Cape Breton Base location

May 20th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Cape Breton Base location

We are planning on spending 4 nights on Cape Breton as part of a 10 day Nova Scotia trip late June/early July. Are looking for a peaceful location on the ocean which will serve well as a base for day trips as well as provide a nice spot to stay put and relax. The Island Sunset Resort in Belle Cote near Cheticamp and the Seascape Coastal Retreat in Ingonish both look promising. Would it make sense to spend one night in Baddeck to check out the attractions there, or is it reasonable to expect to be able to include those in a day trip from one of the coastal locations?
Any suggestions will be most appreciated!
elston is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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We're also going to Cape Breton this summer, in late July. We're spending 2 nights in Cheticamp to do some hiking trails in the national park, then heading down to Baddeck for 3 nights.

I've never been to Cape Breton, but from the information we've read, Baddeck would seem to be a good base and Bras d'Or Lake seems beautiful. Ingonish seems to be just over an hour's drive, and from there you can do some hiking trails. It's also about an hour to Louisbourg and to Sydney. I think it would take longer to get to Cheticamp.

Wait to see what others say as well though.
pavfec is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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I would vote for Baddeck as a central location. However, if you are planning on hiking for a day, etc., spend on night on the trail - either Cheticamp or Ingonish.
Tanya is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I should have provided more info on our goals for the trip in my original post. We are "off the beaten path" types of travelers. We are unlikely to do any real hiking. My husband is an avid photographer and we hope to do some birding. My dream is to spend at least one day sitting with a book in a quiet spot with a fabulous view! Judging by the number of hotels, etc in Baddeck, I am a bit worried that it may be somewhat busy for our taste - but perhaps I should be more open-minded. We are having difficulty estimating how long it will take to drive from one place to another and want to avoid choosing an area that is more isolated than we bargained for!
elston is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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HI there,
I grew up outside of Belle Cote. It is about a 30 minute drive to Cheticamp from teh Island Sunset. If you want secluded, and a great place to read, the Island Sunset is great. They are right on the beach. I am unfamiliar with Ingonish resorst, sorry. Baddeck is about 45 minutes away from Belle Cote. (Locals can make it in a shorter time). Even though you aren't kikers, you will want to spend some time driving and visiting the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I suggest that you stop in at the visitors center once you enter the park. Lots of info about what to see. If you stay in Belle Cote, you can do the Cabot Trail in a day, and return back to Belle Cote later in the evening. Don't wait too long to book accomodations because they get pretty busy.
Sorry this post is a little disjointed, I was pretty much writing my thoughts as they came to me.
moise is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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We have vacationed 3 times in Cape Breton, once in Cheticamp area and twice in Ingonish. My husband and I are also birders, enjoy photography, and getting off the beaten track. We enjoy "light hiking" and nature walks, which the park offers many opportunieis for. I prefer staying in the Ingonish area. There is lots of superb and accessible coastal scenery between here and Cape North/Meat Cove. The views from the high headlands are spectacular between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, but there is less waterfront access. You can easily do daytrips to Baddeck from Ingonish, although I have considered spending 1 night in Baddeck myself next time we head up that way, then the other nights again in Ingonish area. Note: the Cabot Trail Scenery is most spectacular when viewed driving clockwise - from Cheticamp to Ingonish, so try to make time to do the drive in that direction.
May 20th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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My thanks to all of you for your thought provoking responses. You've prompted us to spend a bit more time studying maps and reconfiguring our itinerary somewhat. The current plan is to spend 3 nights in Belle Cote and 2 in Baddeck. We will plan to drive directly to the airport in Halifax from Baddeck on our last day to catch a 5 pm flight home rather than stopping the last night of our vacation somewhere closer to the airport. We are feeling good about this decision and are working on hotel reservations - wish us luck!
elston is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 07:52 AM
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I suggest you call the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and request an information kit. I had a hard time imagining where the hiking trails were (thought they headed inland), but we got our kit with a map and it's clear as day now. The kit has tons of information about the different areas of the park where you can likely get great shots and see birds.

Here's their info:

Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Ingonish Beach, NS
B0C 1L0

Phone: 902-224-2306
Fax: 902-285-2866
TDD: 902-224-2306
Email: [email protected]

I called to order a kit and they were very helpful.
pavfec is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Another vote for staying in Ingonish. However, I find the views are more dramatic when you do the Cabot Trail in a counter-clockwise direction. But either way, your breath will be taken a way! Simply spectacular! While in Ingonish ( even if you do not stay there), try to have lunch or dinner @ Keltic Lodge.(Main Dining room). Also do the Middlehead Trail hike from Keltic Lodge. Keltic Lodge is located on a peninsuls that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. So, you are surrounded by water. Enjoy Cape Breton!
wow is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:54 AM
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wow is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Another strong vote for Ingonish. Try The scenery around Belle Cote is quite boring compared to Ingonish area.
KarenE is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Karen~ Thanks for the tip on Lantern Hill. If they are full, any other thoughts? Any good B and B's in the area? If you like nature over crowds, than Baddeck is a place to visit for lunch but not base camp from there? Did I understand correctly? What would you recommend seeing or doing in Baddeck? We would love some great seafood. Cheers
wannabakiwi is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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I just received my copy of the Doers and Dreamers Nova Scotia vacation guide. In it, there is a new listing in Ingonish. It is called MillBrook Cottages. I am checking with them for availabity in late September. It looks really nice on the web site, but I have not yet stayed there. Here is the web address Check it out. Cheers
wannabakiwi is offline  
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