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“Pretty cool experience”

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a magical place on the edge of a continent where past and present come together to celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage. Please note that we have three seasons throughout the year: Low season Opportunities to experience the Fortress of Louisbourg's quiet streets during the low season allow visitors to imagine life in the toughest of conditions almost 300 years ago. While there are no services available, a low season visit may provide the best opportunity for visitors to experience the stillness of the streets, take in the beauty of the exterior architecture of the buildings, or simply enjoy the treasures that life's quietest moments may bring. For a new way to experience the site in the low season, try our Explora app. Through sound, video, photos, quizzes and text, you will hold stories about Louisbourg in your hands as you walk through both the reconstructed town and the fortress's ruins. Explora is available to download for free at the App Store and through Google Play. Shoulder season For those seeking quiet opportunities and some on-site services, visiting during the shoulder season is recommended. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an inspiring setting with beautiful visuals as they stand on our history-laden grounds. Several buildings with exhibits are open for you to discover. Explore the site on your own or embark on an Explora tour of the grounds. To enhance your visit you may purchase a guided tour or participate in the Time Travel program. Accessible guided tours are available as well. We recommend reserving a place on these tours in advance. By the end of June, the site will begin to fill with costumed interpreters as we ramp up for peak season. After Labour Day, the Fortress of Louisbourg winds down once again with costumed animators interpreting some buildings into September. No matter the season, be sure to find out from reception what activities and experiences may be on offer that day. Peak Season Peak season brings a different kind of magic on-site as costumed people add life to the streets and the homes. A foggy day cloaks the site in mystery and creates scenes and images not to be forgotten. A cold day with wind and rain may draw visitors to the warmth of a welcoming fire or to the cozy inn for a warming bowl of soup. A hot day shows the town and its various gardens at their brightest. On summer feast days colour and pageantry break the routine of daily life as the townspeople promenade in their finery. Chores are the order of the day on summer and fall mornings. With the rooster's crow comes bread from the ovens that supplies both soldiers and hungry visitors. Louisbourg's inhabitants are happy to share their stories, and can be found working the forge, tending the gardens and running the kitchens. The beat of drums and the chime of the garrison clock order the soldiers' day. The sound of a cannon marks midday. You can even fire a cannon or musket yourself by taking part in our 'Have a Blast' or 'Have a Ball' programs. Music might be heard from a waterfront tavern. Children play games in the streets, while the sentry at the gate challenges those who wish to enter the walled town. A public punishment gathers spectators. Sheep run through the streets, called home by the stable hand. Each hour offers something unique and real. During the peak season you can immerse yourself in an 18th century dining experience, available daily, at the Hotel de la Marine and Grandchamp House. For those who prefer a modern experience L'Epee Royale Cafe offers a cozy stop for hot and cold beverages and a variety of pastries. Groups can pre-arrange a dining experience by calling 902-733-3552. The daily fare varies with the season. Please check in advance for menu options and our ability to accommodate any special dietary requirements. Hours of Operation Low season: October 11, 2016 - May 21, 2017) Open Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Shoulder Season: May 22 2017 to June 30 2017 and September 5 2017 to October 9, 2017 Open 7 days per week 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Peak Season: July 1 - September 4 Open 7 days per week 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dining Establishment Hours of Operation Grandchamp House Lower class (Less formal dining) July 1 - August 25 (Doors open at 10:30 a.m.) Hotel de la Marine Upper class (More formal dining) July 1 - August 25 (Doors open at 11 a.m.) Hotel de la Marine Lower class (Less formal dining) August 26 - October 9 2017 (Doors open at 10:30 a.m.) L'Epee Royale Cafe May 22 - October 9 2017 (Doors open at 10 a.m.) When the Fortress of Louisbourg is in low season, programs and services are provided through the Fortress Louisbourg Association after-hours programs. Whether it's the bustling street or the solitude of the shore, a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg offers many opportunities for memorable experiences.
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Pretty cool experience”
Reviewed July 2, 2014

My wife and I took a visit to fortress Louisbourg while I was on business in Cape Breton and it was a very interesting trip. My wife was a history major in University so it was extra special for her, but even for me (a layperson at best where history is concerned) it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The weather wasn't great so we didn't spend as much time there as we otherwise would have, but still we got to witness the people in their period attire performing the same tasks you would have witnessed them performing in times of old.

One hint is if you're going, try not to wear red (or do if you like that kind of thing) because the guards are not just in period clothing, but perform as if the British are still the enemy and stop those wearing red in fear they are either British sympathizers or worse, British spies.

This is pretty out of the way but in my opinion, well worth the time to get there. Check it out if you find yourself on "The Cape".

Visited August 2013
Thank Jamie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,563 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Nova Scotia, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Quite good”
Reviewed July 2, 2014

Travelling in the so-called 'off-season' I was not sure what to expect, but was quite surprised on arrival to find that most of the buildings and exhibits were open, and that the site was bustling with staff in full uniform and character despite the fact it was an incredibly hot day.

We were told that the reconstruction is only about 1/5th of the size of the original fortress, which is more than acceptable. Any larger, and it would have been a little too big for me. Again the peak season starts in the summer so to have it any bigger would have been foolish.

Staff were knowledgeable and helpful, and there was plenty to see across the site. We found ourselves arriving about a half hour earlier than expected, which worked out almost perfectly as we left when we had originally intended to. Prepare for a bus ride to the actual site, and given that it is closer to water it would be advisable to bring warmer clothes in a backpack just in case there is any kind of wind.

Visited June 2014
Thank SparkyFoxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston-Salem, NC
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Interesting reconstruction”
Reviewed June 30, 2014

This fort is apparently one of the largest reconstructions in North America even though it is only a fraction of it's original size. It was interesting, nice grounds and knowledgeable staff in period dress.
Beautiful view looks toward town and the lighthouse trail with waves crashing on the cliffs .

Visited October 2013
Thank walker62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, New Hampshire
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Be prepared for a lot of walking and potential adverse weather”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

A very good presentation of the fortress and the town, with acres and acres of restored buildings, artifacts and re-enactors from the period. Unfortunately, we went on a rainy and windy day, which is not that unusual due to the location of the fortress, from what many there told us. Bring appropriate clothing and good walking shoes. There is a lot of real estate to cover, if you care to see it all. The "cast" is really invested in the experience, which makes for a great experience. Plan to be there for the better part of the day. Try to get there at the 9:30 am opening. We enjoyed it, despite the harsh conditions.

Visited June 2014
Thank RayCornerstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very nice”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

Very interesting place to visit, especially with kids. Old fortress, most buildings are open to visit, people dressed in clothes from the old times, lots of things to do and learn

Visited June 2014
Thank Anna290
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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