The Island of Prince Edward Island may be small, at only 5660 square kilometres, it is packed with exciting and interesting things to see and do. Affectionately known as PEI, the charm and beauty of both the island and the people will have you enthralled. Come along as I share 10 amazing things to do while visiting Prince Edward Island.
There are three ways to get to Prince Edward Island. You can fly into Charlottetown to enjoy your stay. If travelling by vehicle, you can take the ferry from Caribou Nova Scotia, or you can drive across the Confederation Bridge. Interesting to note you do not have to pay to get on the Island, but you do to get off. If you would like to try both methods of getting off and on the island, the ferry is more expensive than the bridge. Take the ferry over and the bridge back.
Fun Fact: The Confederation Bridge opened in 1997 and is the longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters. At 12.9 km (8 miles), it is also Canada’s longest bridge.
1. Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables is a story written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. The story of a young orphan girl mistakenly sent to her siblings Mathew and Martha Cuthbert and the adventures they encounter during her stay. The novel became a fairytale everyone wanted to read. Since its publication, it has sold more than 50 million copies and translated into 36 different languages. This makes it one of the best-selling books in the world.
You can visit the world of Anne of Green Gables throughout PEI. Start in Cavendish, visit the Green Gables Heritage Place and take a stroll down Lover’s Lane and into the haunted woods. Tour Lucy Maud Montgomery’s home, where she created her masterpiece, while you are there. At Park Corner, you can visit the Anne of Green Gables Museum and take Matthew’s Carriage Ride. You can visit the country school where Lucy Maud Montgomery taught school in her early years. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful story, and how fun to walk from the novel into the farmhouse.
2. Visit a Lighthouse
There are a total of 61 lighthouses on the island of PEI. There are eight of them that are open as museums. Each of them with their own history and story. These important structures built to warn ships of the rocky shore have been around for over 150 years.
The oldest wooden lighthouse is Panmure Island Lighthouse and Gift Shop. Climb to the top to see the old lantern as it turns to warn the ships of the jagged shoreline and take in the beautiful views. Point Prim Lighthouse built in 1845, is a great spot for a panoramic view of the Northumberland Strait. Take advantage of the historic tours and hear the stories that these beautiful lighthouses tell.
Lighthouse tours are fun and interesting. Cruise around the island and count how many you can find. Stop and check out the different museums as well as the gift shops to find that perfect souvenir.
3. The Cliffs and Beach of Cavendish
When you visit Cavendish, a trip to the beach is a must. Eight kilometres of sandy beach by the tranquil waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence makes for a wonderful day of water fun. With kilometres of white sand set against the red sandstone cliffs, it is a stunning view at any time of the day. Make sure to check for festivals and concerts on the beach. Cavendish Beach is a great place to play in and out of the water.
While on the island of PEI, you will notice the red in the land. Cavendish Cliffs is a beautiful way to appreciate the colour of the land. The Cliffs, made of sandstone overlooking the Gulf of the St. Lawrence the rock gets its colour from high levels of iron. When oxidized, it turns red. The Cliffs are essentially rusting naturally. It is a beautiful sight with an interesting story.
4. Prince Edward Island National Park
An expansive National Park, Prince Edward Island National Park has fun for all ages. Equipt with campground facilities as well as accommodations, you can enjoy the park for more than a day. Walk the trails and the boardwalks to get the most out of this island getaway. Cycle your way through the park on almost 20 kilometres of multi-use trails. Enjoy the various wildlife and the beautiful views of the shoreline. Watch a sunset from a floating boardwalk, then roast marshmallows around the campfire.
Prince Edward Island National Park blends the beauty of the shoreline with the deepness of the Acadian Forest. Giving you multiple nature stays with every visit. A great time will be had when spending time in Prince Edward Island National Park.
5. St. Dunstan’s Basillica
St. Dunstan’s Basilica was built in 1913 after a devastating fire. The first church was built in 1816 and dedicated to St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was made of wood. Stone was added in 1896. In 1990 St. Duntan’s Basilica was designated a National Historic Site. The French Gothic architecture and stained glass windows will have you looking with admiration for the beauty they have created. The towering spires as you enter this sprawling basilica that takes up almost an entire city block is just the start of a tour that will leave a lasting impression long after you have visited.
The Basilica is still a working Catholic Church, but you can go in and tour Monday – Friday. Look on their website for visiting hours. It’s worth a visit when in Charlottetown.
6. Canadian Potato Museum
As Stoppin’ Tom Connors sang it, “It’s bud the spud from the bright red mud,” PEI is well known for its production of potatoes. You can not visit PEI without a visit to the Canadian Potato Museum. Take a selfie with the world’s Largest Potato Sculpture and see the world’s largest exhibit of farm machinery and community artifacts, all with the same theme. Potatoes!
Stop in for a bite to eat at the PEI Potato Country Kitchen before going out and touring a potato farm and seeing firsthand how it is done. Stop in at the gift shop for some unique gifts. It’s everything Potato at the Canadian Potato Museum.
Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island. Situated at the meeting place of three rivers, the harbour of the same name flows out to the Northumberland Strait. Do not let the size fool you! Charlottetown has a lot to offer in the way of attractions and entertainment.
Play on the water with kayaks or paddleboards with rentals from Paddles, or take a walking tour of the city. Stop in for a craft beer at Upstreet Craft Brewing or do some fine dining by the water at Redwater Rustic Grille. There are a plethora of attractions available for your enjoyment. Festivals and concerts, harbour tours, and sightseeing cruises, just to name a few. Make sure you give enough time in your itinerary to appreciate the charm of this small city.
8. Orwell Corner Historic Village
Walk back in time with a visit to Orwell Corner Historic Village. Experience the charm of a small village in the 1890s. See a working blacksmith shop and forge your own trinket to take home. Learn how they made bread and churned butter back in the 1890s in the many exhibits and programs available.
Enjoy a carriage ride along the same path as Lucy Maud Montgomery did all those years ago. Admire the use and structure of the different buildings with a guided tour. It is a great place to visit for people of all ages.
9. Cows Creamery
Cows Creamery, a PEI icon since 1983, is a must-visit when in PEI. Appreciate the taste of their old fashion ice cream and giggle at the cow names they have for every flavour. Try a Blank Angus Forest or Chip Chip Hooray ice cream, and make sure you have some milk chocolate-covered potato chips to round out your delicious visit. What started as a little store on the boardwalk of Cavendish has grown to 11 stores across Canada and even one in Beijing.
Tour the factory and see how the ice cream is handmade the old-fashioned way. Make sure to visit their gift shop for their utterly (see what I did right there), delightful merchandise. It is a fun and delicious time when visiting Cows Creamery.
The city of Summerside in PEI is 28 km from the Confederation Bridge. Known for its shipbuilding heritage, Summerside sits proudly by the water. The best way to take in the city culture is by doing a walking history tour. Pick up a guidebook and stroll the tree-lined streets, learning the history while admiring the heritage homes and take a Segway tour of the waterfront.
Explore the beaches and see the amazing aircraft at Air Force Heritage Park. If you are there from late August until October, be sure to test your escape skill at Kool Breeze Corn Maze. There are so many fun things to do in Summerside, you are guaranteed a great time.
Prince Edward Island may be Canada’s smallest province, but it is big on beauty and heart. One visit will leave you wanting to come back for more when you visit Prince Edward Island.
The east coast of Canada is a special place with amazing people. No matter where you go, you will feel the welcome of the community and the beauty of the land. Check out my tour of the East Coast in my East Coast travel adventure blog series.
What is your favorite place on Prince Edward Island? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure. See you next week!
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