Do you and your partner find that you’re bored and out of interesting, fun date ideas? Do you feel like dinner and a movie just isn’t doing it for you guys anymore and you both are desperately seeking something more? Why not plan a trip to the beautiful island of lo to find new adventures and create amazing memories together.
Below is a list of interesting activities and places for you and your partner to explore during a trip to beautiful Cape Breton. Whether you’re looking to bring out your adventurous sides or if you’re looking for a place to go on vacation, then check out the places below.
- The Big Fiddle Market – Sydney: This market is located inside the Joan Harriss Cruise Ship Pavilion on the dock in downtown Sydney, near the 60 foot Giant Fiddle made from Cape Breton Steel. It is exclusively open on days that a Cruise Ship docks and features over 40 crafters, bakers, artisans, and retailers from Cape Breton Island and the rest of the Maritimes. This market always has something interesting going on, so it is a wonderful place to have a casual, relaxing date.
- Sydney Waterfront District – Sydney: If you really want to enjoy all that Sydney has to offer, take a leisurely stroll with your sweetheart down Charlotte Street in Sydney’s Waterfront District. There are over 200 distinctive businesses, which include unique cafes and restaurants, specialty shops, salons, a theater, and many other services that are the heart and soul of the town’s cultural, craft, retail, and business communities.
- Lone Shieling Loop – Pleasant Bay: Take a romantic stroll with your partner around the Lone Shieling Loop. The trail is good for all skill levels and is primarily used for walking, hiking, and nature trips because it is a 0.8 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail near Cape North that features a beautiful river. There are information panels placed throughout the forest about the animals, plants, and trees in the hardwood forest.
- The Stupa of Enlightenment – Pleasant Bay: If you and your partner are looking for a peaceful way to spend a day, then you should take a trip to The Stupa of Enlightenment. It is located on the grounds of Gampo Abbey, which is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and retreat. The monks offer a one-hour tour of the main building and grounds, where you can learn all about the history of the Abbey, their teachings, and the monks’ daily lives.
- The Bite House – Baddeck: Is your partner a ‘foodie’? If so, have a romantic dinner at this charming old farm house, where the chef’s passion is focused on seasonal, organic, locally sourced ingredients. The food is served in small portions throughout a 10 course set menu, which stays the same for a month at a time. Every course is incredibly creative and beautifully presented with explanations from your server. Reservations are recommended for this quaint, intimate restaurant full of gastronomic delights for your sweetheart.
- Point Michaud Beach Provincial Park – Point Michaud
Spend a relaxing day with that special someone lounging on the sand of Point Michaud Beach. It’s an exceptionally gorgeous 3-km / 2-mi sandy beach with sand dunes and large cranberry bogs nearby. It has a picnic area and boardwalk for you and your sweetheart to enjoy.
- Fortress Louisburg – Louisburg: The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site offers guests the opportunity to fire cannons created during the 18th century during its ‘Be a Cannoneer in Training’ event. The location also offers a variety of dining areas, including the Grandchamp Tavern.
- Les Trois Pignons – Cheticamp: Visitors can view a variety of artifacts Les Trois Pignons’s museum area. The location’s genealogy center features a variety of books, parish records, and census lists that can help visitors to uncover their family history.
- Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site – Baddeck: The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site features a museum store that sells books, educational toys, and souvenirs. At the location’s cafe, you and your sweetheart can also grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a delicious baked good.
- Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design – Sydney: If you are looking for an interesting gift for your sweetheart, this is the best place to get a true Cape Breton craft item. There is a wide variety of artists that you can select from at differing price points. It showcases beautiful art work and jewelry, such as hand crafted earrings and necklaces.
- Arts North – Cabot Trail: From its location on the Cabot Trail, Arts North exhibits and sells the works of various Cape Breton artists. Within its walls, you can purchase exclusive jewelry, glasswork, pottery and even knitwear for your sweetheart.
- Doug Fraser Art Gallery – Inverness: Visit the Doug Fraser Art Gallery with your partner and see beautiful paintings and giclee prints from this Cape Breton artist, who lists “light” as his pursuit. The location also features a variety of scenic views for you to enjoy.
- Cabot Trail – Cape Breton: Visitors of the Cabot Trail can engage in a variety of activities, including dividing, kayaking, whale watching, and camping. The location is well-known for its variety of scenic hiking trails. With all the must-see small shops along the way, it’s an incredible journey, with the most breathtaking views that I’ve ever seen. Beautiful mountains, valleys, lakes, and ocean.
- Kidston Island Lighthouse – Baddeck: The Kidston Island is known for its lighthouse, along with its sandy beach and lifeguard. There’s a local wharf nearby and a boutique that’s filled with various arts and crafts made by local artisans on display where you can buy unique presents for that special someone in your life.
- St. Paul South West Lighthouse – Cabot Trail
Situated just off the Cabot Trail, St. Paul South West Lighthouse is Canada’s sole heritage lighthouse. Here, you can scrutinize the unique Fresenel lens, the rotating clockwork and the light.
- Skyline Trail – Cape Breton Highlands: The Skyline Trail is a 7.5 km return and 9.2 km loop path that offers views of the Cabot Trail and several different animals. The trail, which takes two to three hours to complete, also will take you and your partner near a variety of headland plants.
- Donelda’s Puffin Boat Tours – Englishtown: Donelda’s Puffin Boat Tours take guests through the area’s bird islands, offering guests an explanation of the life of a lobster fisherman. The birds located in the area include the Atlantic Puffin, the Razorbill, and the Bald Eagle.
- North River Kayak Day Tours – North River Bridge: Go kayaking with your partner with North River Kayak Day Tours. This company offers their guests the opportunity to travel along the Cape Breton sea coast. The sights most frequently seen by visitors include eagle’s nests, a lighthouse, and great blue herons.
- Uisge Ban Falls – Baddeck: This Nova Scotia Provincial Park offers guests the opportunity to go hiking on a five-kilometer trail. Guests frequently sight moose and partridge at this location, which also features a 50-foot waterfall.
- Flora’s Gift Shop – Cheticamp: Visit Flora’s gift shop, that sells hooked rugs and souvenirs including pottery items and sweatshirts, to find a special gift for your partner. You can also visit the location’s Ice Cream Parlor to purchase servings of ice cream in various flavors, banana splits, and cups of hot coffee.
- Ski Tuonela – Goose Cove: If your date is a ski enthusiast, then plan a trip to Ski Tuonela which is the only serviced Telemark ski area in the Maritimes. You can spend the day backcountry/outback skiing with your date on a gladed Telemark hill with a 1400’ run over a 400′ vertical drop, along with eighteen kilometers of the trail. At the end of the day, head back to the chalet to spend the evening snuggling up in the sauna.
- Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs – Baddeck: At the Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs, visitors can engage in an old cultural practice of going to a kitchen party to either witness or participate in an open performance. Activities at a Ceilidhs can range from music, to dance, to storytelling.
- Gallery La Bella Mona Lisa – Cheticamp: If your partner is an art lover, spend an afternoon at the Gallery La Bella Mona Lisa. You will be able to view the works of Michel Williatte-Battet, which include oil on canvas paintings and tremclad on canvas paintings. If you want to purchase a painting for your sweetheart, the Gallery also sells the artist’s works.
- Captain Zodiac – Whale Watching Tours – Cheticamp: Go whale watching with Captain Zodiac, so you and your partner will have the opportunity to go snorkeling and encounter whales while underwater. The location also offers standard two to three-hour whale watching tours to its visitors, especially if you don’t feel comfortable swimming in the ocean.
- Groovy Goat Farm & Soap Company – Ingonish: Go shopping with your partner at the Groovy Goat Farm and Soap Company, which sells a variety of soaps and shaving bars for customers to purchase. You can also visit the farm animals, which include both goats and pigs.
- Cedar House Bakery and Restaurant – Boularderie: Enjoy a delicious brunch with that special someone in a relaxed, casual setting at this cozy restaurant with a bakery. All the items on the menu are made in-house daily. This restaurant offers a regular menu, along with gluten-free options, vegetarian and vegan options.
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Cabot Trail: Visitors can camp at several different sites at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including sites that come with electrical hook-ups. The location also features the Bog Trail, which has sign panels that highlight the importance of the area.
- Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures – Dingwall: Introducing its guests to Northern Cape Breton, Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures offers them a wide array of activities depending on the season. Summer features kayaking and hiking while winter brings with it skiing and snowshoeing. This is the place to have a good time being active with your partner.
- Chutes Mary Ann Falls – Ingonish: Visit this popular waterfall by hiking the 6.5-kilometer unpaved road that goes to a waterfall. The Chutes Mary Ann Falls are very easy to access with viewing platforms and a staircase that leads down to the falls. You can actually go swimming at the base of the falls in the summer when the water is warm. The Falls is located near Broad Cove Campground.
- Coastal Restaurant & Pub – Ingonish: Enjoy some famous food with your sweetheart at the Coastal Restaurant & Pub that was once featured on the Food Network. This dining establishment is well-known for its Ringer Burger, Crab Dip, and Cinnamon Roll Skillet selections, along with its live musicians that perform on Saturdays.
- Acadian Trail – Petit Étang: Take a hike with your partner around the 8.4 kilometer Acadian Trail. You will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the Acadian coastline from 365 feet above the Cheticamp River. The trail, which takes around three to four hours to travel, features extremely steep inclines, rugged sections, and benches for when you need to take a rest.
- Bras d’Or Lakes and Watershed Interpretive Centre – Baddeck
Take your partner to the Interpretive Centre for the Bras d’Or Lakes and Watershed to learn about the area, which is referred to with a diverse variety of terms such as a fjord, an inland, and an estuary complex sea to name just a few. You will be able to see the conserved lake depressions when you and your partner go through the natural sight-seeing expedition.
- The Beggars Banquet – Louisbourg: Step back in time with your sweetheart to the medieval banquet when you don 18th Century clothing for a fun-filled evening, with hearty food and hot buttered rum. After your delicious meal, you can dance the night away to live music played by a man playing the guitar and singing songs in French and English.
- Glenora Inn & Distillery – Mabou: Stop and taste the Whisky – the single malt that is, after a romantic meal at the Inn. Your authentic three-course Nova Scotia dinner will be paired with locally made wine and served in the intimate dining room overlooking the distillery. Even if you or your partner are not Whisky lovers, you should have a shot of single malt whisky at the only distillery to produce it in North America.
- Battery Provincial Park – St. Peters: Have a romantic picnic at Battery Provincial Park, one of the oldest settlements in Canada. It is located on a hillside overlooking St. Peter’s Bay. You can learn about the history of the Canal and the Lighthouse from the interpretive display panels located on the 3.4 km / 2.1 mi of hiking trails. The Battery has a picnic area with ocean frontage and a small saltwater beach that is unsupervised for you to enjoy.
- Cape Breton Miners’ Museum – Glace Bay: Take your sweetheart on a journey back to when coal mining was huge in Cape Breton. The Cape Breton Miners’ Museum pays tribute to the region’s coal miners and the mining industry by featuring an underground tour of a mine. After the tour, you can enjoy a delicious meal at our Miners’ Village Restaurant or visit The Miners’ Village that has a company store and a home from the period 1850–1900.
- Highland Village – Iona: Spend a day visiting North America’s only living history museum of Gaelic language and culture. The village is located on a 43-acre site that features a gorgeous view of the Bras d’Or Lake. You can explore the village’s eleven historic buildings, three frame houses (c1830-1900), a church, a store, a carding mill, and a forge.
- Jost Heritage House – Sydney: If you or your partner are history lovers, be sure to take a tour of the oldest house in Sydney, built circa 1786 for a glimpse into how old mariners and families lived during that period. This old house is filled with great memorabilia from the entire Sydney area. The museum’s staff are dressed in costumes of the early days and each room has a specific theme, such as an Apothecary, a parlor room, marine room, etc.
- Celtic Music Interpretive Centre – Judique
The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre goal is to preserve, promote, and share Cape Breton’s music and its culture. There are live music, piano and fiddle workshops and an interactive exhibit room. Enjoy lunch and live music at the Ceilidh Pub.
- Sydney Mines Heritage Museum & Cape Breton Fossil Centre – Sydney Mines
This museum explores the 200-year history of Sydney Mines and the history of coal mining and steel making in the area. The museum is housed in a 1905 train station. The Cape Breton Fossil Centre is home to the largest Carboniferous Plan Fossil display in Canada and North America. There are over 800 fossils on displays, and tours to learn more about fossils and coal mining.
- Whale Interpretive Centre – Pleasant Bay
Learn about the beautiful whales and other marine life that call the ocean around Cape Breton home and why it is important to protect them. There are many interactive media presentations including scale illustrations of 16 whale species.
- Flavor Downtown – Sydney
Enjoy a delicious meal with your sweetheart at this contemporary bistro style, soul-food restaurant located in downtown Sydney. Flavor offers an all-day breakfast along with eats such as pasta, seafood & gourmet sandwiches. The view of the harbour is particularly stunning at sunset.
- Theatre Baddeck – Baddeck
If your sweetheart loves a good theatrical production, then take them to watch a play at the Theatre Baddeck. The theatre is located in Baddeck’s historic Masonic Hall, which was built in 1898. Theatre Baddeck is a professional theatre company that provides plenty of laughs, as well as some touching moments, in their various productions.
- Big Spruce Brewing – Nyanza: If you and your partner like craft beer on a lazy afternoon, then Big Spruce Brewing is the place to visit. Big Spruce offers a range of exceptionally brewed craft beers. They have a small, screened in tasting patio that is the perfect place to enjoy your beer while having a spectacular view of a lake, an orchard, and a maple grove.
- Meat Cove Campground – Capstick: Spend a weekend with your partner camping at one of Meat Cove Campground’s unserviced campsites that have a fire pit, grill, and picnic table. You can hike or bike through the wilderness trails, go kayaking and whale watching or swim at the beach. If you get tired of cooking your own food, you can grab a bite at the ‘Oceanside Chowder Hut’ and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean.
- Membertou Heritage Park – Sydney
If you and your partner are interested in Native history, then visit the Membertou Heritage Park that consists of a five-acre site that offers a living history of the people of Membertou. It also has a museum which narrates the history of the Mi’kmaq First Nation people of Membertou while honoring their culture and heritage. You can find gifts for your sweetheart of traditional and contemporary Mi’kmaq arts and crafts made locally at the Petroglyphs Gift Shop in the park.
- Capt. Mark’s Whale and Seal Cruise – Pleasant Bay: Go whale watching with your partner aboard one of Capt. Mark’s 2 Zodiacs or the 42-foot cabin-cruiser named ‘The Double Hook-up’, which has hosted researchers from Dalhousie University for the past 16 years. While on the cruise, you may see many different types of whales such as Finback, Minke, Pilot, and Humpback along with Dolphins, Seals, Porpoises, and Sharks. Captain Mark also has a hydrophone, so you can hear the whales sing.
- Lighthouse Ice Cream Parlour – Neil’s Harbor: If you need a cold treat on a hot day, take your partner out for an ice cream at the Neil Harbour Lighthouse. It is a renovated lighthouse that overlooks a spectacular view of the ocean and surrounding coastline. After you finish your ice cream, check out the crafts and fudge that are for sale.
- Sydney Mines Heritage – Sydney Mines: Spend an afternoon with your partner exploring the Sydney Mines Heritage Museum & Fossil Centre. Visit the restored train station (c. 1905) and examine artifacts from the history of the town’s coal mining era. You can also take a guided tour of the museum or you can book an exciting fossil excursion with Dr. Stuart Critchley to find your own fossils.
- North Highlands Community Museum & Culture Centre – Dingwall: Visit the North Highlands Community Museum & Culture Centre to learn about the rich history and heritage of Northern Cape Breton. You will see exhibits that show how the early settlers of northern Cape Breton lived, such as a working blacksmith forge, a gypsum quarry, a heritage garden and much more. There is also an extensive genealogy centre and archives where you can check to see if you or your partner have some family roots in Northern Cape Breton.
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