Victoria County is blessed with many of Cape Breton Island’s finest cultural and outdoor attractions. Take time to explore these treasures and learn more about our communities. There is plenty to do and lots to see. Experience our culture, our scenery and friendly hospitality.
Alexander Graham Bell, compelled by the beauty of Baddeck, chose this area as his summer home. Today, explore the life and work of this great teacher, scientist and inventor at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. New on display this year, a reproduction of Bell’s Silver Dart, the first plane to ever fly in Canada in 1909. Get an exclusive and personal glimpse into Bell’s life by signing up for a White Glove Tour. Or build and fly your own tetrahedral kite in one of our daily workshops. Visit us this summer! www.pc.gc.ca/bell or 902 296-2069
World reknown, the Cabot Trail is one of North America’s top touring destination areas. Named for the famous explorer, John Cabot, the Cabot Trail (300 km) winds around the rocky splendour of Cape Breton’s northern shore, ascending to the incredible plateaus of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This highway is carved into the sides of the mountains that rise high above the shimmering waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Lookoffs offer unforgettable vistas. Take 3-5 days when touring the Cabot Trail and enjoy one of the world’s top gems.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Cape Breton Highlands is one of Canada’s most stunning and diverse national parks located at the northern and most rugged tip of Cape Breton Island, between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. Within its 950 km2 (366 sq mi), the park encompasses a great variety of wildlife and landscape: a magnificent highland plateau with windswept barrens, deep-walled canyons, picturesque waterfalls, sandy beaches and and spectacular cliffs plunging into the sea. Through it all winds the Cabot Trail, one of North American’s top touring destination areas. Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers 24 look-offs with exhibits, 550 camping sites in six spectacular settings and 26 hiking trails from easy strolls to challenging climbs to panoramic views of canyons, highlands and seacoast. Below is the 2016 Activity Guide.
Cape Breton invites you to our island of an unique culture. Join us for the 2014 Celtic Colours International Festival from October 10-18. During the day enjoy our community cultural events – outdoor, visual art, participatory events, community meals and learning opportunities. An at night enjoy our events concerts.
Gaelic College , St. Ann’s
Immerse yourself in the traditional Scottish dance, music folklore, and language at North America’s only Gaelic College. The Gaelic College was founded in 1938 by Rev. A.W.R. MacKenzie as a school devoted to the study and preservation of the Gaelic Language and Celtic Arts & Crafts. The College programs and activities include a summer school for student and adults, Gaelic Immersion weeks, March Break Camps, and a Summer Ceilidh Series and concert featuring some of Cape Breton’s finest performers. While at the College visit the Great Hall of Clans and learn more the Clan History. The College features an excellent gift shop featuring tartans, kilts and much more.
A living museum that recreates the 200 year history of Scottish settlement in Cape Breton. The Highland Village depicts the life of Gaelic-speaking Scots in Nova Scotia. Experience their language, singing, dancing as a reminder of the simple joys that were treasured and that have preserved the Gaelic culture. Inside the 43 acre village, ten restored historic buildings reflect the various periods of the history of the Scottish settlers and communities. See costumed animators demonstrate weaving, rug hooking, soap making and blacksmithing. Set high on a hillside, the village also provides panoramic views of the Bras d’Or Lakes and surrounding countryside. The Highland Village is home to the Roots Cape Breton Genealogy Centre & Family History Centre. A number of great events will take place at this village this summer including Codfish Suppers, Highland Village Day. Open June 1st – October 20.
St. Paul Island Lighthouse & Museum, Dingwall
Canada’s ocean shoreline, at 243,000 kilometers, is the longest in the world. Just minutes off the world famous Cabot Trail, you will find Canada’s first and only federally designated “heritage” lighthouse on any of Canada’s three oceans. Built in 1915 and relocated to Dingwall in 2010, the St. Paul South West Lighthouse is also the first cast iron lighthouse constructed in Canada. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am. to 5:00 pm. Guided Tours. Free Admission & Gift Shop.
Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre, Wagmatcook.
The Wagmatcook Centre is dedicated to learning and reviving the Mi’kmaq culture on the First Nation of Wagmatcook and beyond. The Centre welcomes you to experience all that is Mi’kmaq. As you arrive at the Wagmatcook Centre, Mi’kmaq guides will greet you for an excursion through time. Interpreting the Mi’kmaq culture and traditions, they will leave you with a glimpse into the lives of their people, through the tales of the centuries. A splendid vaulted ceiling and brilliant Mi’kmaq murals await you in the Great Hall, the grand achievement of the Centre. Here you will enjoy daily multi-cultural entertainment ~ feel our culture come alive in Mi’kmaq drumming, dancing and story-telling by spiritual leaders. The Centre features a museum, craft shop and restaurant.