Driving to Sydney can be done by crossing the Canso Causeway which links the island to the Nova Scotia mainland at Canso. From there you have two options: the slightly longer but straighter Highways 105 and 125 or the shorter but twistier Route 4.
North Sydney is the site of the Marine Atlantic terminal which serves as the main connection to Newfoundland. From the ferry terminal it is about a 20 minute drive on Highway 125 to Sydney.
Most sights within the downtown are within walking distance, however most major tourist sights are well outside of the city and require a car or pre-arranged tour bus.
Although Sydney is the center of Cape Breton, it lacks major tourist sites itself. A couple of things to see are:
Two private homes dating to the earliest settlement of the city, Jost House and Cossitt House, remain in the downtown area of Sydney.
The recently revived Wentworth Park, a 5 minute walk south from the downtown core, is worth a visit.
The Sydney marine terminal as well as Charlotte Steet have an abundance of arts and crafts stores selling traditional Cape Breton souvenirs.
Sydney has many well established restaurants, most with menu's full of classic seafood favorites.
Joe's Warehouse, CLOSED March 2010 . Sydney's most well known restaurant and features a fun collection of antiques throughout the restaurant. During the summer their patio is busy and a great place for a light lunch. Located directly below Joe's is Sydney's largest night club Smooth Herman's.
All-Star Grille, inside the Sydney casino. This restaurant features a large menu consisting of a good mixture of diner classics and newer 'fusion-fare'. It should be noted that since it is located inside the casino, it is offlimits to those under 19.
Mescalero's Steak House, . Located 5 minutes from downtown is Sydneys newest restaurant. Executive Chefs Todd MacIntyre and Mike Fitzgerald are proud to offer an extensive menu with something for every taste, including hand-selected cuts of Canadian Certified AAA Angus beef cooked over an open flame grill.
Sydney is home to a handful of places to rest your head ranging from small motels to larger hotels.
Cambridge Suites, 380 Esplanade, ☎ 1-800-565-9466 (toll-free) or +1 902 562-6500 (fax: +1 902 564-6011). Although the nicest hotel in the city, it lacks a swimming pool so it might not be very family friendly, which might be a selling point for busy business travelers.Rooms typically run from $149 - $199.
Days Inn Sydney, 480 Kings Road, ☎ 1-877-834-0333 (fax: +1 902 539-2773). This hotel also has a pool, sauna, hot tub, and gym.Rooms run from $134 - $159.
Delta Sydney, 300 Esplanade, ☎ 1-800-565-1001 (toll-free) or +1 902 562-7500 (fax: +1 902 562-3023). This hotel features large conference facilities and ballrooms as well as a large swimming pool, waterslide, gym and sauna.Rooms typically run from $159 - $219.
Quality Inn, 560 Kings Road, ☎ +1 902 539-8101. Hotel with free high-speed Internet, restaurant and lounge, heated pool, exercise room, executive suite, courtyard and free parking.Rates $109- 199.
Beacon Motel, 294 Keltic Drive, ☎ 1-866-562-8282. Cheaper motel located 10 minutes outside of the downtown core.
For travelers seeking something with a little more character try one of the many bed and breakfasts in the area a selection of which can be found here
The Fortress of Louisbourg located in Louisbourg, about an hour's drive away, is a reconstruction of the 18th century fortified French town whose presence plagued the British colonies of New England.
Stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada in Baddeck.
And no visit to Cape Breton is complete without a trip around the famous Cabot Trail, which regularly places high on lists of 'Best Drives in the World'