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Cape Breton Island is the northernmost island in Nova Scotia.
Cape Breton Island was a separate colony until 1820 when it was merged into Nova Scotia against its will. It is the only place in North America where there is still Gaelic spoken. There is strong pro-island anti-mainland sentiment, and a strong sense of community, which increasingly unifies the Mikmaq population of the Island as well.
Despite its rich culture and strong community and commitment to its natural heritage, the island has consistently lost industrial investment and jobs in the past ten years. The closing of the coal and steel industry however have no doubt contributed to its very positive ratings for ecological stewardship.
Car, motorcycle, or bicycle.
There are many small cable ferries between the islands. They usually go every few minutes and charge $5.
Many of the smaller cities have only an oldfashined general store that sells groceries, paint, acts as a post office, etc.
- Floras, 1 (http://www.floras.com/), Point Cross, tel: +1 902-224-3139. Handcrafts. Especially traditional acadiean rug-hooking made by locals. Demonstrations.
- Local pottery Sold along the Cabot Trail.
Lobster and Crab plate at Rusty Anchor
Seafood, especially lobster, is the thing to eat on Cape Breton. The Aspee Bay oysters are also good.
- Rusty Anchor, Pleasant Bay, tel: +1 902-224-1313. Great seafood, fantastic seaside patio. If you are lucky you can spot a bald eagle hovering above you. Sandwiches $C10, special seafood plates $C20.
- Cedar House, TCH 105m Boulebarderie Centre, at the Seal Island brige between Baddock and Sydney. Tel: +1 902-674-2929. Bakery and Restaurant, Good seafood chowder at reasonable prices. Open 10 am to 8pm, May-Oct.
- Glenora Inn & Distillery 2 (http://www.glenoradistillery.com/), Route 19, Ceilidh Trail, Glenville, tel: +1 800-839-0491, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keltic Lodge 3 (http://www.signatureresorts.com/resorts.asp?resort=1), Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish Beach, tel: +1 800-565-0444. This resort and spa is located on the spectacular Middle Head peninsula. There is views of the sea to both sides. Just behind the main lodge is the start of the hiking trail to the tip of Middle Head. Double room ca $C 190 in high season, $C 290 including 2 X gourmet dinner and breakfast. The dresscode is casual smart.
- Glenora Inn & Distillery 4 (http://www.glenoradistillery.com/), Route 19, Ceilidh Trail, Glenville, tel: +1 800-839-0491, email: email@example.com. Sleep at North Americas only single malt distillery. Has restaurant and bar. Rooms from $C 120.
- Silver Dart Lodge 5 (http://silverdart.com), 257 Shore Road, Baddeck, Tel: +1 902 295-2340. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open May-Oct. Rooms from $C 99-119.
The island as a whole ranked second in the world in a National Geographic study of ecotourism, which was conducted in 2002 and 2003.
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You need an entry permit at C$ 5 a day per person (there are group and family discounts). The Cabot Trail runs through the national park. There are many hiking trails starting along the Cabot trail.
- Fortress of Louisburg 6 (http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index_e.asp)
- The Bras D'Or is a unique brackish lake with its own unique ecological characteristics, and some islands in that lake are sacred to the Mikmaq.
- Bay St. Lawrence and Meat Cove. Two scenic fishing villages along a scenic drive off the Cabot trail. Turn north at Cape North.
- Joe's Scarecrows at Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail. Scary gallery of scarecrows with halloween masks. Entrance is free, but they ask for a small donation.
- Les Trois Pignons. 15584 Cabot Trail Highway, Cheticamp. Tel: +1 902-224-2612. Museum of Acadian culture based on collection of antiques started by Marguerite Gallant.
- Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada 7 (http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/grahambell/index_e.asp) Chebucto Street (Route 205), Baddeck. Open 9 am to 6 pm (Jun 1-30), 8:30 am to 6 pm (Jul 1-Oct 15). Entrance $C 6.50.
- Celtic Colors Festival http://celtic-colours.com. Spanning hundreds of events across dozens of towns, the music options at Celtic Colors are not strictly Celtic but include folk and some Acadian Zydeco (Acadeco) and jazz, and an increasing amount of world music.
- Whale watching tour. There are boat tours all along the coast. Sighting of whales is almost guaranteed. Tours takes two hours or more.