We took a road trip to Cape Breton Island, camped in a tent, attended a music festival and re-discovered our love for Celtic music. Ranked as the #1 island in Canada for the past five consecutive years, Cape Breton is rich with heritage and is a delight for history buffs, music lovers and explorers of nature. With whale watching, fishing, golfing, and relaxing listed as the island’s top pastimes, you can understand why people flock to Cape Breton in the warmer months. Not to mention the mountain ranges, beautiful beaches and warm inviting people, Cape Breton certainly holds a special place in the hearts of many.

The drive through Cape Breton is breathtaking. While most will elect to drive the Cabot Trail, a winding road through the Highlands, there is just as much beauty found off the beaten path. Our family has travelled from the mainland to the island for as long as I can remember, and the place that keeps us coming back time and time again is the town of Inverness. Over the years, this sleepy little town has transformed into a golfer’s dream destination with Cabot Cape Breton’s Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links golf courses situated prominently along the coast. To give perspective for our non-golfer readers, the Cabot Links is consistently voted the #1 golf courses in Canada, and is currently #10 in the world- kind of a big deal. The best part of watching this town transform, is all of the charming new restaurants, modern cottages, and glamping opportunities pop up around the area. The mix of new and old continues to attract new visitors while showcasing local charm, artisans and Celtic heritage.

Even with the introduction of countless new, modern, accommodations, an old family tradition for us has been to camp at McLeod’s Campground.  Visualize a picture perfect location with an abundance of marine life, wildflowers and warm ocean temperatures. We love the retro vibes of the community building, with pool table, bursting book shleves, a small canteen and murals adorning the walls. However, the best part of this campground is undoubtably the beach. While you are walking down the mountain from the campground to the large private beach, the cliffs and greenery are reminiscent of a scene from Jurassic Park. And though the surf is high, there is a small stream of salt water that is perfect for keeping young children and babies safe while they explore.

It is true that part of the appeal of camping is slowing down and reconnecting with nature, but there is no shortage of fun and adventure to be had. With immense pride for their Celtic traditions, Inverness regularly celebrates Canadian Celtic artists with large music festivals and concerts. We were lucky enough to organize our trip around one of the areas most popular annual music festivals – The Broad Cove Concert.

The Broad Cove Concert is a completely unique, authentic experience. It is clearly a highly anticipate event, as it was very well attended. There was seating in front of the large stage and fields full of attendees sitting on lawn chairs and sprawled out on blankets. With children playing, the fiddlers and dancers on stage deliver jigs that kept you leg slappinng and toes tapping. This is the type of experience that makes you feel like you are all connected. Everyone is from Cape Breton during the Broad Cove Concert- for us, it felt like coming home.

MacLeod Campground

Website: www.macleodsbeachcampsite.com
Location: Broad Cove Marsh Road, Inverness

Broadcove Concert

Website: www.broadcoveconcert.ca
Location: Broad Cove Marsh Road, Inverness