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Late Sept, my wife and I will be visiting Cape Breton & PEI for no other reason than to check it out for the first time.

So, for you Cape Bretoners & PEIslanders, where would you recommend we should go, stay, eat, drive etc...

We just have to drive the Cabot Trail, of course, and eat lots of seafood, of course, but other than that we're open for your suggestions & recommendations.

Thanks

PS I was going to check out some Celtic Colours shows but everything I'm interested in is sold out already!!!
 

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Governors pub in Sydney is very nice and there is a Holiday Inn and Spanish Bay hotel nearby that are nice to stay at.

En Route to Cape Breton you can stay in Truro. The Willow Bend is a nice clean motel and less than $100 a night.

I just got back from PEI. Brackley Beach was my favourite and it is free to go to the Parks this year since it's Canada's 150th.

There is deep sea fishing in North Rustico and Stanley Bridge. That is quite a bit of fun.

Spending a day in downtown Charlottetown is fun as well. The Quality Inn is reasonably priced and a great location for walking about. There are a lot of great restaurants in Charlottetown.
 

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See if you can get the Singing Sands of PEI to sing...I couldn't (my wife was splitting her sides laughing at me trying).
 

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Not a local myself, but did Cape Breton lest year. There isn't much in terms of restaurants on the top end, so plan your trip. I'd reccomend a minimum of 3 days to really see it. More if you hike all the trails. Try to squeeze a visit to Meat Cove if you can. It's pretty neat
 

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I just spent 12 days on the road. Our best meal was at the Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico PEI. The seafood there is phenomenal. 4.7 rating out of 259 votes does not lie.

If you are a craft beer fan, specifically IPA's, you have to try Gahan's 1772 and Vic Park in PEI or a small detour on route between PEI and CB, is Tatamgouche brewery. Do it!! So worth it.
 

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Upstreet Brewery in PEI is very good as are Bretpn Brewing and Big Spruce in CB.
 

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Upstreet Brewery in PEI is very good as are Bretpn Brewing and Big Spruce in CB.
Upstreet was OK and missed out on Big Spruce, but I have to say the Maritimes are ligh years ahead of Ontario for the craft brews. NB is no slouch either...I loved Hu Jon Hops too....and Greystone in Fredericton.
 

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Just outside Kensington is the Cavendish fried potato-products R&D center. I'm serious. Last time we were on the island, I used any excuse I could find to drive that stretch of road with the windows open. Smells like the chip-wagon of the gods. I feel bad for the folks who work there, who have probably become completely desensitized to that glorious aroma.

While on Cape Breton, be sure to block off a day for Fort Louisburg. Parks Canada has 3 jewels in their crown: Banff, Lake Louise, and Fort Louisburg. Fort Henry, Upper Canada Village, and King's Landing are all nice and informative, but relatively small potatoes by comparison. We foolishly threw in our visit as an afterthought and didn't do any advance research on it, leaving only a few hours in an afternoon. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It deserves as much of a working day as you can devote. The folks working there do a great job remaining in character, and you get a deep sense of how important it was. Too few Canadians visit it because, to be honest, it's not on the way to anywhere, if you're coming from Canada. If you're coming from Europe on a sailing ship, though, it's pretty DANG important, and often the first blessed sight of land, with a good harbour.....unless you're flying the flag of the wrong country.
 

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The fortress of Louisbourg in the northeast (about 40 minutes from Sydney) is worth seeing. Through the wonders of your taxes the fortress (an enclosed town) has been reconstructed from rubble, literally. It had all but disappeared into the earth and its reconstruction began in acres of slightly-raised lumps here and there of walls and fortifications collapsed and overtaken by the grassy meadows. When I first visited decades ago there were only several buildings reconstructed. Today there are many buildings, meticulously reconstructed in often-beautiful detail, and "townspeople" in period costume going about their business. Not all military stuff... you can read up on Louisbourg here:

Fortress of Louisbourg - Wikipedia

Do you like scotch? You can visit Canada's first malt whisky distillery (they're not allowed to call it scotch) on the west side of Cape Breton. It's a small place, very quiet and pleasant to visit, short but interesting tour, good food, and a few rooms available for an overnight stay. I stayed there overnight about 3-4 years ago, enjoyed it and thought it was good value but YMMV and prices may have gone up. The liquor was a bit on the rugged side, but it has had more years now and might be good.

Home

Cape Breton is a very musical place, and a few of the towns down the west coast (especially) have a fairly active music scene. The Rankin Family is from Mabou (IRRC) and has helped develop the musical roots there but other towns too are worth checking out.

Hope this helps.
 

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Cape Breton is a very musical place, and a few of the towns down the west coast (especially) have a fairly active music scene. The Rankin Family is from Mabou (IRRC)
THIS
I totally forgot about this...they own or used to own the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou. FANTASTIC food and live music (every day I think). Even if you cant get a table inside, the music is load and clear on their patio. It was one of the highlights of our trip to CB. The meatloaf and the curried beef tips are fantastic
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So we just came back from our 2-week visit to NS & PEI. What a terrific trip that was. I shamefully admit that I had never been there before (except for a quick conference fly-in to Halifax years ago) and what a pleasant surprise it was. St Stephen & St Andrews first, Lunenburg for a few days, then several days in Cape Breton followed by PEI for the remainder.

We ate the freshest and best seafood every single day at some really awesome restaurants/chowder houses by the sea, saw some great talent at a few Ceilighs, visited many small fishing villages and saw all the "usual" sites (Cabot trail - man, what a drive!, Peggy's Cove, Louisbourg, Sydney, Cavendish shores, Charlottetown, many museums/shows etc...). Stayed in very comfortable B&Bs all along and met so many friendly locals & other tourists alike.

We're already planning our next trip and are aiming to go for next year's Celtic Colours Muic Festival in Cape Breton (which was pretty much all sold out for this year, unfortunately). If you have never been to NS/CB or PEI, do yourself a favor and go. It really is a beautiful part of Canada.
 

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I always wanted to retire in Northern Ont....until we visited the Maritimes.
 
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