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Perched on the southeast coast of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island is the picturesque town of Louisbourg. It is where you can experience what life was like inside an 18th-century fortress, hike through forests and dive down to explore shipwrecks.
Louisbourg dates back to the late 16th century, when British settlers established a fishing community here. The town takes its name from Louis XIV of France, who commissioned its fortress in 1713.
Louisbourg’s major attraction is the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site on the south side of Louisbourg Harbour. This is a partial reconstruction of the fortified town that once stood on this spot. Visit restored buildings, watch costumed actors reenact traditional activities, learn about Louisbourg’s earliest settlers and sample customary food of the time.
The town's center stretches along the northern shores of Louisbourg Harbour. Along Main Street you will find shops, cafés, restaurants and guesthouses set inside colorful clapboard buildings. Discover the town’s coal hauling, railroad and marine history at the Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum. Enjoy independent theatrical productions at Louisbourg Playhouse, a mock 17th-century theater.
Stroll to the harbor waterfront to see the town’s time-honored fishing heritage. Spot multicolored boats at the fisherman’s wharf and see local fishermen bring in the day’s catch. Louisbourg celebrates its fishing industry at August’s Louisbourg Crabfest, an annual festival of live music and delicious seafood.
Well-maintained walking trails and spectacular scenery make Louisbourg a good destination for being outdoors. Follow the Lighthouse Trail across a forest-clad headland to the Louisbourg Lighthouse. A 20-minute drive from the town center is Kennington Cove and Anson’s Cove, two sandy beaches with more coastal walks and picnic areas. Take a refreshing swim on a warm day and join a scuba diving trip to explore the shipwrecks around Louisbourg Harbour.
Louisbourg is about a 6-hour drive east from Halifax. Get here via rented car or fly to Sydney Airport, situated 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the town center. Louisbourg is bitterly cold in winter and mild in summer, yet its attractions and stunning landscapes captivate whatever the season.
Situated in Louisbourg, this guesthouse is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Louisbourg Playhouse Theater and within 3 miles (5 km) of Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum and Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site. Louisbourg Lighthouse is 3.1 mi (5 km) away.
Situated in Louisbourg, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Louisbourg Playhouse Theater and Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum. Louisbourg Lighthouse and Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site are also within 3 miles (5 km).
This family-friendly Membertou hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of World's Largest Fiddle and Cossit House Museum. North Sydney Historical Society and Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site are also within 25 mi (40 km).
This family-friendly Sydney hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, St Patrick's Church Museum and Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science. Bethel Presbyterian Church and World's Largest Fiddle are also within 10 minutes.
This family-friendly Sydney hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, St Patrick's Church Museum and Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science. Cossit House Museum and Jost House Museum are also within 10 minutes.
Situated on the waterfront, this eco-friendly hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Membertou Heritage Park and Bethel Presbyterian Church. Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and Centre 200 are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Situated in Sydney, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bethel Presbyterian Church and Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Centre 200 and Membertou Heritage Park are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in the heart of Sydney, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Membertou Heritage Park, Bethel Presbyterian Church and Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Centre 200 and World's Largest Fiddle are also within 2 miles (3 km).