Many people choose to visit Cape Breton from June through October. Weather-wise October is the most predictable month in Sydney, where weather can be quite erratic in terms of temperature and rainfall. Travellers who are hoping to save money on flights and accommodation may want to look at visiting Sydney in April and May, or December through March. Just keep in mind weather might not be ideal during December through March, so pack for rain, snow and cooler temperatures.
The Celtic Colours Festival takes place in October over nine days mid-month, which is something to keep in mind. The popular festival celebrates the music and culture of Cape Breton, as well as the beautiful autumn colours that appear in October.
Sydney is the second largest city in Nova Scotia and the only city on Cape Breton Island. A visit to Sydney means being well located to enjoy everything Cape Breton Island has to offer, in addition to exploring the attractions that are unique to Sydney.
Time permitting, take advantage of Sydney’s proximity to the Cabot Trail, known as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Many people choose to take the drive over a few days, stopping in various towns along the way, but it’s also possible to drive a portion just to get a taste for the beautiful scenery.
In Sydney itself, there are many things to see and do. The Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest historical reconstruction in North America and a visit here is like stepping back in time. More than a dozen buildings are open to the public where you can experience life as it would have been in the 18th century.
Sydney is also home to the world’s largest fiddle, which can be found at the Port of Sydney. The fiddle and the bow reach a height of over 59 ft (18 metres). Sydney’s waterfront area is not only home to a giant fiddle, it’s also a scenic spot to walk around, or watch ships in the harbour. There are also several hotels on the waterfront.
Stop by the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design for a look at the work of over 70 Cape Breton artisans, learn about Cape Breton’s coal mining history with a visit to the Cape Breton Miners Museum, and get a better idea of the history and culture of Cape Breton with a trip to The Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science.
Anyone wanting to explore the Cabot Trail, and other areas of Cape Breton Island would be best served by having their own transportation. Otherwise, Transit Cape Breton serves Sydney via several routes, including routes 1, 5, and 8 through 12. Note that buses don’t run on Sundays or holidays.
The best way to get to Sydney from Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport (YQY) is to take a taxi or drive. There are car rental counters at the airport.