Visitor Information

Membertou is a Mi’kmaq community located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Membertou was named after the Grand Chief Membertou and it is one of five First Nations on the island of Cape Breton. Cape Breton Island is listed as one of the top travel trips in the world by National Geographic Traveler online.

There’s more to Cape Breton Island than our famous natural wonders. We are also known for our vibrant culture, fascinating history and warm hospitality. Metropolitan Cape Breton offers the best in dining, shopping and historical attractions.

Around Cape Breton

Drive the famous Cabot Trail and see the breathtaking scenery. The trail winds around the Island’s north shore and offers spectacular views, pristine beaches and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Book a whale watching tour or visit in the fall and take in the brilliant panorama of autumn leaves. Cape Breton Highlands National Park has camping, hiking trails, wildlife and a full range of landscape from rugged mountains to babbling brooks and unspoiled forest. A bit closer to Sydney, try a trip around the pastoral Bras d’Or Lakes area and experience the rolling hills, villages and country life surrounding this beautiful inland sea. An international cruising destination, the Bras D’Or Lakes attract thousands of sailors, swimmers and sun-chasers every year.

History & Culture

If you like a bit of the past mixed in with the present, there are a number of historical experiences available within minutes of the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. In Sydney, visit Cossit House and Jost Heritage House to see first-hand how Sydney’s first European citizens lived. Downtown Sydney’s St. Patrick’s Church was erected in 1828 and is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Cape Breton. It now houses a museum depicting the history of the city.

Surrounding communities also offer a taste of history: visit the Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, the Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum, the Glace Bay Heritage Museum or the Cape Breton Miner’s Museum. For a truly hands-on trip back in time, visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, one of the largest historical reconstructions in North America.

Recognized internationally for its excellence in preserving and promoting the Gaelic and Celtic cultures, the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Ann’s was founded in 1938. Located on 350 acres of wooded slopes overlooking the picturesque Cape Breton Highlands, students of all ages and abilities converge to study with top instructors and learn about their Celtic and Gaelic heritage.

French Acadian culture is also a big part of life in Cape Breton. Visit the historic Acadian areas of Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail and Isle Madame on the Fleur-de-lis Trail.

Entertainment

Cape Breton is famous for its Celtic music and culture. Visit us in October and enjoy an incredible variety of music from around the globe at the Celtic Colours International Festival. Celtic Colours is a Cape Breton Island wide festival with a wide array of events ranging from square dances at community halls to grand concerts at some of the Island’s larger venues. Each year, over 300 artists from all over the Celtic world, including Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Britain and Canada perform at over 30 venues around the Island.

For more live entertainment, make sure to check the performance schedules at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, Centre 200 in Sydney, the Louisbourg Playhouse and the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay. Local bars, restaurants and social clubs also feature great live music all year round.

If sports are your thing, Sydney is home to its very own Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Team, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. With games scheduled throughout the fall and winter, it is great family entertainment. Check out www.capebretoneagles.com for more information.

Outdoor Recreation

Our Island is full of opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast: hiking, biking, camping, boating and swimming are popular summer activities. With seven golf courses, Cape Breton is a golfer’s paradise. Excellent, world-class courses challenge players as they take in the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park or stunning views of the Bras D’Or Lakes. For information, visit www.golfnovascotia.com or call 1-800-565-0001. Also, check out the Fabulous Foursome web site at www.golfcapebreton.com.

For some winter fun, visit Ski Cape Smokey on the Cabot Trail. With a vertical rise of 303 metres (1000 feet), and an incredible view, Cape Smokey is a unique Atlantic Canadian skiing experience. Ski Ben Eoin, a short drive from Sydney, offers full equipment sales and rentals, cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and a snowboard park.

Shopping

Visiting downtown Sydney is like taking a walk down memory lane. Relish small town hospitality and quaint architecture combined with sophisticated shopping. Boutiques offer the best in ladies and menswear, shoes, gifts and souvenirs. Stroll the boardwalk to the new waterfront area on Government Wharf for more shops and services and take in a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour along the way.

Sydney’s Mayflower Mall has over 70 stores, from major department stores to popular chain stores and small boutiques. Conveniently located just off the main highway, its a must for the shopper in your group. For more information, visit www.mayflowermall.com.

Dining

Be sure to visit Kiju’s restaurant located in the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. For a full menu, visit www.kijus.com or visit Kiju’s on Facebook to find out about features and entertainment in the restaurant. Whether you prefer a casual meal at a downtown deli or some fresh Atlantic seafood at a fine dining establishment, the wide range of restaurants throughout the Sydney area will please any palate. Some ethnic foods are also available including Greek, Chinese and Lebanese. Most restaurants are family-friendly and can accommodate both large and small groups.

Want to know more?

This is just a small taste of what our Island has in store. For more information, receive your Nova Scotia Doers’ and Dreamers’ Guide by calling 1-800-565-0000 or visiting www.novascotia.com. Also check out the Destination Cape Breton web site at www.cbisland.com.