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Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, itinerary question

My husband and I are planning a trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton next summer. We'll begin and end our trip in Halifax. Here's our itinerary with a question I'd love help with. (We're not hikers. We're going for the scenic drives, nice walks, beaches, sightseeing, shops, restaurants, and music.) Thank you!

Day 1 & 2: Halifax for 2 nights (arrive in town after a long drive from the US, visit/stay along waterfront)
Day 3: Iona for 1 night (to see Highland Village)
Day 4: Drive to Louisburg to see the fortress after leaving Iona. Drive to Baddeck/stay for 2 nights.
Day 5: Baddeck
* Day 6: Drive to Cheticamp (stopping along the way at Ingonish, probably, and then do the Skyline Trail). Stay in Cheticamp for 2 nights.
* Day 7: Cheticamp
* Day 8 and 9: Drive to Mabou and stay for 2 nights.
* Day 10: Drive back to Halifax, stopping in Judique along the way. Stay in Halifax for 1 night.
* Day 11: Drive to Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Peggy's Cove. Stay in Lunenburg (more options, as opposed to staying in Mahone Bay).
* Day 12: Drive back to Halifax for the night before driving back home to the US.

The * indicate what I'm struggling with. 1 night or 2 in Cheticamp? 1 night or 2 in Mabou? Advisable to just choose one of those towns? (That could make a really long drive back to Halifax but we could do it if it makes most sense.)

Finally, should we spend our last 3 nights in Halifax and do a day trip to Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay, or stay 1 or 2 nights there (probably Lunenburg) before returning to Halifax for our last night?

Posted by
2254 posts

Can't help with your itinerary as we only stayed in Halifax for five days but wanted to tell how wonderful it was! We stayed at the waterfront in great hotel with good breakfast and a nice bar area. Had roof deck to sit out there at night and see the harbor. Took a bus trio to Peggys Cove and enjoyed it but we made mistake of wasting our time eating lunch in the restaurant and should have just spent the time walking the village. This bus left right outside our door. Be certain to read uo.on the history I was totally amazed. It was wow!! Also see the cemetery with many Titanic passengers and I think it is the Museum of Modern Art that has a reproduction or maybe the original house that belonged to Maude Lewis, the Canadian Grandma Moses. You will really enjoy yourself.

Posted by
27 posts

Thank you, Gail! We're excited about our trip. Do you remember which hotel you stayed at in Halifax? We're hoping to stay at a waterfront hotel.

Posted by
207 posts


Nova Scotian here. I wouldn’t bother staying in Iona. You can stay in Baddeck and still go to the highland Village. You might be better off staying overnight in Sydney, doing Louisbourg and then going to Iona and Baddeck.

On the Ingonish side, I highly recommend White Point. It’s beautiful and not well known. Not a difficult walk either. Neil’s Harbour is also very pretty. Beulach Ban Waterfalls are on the route to Cheticamp and you can drive right up to them.

I recommend staying more nights in Cheticamp than Mabou. They aren’t that far apart and there are more places to stay and dine in Cheticamp. The Skyline Trail is closer to Cheticamp.

The Red Shoe pub in Mabouis god for music as is the Glenora Distillery Restaurant.

Posted by
2254 posts

Maggie I don't know which one it was /recommended by friend who lived there for thirty years. Will be talking to her tomorrow.night and wil get back to you. we also took one of those boat tours the type on land and sea and was something I never thought I would do but it was informative and lots of fun.

Posted by
27 posts

Thank you, BB, Gail, and Patricia! Patricia, that concert sounds like it could be fun. Thanks for suggesting it.

Posted by
2254 posts

We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott on the waterfront in Halifax. It was excellent and perfect location. Enjoy.