Academy-Award Winning actor Alan Arkin has starred in countless movies, bringing each character he plays to life with his witty banter and distinctive voice. It is truly apparent that Arkin loves what he does; yet one of his other great loves is for an Island that sits at the most eastern-end of Nova Scotia. This Island of magic and intrigue is Cape Breton, a place that he almost stumbled on by chance two decades ago, and it left an indelible impression. Since then Arkin spends several months a year living on the Island as a proud Cape Bretoner. North American Traveller chats with Arkin on his favorite places to check out while in Cape Breton.
Frog Pond Café
“My favourite hangout in Cape Breton is the Frog Pond Cafe. It’s got the best coffee and pastries on the island. It’s incredibly charming and has a terrific folk-art gallery to boot.”
The Duck Cove Inn
“I love the Duck Cove Inn. It’s a modest, inexpensive, comfortable and homey resort at the mouth of the Margaree River in a magnificent setting. I have stayed there for months at a time.”
Myles From Nowhere
“The owner Myles is as eccentric a person I have ever met in my life, he has a great sense of humour. He also has amazing stories about the island. His place is wonderful; I don’t know what to call it; it’s almost a museum/antique store. He is also a great artist. My wife and I own about five or six of his carvings. He started out just doing Celtic tracings on a piece of stone, and then he was embarrassed about them, so he would leave them in the woods! Then people started liking them, so he started giving them to people. Now they are getting so good he is selling them. His style keeps evolving and evolving.”
Arkin on the Beach
“My wife and I love walking along Inverness Beach, especially the long boardwalk. I used to love canoeing down the Margaree River; that was one of my favourite activities I have ever done in my life.”
“I love the terrific art gallery on the island called La Bella Mona Lisa, and the Two Macs gallery across from the Dancing Goat. They both showcase local artists; they are lovely stores. The Mona Lisa has original prints, wonderful woodworking and pottery. Two Macs has pottery and jewelry by local artists.”
Larch Wood Beauty
“The Larch Wood Cutting Board factory is just wonderful. They sell the most beautiful cutting boards you have ever seen, which they swear will be heirlooms. It’s impossible to damage them and they are incredibly gorgeous. They are made out of Nova Scotia larch wood and come in all kinds of designs. They even have a whole area where you can buy seconds; things that are slightly flawed for decent discounts. My wife and I have the boards in our kitchen. It’s a very special process and they don’t look like any cutting boards you have ever seen!” Click here to browse the Larch Wood Canada line-up of products.