Cape Breton Staycation

While international travel is off the table this year, that doesn’t mean our summer has to be any less exciting. We are truly lucky to live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. There are so many great things to see and do in Cape Breton this summer, so we decided to compile the best of our Staycation Bucket List items from summers past! (Too excited to wait? Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the full list) 

Are you ready to ride the waves this summer? If you aren’t afraid to get wet, why not try tubing down the Margaree River with Live Life InTents? Then test your balance with a little stand up paddle boarding or give your core a workout with some kayaking. We’re surrounded by beautiful waters, it’s time to jump in!

If you’d prefer to bask in the sunlight and relax, there are countless stunning beaches in Cape Breton that offer just that! Whether you want to build a sand castle, skip a rock or even shower under a waterfall, you’re in luck on this Island.

Are you ready for an adventure? If yes, Cape Breton couldn’t be a more perfect place to spend your summer. Get out and explore the Island’s abundance of wilderness and nature. You can put your accuracy to the test at Highland Bow and Arrow, camp on one of the 40 campgrounds on the Island or check out the hiking trails all over Cape Breton! 

Looking for that picture-perfect instagram pic? Gypsum Mines is just waiting for your arrival. Plus, we’ve got waterfalls galore that will be the perfect backdrop for all of your Cape Breton adventures.

Warning! You’ll be having cravings after reading this part. Whether it’s fudge from the Cape Breton Fudge Company, ice cream on the boardwalk or a fresh lobster roll, Cape Breton has some of the best eats in the world. Plus, Cape Breton pizza…need we say more?

Sticking close to home this summer provides a great opportunity to learn and try new things. The Miners Museum in Glace Bay is a great opportunity to become educated on the mining history of Cape Breton, then put your pottery painting skills to the test while enjoying snacks and drinks at Fired Creations in Downtown Sydney.

Now that you’ve been given just a taste of what’s available in our backyard, you’re ready to see the full Staycation Bucket List! Below you’ll find the full list of activities with more information including addresses, websites, and more. Don’t forget to respect all social distancing guidelines while adventuring this summer. We’re in this together!

Happy Staycation, Capers! 


Staycation Bucket List

Don’t forget to respect all social distancing guidelines while adventuring this summer. We’re in this together!

Live Life in Tents offers visitors the chance to take a break and relax on the world famous Margaree River. To book your tubing adventure, check out their website

Location: 8139 Cabot Trail, Margaree Forks, NS

Did you know that Nova Scotia’s beaches have been recognized by the surf community around the world? Our own Point Michaud is a favourite for the Island’s surfers. Will you be joining them this summer?

There are plenty of great kayak and canoe rental options in Cape Breton. Check out this TripAdvisor list for their Top 10.

Stand up paddleboarding continues to grow in popularity and is fun for the whole family. Check out the lessons offered by CB West Paddle Boards.

Are you ready to see whales and dolphins splashing in front of your boat? Check out one of Cape Breton’s best whale watching tours and keep your eyes peeled!

Located in Inverness Country, Chimney Corner is a small community with a gorgeous beach. Check it out for yourself this summer!

An Ingonish favourite, Black Brook Beach can be found at 33637 Cabot Trail and is bordered by a gentle waterfall.

Don’t be scared by the name, Polar Bear Beach is a great place for a dip this summer!

Location: 2532 NS-28, South Bar, NS

This beautiful sandy beach is the perfect place for a picnic. 

Location: 219 Pondville North Road, Pondville, NS

Situated on the northwest shore of the Bras d’Or Lakes, the village of Marble Mountain is known by many for its pristine white beach. The colour comes as a result of mining for white marble in the quarry behind the village. 

Location: 102 William MacInnis Lane, Orangedale, NS

Which beach takes the #1 place in your heart? Share it with us on social media!

Put your architecture skills to work and create your best sandcastle on one of Cape Breton’s beautiful beaches.

How many bounces can you get?

Let your creativity run wild! What will you design?

Sand dollars are flat, burrowing sea urchins that turn into pretty white shells when they wash onto the shore. Can you find one this summer?

Highland Bow and Arrow is hoping to be open for business this July and we can’t wait to check out their new location! Just 20km north of Cape Smokey, this is the action-filled activity you need to try out this summer.

Location: 42314 Cabot Trail Road, Englishtown, NS. On the same property as Wreck Cove Wilderness Cabins.

Admission to the Drive In is just $20 a carload. Check out their Facebook Page for specials, events, and more!

Location: 865 Grand Lake Road, Sydney, NS.

The St. Ann’s look off is an official, paved stopping spot on the west side of Kelleys Mountain. Not far below the summit, this look off is one of three along the Trans-Canada Highway (105).

This family-friendly trail is 2.6km long and ranked easy-to-moderate on the difficulty level. 

Location: 561 Havenside Road, Louisbourg, NS.

The Ceilidh Coastal Trail section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail begins at the entrance to Cape Breton Island, at the Trans Canada Trail Pavilion beside the Canso Canal. The trail is 22km long from the Canso Canal to Chisholm’s Brook in Long Point. 

Location: Canso Canal, Port Hastings, NS.

If you’re looking for a more difficult trail, check out the 17.7km North River Falls hiking trail. 

Location: North River Falls, Victoria, Subd. A, NS.

This quick and easy 0.5km walk is suitable for the whole family and is even ideal for baby strollers. The self-guiding trail features signs that explain the wildlife and greenery. 

Location: 20675 Cabot Trail, Cheticamp, NS.

This popular trail is great for all skill levels and is 3.7km long. 

Location: 330 6014 Road, Saint Margaret Village, NS.

Salt Mountain is a quick but slightly challenging walk located in Whycocomagh. The summit is 750ft above the Bras d’Or Lake, but this steep climb will be worth it for the view. 

Location: 89 Provincial Park Road, Whycocomagh, NS.

There are 40 campgrounds on Cape Breton Island waiting to welcome you for a stay. Check out this directory for a list of campsites, and don’t forget to call ahead to ask about their COVID-19 regulations.

We are so lucky to have the stunning Highlands in our backyard. Need to get in touch to help plan your visit? You can email

Hikers will marvel at the spectacular stands of hardwood trees, boulders bigger than cars, abandoned beaver ponds, and even the remains of an old gold mine on the Clyburn Trail. Are you ready for an adventure?

Location: 37204 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Centre, NS

Gaelic for “white water,” Uisge Ban (ish-ka-ban) Falls has a 4k trail leading to a 50ft high waterfall. It’s a must-see this summer!

Location: Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park, 715 N Branch Road, Baddeck, NS.

Are you ready to climb up and up to reach one of the best views on the Island? This 2-3 hour hike might be the right fit for you. 

Location: 230 Franey Road, Ingonish Centre, NS.

White Point is an amazing coastal hike not far past Neil’s Harbour. 2.3k and suitable to the less-experienced hiker. 

Location: 2137 White Point Road, Dingwall, NS.

Trying to see a moose this summer? The Skyline Trail might be your ticket. This 7.9km hike offers stunning views and is packed with wildlife. 

Location: At the top of French Mountain, Inverness, NS.

This 10.5km out-and-back trail was once a cart path leaving from the village of Gabarus and heading to the original settlement of Gull Cove. The trail hugs the coast, winding through windswept woods, cobbled beaches and coastal barrens. 

Location: Gull Cove Road, Gabarus, NS

Don’t forget to call ahead to check on availability and COVID-19 precautions


Cape Breton Highlands Links

Middle Head Peninsula, 247 Keltic Rd, Ingonish Beach, NS

Alderdale Greens

403 Rudderham Rd, Point Edward, NS

Bell Bay Golf Club

761 NS-205, Baddeck, NS

Baddeck Forks Golf Course

12 Baddeck Forks Extension, Baddeck, NS

Cabot Links Golf Resort

15933 Central Ave, Inverness, NS

Lionel’s Golf Centre

378 Gardiner Rd, Glace Bay, NS

Seaview Golf & Country Club

370 Seaview Dr, North Sydney, NS

Cabot Cliffs Golf Course 

39 Whitman Way, Inverness, NS

Passchendaele Golf Club

185 Dominion St, Glace Bay, NS

Le Portage Golf Club

15580 Cabot Trail Rd, Chéticamp, NS

Lingan Golf Club

1229 Grand Lake Rd, Sydney, NS

If you’re not quite ready for the real golf course, maybe mini golf is more your speed! Play a round at the Red Barn and check out their famous gift shop. 

Location: 2 Cabot Trail, Baddeck, NS.

How long has it been since you’ve gone on a nice bike ride? It’s a great way to get active and explore the Island this summer!

We all have our favourite summer views, what’s yours? Whether it’s your backyard pool, a local beach, or the top of a mountain, we want to see it!

Our parks are the most beautiful destinations for picnics. What treats will you pack?

Art comes in all forms, and we’re lucky to have some pretty cool street art on our little Island. It makes for a great backdrop!

Hey CAPERS basketball players…this one might be a little tough for you.

No not jingle bells, we mean the statue of Alexander Graham Bell and his incredible wife Mabel!

The story says that a hero named Glooscap (Kluskap) was sent from the Great Spirit to protect his people, the Mi’Kmaqs. One day he was faced with 2 women standing in the water, who began to taunt him. Angry, Glooscap leapt from his canoe, breaking it into two pieces. These pieces are still visible from the cove today, they are known as the Bird Islands. Glooscap is said to have turned the two women into stone– they are said to be the stone pillars, which guard Glooscap’s Cave.

Location: Fairy Hole, Victoria, Subd. A, NS

Take a refreshing dip after a nice walk through the trail to Mary Ann Falls. 

Location: Mary Ann Falls, Victoria, Subd. A, NS. From Ingonish, take the exit off the Cabot Trail labelled Warren Lake and Mary Ann Falls and follow the posted signs. Drive up the 6.5km dirt road to the parking area.

You’ve seen the stunning pictures, but have you taken the trip yourself? This old gypsum quarry has become one of the Island’s must-see views. 

Location: 1289 Cheticamp Back Rd, Petit Etang, NS

Don’t let the name scare you off, Devil’s Hills Falls is a gorgeous trail along which you’ll hear the rumbling of the falling water. 

Location: 543 New Boston Rd, Catalone, NS

One of the Island’s hidden gems which offers stunning views of the Highlands and the northeast Margaree River Valley.

Location: Cape Clear, Inverness, Subd. A, NS

Check out the widest waterfall on Cape Breton Island when you hike to Egypt Falls.

Location: 150 Pipers Glen Rd, Scotsville, NS

We’ve given you lots of waterfalls to choose from, now it’s time to jump in! Remember to always bring a friend and look out for one another.

Would it really be summer without ice cream? With so many vegan and dairy-free options available now, everyone can enjoy a sweet treat!

It’s no secret that we have the finest lobsters in the world.

Call up your friends and family and enjoy an evening together outside. You don’t have to go far to have fun!

It’s the ultimate challenge. Are you destined for perfection? But don’t forget to burn safe and check for burn restrictions! 

If there’s one thing Cape Bretoners miss when they move away, it’s CB pizza. Don’t take it for granted this summer!

With so many great options available on the Island, you could go on a food truck crawl and try them all!

Check out what it was like for Miners on the Island or catch a performance from the Men of the Deeps! Admission is just $7.83 for adults and $11.50 for kids. 

Location: 17 Museum Street, Glace Bay, NS

Our local theatres aren’t letting COVID-19 keep them down and it’s important for us to show our support. The Highland Arts Theatre is even offering socially-distanced movie nights!

This fun new business wasn’t available during our previous staycation bucket lists and we’re so excited to add it this summer! Let your creativity shine. 

Location: 582 George St, Sydney, NS.

If you’re looking for a unique adventure, this one is for you. Located in Pleasant Bay, Gampo Abbey is a Buddhist monastery in the Shambhala tradition. Although the buildings are closed to guests this summer and tours are unavailable, it’s a beautiful area to visit. 

Location: 1533 Pleasant Bay Rd, Pleasant Bay, NS.

Nestled along the Bras d’Or Lakes in Cape Breton’s rolling heartlands – where the highlands meet the lowlands –  there’s history, culture, and beauty waiting to be discovered. On a cultural journey, you will discover the richness of Mi’kmaq culture. Book your tour today!

Location: 1 Goat Island Trail, Eskasoni, NS.

While we’re saddened that we can’t get together at the park and listen to some great music, Makin’ Waves has taken their festival online with new episodes being added all summer long. 

Check out the Songwriter’s Studio today!