Cape Breton Island has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I’m finally planning a trip in just a few weeks. It’s going to be a fantastic fall adventure, and I can’t wait to explore Nova Scotia, enjoy incredible east coast meals, and relax on a sea-side hike.
For the last few weeks, my wife and I have been planning where we’re headed, what we want to do, and you can follow along with the trip, if you’re curious. Just watch for my #VisitNovaScotia posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. During the trip I’ll be sharing photos and videos, and a couple of blog posts.
Planning this trip has been a very welcome surprise. I love Toronto, but we’ve been playing it safe since January 2020, and my wife and I were thinking about a trip to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary in the fall. Something came up though, and it was the perfect chance to visit Cape Breton.
During the Travel Media Association of Canada’s virtual conference I entered a member giveaway for a pair of tickets with Swoop airlines with one of my favourite photos of Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. It’s one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, and it won.
For the prize, we had the option of flying anywhere Swoop serves, and that includes Montego Bay. I was pretty tempted by that idea, but my wife and I really wanted to focus on a Canadian destination, and neither of us had been to Cape Breton before.
So we came up with a plan.
We have a little over a week to explore from Halifax, to Peggy’s Cove, and then we’re headed to Cape Breton Island, before going back to Halifax at the end. It’s a road trip that covers a lot of road, but gives us lots of downtime at each stop, and a chance to see a llot of Nova Scotia.
We’re excited about Halifax, but we’re trying to see as much of Cape Breton Island as possible, and it’s amazing how much there is to do across the beautiful region. We’re driving into Port Hastings, along the Trans Canada Highway, visiting the Baddeck area, and then going on to Inverness. After that, we drive up to Chéticamp, around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and down the other side of the coast before heading to Sydney.
Hopefully, we’ll also get to see some early fall leaves while we’re there, too.
We have stops throughout the drive, and we’re planning to hike the incredible national park, we’re stopping at the Glenora Distillery, we have our eyes on a few restaurants and pubs (Governors Pub & Eatery, for one), and the list goes on and on.
I’m really excited about the area around Bay Saint Lawrence, where there are also some hiking trails, there’s whale watching and sightseeing around the island, Fortress Of Louisbourg near Sydney, and long stretches of beautiful coastline.
In Baddeck there’s also the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site and his home, Beinn Bhreagh Hall. The whole island is also totally alive with Celtic culture and music that I can’t wait to check out.
And the food! September is a bit late in the season, but I’ve heard great things about all the dishes we’ll find this time of year throughout Nova Scotia. I’m also really eager to try some of the craft beer and ciders that I’ve heard so much about on the Good Cheer Trail.
This will be an amazing road trip. Mapping it all out, we’ll be driving at least 1,300 km, or about 16 hours of driving, over 10 days.
The team from Tourism Nova Scotia have been a huge help in getting us details about the areas, and great places to check out, and they have fantastic resources on their site for trip ideas, activities throughout the year, and things to do across the province.
I’ll share one more blog post before the big trip, with some more ideas, inspiration, and planning tips. Otherwise, let me know any questions you have, places you love in Nova Scotia, or something you think we should check out on the trip.
Map created with AAA’s Triptik. Photo by Tim Foster.
Looking for more Canadian travel ideas? Visit our Canadian Travel Guide for ideas across the country.
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