SYDNEY — Cape Bretoners interesting in taking one of National Geographic's top 20 trips for 2013 need only venture out their front door.
© Cape Breton Post
A serene scene along the Nyanza crossing of Middle River.
Cape Breton Island is among this year's top 20 destinations, and the CEO of Destination of Cape Breton couldn't be happier.
"We're thrilled to make the top 20 and so much of the credit must go to our tourism operators who deliver a truly authentic experience," said Mary Tulle.
Tulle said her group made a submission to the magazine to be included in the search for the top destinations, adding it's great to learn that the Cape Breton experience can rival destinations from around the globe.
The only other Canadian destination on the list is the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Other destinations to make the cut included the Crimean Peninsula, Marseille, Raja Ampt Island (Indonesia), Malawi and Uganda.
The article notes that Cape Breton has an interesting blend of cultures from Mi'kmaq to French to Scottish. If offers a recommendation to stay at the Highland Heights Inn in Iona, along with a stop at the Rusty Anchor restaurant in Pleasant Bay for a lobster roll and a breathtaking view.
The designation is one of many accolades Cape Breton has earned over the past few years, which are contributing to a thriving tourism industry.
Tulle herself took a break Friday for some media interviews before returning to a group of travel writers from Toronto and New York who have been visiting the island this week.
"They are simply blown away at what we have to offer," said Tulle, noting the group has travelled the highlands, fished in Margaree, went underground at the Glace Bay Miners' Museum, sipped Scotch at the Glenora Inn& Distillery, toured Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site and will attend a special anniversary concert Saturday at the Gaelic College of celtic Arts and Crafts.
Tulle said early indications from a number of operators show a strong June in terms of accommodations.
"We are hearing lots of positive things from operators indicating the season is on solid ground," said Tulle.
"Everyone is having the same feeling that something special is taking place here."
To see more Cape Breton scenery, go here
To see the National Geographic online listing for Cape Breton, visithttp://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2013/#/national-park-cape-breton_61104_600x450.jpg.