Cape Breton Island: Places to Explore

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  • Arichat

    Arichat is the principal village on Isle Madame: the largest island in a 44-square-km (17-square-mile) archipelago of the same name, which sits at Cape Breton’s southernmost tip. Known for its...

  • Baddeck

    Baddeck has enough down-to-earth amenities (like a grocery store) to make it a service center, and enough charm to make it a tourist destination. The population is only about 1,000 residents but...

  • Big Pond

    This tiny community consists of a few houses dotted along the highway, and a famous tea room.

  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park

  • Cape North

    This is where explorer Giovanni Caboto (aka John Cabot) made land in 1497. Not only does Cape North still feel like a new discovery, it also provides access to locales that are even more remote,...

  • Chéticamp

    In Chéticamp, an Acadian enclave for more than 200 years, Francophone culture and traditions are still very much alive. That’s why the Gaelic-inflected lilt in locals’ voices is replaced by a...

  • Ingonish

    The western gateway to the Cabot Trail, Ingonish is one of the leading vacation destinations on Cape Breton, largely because it’s home to the much-touted Keltic Lodge Resort and adjacent...

  • Judique

    Like so many Cape Breton communities, Judique is only a little clutch of buildings with Highway 19 running straight through as the main street. Nevertheless, the presence of the Celtic Music Interpretive...

  • Louisbourg

    Though best known as the home of the largest historical reconstruction in North America, Louisbourg is also an important fishing community with a lovely harborfront. There are a number of good...

  • Mabou

    The village of Mabou is very Scottish (Gaelic-language signs attest to it), and the residents’ respect for tradition is apparent in everything from the down-home meals they serve to the music...

  • Margaree Harbour

    Aside from pleasant pastimes like hillside hiking and saltwater swimming (Whale Cove and Chimney Corner are the local’s top picks for the latter), the Margaree area promises world-class...

  • Pleasant Bay

    Pleasant Bay is, well, pleasant, and because it’s about halfway around the Cabot Trail, it’s a convenient place to stop. Local fishermen catch lobster in spring and snow crab in summer. The...

  • St. Ann's Bay and Around

    Continuing down the Cabot Trail from Ingonish, you’ll skirt St. Ann’s Bay where communities are of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety. Other North America's only Gaelic college, there are...

  • Sydney

    If you come directly to Cape Breton via plane, ferry, or cruise ship, Sydney is where you’ll land. If you’re seeking anything resembling an urban experience, it’s also where you’ll want to...

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