Port Morien is located just outside the town of Glace Bay in the industrial part of the island. Once a thriving fishing and coal mining town, it is now a quiet place where many Cape Bretoners come to retire after spending their working years in the oil fields of western Canada.
The best way to get to Port Morien is via the scenic route – from Glace Bay, along Tower Road and through the village of Donkin. Along the way, it is well worth it to stop at Big Glace Bay Beach and take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean or walk along the sandy strip of sandbar. A windy, scenic road takes visitors through Donkin, where there is another beach located on the left side. In Port Morien, visitors like to walk along the main road through the town and mingle with the friendly locals who love to share the history of their town and its people with folks from away. The wharves are a great place to just sit and watch the boats come and go or do some fishing. A scenic look-off is located off the main road and a sign claims it to be one of the most scenic views on the entire island – and I agree, it is quite a nice view! Right next to that look-off is Dock Y’ur Dory, a restaurant that serves homemade local dishes and other delicious items. A gift shop is located in the restaurant which means you have something to do while you wait for your meal to be served.
A little further down the road is Port Morien Beach, a long, sandy beach that is known for its calm, warm waters that are perfect for families with young children because the water is so shallow. One can walk hundreds of feet out into the bay and the water will still be the same depth. If you are lucky enough to arrive in Port Morien at the end of July or beginning of August, you will be there right in the middle of the annual Summer People Festival which sees residents of the community decorate their lawns with funny mannequins depicting politics, movie stars and other well-known characters who have done comical….or questionable things in the past year.
Andrea MacEachern is a freelance travel writer and amateur photographer living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. anotherdayforgrace.blogspot.ca