when you make it to this beautiful Island you have time to visit us and stay a while ;0)

Bonne journée!

Yvette

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5. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Thanks for those timely suggestions, I have some questions with regards to our lodging in CB?

1) If our objective on Day 1 is to visit Sydney, should we stay for the night in Baddeck or Ingonish?

2) Is there anything interesting to see on the eastern side of Bras D'Or Lake, I think it's the Great Narrows Hwy. on the way to Sydney? I mentioned this because on the Day 3, we will cut our road trip in Mabou back to 105 on the way to Wolfville.

3) We are also choosing between Pleasant Bay or Cheticamp to spend the night for Day 2, which one is preferable. On Day 3, which place would you recommend? I was thinking when we reach Mabou, we just cut back to 105 and stay in Baddeck. Is that a good alternative?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Edited: 04 June 2013, 19:28
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6. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Thanks Yvette, you answered my post above where to stay on Day 2, I think we are now sold to proceed to Cheticamp because we are interested in being exposed to the culture of the area and my wife loves to sing. In fact that is the reason why we're traveling this time year because she was asked to sing in a wedding of friend's daughter in Manhattan. After that event, we want to visit for the first time Eastern part of Canada including your French-Canadian cities Quebec and Montreal. At first, what we were planning was only Halifax good for three days, but a lot of expert in this area convinced me extend it to more days to do justice to this picturesque island. Because of this we extended our stay to 7 days in Halifax & Cape Breton and the other 6 days on Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa. I have a question Yvette, if we are not going to camp out, go to the sea may it be swimming, boating, whale watching, go for hiking due to time constraints, do you think we will be the type of tourist who will enjoy the amenities of Cape Breton? Right now our objective is sight seeing and cultural education. I asked a lot of my Canadian friends and most of them reside in the West, they too have not visited your area, so I apologize for having a zero knowledge.

Merci'

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7. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Cape Breton is wonderful for those who love scenery and culture. There is lots of both of those to fill your time.

I think it is an easier drive from Baddeck to Sydney than it is from Ingonish. Between Ingonish and Sydney you get to climb up and down Cape Smokey. It is not a mountain in western terms but it is still quite a climb, and of course part of the scenic Cabot Trail.

What are you interested in seeing in Sydney?

I love the drive through Little and Grand Narrows and Iona: http://goo.gl/maps/P6KtY

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8. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

I was referring to 104W highway going to St. Peters to Irish Cove to Soldiers Pond then to Sydney. I don't know whether this is worth passing through this route. It was marked a scenic route in Rand McNally road Atlas. Is there anything worth seeing in Sydney? That's the reason why I mentioned Ingonish going north instead of going back south. However, if there is really nothing to see on the Irish Cove route, we will just proceed with 105 to Baddeck. What would you recommend Maryann for us to visit if we remove Sydney?

Edited: 05 June 2013, 07:03
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9. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Are you planning to visit Louisbourg which is simply amazing. You get totally immersed into 1744.

pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index.aspx

You should also consider visiting the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, the Highland Village Museum in Iona and the Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay.

www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/grahambell/index.aspx

museum.gov.ns.ca/hv/en/home/default.aspx

http://www.minersmuseum.com/

All of Cape Breton is scenic, so it is a matter of time and priorities.

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10. Re: Three Days in Cape Breton

Thanks Maryann for all those ideas, they're all amazing it's now a trip of the lifetime. You gave me a lot of ideas where to go and what scenic route to take?

From what you posted, I don't know whether it is a good plan. Critique if you wish and add inputs.

Sept 2nd, Day One we arrive Halifax from Newark,NJ rent a car, go around the City and have a dinner with longtimed friends who are now residents of Halifax;

Day 2 - From Halifax, we head for Cape Breton taking 105 to Baddeck, visit Graham Bell Museum, after lunch we take the road to Iona, Great Narrows all the way to Louisebourg Fortress. On the way back, we could spend the night in Sydney. I presume there are more choices for dinner.

Day 3 - we'll see if there is time to see the Miners Museum in Glaze Bay then back to 105, spend time sight seeing on the northernmost City of CB then spend the night in Ingonish,

Day 4, spend more time going around the park and other interesting spots at Pleasant Bay and finally spend the night in Cheticamp and attend those folk singing and dancing that Yvette suggested.

Day 5, we'll be heading Wolfville, see the changing tides in Bay of Fundy spend the night in Wolfville

Day 6 visit Annapolis, Lunenberg, Peggy's Cove and Halifax, return the car and spend the night near the airport.

Day 7 Sunday - take the morning flight to Montreal.

Thanks to Trip Advisor experts, Maryann, Yvette. I started from nothing and now got a plan which actually half the fun in travels. I develop it out from your insightful recommendations. To get somebody excited, I take my hats off in providing a creative words-eye-views of the Cape, madame ladies. I hope I can reciprocate your generosity if you ever visit Southern California.

Edited: 05 June 2013, 18:35