Go Off Grid in Cape Breton
Unique vacation stay in Cape Breton
We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Nova Scotia’s ruggedly beautiful Cape Breton Island several times. However, we decided to try something slightly different on our most recent trip – we went off grid. And we are thrilled we did!
When exploring Cape Breton, Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins in Englishtown makes for a wonderful home base. This unique accommodation in a serene and spectacular wilderness setting is perfect for enjoying the area’s natural beauty. Here’s why you might want to go off grid on the island – and what you can do while you are there.
An eco-friendly, year-round, off grid luxury retreat that is nonetheless the epitome of comfort, Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins is the perfect choice for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and wilderness of Cape Breton.
Sally’s Brook is ideally located for many day trip destinations around Cape Breton like Baddeck, Glace Bay, Sydney, and Louisburg. The incomparable Cabot Trail is also right next door. It also just happens to boast a spectacular setting that you won’t soon forget.
The Eagle’s Nest
We were some of the first guests in Sally’s Eagle’s Nest accommodation, made from a shipping container, with panoramic vistas that truly gave us a bird’s-eye view of the beautifully forested property, St. Ann’s Bay, and the mountains beyond.
Our favourite part of the unit was the large deck with ample seating, a chiminea, firewood and dreamy views for days. There’s nothing like roasting marshmallows over a cosy campfire to end a perfect day in Cape Breton!
Other accommodation options include glamping tents, cabins, pods, and even a luxury shipping crate unit – Sally’s Brook has it all. It is a beautiful, comfortable, and peaceful retreat for your home base the next time you’re in Cape Breton. Sallys Brook is off grid luxury vacation destination tucked away in the serenity of the Cape Breton wilderness.
The property is stunning, with a range of accommodations, including cabins, pods, and glamping tents. We were spoiled with a kitchenette and private bathroom in the Eagle’s Nest, but there’s a cookhouse and a washhouse for the units without their own facilities.
The woods behind the units are simply beautiful and perfect for a hike or a refreshing swim in the Brook (in fact, we met a family who had passed up a day on the Cabot Trail to return to the Brook to relax!). The rustic wood-burning sauna will make you feel like you are a million miles away.
Pet owners, rejoice – there’s no need to leave your fur babies at home when you stay at Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins, as it is a pet-friendly accommodation. Enjoying an off grid luxury vacation means you will make more time to devote to things your dogs will love to do. We just know your four-legged friends will love staying here as much as you will.
Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins is proudly rainbow registered to be an inclusive space to ensure they are a more welcoming, accepting, and safe environment for the 2SLGBTQI+ customers and staff. They were an early adopter of the Rainbow Registration process.
Check out our article on our earlier vacation to Cape Breton Island
Making the most of your stay
While you will surely enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your off grid luxury vacation, there is plenty of great things to do around the area, including excellent restaurants, museums, and attractions. These are some of our favourite things we enjoyed during our weekend stay in Cape Breton Island.
Bell Buoy Bistro
Baddeck, only a 20-minute drive from Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins, is your best bet for dining while you’re in the area. You’ll have many options on where to dine, and one of our favourites is the Bell Buoy Bistro. This laid-back restaurant features water views, local ingredients, and a creative menu that we enjoyed while listening to live entertainment.
If you’re near Glace Bay, it’s worth stopping at the Miners’ Village Restaurant (at the Cape Breton Miners Museum) for a bite to eat. The massive fireplace, period furniture and other historical touches will give you a sense of how mining families in “company houses” lived years ago. The menu here is delightfully hearty, with all the seafood favourites you’d expect from a classic maritime restaurant, plus a few surprises for those looking for something a little different.
The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse
We’ve long enjoyed dining at the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse‘s Halifax location, so it’s no surprise that its Sydney restaurant is a hit. Here is where a cosy pub atmosphere meets comfort food (topped with a heaping helping of weekly live entertainment). As a vegetarian, I was thrilled to find much more than simple salads to eat (Veggie Pesto Flatbread, I’m looking at you!).
Local Attractions in Cape Breton
Giant MacAskill Museum
Did you know that a giant once called Cape Breton home? The Giant MacAskill Museum in Englishtown offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of Angus MacAskill, the world’s tallest “true giant” (his impressive height of 7’9″ was not the result of a disorder that produced excess growth hormone). The museum contains furniture, clothing and other artefacts from Angus’ life. See how your hand measures up to Angus’ handprint and pose for a photo with a life-size statue of this famous gentle giant. Angus MacAskill’s gravesite is also a short distance from Sally’s Brook off grid luxury cabins and the museum.
Check out our feature on Giant Macaskill in Gravesites worth visiting
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard the name Alexander Graham Bell, the world-famous inventor of the telephone. But not so well known is the inventor’s Cape Breton connection. Bell loved the island so much that he built a summer home in Baddeck. He carried out many of his experiments and inventions right here in Cape Breton, and he’s even buried here. Find out more about Alexander Graham Bell’s pioneering work at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Spoiler alert, it goes far beyond the telephone.
You’re never far from a beach in Cape Breton. And one of the most unique is Ingonish Beach, where you can enjoy both salt water and fresh water adventures. Take in the waves or a stroll on the picturesque boardwalk on the ocean side. Or hop over to the other side of the beach to enjoy the sands of Freshwater Lake. There are lots of activities for the whole family here. Go cycling or snowshoeing on Freshwater Lake Trail, have a game of soccer or tennis, or relax in the playground or picnic area.
Cape Breton Miners Museum
Ever wondered what it would be like to work in a coal mine? Wonder no more! Venture underground for a coal mine tour at the Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay. Here you will don a hardhat and take a stroll through a coal mine, learning all about the fascinating – and all too often tragic – lives of coal miners. Our favourite part? A retired coal miner leads every tour with no shortage of stories to tell!
If peculiar and unusual museums are your thing, then have we got the place for you to check out when you are in Sydney. The Sydney Odditorium houses an eclectic collection of unusual treasures from around the world (& beyond)—items like rocks, fossils, magic, and much more.
Anyone who has been to Cape Breton knows the scenery & views are second to none. The best way to experience all that natural beauty is to get outside and explore!
The options are endless with the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park in your backyard. There is something for every age and ability level to enjoy, no matter what season you visit the island. Cycling, snowshoeing, skiing, sailing, golfing, swimming, hiking, and kayaking are just a few ways to experience the great outdoors here.
Wildlife lovers will want to book a puffin or whale-watching boat tour, many of which leave from nearby Baddeck.
Check out our tips on What to pack for a hike
THE BOTTOM LINE
Whether your interests span history, fine dining, beachcombing, or simply heading out and enjoying the great outdoors, Cape Breton delivers an unforgettable getaway—every time. And Sally’s Brook Wilderness Cabins is the perfect home base for your next Cape Breton Island adventure!
Get inspiration for your Nova Scotia vacation by checking out our other Nova Scotia Traveller destination articles.