Introducing Ceilidh Trail
Take a hard left immediately after leaving the Port Hastings VIC to get on the Ceilidh Trail (Hwy 19), which snakes along the western coast of the island. Then put on your dancing shoes: this area was settled by Scots with fiddles in hand and is renowned for its ceilidh music performances, square dances and parties.
For a great introduction to local culture, visit the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre. Half-hour tours (which can be self-guided if you arrive when no guides are available) include a fiddle lesson and a dance step or two. Square dances are advertised around the admissions desk – try a Saturday dance at the community hall in West Mabou or a Thursday evening dance in Glencoe Mills. Ceilidhs at the music center itself are held at 11:30am Monday to Friday during summer.
Creignish B&B is a 'recycled school house' that's been turned into a guesthouse and artist's haven. Wildflowers, shells and bones are everywhere and there's even a giant stuffed tuna hanging on the ceiling. 'Improvised' arts and crafts classes are offered and owner Sandra can point you to the best-hidden secrets of Cape Breton Island. Rooms are large and comfortable, and the B&B is only a 10-minute drive from the causeway.