These 10 experiences help explain why Cape Breton is Canada’s favourite island

Cape Breton

Ranked the number one island in North America by Condé Nast Traveler readers and the number one island in Canada by Travel + Leisure readers, Cape Breton is a hidden gem tucked away in the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia. This island is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences and cultural richness. From magnificent trails to living cultures, outdoor adventures and culinary delights, Cape Breton offers a unique blend of experiences that are sure to leave you spellbound. Here are 10 experiences that every visitor to the island should discover.

Eskasoni Cultural Journeys: A hike across Goat Island

Experience several facets of traditional life as you meet and interact with heritage interpreters who are delighted to share their knowledge with you. Learn to dance, make an ornament from your newly learned weaving skills and cook traditional four cents bread over an open fire. This 2.4-kilometre hiking trail will take you across Goat Island, along the beautifully scenic Bras d’Or Lake. Your tour will take two hours and will leave you wanting more!

Membertou Heritage Park: A living history of the Membertou people

The Membertou Heritage Park is a large indoor exhibit and program area that offers visitors full immersion in an ancient culture and provides a living history of the people of Membertou. The park honours the spirituality and the strength of the Membertou people telling its story, educating and sharing the Mi’kmaq culture and assisting in preserving the Mi’kmaq heritage.

Membertou Mi’Kmaq Medicine Walk: A walk through beautifully wooded trail in Membertou

Throughout this tour, you will learn the medicinal practices used by Mi’Kmaq ancestors while walking through a beautifully wooded trail in Membertou. The experience then continues with a dreamcatcher workshop, the breaking of traditional (luskinikn) bread and then shopping at Petroglyphs Gift Shop.

Colaisde na Gàidhlig/The Gaelic College: A unique learning experience

Colaisde na Gàidhlig is first and foremost an educational non-profit institution, offering year-round programming in the culture, music, language, crafts, customs and traditions of the immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. The only institution of its kind in North America, students of all ages and skill levels visit the College every year to study under some of the finest instructors in Nova Scotia Gaelic culture. Visitors can tour the Great Hall of the Clans Museums, enjoy cultural demonstrations, concerts and Céilidhs as well as take part in kilt-making classes.

Celtic Music Interpretive Centre: A look into the history, culture, and music of Cape Breton Island

The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre (CMIC) is a not-for-profit society and a one-of-a-kind facility located in the tiny village of Judique, Cape Breton Island. The official Celtic Music Centre of Nova Scotia and the official Cultural Archives for the County of Inverness, CMIC offers an in-depth look into the history, culture, and music of Cape Breton Island. They offer year-round Ceilidhs featuring authentic live traditional music, special concerts, Ceilidh Pub Restaurant and Bar, an interactive Exhibit Room, Celtic Culture Demonstration, Musical Walking Tours and more.

Glamping in the Highlands at Kluskap Ridge: A one-of-a-kind glamping site

Experience glamping in the Highlands at Kluskap Ridge. This unique experience is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. From one-of-a-kind glamping sites to catching your own lobster dinner, the experiences on Cape Breton Island are almost as diverse as its land, history and culture.

Cook lobster on a beach in the Cape Breton Highlands: A unique culinary experience

Learn to cook lobster on a beach in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This unique culinary experience is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Every Wednesday evening , as the sun sets over the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Parks Canada interpreters will teach you how to boil lobster the Cape Breton way, while entertaining you with local stories and music.

The Fortress of Louisbourg: Journey back to the 18th century

The Fortress of Louisbourg is one of the highlights of network of Canada’s National Historic Sites. It is the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America and costumed interpreters that inhabit the fort help you immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the era to help you experience what life here must have been like in the 1700s.

Breton Brewing: A taste of local craft beer

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to Breton Brewing in Sydney is a must. Located in Coxheath, this local craft brewery offers a variety of beers that capture the spirit of Cape Breton. From their signature ‘Black Angus’ IPA to their refreshing ‘Sons of Hector’ Brown Ale, each brew is a testament to the island’s rich culture and history. The brewery also hosts live music events, making it a vibrant hub of local entertainment. So, sit back, enjoy a pint, and soak in the lively atmosphere of Cape Breton.
Absolutely, here’s an eleventh experience:

The Cabot Trail: A Scenic Drive through Cape Breton’s Beauty

The Cabot Trail is a scenic driving route on Cape Breton that is considered one of the most beautiful road trips in North America. Rising from the sea and clinging to mountains, the Cabot Trail is a winding mix of coastal driving and stunning beauty that takes you from unreal ocean vistas to quaint fishing villages. This isn’t just a drive; it’s a 298-kilometre journey through the soul of Cape Breton Island. With every twist and turn, you’ll find yourself gasping at the panoramic ocean views, lush highlands and cliffside vistas. Let it be your guiding path to exploring all of this island’s immense beauty and many hidden gems.

ENS Editors

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