Whether you're after sweeping vistas of wave splashed coast, a serene woodland trail or simply looking for a scenic drive, Cape Breton Island won't leave visitors short picturesque places to pause for fresh air. Connected by bridge to mainland Nova Scotia and from main city Sydney to Newfoundland by ferry, this island is a popular summer destination and with good reason.
Sydney, Cape Breton Island's main city, is within easy reach of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a recreated 18th-century French fort complete with period costumery and guided tours. One of the region's top attractions, wind-swept views of the Atlantic here compete with the famous Cabot Trail in the National Park on the opposite coast. En route from Sydney, take the road around St Ann's Bay, a haven for artists and art lovers, and get an aesthetic interpretation of area highlights.
Winding around Cape Breton Highlands National Park at the north end of Cape Breton Island, this world-famous scenic route wraps around soaring cliffs and dramatic seas. Hiking trails offer access to the interior and cliff-top views, so don't leave behind a good pair of walking shoes. Book a whale-watching trip out of Pleasant Bay, part way around the trail, or stop for a look at the Tibetan Monastery there. With time to spare, continue on beyond the Cabot Trail proper for charming seaside villages.
The Cabot Trail is a scenic drive that rambles for 185 miles in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Sydney is 270 miles east of Halifax and ferries leave from North Sydney, a few miles away, for destinations in Newfoundland & Labrador.