• Lisa

Sydney, a must stop while in Cape Breton

Living in Sydney, in my opinion, gives you the best of all worlds, it is a city with a small-town feel but you don’t have to go far to find beautiful countrysides.

Celtic Charm is ideally located downtown in the historical and oldest neighbourhood in Sydney, the Northend, but we don’t have the congestion that plagues larger cities’ downtown core. As I say, it takes you 5 minutes to get to where you want to go, 7 when there is “heavy” traffic and that is still stopping to getting your coffee on the way!

Celtic Charm is walking distance from wonderful dining experiences but if it is a ceilidh/kitchen party you are looking for, that is near by as well. This is the city charm for those of you who are looking for something more lively but not too much!

For those of you looking for a more peaceful tranquil getaway, we have that too. If you are looking for country/outdoor charm, we are only 20 minutes to some of my favorite beaches (bonus of living on an island). Two hours will get you to one of the most beautiful parks in the country, if not the world, the Cape Breton Highland National Park which is on the Cabot Trail, a must if you come to Cape Breton. So taking a day trip can really rejuvenate your juices.

I am not going to lie, life here is slow paced. We value self reflection and happiness. We love our neighbors and a good party. It is great place to raise a family. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else while my children were growing up. And I really could not imagine living anywhere that did not have the ocean near by, salt water runs through our veins, there is something calming about living here and the ocean has a lot to do with it.


There are many things to see and do. In this post, I will just concentrate on the Sydney area. In future posts, I delve into the rest of Cape Breton.

Because we are situated in Sydney’s historical North End, we are minutes away by foot, to the following attractions: Jost House Museum, St Patrick’s Church Museum, Cossit House, Haunted Sydney Ghost Tours and Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. No stay would not be complete without visiting The World’s Largest Fiddle we affectionately call The Big Fiddle and while there take a walk on our boardwalk. If you happen to be here on a Saturday morning, be sure to check out Cape Breton Farmers’ Market.

Sydney use to be a thriving steel plant town until it closed in 2001, and many came here from all over the world for work. At its peak 3,000 men worked there. The nearby community, within Sydney, Whitney Pier is a short drive away and a visit to the Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum will give peak at our rich immigrant history. Another community within Sydney and another short drive is Membertou, a very vibrant Mi'kmaq community. To get to know more about their rich culture and history, a visit to the Membertou Heritage Park is a must.


There are so many restaurants within walking distance, that I really have not tried them all myself so If I don’t list some, it doesn’t mean they are not worth going to. From past experience, these have been guests’ favorites: Governors, Flavor on the Water, Portside Beer Garden, and The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse. They have good food, good beer, and good music. But there are many more depending on your taste, Chinese, East Indian, Sushi, etc. I will be glad to steer you in the right direction. If you want to drive somewhere, try The Bonnie Prince Restaurant and Lounge, The Olive Tree and the Breton Brewery Co.


Sydney is a wonderful place and we hope you schedule us into your visit to Cape Breton. We, here at Celtic Charm Bed and Breakfast, would love to be part of your memories and as our motto says “Proudly opening our door to the true spirit of Cape Breton”

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