SYDNEY (Nova Scotia)
Surrounded by raw ocean and gorgeous coastal scenery, Cape Breton island's only city is a remote and awe-inspiring place. Formed around a former steel plant, Sydney now thrives on welcoming visitors, ushering them into the very heart of beautiful Nova Scotia. Delve deep into the heart of this scenic island, to see extraordinary natural sights and learn of the customs of the native Mi'kmaq people in Membertou Heritage Park. Wander the tidy new boardwalk, and hike among wild and rugged coastline, capped by flashing lighthouses.
A place of thrilling, undulating coastal drives, pretty historic colonial houses dating back to the 1780s, and craggy coastal walks, Sydney is effortlessly easy on the eye. The waterfront is the best place to take a stroll, accompanied by the rustle of washing waves and the gentle melodies of musicians. There’s always a song in the air here, and you can even visit the unique monument to the region’s tuneful talents at the world’s biggest fiddle. The adjacent market will be music to any shopper’s ears.
Open-air exhibitions like the Nova Scotia Highland Village Museum, bring together the local culture, while elsewhere you can learn of the coal mining that transformed Sydney into a thriving steel capital. Alexander Graham Bell spent time on these shores in nearby Baddeck – and you can find out more about his life and innovations – which were far more comprehensive than just the telephone - in the dedicated museum.
Although Sydney was founded by the British in 1785, there were plenty of tussles with the French over the years that followed. Get an insight into the region’s military past, brought to life at the Fortress of Louisbourg – a massive, reconstructed French fortified city, where soldiers clank along the streets and artisans stir thick bowls of melted chocolate.