Welcome to Baddeck! A small resort community on the shores of the Bras d'Or Lake in beautiful Cape Breton. The area is well-known as a boater's paradise and wonderful place to experience Cape Breton culture.
You can easily spend a couple of hours walking around, enjoying the shops, stopping for lunch and then making your way down to the shores of the lake.
Some people call this little village the beginning of the Cabot Trail. You can decide from here if you wish to do the trail in the clockwise direction and go towards Margaree.
Or, if you decide to do it counter-clockwise you can go towards St. Ann's and Ingonish. Either way the Cabot Trail is a fantastic drive and this is a great starting point.
Baddeck is located basically in the middle of Cape Breton Island. It is a perfect spot along the shores of the awesome Bras d'Or Lake.
Baddeck is located just off of the TransCanada
Highway 105 in Cape Breton. It is 87 km or 1 hour from the Canso Causeway.
If you fly into the Douglas McCurdy Airport in
Sydney, take highway 4 west (Grand Lake Road) then highway 125 west and then highway 105 west. It is 92 km or 1 hour from the airport to the village.
If you are arriving in Cape Breton from
Newfoundland via the Marine Atlantic ferry just stay on highway 105 west once you get off of the ferry. You'll
see signs for Baddeck. It is about 58 km or 45 minutes from the ferry in North Sydney to the village.
This is home to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. This museum is the center point of the village and folks are very proud of the history they share with this great inventor.
Alexander Graham Bell first visited here in 1885. He was on his way to Newfoundland and was diverted to this area. He loved it and eventually built a summer home here. His descendants still live in the house.
The museum is a wonderful testament to this man's work and vision. You can even hear his voice on a very old recording. I definitely suggest you take some time to visit the museum.
Sailing the Bras d'Or Lake is one of the main attractions here. If you love to sail then this is the place for you. You'll see many boats in the bay and it's easy to see why. The Bras d'Or Lake is known as Canada's Inland Sea and is a boater's paradise.
If you are sailing into the area then you'll want to contact Baddeck Marine. They are a full service marina offering maintenance, moorings, wharfage and a marine store.
You can also go for a sail on the Amoeba from the wharf. This is a relaxing way to spend a view hours and get out onto the lake and see the bay. You'll get a great view of Alexander Graham Bell's Beinn Breagh estate.
The Bras d'Or Yacht Club gives sailing lessons for youth and adults. So if you ever wanted to give sailing a try this might be your chance.
The yacht club hosts races all summer long. There is an Annual Regatta Week beginning on the first Sunday in August. This is a wonderful time to visit the area since the bay is filled with beautiful sail boats.
A shuttle boat takes folks from the waterfront to Kidston Island where there is a beach. Do you notice the lighthouse across the bay? Well, this is Kidston Island. Facilities are limited on the island so you'll need to bring everything you need.
During the months of July and August there is a ceilidh called the Baddeck Gathering every night (7 pm) at St. Michael's Community Hall on the main street in the middle of the vilage. The best of Cape Breton talent is here. You might even get a square dancing lesson. The hall is not big so show up early. There is a small admission fee.
The village comes alive during the Celtic Colours International Music Festival in October. Events are held all over the island.
The Bras d'Or Yacht Club also hosts live music. The Annual Regatta Week will offer live music each evening at the club.
Some of the accommodations in the area also host live music events on their premises. Ask about upcoming events when you make your reservations.
The Bell Bay Golf Club located in the village is one of the best on the island. The views of the Bras d'or Lake are gorgeous and the greens are consistently in top condition.
Bell Bay is an 18-hole par 72 course. It offers rentals, power & push carts, a practice green, a driving range, a teaching professional as well as food & beverage services.
There is a great Information Centre that will answer all of your questions about the village. They are located on the main street so are not hard to find.
They will also have the very latest in 'things to do' so be sure to check in with them when you visit. Make sure you get a map of Cape Breton.
If you decide to make Baddeck your base for your Cape Breton vacation it is possible to make day trips from the area.
The Cabot Trail is one of the most magnificent drives in the world. It is simply breathtaking with awesome views of the Atlantic coast.
The drive around the trail is doable in one day BUT I would suggest taking at least 2 days.
The Ceilidh Trail on the west coast of Cape Breton is a gem to explore.
There is a ceilidh almost every night of the week here! Check my festivals page for a complete list.
Ceilidh Trail boats
The Fortress of Louisbourg is a great place to spend a day and is only about 1.5 hours away.
I suggest you make it a full day excursion if you plan to return on the same day.
Fortress of Louisbourg
The Cape Breton Miners Museum located in Glace Bay is a little over 1 hour from Baddeck.
Want to visit a real coal mine under the ocean floor? This is the place!
The Men of the Deeps perform at the museum all summer long.
Cape Breton Miners Museum
If you want something more physical and challenging then you could hike to North River Falls.
These are the highest waterfalls in Nova Scotia. The trail is only about 30 minutes from the village.
The full hike is about 7 hours so be prepared! I did it several years ago. It was magnificent.
You can swim at the base of the falls.
If you want a shorter hike that is closer then check out Uisge Ban Falls. The falls are not as high at North River but they are just as beautiful.
I went in the spring so the winter run-off was very strong.
The full hike should be no more that 2.5 hours and it is not difficult.
Uisge Ban Falls
There are several trailheads so you could cycle as much or as little as you wish.
Make sure you stop in Mabou for lunch at the Red Shoe Pub.
There are a wide variety of accommodations in Baddeck and the surrounding areas. From the luxurious to mid-range hotels to campgrounds.
I stayed at the Telegraph House a couple of years when I was starting a cycling tour of the Cabot Trail and I loved it. Apparently, Alexander Graham Bell himself stayed here.
Check here for the best accommodations in Baddeck.
There are also a wide range of restaurants in the village. Once again, it depends on your tastes and budget. The Bell Buoy, Telegraph House and McCurdy's are among the higher end restaurants.
But there are also others that are more mid-range: the Yellow Cello, Lakeside Cafe, Tom's Pizza and the High Wheeler Cafe. If you really want to enjoy some fresh seafood then I suggest Baddeck Lobster Suppers.
Check out Trip Advisor to find the best Baddeck restaurants!
This is a full service community with a post office, hospital, banks, gas stations, grocery store, marina, shops, Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, restaurants and accommodations.
This is a wonderful little resort community situated on the banks of an amazing body of water called the Bras d'Or Lake! It is a great place for some vacation time or simply an afternoon on the water.
I have a great e-book called 44 Awesome Things to see on the Cabot Trail (+ 17 tips for along the way) that might interest you. This book is an awesome reference for touring the Cabot Trail. I include all of my favorite spots plus much more!
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