My native Cape Breton Island’s cup runneth over with amazing beaches. Seriously.
Surrounded by the Atlantic, Cape Breton has a slew of killer ocean beaches—Kennington Cove, Ingonish and Belle Cote, to name a few. And it’s also dotted with many lakes, namely the big and beautiful saltwater Bras D’or Lake (the biggest lake in the entire province).
But my favourite of all of Cape Breton’s beach bounty is without a doubt Point Michaud Beach, a three-km stretch that’s ideal for beachcombers and beach bums alike.
How to Get There
Point Michaud Provincial Park (pronounced Point Mee-cho) is in Richmond County, about 100 kms from downtown Sydney.
To get there from Sydney, head west on Route 4. A warning: the road can be quite twisty in sections once you get outside of the city, but the coastline views make up for any possible bouts of queasiness.
Turn left at Route 247 S and follow until you get to my beach paradise.
Point Michaud’s High Points
To me, Point Michaud meets all of the requirements of a great beach. Soft sand? Check. Picnic facilities? Check. Boardwalk? Check. Crashing ocean waves? Check.
But the best part of Point Michaud is its sheer size. You can walk and walk and walk for three kms, all the while taking in stunning views of the Atlantic ocean.
Just remember—however far you walk one way, you’ll have to walk that far to get back to your towel perch!
Keep an eye out for sand dollars (flattened, burrowing sea urchins) while you walk, as Point Michaud’s shoreline is often teeming with them.
If just walking the beach and playing in the chilly waters doesn’t quite do it for you (and if so, I admire your energy), consider taking the plunge in a new direction by surfing Point Michaud.
Now entering its eighth year, a group of surf enthusiasts called Surf Point Michaud hosts a summer surf program on the beach that’s safe, accessible and affordable.
For an hour-and-a-half lesson that includes a wetsuit and surfboard, budding surfers pay just $35, while a four-lesson package costs a mere $100. If you’re already a master when it comes to surfing, you can rent a wetsuit and surfboard for $15 an hour.
Call instructor Michelle Richards to book a lesson at 902-345-0741, or just wing it—the crew sets up every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather-permitting. Check Surf Point Michaud’s website for up-to-date weather and surf info.
Nova Scotia’s Best Wine Regions (and Where to Sip)
Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley is a bountiful area with around 15 wineries, including Luckett Vineyards and Domaine de Grand Pré. To the north, Malagash is home to Jost Vineyards, the longest-operating winery in Nova Scotia, and Fox Harb'r Resort, which boasts a new on-site vineyard.