Built in the 1930s and thoughtfully restored in 1997, the Highlands Links, stretching from rocky headlands to forested glens, is often called the finest course in Canada. It’s part of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and the views of sea and mountains are memorable. So are subtleties of the course itself, with swales and bunkers that bring to mind tradtional links courses an ocean away in Scotland. And it’s just one of four fine courses on the island…
You can go whale watching here (it’s a big attraction), but how often do you get a chance to go puffin watching? Summer tours from Englishtown sail to the aptly named Bird Islands in less than an hour, a trip that also brings sightings of eagles, seabirds, seals, dolphins, and, yes, whales.
Music festivals are a part of the summer landscape all across Cape Breton, but few islands showcase their finest talents in free concerts. The Granville Green outdoor series held Sundays through July and August in Port Hawkesbury has featured Ashley MacIssac, J.P. Cormier, and other top performers – all without admission charges. Bring a blanket and arrive early.