Cape Breton Journals

The Quest of the Cabot Trail

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A September 2008 trip to Cape Breton by tvordj

Fortress of Louisbourg Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia More Photos
Quote: Cape Breton is a spectacular island in NS with beautiful coast and scenery, friendly people, and lots to do. We took a long weekend and saw some great scenery and historic sites.

Baddeck Heritage House

Hotel | "Centre of town Bed and Breakfast"

Baddeck Heritage House Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
The Baddeck Heritage House is run by an older couple. They offer a continental breakfast, cereals and toast, fruit, yogurt and cheese as well as coffee, tea and juice. The bedroom we had was on the main floor and was quite large. It was furnished with antiques and the large bathroom had a jacuzzi tub and large shower stall. The owner carves lots of folk art figures which are scattered around the property. There is a lounge but there is no television in the building aside from a small one that is only hooked to a dvd player. The B&B is on Twining street. When you drive into town, you will reach an intersection by the visitor centre. Turn up Twining street and it's just up the hill a short way, on ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Baddeck Heritage House
121 Twining Street
Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Ocean View Motel and Chalets

Hotel | "Spectacular views"

Cheticamp sunset Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
The Ocean View site has a six unit motel strip with large rooms and mini kitchen facilities. Some rooms have a king size bed and some are Queen. There are two luxury units with jacuzzis as well and there are a dozen housekeeping chalet units. The site is on the north end of the village of Cheticamp, just a few miles before the entrance to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Cabot Trail. They don't provide breakfast but we were offered freshly baked muffins when we checked out in the morning. There are barbeques available and picnic tables if you want to eat outside. The site is right on the water overlooking a small bay that leads out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The sunsets were spectac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Stacey House Bed and Breakfast

Hotel | "Filled with Antiques"

Stacey House Bed and Breakfast Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
We chose the Stacey House B&B from the Nova Scotia tourism book. Rates seemed reasonable and the pictures online showed an old house decorated with lots of antiques and indeed the house is beautifully done up. The breakfast was great as well. You can have cereal but they also do a hot dish and there are usually homemade goodies as well. The room we had, number 1, had a queen sized bed. The room was not large but not too tiny though the bathroom was quite small, having been fitted in to a corner of the room. Still, it had everything you needed including a shower stall. The only problem we had was that we found the bed quite hard. It appeared to be an older mattress and box spring so as to fit the a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Stacey House Bed and Breakfast
7438 Main Street
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia B1C 1H1
(902) 733-2317?

Grubstake

Restaurant | "Great Grub"

Quote:
Grubstake is a lovely little restaurant on the main street of Louisbourg. It's been there over 20 years and has a nice, comfortable atmosphere. The main reason we chose this is because nothing on the menu is fried, everything is baked, grilled or poached. Instead of french fries, you'll get roasted potatoes. They specialize in fresh seafood but they also do wraps, salads, steaks, soup and creamy seafood chowder. I had the chowder which was wonderful and made exactly as it should have been, with a milky broth, not a thick creamy sauce. I also had the haddock. My partner had a wrap with a side of garlicky garlic bread. It wasn't cheap but it wasn't hugely expensive either.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Grubstake
7499 Main Street
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia B1C 1H8
(902) 733-2308

Le Gabriel Restaurant and Lounge

Restaurant | "Dine Under the Lighthouse"

Le Gabriel Restaurant and Lounge Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
This restaurant is on the main road through the village of Cheticamp. It has a lounge/bar on one side and a dining room on the other. I think it can also cater to bus tour groups. The menu carries most standard pub grub and lots of fresh seafood as well. Soups, salads, steaks, seafod, (fish, lobster, crab, scallops), burgers. They also do a couple of Acadian regional dishes, a Fricot which is a hearty soup/stew, fishcakes served with beans, and a meat pie. I had the Fricot and it was delicious. My partner had the burger and was very satisfied. We didn't have room for dessert but it looked yummy. Prices were average, not cheap. Easy to spot it, look for the lighthouse! They also do entertainment on som...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Le Gabriel Restaurant and Lounge
15424 Cabot Trail
Cheticamp, Nova Scotia B0E 1H0
(902) 224-3685

Hometown Kitchen

Restaurant | "Home Cooking"

Hometown Kitchen Photo, Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
Quote:
The Hometown Kitchen was next door to the motel where we stayed and we had our breakfast there in the morning. The restaurant is no-frills, with plastic patio chairs and basic tables covered with print vinyl table coverings. The menu isn't fancy but it covers all the basics. There are a number of choices for breakfast from cold to hot and hearty cooked ones. It is a full service licensed establishment and the owner decorates for the seasons. It was done up for Halloween when we were there. Apparently they go all out for Christmas :) It also seemed like a place the locals ate and that's always a good sign. It's right on the water and they do have an outdoor screened in patio. I can't vouch for their l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Hometown Kitchen
15559 Main Street
Cheticamp
(902) 224-3888

Fortress of Louisbourg

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Attraction | "Visit the 18th Century"

Fortress of Louisbourg Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
France colonized areas of Ile Royale, now known as Cape Breton Island, in the 17th century. In the early 18th century, a fortified walled town, called a Fortress, was built on the east coast on an ice-free harbour and was called Louisbourg, after King Louis XV. It took over 20 years to complete. The main source of revenue was the Grand Bank cod fishing industry which was extremely lucrative and the town prospered. Little wonder then, that the British laid seige to it in 1745. Louisbourg changed hands several times over the next several decades until the British finally captured it and kept it, but destroyed it in 1760. Canada designated the site as a National Historic site in the early 1960s and start...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Fortress of Louisbourg
Louisbourg
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
(902) 733-2280

Joe's Scarecrow Village

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Attraction | "Scarecrows, Creepy or Fabulous?"

Joe's Scarecrow Village Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
About 20 minutes south of the village of Cheticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on the Cabot Trail, is a weird and wonderful attraction. It's been there for 20 years and is mentioned in various tourism brochures but is not all that well known, it seems. Joe's Scarecrow Village has dozens of figures lined up across a field next to a small trailer. The figures are scarecrows and dressed in old clothes. Their faces are mainly masks. Some of the bodies are mannequins and many of the masks have mannequin heads behind them. Or something. A lot of them had "eyes" that you could detect behind the masks which made them look rather creepy, really. Some are known figures like Queen Elizabeth II, Maggie Thatcher...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 29, 2008

Joe's Scarecrow Village

Cap Le Moine, Cape Breton

Blue Heron Photo, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Quote:
I've been trying to get to Cape Breton for years and never seem to manage to make plans that work out so this year, I was determined. Graham was visiting for two weeks in September so we went ahead and booked. It would have been better to go in October when the fall colours were blazing but I had work committments so we made do with a beautiful sunny weekend instead. Our trip to Cape Breton included an overnight stop in Georgetown, Prince Edward Island to visit my cousin. We left on a Thursday in grey, overcast weather. We decided to take the ferry to PEI since Georgetown is on the east end of the island and not that far from Caribou where the ferry lands. First, though, a stop in the pret...Read More

From PEI to Cheticamp

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Story/Tip

Cheticamp Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
Up early today. Peter is cooking breakfast but has invited us to the restaurant where he's using the facilities there. It's not open for breakfast, so it's just us for a private dining experience with our eggs and bac'. I was sure the eggs were different somehow, they tasted so good but I guess it's just like that when someone else cooks it for you. In butter. The sunrise was beautiful and the day was going to be sunny and clear with a little cool breeze. Perfect for traveling. Put in the tunes and away we go, taking the direct route back to the ferry which takes about 30 or 40 minutes tops. We made it with 13 mintues to spare, or so we thought. The boat was 9:30 not 9:00. Misread the broc...Read More

Around the Cabot Trail

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Story/Tip

Joe's Scarecrow Village Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
We weren't lucky with the whale watching cruise so we took a little time and drove back to Joe's Scarecrow Village (see separate review). What an amazing and quirky attraction! Kind of creepy too. The one that really made the hair on my neck stand up was the one with the alien mask. The face with the over-sized open mouthed smile was unsettling as well. Definitely worth a stop if you are going by there anyway. We bought sandwiches at Tim Horton's to have for our lunch later and hit the trail. Another clear blue sky today! We're a couple of weeks too early to see the changing fall colours, unfortunately. There's a charge for entering the Cape Breton Highlands National Park that encompases t...Read More
Fortress of Louisbourg Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
Yet another sunny day! We had a continental breakfast and checked out. We stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic site first, before heading to Louisbourg. This is a really interesting site and we spent an hour or two looking at all the exhibits and photos. He did a lot of research and came up with a lot of inventions, a lot more than we realized. (see separate review). It was well worth the entrance fee and the time. Apparently you can drive somewhere handy and at least see where his house is but we didn't realize that.We left there, gassed up the gar, and then drove straight through to Louisbourg, mainly highway driving until just past Sydney where you turn off for Route 2...Read More
Comox Torpedo Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Quote:
Alexander Graham Bell did most of his famous telephone inventing in the US but he had a summer home in Baddeck where he lived most of the last part of his life, continuing his research and inventing, with the help of a team, loads of other things. We already knew he had done a lot of work with the deaf earlier in life. His father did as well. He invented a sort of written language for the deaf and there's even a typewriter that types the symbols. The museum has several sections, dealing with various aspects of his life and work. There are loads of photographs including one of him and his wife with Helen Keller and a touching one of him and his wife walking on the beach. There a...Read More