Romance means different things to different couples, leading to a huge range of honeymoon destinations. With an overwhelming amount of options, I’m breaking down the best honeymoon destinations to help you narrow down the options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? Cape Breton Island.
Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond
About Cape Breton
“For simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.” So said Alexander Graham Bell of the island he adopted as his home. Cape Breton Island is located on the north-eastern tip of Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. The island is a truly intriguing vacation spot filled with stunning beaches, breathtaking landscapes, rich history, heart-warming hospitality, and tons of romance. Cape Breton is an excellent and economical option for honeymooners looking for affordable luxury. It makes it possible to experience luxury at a price point that won’t break the bank.
How To Get There
For couples from The Maritimes, you can get to Cape Breton by driving. The journey from Halifax to Cape Breton is approximately 4 hours so anticipate a long but worthwhile drive depending on where in The Maritimes you are coming from.
If you are a couple coming from outside of The Maritimes, fly into the small airport of Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport (YQY). Travelers looking for a bargain can also check for flights into Halifax International Airport (YHZ), which often offers cheaper fares. However, when booking your trip take into account that you will have to rent a car from Halifax and take the 4 hour drive to the island.
To explore the entire island, you must have a vehicle.
You’ll Love It If…
You’re an outdoorsy, nature-loving couple, looking to experience natural beauty, world-class seafood, heartfelt hospitality and a rich and eclectic culture.
When To Go
It is best to go between May-October as the winters here are extremely harsh.
Photo Credit: Greg Richardson Photography
Where to stay
Cabot Links Resort is hands down my top hotel choice if you are looking for over the top luxury. Located on over a mile of sandy beach along the coast of Cabot Links is Canada’s first and only authentic links golf resort. With each hole offering ocean views, the resort’s golf courses are beyond stunning and equally as challenging for any golfer.
You don’t have to be a golfer to appreciate this world class resort. With modern accommodations, you can enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows which provide sweeping ocean views and golf course vistas from the comfort of your room. The modern bathrooms at Cabot offer walk-in, rainfall showers feature ultra-soft Terry Cloth towels and robes leaving you relaxed, refreshed and re-invigorated. Perfect to rejuvenate after many months of wedding planning and festivities.
My other top choice for honeymoon accommodations is the historic Keltic Lodge. Known as one of the best resorts in Nova Scotia, Keltic Lodge delivers the perfect getaway. Offering a variety of fantastic dining options and a one of a kind golf course this resort is the perfect option for a Cape Breton honeymoon.
The resort offers updated comfortable guestrooms and cottages featuring cozy fireplaces and private verandas. I would encourage any couple on their honeymoon to consider the romantic cottages. Can you imagine cuddling up on your private veranda with the ocean in sight while sipping tea or some bubbly?
Besides the romantic accommodations, this resort offers plenty more for this perfect honeymoon location. The Spa at Keltic which is built on the edge of the cliffs, features a panoramic view of Cape Smokey and the sandy shores of Ingonish Beach. Book spa treatments that will revive your mind and soul.
Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis
Things To Do
Cape Breton is a truly intriguing vacation spot filled with wilderness trails, stunning beaches, idyllic landscapes, outdoor adventure and tons of romance. To see the island best, I recommend a drive along the Cabot Trail, one of the most scenic drives in the world. A drive along the Cabot Trail will bring you to many of the highlights of the island. Here are some of the top stops along the way.
For The Nature-Loving Couple
Touted as one of “The World’s 10 Best Islands to Visit” by National Geographic Traveler, more than one-fifth of Cape Breton is preserved as a national park, making it a hiker’s paradise.
- From easy strolls to challenging climbs, the 26 trails of Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers something for everyone. One of the most popular trails, the Skyline Trail offers a spectacular view of the coast from a mountaintop. This ‘must-do’ trail can also be hiked at sunset during the Skyline Sunset Hikes that are offered by the Park.
- A trip around the Cabot Trail is not complete without seeing the highlands from the water. Go sailing, fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking in Baddeck on the Bras d’Or Lake, or hop aboard a whale watching tour.
For Sun Junkies
- For couples looking to sun themselves and get a little R&R, there are plenty of beaches in Cape Breton. If you’re looking for the warmest water north of the Carolinas, then Inverness Beach is a fabulous place to take a dip.
- Another great destination to soak up some sun is West Mabou Beach Provincial Park. This beach is an absolutely stunning, pristine beach with turquoise water and soft sand.
The Cabot Trail’s natural beauty is only outdone by its rich culture. From singing and dancing to Mi’kmaq and Celtic Culture explore the island’s rich and eclectic culture.
- For ten thousand years, this rugged island has been home to the Aboriginal people. Mi’kmaq and First Nations people have enriched this province with their legends, art, music, spirituality, history, and language. Experience storytelling events by Aboriginal spiritual leaders at The Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre.
- For the music lovers, you must visit Cape Breton during Celtic Colours in October. It’s a celebration of all things Celtic — from singing to dancing to Celtic culture. Hundreds of Celtic musicians from across Cape Breton and around the world gather for the annual festival.
- For a hands-on cultural experience, take part in a milling frolic and kilt making at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s or learn about Acadian history while trying your hand at rug hooking at Les Trois Pignons in Chéticamp.
- FireHouse Ironworks, apprentice with a local blacksmith and experience first-hand the art behind this traditional trade. Classes range from two to four hours.
- Admire the craftsmanship behind the grand portraits of U.S Presidents made entirely of hooked yarn at the Museum of Hooked Rugs and Home Site.
For History Buffs
- The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site pays tribute to one of the most fascinating and influential figures in history. Exhibits show how he achieved Canada’s first powered flight with their airplane Silver Dart, Silver Dart, produced the world’s fastest boat, advanced recording technology, designed giant kites and, of course, invented the telephone. Original artefacts, films, and family photographs highlight his scientific and humanitarian work. Check out the museum’s White Glove Tour where you pull on your white gloves to hold Bell’s history in your hands.
- A visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historical site, a village that has been recreated in exacting detail, is a trip back in time that allows visitors to experience life just as it was in the 18th century. Visitors can explore on their own, take a guided tour, or view daily demonstrations of music, dancing, cooking, military drills, and much more.
- For something a little different check out St. Peters Canal which joins the Atlantic Ocean to the sparkling Bras d’Or Lake, meandering along Battery Provincial Park, popular for boating, fishing, and picnicking. The canal’s history can be traced back even before Fortress of Louisbourg.
Photo Credit: Brendan Henry
Where To Eat and Drink
- For a culinary hidden gem, reserve a table at The Bite House in Baddeck, which has been featured in The New York Times and on the Cooking Channel.
- If you’re looking for romance, be sure to check out Panorama Restaurant, which offers stunning panoramic views served alongside delectable cuisine. This is one of Cape Breton’s premier restaurants, so it’s worth the visit.
- Looking for a quick bite with a good view and delicious food? Why not make a pit stop on your route to The Rusty Anchor. The Rusty Anchor is located in picturesque Pleasant Bay often known as the “half-way point” on the Cabot Trail. Surrounded by mountains and nestled in the heart of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park it is a place you should stop, relax and recharge. Featured in the “National Geographic Traveller” magazine as the best place to get Lobster Rolls on the Cabot Trail.
- If a local, cool beer is what you seek, check out the Good Cheer Trail and visit Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza for unbelievably good beer. At Big Spruce Brewing, they brew only unfiltered, unpasteurized, beer, using certified organic hops they grow themselves. Drop by their on-farm microbrewery to discover new favorites and pick up a growler (or two!) of beer.
- If you’re more of a wine-loving couple then the Eileanan Breagha Vineyards is worth the stop. It is the first and only estate winery on Cape Breton Island the vineyard is perched upon Marble Mountain overlooking the gorgeous Bras d’Or Lakes.
From luxury accommodations, world-class golf courses, stunning views, a rich culture and fabulous dining Cape Breton Island has something for everyone. If that’s not enough to persuade you to consider Cape Breton Island as your honeymoon destination maybe the super friendly residents will. I may be a bit biased as my family is from Cape Breton but this tiny island has a huge heart! The island residents are so warm, friendly, and fun-loving you may just leave your heart in Cape Breton. If you know someone who you think Cape Breton would be perfect for click share below!