There are so many shore excursion choices to discover when you hit the port of call in Sydney, Nova Scotia, located on Cape Breton Island, one of the most beautiful islands in North America.

There is never enough time to explore it all, which means you will need to return again.

Top things to do on Cape Breton Island

  • Sydney Historic Walking Tour – The walking tour of Sydney starts at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion. Pick up a map before leaving the terminal or view one here. Check out the top things to do in Sydney.
  • Cossit House MuseumLearn about life in the 18th century. The designated heritage site is a fine example of neo-classical Georgian architecture. Museum staff dressed in period costume demonstrate traditional skills like candle-making, lace-making and butter-churning. Learn more and view a photo gallery.
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers spectacular scenery of rugged coastlines with incredible ocean vistas, rolling highlands and canyons. The Cabot Trail scenic highway winds through this beautiful park. There are numerous hiking trails to explore.
  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site – This museum looks at the significant contributions made by the famous inventor, Alexander Graham Bell. The scientist, born in Scotland, is most well-known for his invention of the telephone. He also contributed to the aviation field, helping with Canada’s first powered flight and also building giant kites. He and his wife created the hydrofoil. The museum is located in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
  • Fortress of Louisbourg Natural Historic SiteExplore life as it was in 1744 at the largest historical reconstruction in North America. The original site was destroyed in the 1760s. The fortress reconstruction started in the 1960s.
  • Cabot Trail has long been considered one of North America’s most scenic drives offering breathtaking ocean views.
  • Highland Village Museum Baile nan Gàidheal – The museum is on a 40 acre site located on Cape Breton Island in the town of Iona. Here you can explore 11 historic buildings in the village to experience what it was like to live in a Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia.
  • Bras d’Or Lake is a stunning inland sea and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • Eat lobster.
  • Sydney Waterfront offers a scenic area to stroll
  • Take a photo of the world’s largest fiddle.

Quick Facts

  • Bras d’Or Lake is Canada’s only inland sea.
  • Fort Louisbourg is the largest historical reconstruction in North America. The French originally built the fort in 1713.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1786.
  • The Cabot Trail scenic highway is 298 km (185 miles) in length.
  • Sydney was founded in 1785.
  • Sydney became a city in 1904.
  • Cape Breton Highland National Park has 26 hiking trails to explore.
  • Sydney has the world’s largest fiddle.
  • Celtic Colours International Festival runs for nine days in October and features the best of Celtic culture with dancers, singers and storytellers.

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