March 4, 2019
Recently, we shared our best tips for planning a PEI vacation with you, and we hope that’s got you thinking about your upcoming PEI getaway aboard Northumberland Ferries! If you ask us, no trip to PEI is complete without spending a day in the capital city of Charlottetown. Located less than 45 minutes from the Wood Islands ferry terminal, Charlottetown is teeming with small-town charm. It’s a perfect place to spend a day exploring, sampling food, and getting a taste for Canadian history.
If you have 24 hours to spend in Charlottetown, here’s what we recommend.
If you’re visiting Charlottetown on a Saturday, your first stop should definitely be the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market. Always bustling with locals and come-from-aways alike, the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market is the perfect spot to browse local arts and crafts, grab a quick treat, or even pick up some fresh local produce (including iconic PEI potatoes) if you’re planning on cooking a meal for yourself. Whether you arrive with a shopping list, or simply want to grab a coffee and take it all in, the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market is a must.
Currently, Province House—the birthplace of Confederation—is undergoing conservation work, which is why we recommend visiting the next best thing, the Story of Confederation Exhibit at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The upper foyer of the Confederation Centre has been completely transformed to become an accurate replica of the Province House Confederation Chamber. This is where the Charlottetown Conference took place in September of 1864—and the seeds of Canadian confederation were planted. Watch Parks Canada’s A Building of Destiny film, browse historic original artifacts, and enjoy a guided interpretation of this important piece of Canadian history. Afterwards, be sure to check out the Confederation Centre of the Arts Gallery, where you’ll find exciting and interesting works from local, national, and internationally acclaimed Canadian artists.
The Confederation Trail is 435-kilometre trail that weaves its way from Tignish to Elmira and everywhere in between. If you’re interested in biking and walking in the summer (or even snowmobiling in the winter!) the Confederation Trail is the perfect spot for taking a scenic stroll through the beauty of Prince Edward Island. Whether you’re taking a quick walk between activities, or planning to bike across the entire province, Charlottetown in a convenient spot to start your journey along the Confederation Trail.
If all your morning and early-afternoon activities have worked up your hunger, make your way to downtown Charlottetown for a delicious meal and unforgettable company. No matter what your taste buds are craving, you’ll find it downtown, from fresh local oysters and seafood at Fishbones, to traditional British fare at Churchill Arms, to comfort food and cocktails at the Brickhouse Kitchen and Bar. And, of course, every meal needs dessert! Make your way up Queen Street to COWS for a couple scoops of their iconic ice cream!
Not far from downtown, you’ll find Beaconsfield Historic House. Originally constructed in 1877, this beautiful Victoria was once counted among the most beautiful and modern homes in all of Charlottetown. Today, much of its beauty, as well as its original features, remains, waiting for you to explore. Stop by for a tour to learn about the fascinating history of the home and the people who have called it home over the years, then make your way to the gift shop to pick up a souvenir from your trip!
It wouldn’t be a trip to Charlottetown without a sighting of the Island’s favorite precocious redhead, Anne of Green Gables! And there’s no better place to see Anne than at a performance of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical! Coming into its 55th consecutive summer of being performed in Charlottetown, this musical has become an annual tradition for many. Laugh and sing along with the cast and 14-member live orchestra as they bring Anne’s story to life for you to experience!
Or, if you’re looking for a different take on Anne, take in a performance of Anne & Gilbert at The Guild. This award-winning musical follows Anne Shirley as she takes her first steps into adulthood. Along the way, she starts her first job, attends university, and falls for her first love—Gilbert Blythe.
Afterward, cap your night off with a trip to the Charlottetown Beer Garden and Seafood Patio for a drink and a bite of a beautiful Island evening!
With your 24 hours in Charlottetown coming to an end, we think there’s no better way to say “see you later” than with a lovely walk through Victoria Park. Charlottetown’s largest green space, Victoria Park is home to tennis courts, a swimming pool, and plenty of wide-open spaces for relaxing. Bring along your racket or swim trunks for some morning activity, or simply take in the beauty of the park before your next adventure begins.
What are your favourite ways to spend time in Charlottetown? Let us know when you join us aboard Northumberland Ferries this summer. We can’t wait to set sail with you!