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Harbor City Highlights: 16 Unforgettable Experiences in Sydney, Nova Scotia

The geographic center of Cape Breton Island is Sydney, the largest city, which also happens to be the location of the island’s main port. The town, which once produced steel and coal, is now a popular tourist attraction, and there are still traces of its industrial past.

Sydney, Newfoundland. Sydney, commonly known as the steel city, is a Canadian metropolitan area on Cape Breton Island that is a component of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. It is a component of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality administratively and is located on the east coast of Cape Breton Island. The British founded Sydney in 1785.

Sydney didn’t become a popular tourist destination until the steel sector collapsed, and it now serves as an outstandingly excellent starting point for visiting the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. However, the following are all the several Incredible things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

1) Explore the Membertou Community

You may learn about the History of the Membertou people in the two-hectare Membertou Heritage Park. The location offers indoor and outdoor exhibitions to get a hands-on feel for the vibrant local culture. However, it is one of the fantastic things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

A tour guide will lead you through the park while describing the unique history and culture of the neighborhood. The park makes an effort to respect the Membertou people’s spirituality and tenacity.

After the tour, stop by the shop to buy some distinctive Aboriginal artwork and products. Additionally, modern Mi’kmaq arts and crafts are sold in the store.

2) See the World’s Most Significant Fiddle

The enormous fiddle in the world is displayed in front of the Joan Harriss Cruise Center on Sydney’s harbor. With a height of 18 meters, the violin is not easy to overlook.

The fiddle is visible day or night thanks to lighting that keeps it well-lit at night. The coolest part would be to take shots of the equipment and a typical keepsake snapshot of you next to it.

The pavilion itself has stunning modern curved architecture and a distinctive sight. It is a multi-use location that hosts meetings, tradeshows, and concerts. It is one of the fantastic things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

3) The Cape Breton Farmers’ Market

The neighborhood has run the Cape Breton Farmer’s Market for almost 30 years. Originally an outdoor seasonal market, it is now a year-round indoor market with thousands of weekly patrons.

The market has about 50 vendors selling cooked dishes such as crepes, bread, sausages, pastries, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Jams, honey, and beer nuts are the items that can take home.

The Cape Breton Farmers’ Market has stalls run by regional artisans if you want to buy local crafts. Leave with handmade quilts, jewelry, body scrubs, and cutting boards.

4) Know About the History of The Community

The social and ecological History of Cape Breton is the main topic of study at the Cape Breton Center for Heritage & Science. Study everything you can about the neighborhood’s History.

The museum offers permanent and traveling exhibits highlighting the region’s history, culture, and science. Additionally, it provides unique activities and programs all year round.

The museum has a section designated specifically for children called the Discovery Corner, so children can also enjoy traveling there. In the center of Sydney’s business district, on George Street, is where you’ll find the museum.

5) Visit The Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum

A community museum that pays tribute to those who traveled to Sydney from all over the globe to work there is the Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum. Many immigrants settled in the area, most of whom were employed in steel production.

The museum showcases Sydney’s vibrant, multi-cultural past, which is still present and well. The museum’s collection includes scrapbooks, images, and newspaper clippings from the Sydney Steel Corporation and the Second World War.

Additionally, the museum offers a gift shop where visitors can purchase unique presents. Anytime you visit Sydney, stop by the Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum. However, it is one of the fantastic things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

6) Cossit House

The Cossit House is one of the island’s oldest buildings as well as one of the historic dwellings in the city. It was constructed in 1787 and currently serves as a representation of life in the eighteenth century.

The house now functions as a living museum that honors Nova Scotia’s Gaelic heritage. This is demonstrated by the dwellings’ interior decor, furniture, and costumed interpreters. Participate in hands-on activities like candle-making, lacemaking, butter-churning, and weaving if you genuinely want the complete experience.

7) The Cape Breton Miners’ Museum

Just east of Sydney, on the shore of Glace Bay, is where you’ll find the Cape Breton Miners Museum. It pays homage to the area’s past involvement in coal mining and includes a visit to the underground mines. However, it is one of the fantastic things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Join a retired miner who serves as an Ocean Deeps Colliery tour guide as you explore the mine. Although there are several tour times, you can reserve a mine tour online if it’s a must-do. The museum’s displays are centered on the geological growth of the island’s coal resources. This is accomplished through equipment, tools, and miner-related stories.

8) The Scenic Cabot Trail

Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, has a beautiful Cabot Trail road. The Cape Breton Highlands and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park are traversed along the course’s 298 km loop, mainly around the island’s northern extremity.

The picturesque Cabot Trail is a must-see for tourists in Sydney. The path is only a 45-minute drive away and not actually in the city. One of the most well-known paths in the nation, it often takes five days to hike. It can be experienced in parts on a day trip. It is one of the best things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

You can experience some breathtaking sights as you travel along the Bras d’Or Lakes trail in the Baddeck area. Then take a trek around St. Anns Harbour’s coastline and continue on the path as long as possible.

The Cabot Trail encompasses the entire Trunk 30 as well as the stretch of Nova Scotia Highway 105 between exits 7 and 11. With ocean views, the eastern and western areas follow the rocky coastline. The southwesterly portion travels alongside Bras d’Or Lake after going through the valley of the Margaree River. The route traverses Victoria and Inverness counties.

9) Fortress of Louisbourg

About 30 minutes southeast of Sydney is Louisbourg, the location of the famed Fortress of Louisbourg. Two different invasions of the French citadel contributed to the formation of present-day Canada.

The National Historic Site consists of stronghold remnants and a recreation of a portion of the fortress as it appeared in the 1740s. Explore the fortress and discover its past on a self-guided or guided tour.

Along with puppet plays that are excellent for kids, some exhibits explain the weapons of the time. Visit the Fortress Chapel, stroll Main Street Louisbourg, and snap pictures of the King’s Bastion Barracks.

10) Discover Alexander Graham Bell

things to do in sydney nova scotia
Image by Graham Hobster from Pixabay/Copyright 2018

Plan a side trip to Baddeck, house to some fantastic sights, if you are visiting Sydney. Although there is much more to see than just the Cabot Trail, tourism is vital here. It is another one of the fantastic things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Visit the renowned Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, where the telephone and scientist inventor Alexander Graham Bell once strolled and lived through the village. The community also has a beautiful lakefront area and many little stores. There is a renowned golf course nearby called Bell Bay Golf Club. Enjoy a delicious meal of mussels or fresh lobster to cap off the day.

11) St Patrick’s Church

things to do in sydney nova scotia
Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay/Copyright 2019

The St. Patrick’s Church is not only the island’s oldest Roman Catholic church but is now a museum. Between 1828 and 1830, the church was constructed in the Gothic Revival design. It was created as a museum in 1966 and now houses holy objects. The museum’s fundamental goal is to present the History of religion in the city.

Even if you have no interest in religion, it is worth viewing the church itself because it is spectacular. It has Gothic windows, carved stone surrounding the windows and doors, original hand-hewn beams, a tower with a dome, and commanding door openings.

12) Peters field Provincial Park

The Petersfield Provincial Park is located directly across the city and offers views of Sydney Harbour. There are picnic areas with views of the water in this picnic park.

Take advantage of the breathtaking views of the lake and Sydney’s city by packing a picnic lunch. In addition, the park contains remnants from four distinct cultural eras that stretch from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

After lunch, take advantage of the extensive network of trails by cycling or walking. The Peters field Provincial Park has seven kilometers of paths with varying degrees of difficulty.

13) The Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Taking a workshop is another option if you’re interested in arts and crafts. Workshops are available for adults and children at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. Study painting, silver jewelry casting, or the mocha diffusion method. Workshops may last the whole day or just a portion of it.

A local artisan’s workshop is also available for private lessons. Discover how to dye fabric, take a glassblowing class, or go kayaking to paint some breathtaking scenery.

14) Wentworth Park

Canadian urban park Wentworth Park is situated in Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The park is the oldest in Sydney because it was established in 1786, the same year Sydney was founded. Wentworth Park features a 1.2-kilometer network of concrete walks encircling the park’s ponds and flowerbeds, a playground, the Kiwanis Bandshell, fountains, and a splash pad. It is one of the best things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Wentworth Creek, which creates a network of connected ponds, serves as the park’s central feature. Within the limits of the former city, the park covers 14.5 acres. On the periphery of the downtown district, it is conveniently situated. Bentinck Street, which connects the Sydney Waterfront District towards either end of Wentworth Park, divides the park into two distinct sections. The park’s eastern part houses a park for young children.

15) Explore Artisan Studios

Visit local artisans directly in their workshops or studios for the best opportunity to fully immerse in their world. The finest resource for doing this is the Cape Breton Artisan Trail Map.

Download a map or pick one online, then follow the route to meet and discover the local artisans. Meet the artists, converse about their work, and perhaps even buy something to take home. Additionally, there are jewelers, potters, quilters, painters, and more. You can even go to a chocolate shop, soap, or jam factory.

16) Merchant Marine Memorial

This Sydney Merchant Mariners Memorial is a very significant monument in addition to being a stunning one. The monument commemorates the valiant efforts of the sailors who transported supplies and equipment to the Second World War Allied forces in Europe. This monument is just a short trip along the boardwalk from the pier.

This memorial honors Canadian civilians who fought on ships during World War II. They were brave seamen. They had bravery, as evidenced by that memorial.

Sydney, the island’s historical capital and the central city on Cape Breton, is the ideal blend of cosmopolitan allure and warm warmth. Like many other oceanfront Nova Scotian municipalities, Sydney’s shoreline is the city’s beating heart.

Like many other oceanfront Nova Scotian municipalities, Sydney’s shoreline is the city’s beating heart. It’s a terrific area to take a stroll on a balmy summer evening, stop to listen to a busker, and take in the harbor views. Along the journey, make sure to stop for a picture in front of the most prominent violin in the world, which was constructed in honor of Cape Breton’s musical prowess.

In conclusion, there are many incredible things to do in Sydney, Nova Scotia, including learning more about the Membertou Community, the world’s most significant fiddle, Whitney Pier Historical Society Museum, Cossit House, Peters Field Provincial Park, St. Patrick’s Church, and Merchant Marine Memorial. It is also dotted with beautiful scenery and historical sites. There are several exceptional stores and services just available in Sydney.

A Journey Through the Quaint Small Towns of Nova Scotia
Icy Canada


  • Sakina M Saleh

    Sakina Saleh from India is a student pursuing her bachelor's, and she is a blog and article writer who believes in continuous progress, learning and dynamism.

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