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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cape Breton

Inverness Beach Boardwalk

I wasn't going to write a post about Cape Breton, which was the final leg of our East Coast trip, even though it was my favourite part! Because we only got a small taste of this beautiful island I wasn't sure about it being enough for a post, but I'm giving it a try anyways. 

How to Get There:

Cape Breton Island is part of the province of Nova Scotia and can easily be accessed by car from the main part of the province. We took the the ferry from Woods Island, PEI to Caribou, Nova Scotia which took about an hour and 15 minutes, (you can read more about my thoughts on taking the ferry here). From Caribou it took about 2 hours for us to drive Cape Breton Island, in particular to the town of Inverness where we stayed.

From Halifax Stanfield Airport you can drive to Cape Breton in around 3 hours.

Where we Stayed:

One of the reasons why this may have been my favourite part of our trip was probably due to our amazing accommodations. We splurged and stayed at the Cabot Links Resort  in a gorgeous 2 bedroom villa. We had two spacious and luxurious bedrooms, two full bathrooms complete with l'Occitane bath products, a full stunning kitchen and sitting room overlooking the golf course and ocean, along with laundry facilities. I basically came back home wanting to redo my whole home to look like our modern villa. Sorry honey - looks like this trip will continue blowing the budget!

The service was also amazing, as they had a rollaway bed set up and ready for our third kid upon arrival. My favourite part probably was the coffee maker and the perfect covered back porch to drink it on!

The villas at Cabot Links Resort

The splurge at this resort was well worth it, but other options that I looked into and would consider staying in next time include this property by Kid & Coe which looks like a perfect stay for families not far from Inverness. The Keltic Lodge and the Cape Breton Villas also look like good choices for families.

A place for mama to relax

What to Do: 

Golf: If staying at the Cabot Links Resort, golfing is a no brainer because it is home to two of the world's best golf courses, Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links. Our girls got to play at the Cabot Cliffs in the evening, and while I am a non-golfer, I walked the course with them and took in the breathtaking beauty of the area. Cabot Links even offers golf lessons for children in case they are new to the sport. We found the whole property to be very accommodating and welcoming for our kids.

Cape Breton has over 1/2 dozen spectacular golf courses, and was called "The Hottest Island in Golf" by Forbes Magazine.

Inverness Beach Boardwalk: A huge stretch of beach that is 5 minutes away from Cabot Links (they provide a  shuttle or you can walk down easily), Inverness beach claims to have some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. With a huge stretch of boardwalk along the beach - perfect for a run or stroll, the beach is also manned with a lifeguard, so a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Cabot Trail: spanning 298 miles long, the Cabot trail makes for a perfect road trip (unless you have kids, then it may be a different story!) There are breathtaking views from wherever you are, and lots of places to stop and pull off the road, or to head out and explore. We only attempted about an hour's worth of driving up to the Cheticamp Visitors Centre, which is one of two visitor's centre's in the Cape Breton Highlands National park. Approximately 1/3 of the Cabot trail is in the park.

Stopping off at the visitors centre allows you to get information on the many hiking trails, events and to stock up on any items you may have forgotten (ahem, like we did!).

Views of the Cabot Trail

Lots of stops to make along the Cabot Trail
SkyLine Trail: There are many trails and hikes to do within the National Park, but we opted for the popular SkyLine Trail.  The trail itself is relatively easy and you can even take a stroller for most of it if you have young kids. It took our family approximately 2 hours to do the full trail and get back to our car. The views are breathtaking!
Tip: before starting your hike, the kids can look out for the Xplorer's Book from parks Canada at the start of the trail. Bring along a pencil to help them fill out their booklet along the hike!

Sky Line Trail
There is so much more to discover along the Cabot trail from hikes to waterfalls to beaches, local towns and artisan trails. You can also do whale watching excursions, go fishing, bike ride and more! We have much to discover for next time!

Where to Eat:

Since we had a full kitchen we were able to eat breakfast and small lunches in our villa. There is a small variety store, The Inverness Pantry, directly across the street from the resort where you can stock up on your basics, or head down to the Inverness Co-op down the street for more options.

We dined at Route 19 Brewing for a more casual fare, but for delicious pizza, seafood and more. For a special meal book yourself a table at sunset and request it by the window at Cabot Link's Panorama Restaurant. We left the kids back with some pizza from the Cabot Public House.

We also stopped off for some sandwiches and baked goodies at the Aucoin Bakery after we left the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. But we did pass by many other restaurants, bakeries and shops along that way.
Make sure to enjoy the sunsets here

While we certainly didn't get to see or do as much as Cape Breton offers, it earns a spot on my list of places that we definitely would like to return to. But check out fellow Toronto blogger, Yashy Murphy who has so many great posts on Cape Breton on her blog Baby & Life


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