Baddeck is one of the most beautiful places on Cape Breton Island, and there are many places I enjoy visiting. Some are once a week or more, others are to do at least once in your life.
1. The Bell Mansion from the Bras d’Or Lakes
You can’t actually enter the Bell estate, but you can take a schooner that passes Alexander Graham Bell’s mansion. Not only is the tour fantastic just as a schooner voyage what with the billowing sails and the waves breaking against the hull, but the view as you sail close to the cliffs under the Bell mansion is spectacular. This is the same trip I proposed to my wife on, so the possibilities with this tour are obvious! The main wharf in Baddeck is where the ‘Amoeba’ is docked, just walk to the end of the wharf and you will see a black schooner tied up. Starting this May 30th they have tours leaving at:
2. Delicious Food at the Yellow Cello Cafe
Wow, just the name makes me start salivating. I practically grew up on Yellow Cello pizza for supper and meatball subs for lunch. What I mean is, whenever we wanted to eat out as a family, we went to Yellow Cello, and when we needed take-out we ordered pizza from the Yellow Cello. If you are looking for a good meal this is where I would turn first.
They open May 7th from:
3. Uisge Ban Falls
I pronounce it ISH-ka-ban, but it can also be pronounced OOSH-ka-ban…it’s Gaelic for ‘white water’. The falls have 2 loops (Falls Trail: 3 Km or 1.8 miles; River Trail: 4 Km or 2.4 miles) that you can walk which a friend and I did all the time (we also biked them but I would check before you go that signs allow it). The falls themselves aren’t the most spectacular in the world at 16 metres (50 feet) but the drive to the park is gorgeous and the trails themselves are well kept, easy to hike and take you through sweet-smelling hardwood forests and over loud rivers, it’s just a captivating walk really.
Travel the Trans-Canada Highway (route 105), take Exit 9, and turn towards Baddeck-Forks (a right turn at the top of the exit ramp). After 10.3km (and crossing ONE single lane bridge) you should come to North Branch road on your left. Take North Branch ~4km to the park’s parking lot (Occasional signs may direct you from the Highway)
4. Biggest Sandwiches at Highwheeler
I love the thickness of Highwheeler sandwiches. My friends and I would use the place as a coffee shop/hang-out, usually during a day of fun we’d stop at the Highwheeler for a drink and a sandwich, or a freshly-baked bun. Great for lunch or a pick-me-up.
May to October (6:00am to 10:00pm)
5. Bell Bay Golfing
Now I never actually played a round at this course, but I did help with the beautiful birdseye maple bar you can see in the lounge designed by Bob Lambie from the Dovetail Shop. http://capebretonisland.com/dovetail/bar.html So why is it a favourite place? I loved walking and biking the trails around the holes (again check before biking that could be frowned upon, remember I am a local!) But if you love golfing you probably already know about this world class 18-hole course. They have a Ladies Invitational coming up July 13, 2011 open to the public.
There is of course so much more to do in Baddeck, this is just a smattering of my personal favourites, for more go here: http://www.baddeck.com