Things to do in the Sydney Area

My wife and I operate a B&B in Sydney. I state this, not as an ad, but so that you know that my remarks on what do do in the Sydney area reflect 7 years of guest experiences in the Sydney area. What we have found over the seven years we have opened our home to guests, is that those guests that spend two or more nights in one place are enjoying their vacation substantially more than those who are rushing to a different location each night. Typically, our guests have been spending two or three nights in the Sydney area. Those who spend only one day in the area are invariably disappointed that they haven’t allow enough time to see the major attractions in the area and experience a little of the local culture.

Generally, our guests will arrive one night, usually around suppertime, and spend the first night with us. The next morning they will head to the Fortress at Louisbourg (20 minutes away) and will usually spend the entire day there. They will often have supper in the town of Louisbourg and then attend the show (2 hours of Cape Breton music/comedy) at the Louisbourg Playhouse and arrive back at our place about 1030, tired but happy. The next morning after breakfast (their second full day in the area) they may choose to do a loop around a portion of the Bras d’Or Lakes (Cape Breton’s “Inland Sea”) visiting the Highland Village in Iona and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck enroute. That evening after dinner at one of Sydney’s finer restaurants they may attend another show of typical Cape Breton/Celtic music in downtown Sydney before spending their third night in Sydney. The next morning after breakfast they will depart, either heading around the Cabot Trail or, if they have already done that, off the island and on with their vacation. There is also the Miner's Museum to see in Glace Bay (20 min away). You can squeeze that in one of the first mornings or do it the morning you leave Sydney. Some of our guests will also do the Cabot Trail from Sydney. If you do this keep in mind that it is about 5 ½ hours of driving time not counting any stops to eat, sightsee etc.  With some planning you can do the drive plus do either a whale watching tour or a hike in the National Park.  Personally, I don't recommend doing the Cabot Trail this way. You are much better off to do the Cabot Trail in two or three days, spending a night or two at accommodations around the Trail. That then gives you the opportunity to do things like hiking, whale-watching, kayaking, etc.There is a lot to see and do in Cape Breton and how long you stay in any area obviously depends on where your interests lie.