Cape Breton is noted for its unique and vibrant traditional Scottish violin music incubated by its relative isolation over the years- so much so that music lovers from Scotland come here for a taste of their own past. Typically a duo of violin and piano play hearty dance music that can be seen at community halls throughout the island. The early-evening tourist-targeted concerts are well advertised; later at night you can find ones that draw the entire local community. Some of the most important musical centres are Judique, Margaree Valley and Chéticamp.
The island as a whole ranked second in the world in a National Geographic study of ecotourism, which was conducted in 2002 and 2003.
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You need an entry permit at $7 a day per person (there are group and family discounts). The Cabot Trail runs through the national park. There are many short hiking trails starting along the Cabot Trail.
Scenery is a major reason to visit Cape Breton. Plan to stop along the many spectacular lookoffs on the Cabot Trail - this will lengthen your travel time between destinations. Since the Cabot Trail is more a destination than a drive, visitors seeking to truly experience this environmental masterpiece should plan on staying a minimum of two days in the villages around the Trail. A number of private operators offer trip planning services to assist visitors in taking advantage of the best attractions both on and off the Trail, some offering all-inclusive multi-day packages.
- Fortress of Louisbourg, 259 Park Service Rd, Louisbourg, +1 902 733-2280. This is a reconstruction of the 18th century fortified French town whose presence plagued the British colonies of New England. Its busy harbor was once one of France's most signifiant economic and military assets in North America. If you enjoy the colonial restoration at Williamsburg in the United States, don't miss Louisbourg. 1 May-30 Jun, 9:30AM-5PM. 1 Jul-31 Aug, 9AM-5PM. 1 Sep-15 Oct, 9:30AM-5PM. Closed 1 Nov-3 Apr.
- The Bras D'Or is a unique brackish lake with its own unique ecological characteristics, and some islands in that lake are sacred to the Mikmaq.
- Bay St. Lawrence and Meat Cove. Two scenic fishing villages featuring whale tours, fresh seafood and unique accommodations along the rugged cliffs north of the Cabot trail. Turn north at Cape North.
- Joe's Scarecrows at Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail. Scary gallery of scarecrows with halloween masks. Entrance is free, but they ask for a small donation.
- Les Trois Pignons, 15584 Cabot Trail Highway, Cheticamp, +1 902 224-2612. Museum of Acadian culture based on collection of antiques started by Marguerite Gallant.
- Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada, Chebucto Street (Route 205), Baddeck. Open 9AM-6PM (Jun 1-30), 8:30AM-6PM (1 Jul-15 Oct). Entrance $6.50.
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