These top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia will help make the most of your time in port. There are so many unforgettable experiences to choose from the choice will be difficult.

This Canadian city is located on Cape Breton Island, one of the most beautiful islands in North America.

Once you have made the journey to Cape Breton Island, “your heart will never leave”.

Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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 national park.

Explore some of the 26 hiking trails in the park.

Top things to do on Cape Breton Island - enjoy the breathraking views Parks Canada Scott Munn-33

Friends take a selfie as the sun sets at an interpretive look-off on the Vieux Chemin du Cap Rouge, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Scott Munn©

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site 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.

Bell 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.

Top things to do on Cape Breton Island - visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site Photo Credit Parks Canada Dale Wilson

A group of visitors scrutinize a selection of Bell artifacts in a collection room as they enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour delivered by a heritage presenter, during a White Glove Tour program, at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Photo Credit: Parks Canada Dale Wilson©

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site explores life as it was in 1744. This site is the largest historical reconstruction in North America.

The original site was destroyed in the 1760s. The fortress reconstruction started in the 1960s.

Top shore excursions of Sydney, Nova Scotia - One of the top things to do on Cape Breton Island - Visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Nova Scotia

An animator dressed as a soldier of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine showing a visitor, wearing the same costume, how to fire a real musket during the “Fire a Musket, Have a Ball!” program, in front of the King’s Bastion, at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Dale Wilson©

The Cabot Trail

World-famous Cabot Trail is one of North America’s most spectacular scenic drives. The highway offers breathtaking ocean views along the coastal as it twists and turns through picturesque fishing villages and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

The Cabot Trail scenic highway is 298 km (185 miles) in length.

Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia. What to see and do on the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It is one of the most scenic drives in Canada.

Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia. What to see and do on the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It is one of the most scenic drives in Canada.

Highland Village Museum Baile nan Gàidheal

Highland Village Museum Baile nan Gàidheal is a 40-acre site located in the town of Iona on Cape Breton Island.

Explore the village’s 11 historic buildings to experience what it was like to live in a Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia. View the Highland Village webcam.

Top shore excursions and things to do in Sydney Nova Scotia Visit the Highland Village. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Top shore excursions and things to do in Sydney Nova Scotia. Visit the Highland Village Museum. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Top shore excursions and things to do in Sydney Nova Scotia .Visit the Highland Village. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Top shore excursions and things to do in Sydney Nova Scotia .Visit the Highland Village Museum. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Bras d’Or Lake

Bras d’Or Lake is a stunning inland sea and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy the tranquil lake setting, view marine wildlife and sea birds, hike, kayak, or take a chartered tour of the lake.

Top things to do Sydney, Nova Scotia. Visit Maskell's Harbour on Bras d'Or Lake. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Top things to do Sydney, Nova Scotia. Visit Maskell’s Harbour on Bras d’Or Lake. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia©

Sydney Historic Walking Tour

The Sydney Historic Walking Tour 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.

Historic Colonial homes in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Many are designated as a heritage property.

Historic Colonial homes in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Many are designated as a heritage property.

Cossit House Museum, Sydney

Visit the Cossit House Museum to learn earn about 18th-century life. 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.

This  museum is on the Historic Walking Tour of Sydney.

Canada and New England ports of call - TLearn about 18th century life with a visit to the Cossit House Museum in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The home is furnished with 18th century pieces and museum staff dressed in period costume demonstrate traditional skills like candle-making, lace-making and butter-churning. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Learn about 18th century life with a visit to the Cossit House Museum in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The home is furnished with 18th century pieces and museum staff dressed in period costume demonstrate traditional skills like candle-making, lace-making and butter-churning. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Antique toys displayed on a visit to the Cossit House Museum in Sydney, Nova Scotia, The architecture is neo-classical Georgian. The home is furnished with 18th century pieces and museum staff dressed in period costume demonstrate traditional skills like candle-making, lace-making and butter-churning. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Antique toys displayed on a visit to the Cossit House Museum in Sydney, Nova Scotia, The architecture is neo-classical Georgian. The home is furnished with 18th-century pieces and museum staff dressed in period costume demonstrate traditional skills like candle-making, lace-making and butter-churning. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Eat lobster

The Learn-to-Lobster Boil program at La Bloc, in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a culinary treat. Savour the freshly cooked lobster on the rocky shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Eat the best lobster in Nova Scotia - A park interpreter plays the fiddle and shares tunes to visitors participating in a Learn-to-Lobster Boil program at La Bloc, in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Dale Wilson©

A park interpreter plays the fiddle and shares tunes to visitors participating in a Learn-to-Lobster Boil program at La Bloc, in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Dale Wilson©

Stroll through Sydney’s scenic Waterfront District and try some of the best lobster found on the east coast.

Eat some of the best lobster found on the east coast.

Eat some of the best lobster found on the east coast.

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design showcases the most recent designs by local artisans. Find a variety of media including pottery, textiles, glass and wood products, jewellery and visual art. The shop is located in Sydney’s Waterfront District at 322 Charlotte Street.

The World’s Largest Fiddle

Take a photo of the world’s largest fiddle. The fiddle, made of solid steel, stands about 60-feet high.  Its design represents the rich Celtic heritage and their love of folk music.

The fiddle is located at the Joan Harriss Cruise Ship Pavilion.

Browse inside the pavilion at the Big Fiddle Market. The market featuring over 50 local artisans and crafters is only open on cruise ship days.

Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sydney is a popular port for cruise ships. Holland America's Rotterdam arrives at the Joan Harris Pavilion. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sydney is a popular port for cruise ships. Holland America’s Rotterdam arrives at the Joan Harris Pavilion. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

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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Top shore excursions for Sydney, Nova Scotia