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The Very Best of Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia’s 10,000-square-kilometre Cape Breton Island is packed full of surprises, ranging from an ice cream parlour hidden inside a seaside lighthouse to a non-profit Nordic ski trail system and an 80-year-old Scottish-style sheep crofter. Picturesque Cape Breton Island, which is currently transforming from autumn to winter, is the 77th largest isle on the globe. Thus, it boasts an eclectic mix of attractions, bistros, parks, beaches, and, of course, accommodations. And the perfect place to start and finish each day of adventure, exploration, and relaxation is, to no one’s surprise, Cabot Shores, Canada’s most beloved glamping destination, particularly for romantics. Today, we’ve decided to piece together a 25-part “Best of Cape Breton” bucket list.

A Nova Scotian Bucket list: The Best of Cape Breton Island

Photo of Louisbourg Lighthouse at Dusk. Click Here for the Very Best of Cape Breton!

By now, it’s well-documented that the best of Cape Breton Island lies along the Cabot Trail, arguably the most scenic loop in North America. It takes approximately five hours to drive around Cabot Trail in one fell swoop. However, you’ll want to allow ample time for the island’s many sights, sounds, and savoury delights, as illustrated below. The very best of Cape Breton Island includes a little bit of everything, including puffin tours, secretive waterfalls, and beloved breweries. Remember to bookmark this article for further use.

  1. Pedal around the jaw-dropping, 298-kilometre Cabot Trail
  2. Embark on the culinary voyage of a lifetime at Cabot Shores’ Bistro
  3. Hike up the 4.5-mile Franey Trail
  4. Start and finish this comprehensive, 10-stop Cape Breton Island waterfall bucket list
  5. Go glamping like never before in an authentic Mongolian yurt (as pictured) or a geodesic dome
  6. Paddle through serene Church Pond
  7. Try qi gong, millennia-old meditation
  8. Soak (and stargaze) in an outdoor hot tub amid winter’s peak
  9. Indulge in a healing art, such as a therapeutic massage or a five-element acupuncture session
  10. Swim in the Atlantic Ocean (after a short jaunt on the unique Eagle Feather Ferry)
  11. Observe majestic migrating whales via Zodiac Adventures
  12. Nordic ski through the North Highlands
  13. Snowshoe through the snow-packed backcountry in the heart of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, with on-site rentals starting at just $10
  14. Shop ‘til you drop in these Artisan boutiques, including Wildlife Pottery and Piper Pewter
  15. Devour an ice cream cone at Neil’s Harbour Lighthouse
  16. Savour a pint of craft beer at Big Spruce Brewing in Baddeck
  17. Visit the island’s most stunning lighthouses, such as Low Point or Louisbourg (as pictured)
  18. Hop aboard one of Donelda’s world-famous puffin-viewing boat tours
  19. Visit the always-absorbing Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
  20. Sail through Bras d’Or Lake on the historic Amoeba
  21. Skip rocks at Black Brook Beach
  22. Explore the greenery near the Lone Shieling
  23. Hook a giant bluefin tuna while deep at sea on the Dawn Treader
  24. Take a step back in history at the Miners Museum
  25. Brave the awe-inspiring, six-mile Skyline Trail
Photo of a Moose near Cabot Shores. Click Here for the Very Best of Cape Breton!

To book a winter getaway to one of the most unique wellness retreats in Canada, please check availability at your earliest convenience (or call us directly at 866-929-2584). As a reminder, Cabot Shores offers everything from gourmet dining to wilderness activities, moose sightings, and distinctive lodging types (such as a farmhouse and Mongolian yurts). Click the links below to learn more about our many offerings.



Good
Based on 298 reviews
MacKenzie Cutcliffe
MacKenzie Cutcliffe
February 17, 2024.
We had an excellent stay! We stayed in the tiny house and got the hot tub as an addition - the house was an adorable little cabin, very clean and had everything we needed (mini fridge, microwave and more!). The hot tub was worth the addition! Paul and the staff were so considerate, he even called me before we arrived and let me know how the roads were and to make sure I knew how to get to the tiny house since we were probably arriving after dark. I can’t say enough good things! We will definitely be back!
Alexis Helena
Alexis Helena
February 16, 2024.
It was a great space, the manager was very helpful and answered all our questions. Will definitely be coming back
Katie Crossley
Katie Crossley
January 25, 2024.
My husband and I got married at Cabot Shores last October, after staying there multiple times in the past and falling in love with the scenery and food!! Paul was amazing to deal with leading up to the wedding! I was definitely a needy bride lol and he was always so patient and helpful with everything. The whole thing went off without any issues at all and my guests had a great time and raved on and on about the food! We are huge out door people and loved the whole vibe ! We can’t wait to go back again soon and make more wonderful memories at this slice of heaven in our favourite place in the world, Cape Breton !!
‍하준수(교원-영상디자인학과)
‍하준수(교원-영상디자인학과)
January 10, 2024.
An unforgettable experience for a family trip. A yurt experience is more than just lodging, especially if you have young children. What is most impressive of all is the owner and his wife, who are so kind and affectionate.
Karleigh Johnstone
Karleigh Johnstone
January 8, 2024.
Stayed in the Phoenix Dome for 2 nights and had the most wonderful experience. The dome was lovely and stayed warm through the night. The highlight of our stay was the food. My husband has been a chef for 20+ years and was blown away by the quality of the food. We had dinner one evening and the salmon was absolute perfection. We were lucky enough to be the only guests for breakfast so they cooked us a few items instead of the buffet and we enjoyed every bite. Hands down the best scrambled eggs I have ever eaten! The staff were so wonderful, kind and accommodating. We would love to return and spend more time here exploring the trails and relaxing on the beach. Thank you to everyone at Cabot Trail for such a wonderful experience!
Bobbi Zahra
Bobbi Zahra
January 1, 2024.
Hot tubs were great, overlooking the gorgeous water view. Yurt was super comfortable, very spacious, and even when the fire died while we were sleeping, we stayed cozy and warm - the bedding was superb. Recommendation for Red River Trail was great, and we enjoyed the hike very much.
Sandy Mackley
Sandy Mackley
November 27, 2023.
The staff at Cabot Shores actively took opportunities to make our stay relaxing and enjoyable. Our Mongolian Yurt was comfortable with the wood stove and outside hot tub. Would strongly recommend calling these fine folks and discussing your stay with them.

Good
Based on 51 reviews
Lukas
Lukas
September 21, 2022.
Verified
Very nice people and a place full of joy ! Stayed 2 nights in the „Eagle dome“ which was really comfy and clean!Had really delicous dinner at the main lodge where paul played some music just for us and had nice conversations whith him and the other staffmembers.Also booked the hot tub at our dome for our last night from where we had a great view on the campfire.Lovely place where you see how much effort they put in every detail.
Nicole
Nicole
August 22, 2022.
Verified
Amazing adventure! Lots of fun sleeping underneath the stars!
Ryan
Ryan
August 14, 2022.
Verified
Relaxing
Nigel
Nigel
July 25, 2022.
Verified
Beautiful place and very friendly staff. Perfect location if you’re travelling along the Cabot Trail, I highly recommend checking this place out! Would definitely stay here again. Thanks for a fantastic experience.
Anooj
Anooj
October 25, 2021.
Verified
This was our first time staying in the Eagle Dome and we absolutely fell in love with this beautiful place. Super clean place to stay!
Redwan
Redwan
October 17, 2021.
Verified
Very nice place to spend a couple of nights in the nature! My wife and I enjoyed our stay.It might be a good idea to install a heater in the dome as it can get chilly at night.
Brooke
Brooke
October 1, 2021.
Verified
Beautiful, quaint place to stay! So unique and off grid. We loved staying at the dome!
Madison
Madison
September 9, 2021.
Verified
We had a great stay in the Eagle Dome! We loved watching the sunset and sunrise, and being able to hear the waves from the ocean. Next time we would stay a few more days and prepare a bit better - we weren’t packed for off grid but we made it work. Outhouse was a few steps away, shower and toilet a short walk. We didn’t get the hot tub or use the sauna/other amenities but would certainly consider it next time.

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