Images courtesy of Tourism Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is one of those magical places that everyone needs to visit. Comprised of the main island and a few smaller islands, you will uncover a wealth of beauty, culture, aquaculture, and history. Known as the “Garden of the Gulf” for the beauty of its lush agriculture, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is also referred to as the “Cradle of Confederation” from the Charlottetown Conference in 1864.
Fun facts about PEI…It produces 25% of Canada’s potatoes and grows nearly 50 MILLION pounds of PEI mussels a year; 80% of Canada’s mussel production.It is also the home of Ann of Green Gables and why millions have visited the Island and discovered its magic. But, there is so much more…
Getting to Prince Edward Island is both easy and fun by air, over the bridge by car, or by ferry. WestJet and Air Canada fly direct to Charlottetown, the capitol; a short 2 hours from Toronto. Once on the Island, getting around is a snap, but we highly suggest renting a car.
Where to Stay
Prince Edward Island has accommodations for everyone and every budget. For those who like to stay in the “city” with many options, we suggest Charlottetown and venturing out from there. A charming choice in a mansion is the Dundee Arms or a more traditional choice on the river walk is the Delta Prince Edward.
For those who like more adventure, we suggest booking a few nights in cottages around the island, where you’re always close to the water. Or if you’re looking to experience the true flavor for the Island, rent a home for a week from Airbnb on Howe Bay and really experience the PEI lifestyle.
PEI is divided into four sections; Points East Coastal Drive, Green Gables Shore, North Cape Coastal Drive, and Red Sands Shore and you’ll want to visit them all. We suggest starting out in Souris, a laid back area where you can enjoy beautiful beaches, tidal waters, and watch eagles and seals play all day.
From there, head to Green Gables Shore in Cavendish, which will always impress. Spend a couple of days exploring not just the land of Ann of Green Gables, but hiking PEI National Park and its amazing red sandstone cliffs.
Leaving Cavendish, head north to North Cape Coastal Drive where you can sleep in the lighthouse and explore the potato museum and famous house made of glass bottles. Finally, end your stay in Red Sand Shore, with its red sand beaches. It’s the perfect place to camp on the island among the rolling hills before you head back to Charlottetown and your return home.
Where to Eat
There is no shortage of wonderful local food on PEI. You never need to drive far to get farm fresh ingredients or seafood and there is no shortage of amazing chefs. When in Souris, a trip to The Lobster Shack is a must for lobster rolls and oysters on the half shell. You can sit outside and watch the tide roll in and out and eagles fly overhead. If you head into Cavendish, a fish charcuterie is a must at The Blue Mussel Cafe. But, if you’re in a rental home, having a traditional clambake will not disappoint.
What Not To Miss
You can do it all or do nothing on Prince Edward Island and we have done both, but there are some activities that are not to be missed:
1. A clam dig and dinner - Book a tour with one of the locals to get your technique down and make sure you get the full meal.
2. Greenwich Dunes National Park - From the dunes to the floating boardwalk, you will want to leave at least a half day to explore.
3. Kayaking the tidal waters - We suggest taking a trip from Victoria-By-The-Sea with bytheseakayaking.ca. If you are renting a home on tidal waters, make sure it has kayaks. With the tides going in and out, the islands appearing and disappearing are magical.
4. Biking - Rent a bike and just ride. It can be inland or on the coast, because no view will disappoint.
5. Green Gables tour – Plan a half day to enjoy the tour and all the other sites.
6. Let’s Get Lost – We highly recommend just driving and having nothing planned, so you set yourself up to stumble upon the incredible scenery.
Be sure to use tourismpei.com to help plan your visit. We know you’ll have an amazing trip!