1. Spot a moose: Cape Breton’s iconic mainland moose is a fairly common sight, but is one of the most memorable moments for Cape Breton visitors. That being said, in the summer months, these towering majestic beasts aren’t always easy to see. At the time when the sun is at its highest, our favourite tranquil giants are usually snoozing off somewhere peaceful in the coolness of the forest until the busyness of the day dies down. Patience is your ally here, and keep your eyes peeled at dusk: you might spot them happily grazing on soft grass alongside the Cabot Trail. Remember to always keep a safe distance, a charging moose is no “a-moose-ing” matter!
All Naive Art presented here is the original handpainted work by Mi-Carême Centre's Naive Artist in residence Diane Bourgeois. Find out more about Diane Bourgeois in this short article
2. Experience the fun of a kayaking, canoeing or paddle board excursion: Some of the best exploring of the Cabot Trail’s fauna and flora is done by kayak, canoe and paddle boarding. Swiftly and quietly gliding across a wild lake’s shimmering surface lets you appreciate the magical effect of nature's sounds, while quenching your inner explorer's curiosity. A truly enchanting wanderlust treat for any nature lover: treat your eyes to some of the best hidden nature gems in the area! Be sure to check out kayak, canoe and paddle board tours by Cheticamp Adventure https://cheticampadventure.ca or CB West Paddle Boards http://www.cbwestsup.com
3. The best bird watching: Cape Breton is home to so much incredible wildlife, including cute puffins and amazing white headed eagles. For the latter, you’re likely to see them during your trail adventures, you might even be lucky to spot one at random times of the day perched on an electricity pole overlooking the Grand-Étang harbour, in front of the Mi-Carême Centre. As for puffins, your best chances for seeing them is during a boat tour to Bird Island https://www.birdisland.net/resrvform/ or https://puffinboattours.com. Either way, remember to take your “bird-noculars”!
4. Experience the thrills of whale watching! Did you know you could see up to 4 different types of whales in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence? Observing Minke, Humpback, Pilot and Finback whales in their natural habitat is one of the most spectacular moments to experience during a visit to the Cabot Trail, and is sure to make the most memorable of souvenirs. Book one of Captain Mark’s Whale and Seal Cruises: https://www.whaleandsealcruise.com and prepare to have a whale of a time! Complete your whale and marine adventures with a visit to the Whale Interpretive Centre in Pleasant Bay and to the GAMS Discovery Centre (which is right next to the Mi-Carême Centre!)
5. Treat yourself to a picnic in the wilderness: whether you’re out exploring one of the many beautiful nature trails of the Cape Breton Highlands National Provincial Park (only a 30 minute drive from the Mi-Carême Centre), waterfall chasing or simply capturing your favourite views of the Cabot Trail's abundant wilderness, make your outing a memorable one by enjoying a picnic surrounded by the serene, lush landscapes of Cape Breton. Before setting out on your adventure, be sure to check the difficulty level of the hike you intend to take. Avoid straying off beaten paths and hiking alone since wooded areas have no cellular service (very risky in the event of an incident), and never feed any wild animals you may encounter. Be safe, and contribute to the area's beauty: the Cabot Trail fairies aren't interested in your lunch litter (or doggie's poop bags), so leave no "souvenirs" behind.
6. Discover Acadie’s (hi)stories and beloved figures: Marguerite Gallant (painted here in front of her home by Diane Bourgeois), was a wonderfully fun and spirited member of the Acadian community, and loved by so many of those who had the fortune of knowing her. Marguerite famously collected all sorts of random items during her life, playfully paying tribute to household appliances and decorations throughout the ages. The Marguerite Boutique in Cheticamp pays a loving tribute to her while making an enchanting stop for a delicious sweet snack with a comforting hot drink, and to shop a lovingly handpicked selection of authentically local handmade souvenirs! Meanwhile, the Trois Pignons Centre embarks you on a journey through time, as you explore what olden times might have looked like in Cape Breton’s Acadie. Here you can enjoy some of the world’s most famous rug hooking art, by none other than Elizabeth LeFort! Make sure to pay a visit to local favourite Lola’s Hookers for a beautiful handmade selection of hooked rugs - an amusing artsy stop that showcases some of the best local talent and hooked rug art.
Indulge in some whimsical Acadian fun at the Mi-Carême Centre, exploring a most amusing and topsy-turvy carnivalesque tradition through immersive cultural art experiences: explore more about the whimsically unique tradition of Acadian Mi-Carême in this article and why masks are so important to this tradition!
7. Fun at the beach! There are so, so, so many beaches to enjoy in the area: Cheticamp beach, Chimney Corner Beach, Inverness Beach, Belle-Cote Beach… There’s even a very quiet (a local’s secret) long pebble beach behind the Mi-Careme Centre!
Did you know that you can join an art workshop by the ocean at the Mi-Carême Centre with locally famous artist Diane Bourgeois? Treat yourself to some artsy fun this summer in a breathtaking ocean setting, complete with the sound of the rolling waves and the calls of the seagulls: online booking is now open for our fantastically fun OceanFront Creations:
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- What is Naive Art? Impress those around you with these fun facts: https://www.micareme.com/post/nifty-naive-art-and-fun-folk-art-exploring-the-difference-with-diane-bourgeois
- Find out more about Acadie's whimsical traditions and our Interpretive Centre on our website: https://www.micareme.com/about-us