We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

New York, NY
Level Contributor
119 posts
6 reviews
Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

My husband and I are hoping to visit NS in September, focusing on Cape Breton. The entire trip will probably be six or seven days. I am seeking advice on what to do and where to stay.

We are not hikers (an hour's walk or so is fine, but I am not planning on doing any trekking). We enjoy driving through scenic areas, exploring little towns, finding good food and interesting shops.

I am very picky about accomadations. B&B's are a little too intimate for me, but we enjoy small, high-end inns (all the better with fine dining on premises). The Birches or The English Garden seem like possibilities on the east side of the island, but I am coming up empty on the western side. I would like to stay at least two nights in each area so as not to keep moving around, but want to get a feel of as much of the island as possible.

We will probably fly in and out of Halifax, but I am thinking that I might try go one way through Sydney to minimize driving/back tracking. What would be a good overnight spot between CB and Halifax?

I have been reading through all your helpful suggestions, but find myself getting more confused, rather than more focused. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Cape Breton Island...
Level Contributor
1,489 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

Hello there, I am a little concerned about The Birches at this time because they are doing major work right beside it. They are building a world class golf course next door. You can contact the owners and ask them about the disruption if any. As for the west side (kind of west) Island Sunset Resort & Spa. The website www.islandsunset.com I am sure this one will please you.

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

I am a little confused as to your issue on accommodations as one of the two properties you have chosen, English Country Garden B&B, is clearly a B&B. In Nova Scotia, a B&B is defined as a property that is occupied by the owner, that has 4 rooms or fewer for rent, that has a common living room and that serves breakfast which is included as part of the room rate. English Country Garden meets all of those criteria and is, by the way, an excellent B&B.

If what you prefer is a small intimate Inn, on the eastern side of the Island I would choose either Gowrie House in North Sydney or Cranberry Cove Inn in Louisbourg. In the central part of the Island I would choose Chanterelle Country Inn in the St Ann's area. You are right that there isn't a lot in that category on the west coast of Cape Breton. You may want to take a look at the Duncreigan Country Inn of Mabou and, as proudcaper mentioned, the Island Sunset Resort.

You will find, in general terms, that the Inns are considerably higher priced than the high end B&Bs. I think that you would also find that most of the high-end B&Bs, like English Country Garden which, although it is not reflected in the provincial marketing, is really a 4 1/2 star property, are actually more like small Inns.

New York, NY
Level Contributor
119 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

proudcapper and pfound -

Thanks for your advice. I will check out your suggestions immediately. My Inn v B&B logic may be a bit flawed, but The English Garden has a seperate cottage availabe, which is why I feel it would be a bit more private than a traditional B&B. They also serve dinner, which many B&Bs do not. So it feels to me to be more of an inn. I may be incorrect in this estimation.

I am sure I will be looking for additional advice as I continue planning.

Sydney
Level Contributor
881 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

You are quite correct with your assumptions. If you stay in their cottage you will have the privacy you want. Also, their dinners, while I have never personally eaten there, are apparently exquisite.

Cape Breton Island
10 posts
5. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

Definitely recommend the Island Sunset, which was already suggested. Dining there is heavenly!!! The cottages are super clean too altho b/c I live here I've never stayed so I can't say much more than I've heard awesome things and I know it's a beautiful spot; drive by it everyday!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
7 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

It's only a 3 and a half hour drive from the Halifax Airport to Cape Breton, so if your flight gets in early enough, you won't need an overnight stop on your way to Cape Breton. You can get an early nonstop from JFK or Newark and dine in Cape Breton that evening.

I heartily recommend the Waters Edge Inn, in Baddeck. This is a small inn, with beautiful, comfortable, thoughtfully appointed rooms--my husband and I stayed in one with a balcony looking onto the lake. The restaurant downstairs is excellent (world's best seafood chowder), and the owner is very friendly and helpful. The Gallery is a great place to shop for carefully selected regional art and craft. Baddeck is a charming town on the Bras D'Or Lake and centrally located--I think you would love the town and find it a good jumping off point for your touring.

http://thewatersedgeinn.com/inn/

For the western side of the island you might like the Glenora Inn and Distillery. I haven't stayed there, but the restaurant is elegant and the food excellent, and the pub often has live music, along with a fine selection of wines and single malt scotches, and the setting is very pretty. I enjoyed the distillery tour too.

http://www.glenoradistillery.com/links.htm

Don't miss the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou--check the local papers and go for dinner one afternoon or night when there is live music.

And for your shopping--this pottery is stunning:

http://www.capebretonclay.com/

And I had one of the best meals of my life at DeMaurizio in Halifax--Italian cuisine, using local seafood. Near the waterfront in Halifax--if your itinerary puts you in town for a night, don't miss it!

http://www.damaurizio.ca/da_maurizio1.html

Have a great trip!

New York, NY
Level Contributor
119 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

Thanks for the tips. I am still planning, but hope to spend a night or two in Halifax at the end of the trip. I just realized this weekend that September is coming up quickly and I had better finaliza a few things!

Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
359 posts
55 reviews
8. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

Another vote for the Waters Edge Inn in Baddeck. Also try this one. It´s in a much better location than the English Garden. http://lanternhillandhollow.com/

Cape Breton Island...
Level Contributor
1,565 posts
79 reviews
9. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

just happened to see your posting. Have you got any dates firm yet? need help with planning? Flying into Halifax apparently works out better when it comes to air fares. Yes, you can be at a good destination on Cape Breton in 3-4 hours or even farther "up"the Island in 5. A lot depends on just what you might want to see or do as to locations that suit you on the Island.

Small inns instead of B&B's is your preference.Well,there are a few tucked away along the west coast like the Duncreigan in Mabou, The Salmon Pool on the Margaree River in Margaree, the Normaway Inn in Margaree. If you want places farther "up" the coast, just ask.

As for a place between CB and Halifax, the town of Pictou is a nice spot. Braeside Inn is a good choice. Nice town to walk around , see the Hector old scottish sailing ship, maybe even live theatre.

Minnesota
Level Contributor
11 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: Itinerary Advice - Cape Breton

I can second the recommendation for the Chanterelle Country Inn, based on having eaten dinner there last summer. It's located on a hilltop overlooking St Ann's Bay. If it's booked, and you want to be in the central area of St Ann's, consider the St Ann's Motel for your stay -- you can always eat at Chanterelle. Not prepossessing from the outside, but its location is stunning: right on the shores of the bay which stretches before you between wooded shores. The rooms are very comfortable and perhaps the cleanest I've ever stayed in, and the hosts Chris and Doug are lovely people, hardworking and drily funny, like so many Cape Bretoners. Speaking of which, be sure to spend your money with the locals, who have a very short season in which to make their livings. Check to see that your accommodation participates in the provincial tourist scheme that certifies that the place is licensed and up to standard (clean, safe, etc.).