July 22, 2020
Dreaming of an island getaway? Then it’s got to be Prince Edward Island! With charming small towns, beautiful beaches, and a culinary scene that will take you by surprise, it has all you need for an amazing vacation, with a few surprises for good measure. Everything runs on island time on PEI, giving you a change of pace and best of all a change of scenery—seriously, it’s just so darn scenic here! Here are our must-do experiences to make the most of your time on PEI.
You can’t think of PEI without a certain redhead coming to mind. Though Anne of Green Gables is fictional, many of the locations in the books are real and ready for you to visit! Walk in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s footsteps and see the places that inspired the stories loved by generations of readers around the world.
You’ve got to start at Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish, the home owned by Montgomery’s relatives that started it all, and now a National Historic Site. Tour the grounds, stroll down shady Lover’s Lane, or take the fabled Haunted Wood Trail to Cavendish House, where Montgomery brought the vision of a precocious young girl to life. You can also take a quick drive over to New London and check out the Anne of Green Gables Museum. It’s home to unique memorabilia, including the original ‘enchanted bookcase,’ Lucy Maud’s writing desk, a patchwork quilt she made, and autographed 1st editions of her books.
Lighthouse hunting takes you along PEI’s sparkling seacoast, and with over 60 of them scattered around the Island, it won’t take you long to find a few! Not all are fully functional nowadays, but they’re all incredibly unique.
The first and oldest lighthouse on PEI is Point Prim, and it’s one of just a few round brick ones on the Island. The East Point Lighthouse had to be moved twice to save it from coastal erosion, and the Cape Bear lighthouse was the first place to receive a distress signal from the Titanic. Want to get a taste of lighthouse living? The West Point lighthouse has been converted into an inn and museum!
You didn’t think we could get through this list without mentioning PEI’s world-famous seafood, did you? Oysters, mussels, and lobster feature prominently on many menus across the Island, so you can feed that seafood craving almost anywhere you go. For an authentic lobster feast, you’ve got to head to New Glasgow on the north shore for the freshest catch and all the classic fixings. Looking for lobster on the go? Swing by Richard’s Fresh Seafood in Covehead or Victoria by the Sea for a lobster roll that can’t be beat.
You’ll find oysters all over on the Island, but a local favourite is Carr’s Oyster Bar in Stanley Bridge, just down the road from Cavendish. Have these briny beauties raw, fried, steamed, or baked. And if you can’t decide, try the epic seafood sampler. If you prefer turf to surf, you won’t be disappointed on PEI. The Island is famous for its beef and, of course, potatoes! Head to Sim’s Corner in Charlottetown for an elevated steakhouse experience.
Need something to pair all those delicious eats? PEI has no shortage of breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Upstreet Brewing’s taproom brings locals and visitors together in a warm, friendly atmosphere in downtown Charlottetown, Evermoore Brewing Company in Summerside is located in a refurbished train station, and Riverdale Orchard (run by a couple of Scots) serves up refreshing ciders with sweeping views.
When it comes to wine, Rossignol Estate Winery overlooking the Northumberland Strait offers a selection of fruit wines you won’t find anywhere else. Did you know PEI’s climate is similar to Portugal’s? Jim Matos did, and this Iberian native chose the Island for his vineyard vision. Check out Matos Winery for their award-winning selection, or if you’re in the mood for something more “spirited” visit Prince Edward Distillery for Canada’s only potato vodka. Would you expect anything less from a distiller on PEI?
What better way to soak in all the incredible scenery of the Island than by bike? Cycle from one tip of PEI to the other on the Confederation trail if you’re up for a big adventure. Or, plan an easy day trip almost anywhere across the province on well-maintained trails, routes, and mountain biking paths.
Robinson’s Island is great if you want to cycle with kids. And for a beachy bike ride that really delivers on sunset views, roll on over to Gulf Shore Way East between Brackley Beach and Dalvay-by-the-Sea. Pack a picnic (stock up at one of the Island’s amazing farmer’s markets), grab a growler from your brewery tour, and watch the sun go down behind (surprise, surprise) the lighthouse. Check out even more cycling itineraries here.
With 1,100km of coastline, you’d better believe there’s a bounty of beautiful beaches on PEI. A lot of people are familiar with Cavendish, but there are also tons of hidden gems spots just waiting to be explored.
Just down the road from Cavendish in PEI National Park is Greenwich Beach, with winding boardwalks and white sands. Discover where Europeans first landed on the Island at Jacques Cartier beach and get in a game of beach volleyball. Or, marvel at the red rock formations carved by nature at Thunder Cove Beach on the North Shore.
These are just a few of our favourite things to do on Prince Edward Island. Book your passage aboard Northumberland Ferries! And take a moment to browse what to expect when you sail with us this season. To learn more about the fun (and food!) you can have on Prince Edward Island, be sure to visit Explore the Maritimes!