Baddeck is a pretty town of 1,000 residents located on the Trans-Canada Highway #105 about 2/3 of the way up Bras D’Or Lake in the middle of  Cape Breton and is a favourite jumping off point for the Cabot Trail. The name comes from either the Mi’kmaq word abadak which means “place with an island near”, which refers to Kidston’s in Baddeck Harbour, or the Mi’kmaq word petecook which means “lying on the backward turn,” referring to the hooked entrance to the Baddeck River.

Today, Baddeck is a thriving community with a population that swells during the tourist season and offers a range of accommodations, restaurants, and shops catering to visitors. Hiking, kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching are popular activities, allowing visitors to experience the area’s diverse landscapes and wildlife. It is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with galleries, craft shops, and cultural festivals celebrating local talent.  The Gaelic culture, brought by Scottish settlers, continues to influence the community, with Gaelic music, dance, and language being an integral part of local life.

Baddeck Marina and docks
Baddeck Marina and docks

Baddeck Festivals

Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs

526 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs
Experience traditional Cape Breton music and dance at these nightly ceilidhs, held during the summer months. The events feature local musicians performing lively fiddle tunes, step dancing, and Gaelic songs in an intimate setting.

Centre Bras d’Or Festival of the Arts

Year round evening programs in various locations throughout Baddeck, program varies nightly with visual arts as well as performing arts. In summer months, also hold a series of concerts and ceilidhs.
Season: Open year-round.

Baddeck-Alexander Graham Bell Nat. Historical Site - inside exhibits
Baddeck-Alexander Graham Bell Nat. Historical Site - inside exhibits

Baddeck Attractions

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

559 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
(Highway 205, at the east end of town)

This museum celebrates the life and work of Alexander Graham Bell, the famous inventor who spent much of his life in Baddeck. This museum is set on landscaped grounds with a view of Bras d’Or Lakes, and the inventor’s summer house “Beinn Breiagh“(beautiful mountain). Exhibits include photos, artifacts and inventions commemorating the life of inventor Alexander Graham Bell. There are kite-building workshops for children. Allow 1 hour. Open year round 9am to 5 pm, 9 am to 6 pm from Mid-May to mid-October shoulder seasons, and from 8:30 to 7:30 during July & August Admission.

Baddeck Lobster Suppers

17 Ross Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0

A local dining favorite offering fresh lobster dinners and other seafood dishes in a casual, friendly setting. This family-run establishment provides a true taste of Nova Scotia’s maritime cuisine.

Baddeck Marine

1 Jones Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0

A full-service marina offering boat rentals, yacht charters, and marine supplies. It’s a great starting point for exploring the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake by water. The marina also provides sailing lessons and has a small shop with nautical equipment.

Baddeck Wharf

Chebucto Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: Baddeck Wharf
A scenic waterfront area where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of Bras d’Or Lake, watch boats come and go, and stroll along the boardwalk. The wharf is also a departure point for various boat tours.

Bell Bay Golf Club

761 Broadway Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: Bell Bay Golf Club
A premier golf course offering stunning views of the Bras d’Or Lakes. The course is known for its challenging layout and well-maintained greens. The clubhouse includes a restaurant and pro shop.

Big Spruce Brewing

64 Yankee Line Road, Nyanza, NS B0E 1B0 (near Baddeck)
Website: Big Spruce Brewing
A local craft brewery known for its organic beers. Visitors can tour the brewery, sample a variety of craft beers, and enjoy the scenic surroundings. The brewery often hosts events and live music.

Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design

322 Charlotte Street, Sydney, NS B1P 1C8 (near Baddeck)
Website: Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design
Located in Sydney, a short drive from Baddeck, this centre showcases the work of local artisans. It includes galleries, studios, and a gift shop featuring handmade crafts and artwork.

Gaelic College

51779 Cabot Trail, St. Ann’s, NS B0C 1H0 (near Baddeck)
Website: Gaelic College
Dedicated to preserving and promoting Gaelic culture, the college offers workshops, courses, and events focused on Gaelic music, language, and crafts. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the region’s Scottish heritage.

Gilbert H. Grosvenor Hall

59 Jones Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: Gilbert H. Grosvenor Hall
Located at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, this hall hosts lectures, presentations, and special events related to Bell’s life and work. It’s named after Bell’s son-in-law, a prominent figure in the National Geographic Society.

Highland Village Museum

4119 Highway 223, Iona, NS B2C 1A3 (near Baddeck)
Website: Highland Village Museum
Located a short drive from Baddeck, this living history museum depicts the life of Scottish settlers in Nova Scotia. The site includes historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and demonstrations of traditional crafts and farming techniques.

Kidston Island Lighthouse

Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: Kidston Island Lighthouse
Accessible by a short ferry ride from Baddeck, Kidston Island offers a small beach, picnic areas, and the historic Kidston Island Lighthouse. The island is a peaceful retreat ideal for a relaxing day out by the water.

North River Kayak Tours

401 Shore Road, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: North River Kayak Tours
Offering guided kayaking tours on the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake and nearby rivers. The tours cater to all skill levels and provide a unique way to explore the area’s natural beauty.

These additional attractions highlight the diverse offerings in and around Baddeck, making it a delightful destination for visitors seeking cultural, historical, and outdoor experiences.

St. Michael’s Catholic Church

502 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
Website: St. Michael’s Catholic Church
A historic church known for its beautiful architecture and serene setting. The church is a significant landmark in the village and often hosts community events and concerts.

Theatre Baddeck

24 Queen Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0

A professional theatre company offering high-quality productions of contemporary and classic plays. The theatre operates during the summer season and provides a wonderful cultural experience for visitors.

Baddeck Natural Attractions

Bras d’Or Lakes and Watershed Interpretive Centre

532 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0

This center provides information on the unique ecosystem of the Bras d’Or Lakes. Exhibits cover the lake’s geology, ecology, and cultural significance. The center also offers educational programs and guided tours.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

37639 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS B0C 1L0 (near Baddeck)
While a bit further afield, this national park is a must-visit for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and extensive hiking trails. The park is part of the famous Cabot Trail, offering breathtaking coastal views and outdoor adventures.

Donelda’s Puffin Boat Tours

1099 Highway 312, Englishtown, NS B0C 1H0 (near Baddeck)
A popular boat tour offering the chance to see puffins, seals, and other wildlife up close. The tours depart from Englishtown, just a short drive from Baddeck, and provide an educational and enjoyable experience on the water.

Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park

New Glen Road, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0
This scenic park features a beautiful waterfall and several hiking trails through lush forest. The main trail leads to the impressive Uisge Ban Falls, making it a popular spot for nature walks and photography.

Baddeck, Nova Scotia Area Map