For this travel guide, we are back in my country, Canada. We are moving to the east to Maritime Provinces, which is called “Les provinces maritimes” in French. Not that different from English, huh?
So there are four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and…Prince Edward Island! A few years ago, I participated in an English immersion program on this beautiful island, which allowed me to learn and practice my English and discover this province. After spending a summer there, I am confident that I am a pretty good reference when it comes to Prince Edward Island. Thus, if you are looking for a complete travel guide, you are at the right place!
Without further ado….let’s start!
The Confederation Bridge
If you travel to Prince Edward Island by car, you will have to cross the Confederation Bridge. The bridge connects the island to the mainland in New Brunswick. It takes approximately 10 minutes to cross the bridge, making it the longest bridge in the world over ice-covered waters (WelcomePEI.com). The view is gorgeous, and when you cross the bridge, you might think by its immensity that you are seeing the Atlantic Ocean, but it is not. It’s the Northumberland Strait!
It costs around 50,25$ to cross the bridge for a classic car. You can see the list of tolls & fees and the frequently asked questions here. Note that you pay when you leave the island.
Talk like an Islander!
“Boat traffic”: It’s an islanderism (slang/idiom from the island). It means that there is some traffic on the confederation bridge.
What to do on Prince Edward Island
Now that you have crossed the bridge, you have finally arrived on Prince Edward Island! Did you notice that the soil is red? It’s because of the high amount of oxidized iron found in the ground. Now let’s head to the capital: Charlottetown.
Victoria Row is a street in downtown Charlottetown full of good restaurants and stores. The road is closed to vehicles during summer, so the street becomes terraces for restaurants and a scene for local musicians.
Now let’s head to Peake’s Wharf, which is only a 5 minutes walk from Victoria Row. Peake’s Wharf is one of my favorite places downtown. The port is a place full of life, with unique souvenir shops (you can get a t-shirt made of red soil!) and ice cream shops. What makes this place so pretty are the shops that are in cute fisherman’s houses (see picture).
Also, try Cow’s ice cream in Peake’s Wharf, which is the BEST ice cream I have ever tasted. Oh, and don’t forget to take a picture with the cow statue!
At Peake’s Wharf, you can book a tour for…seal watching! Indeed, with Peakes Wharf Boat Tours or Adventure Marine Zodiac Boat Tours, there are many activities marine activities that you can book, but if you are a seal lover like me…well, you know what to choose;) It is sooo fun, and you get to see many seals and get close to them while still maintaining a safe distance. There’s also a guide that gives you some information about the animals, and they loan you some binoculars to have a better view.
I know, I know, you’ve been waiting for the beaches! Prince Edward Island is the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy the waves. Indeed, there are 90 sandy beaches on the island! Let’s take a look at my favorites:
1- Cavendish Beach
Cavendish beach is my favorite beach on Prince Edward Island. It’s a 45 minutes drive from Charlottetown and is a National park. It is close to the Avonlea Village, another tourist attraction that can be combined with a visit to the beach for a perfect day in New Glasgow.
The beach is 8km long, has beautiful water with great waves, and is supervised.
2- Brackley Beach
Brackley Beach is another beautiful beach with clear water situated only 25 minutes from Charlottetown. It is part of the Prince Edward National Park. It is also a supervised beach, and there are some facilities (washrooms, changing rooms) and restaurants. Since it is part of the National Park, there is a small entry fee, which you can find here.
3- Greenwich Beach
Now let’s head down east for Greenwich beach. It’s an hour’s drive from Charlottetown and is situated in the Greenwich peninsula. According to Parks Canada, it is also “the home to the biggest sand dunes on Prince Edward Island.”
4-Bassin Head Beach
Bassin Head Beach is located at the east tip of the island. It’s a 1h15 drive from Charlottetown. The beach is well known for its “singing sands.” When you step on the sand, it looks like it is signing! To learn more about this phenomenon, click here! The water is also evident as crystal, but don’t be tricked by its Carrabeian color…the water is very cold! Nonetheless, it is a beautiful beach, with facilities and cute food shacks, and the singing sands phenomenon is worth the detour.
Talk like an Islander!
“Down East” and “Up West” are some islanderism used to indicate direction. And if you ask an islander for a specific location, he might answer you with the word “clicks,” which refers to kilometers. “Go three clicks and then go down east!”
About Anne of the Green Gable
Prince Edward Island is known for many different reasons, such as the beautiful beaches, the fantastic seafood, and the red soil. However, this island attracts visitors also because of the famous novel: Anne of the Green Gable, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The story took place on Prince Edward Island, which has allowed the world to discover and get to know this beautiful island. Netflix has also released a show based on the book a few years ago, called Anne with an E.
So if you have watched the show or read the novel, there are many attractions related to Anne of the Green Gables that you can go to and live like Anne. And even if you don’t know about the novel, those places are still very nice to visit since it’s like time traveling back in the 19th century.
First, the Avonlea Village, as mentioned earlier, is a cute little village with shops and restaurants inspired by the story. It makes you feel like you are straight out of the novel.
Secondly, you can visit Anne’s house at Green Gables Heritage Place. After visiting the house, there are also two trails that you can explore that also refer to places that are part of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s imaginary. You can learn more about those trails here.
For more information about Green Gables Heritage Place and all the things, it has to offer, click here.
Finally, there is also Anne of the Green Gables – The musical that you can see at the Confederation Center of the Arts. It is a great show, funny, uplifting, and the perfect activity for a night out in Charlottetown. You can get your tickets here!
Talk like an Islander!
When something is exceptional or well done, islanders use the islanderism “beauty.” “The musical Anne of the Green Gables was beauuuuuty!” Or if someone didn’t sing very well, you could rather hear: ” they couldn’t carry a tune if it had handles!”
The star of the island…the potatoes!
Remember when I said that the soil was red because of the high amount of oxidized iron? Well, this unique geological phenomenon is not only beautiful but also very favorable for growing…potatoes! Indeed, potatoes have been produced on the island since 1790 (discovercharlettown.com)! Prince Edward Island is now the largest producer of potatoes in Canada. No wonder why the island is completely obsessed with the vegetable! If you are interested in learning more about why this vegetable is important for the island, go to the Canadian Potatoe Museum! Psst! You can even buy potato soap!
There a literally a hundred things you could do on Prince Edward Island, but… this travel guide needs an end. So to conclude, here are few other things that you can do if you plan to visit Prince Edward Island.
- Strathgartney Provincial Park
- Skmaqn-Port-la-Joye Amherst National Historic Site
- Victoria Park (not a hike but a nice park to take a walk with a view of the sea)
To learn more about the history of the island in Charlottetown:
- Beaconsfield Historic House
- Province House
- Prince Edward Battery
- Confederation Centre of the Arts
- Lobster! The lobster seasons in PEI are May to June or mid-august to mid-October (princeedwardislandseafood.com)
- Fish & Chips at Brits Fish and Chips.
So this is it for this travel guide; I hope you enjoyed it and it makes you want to go to Prince Edward Island! If you have been there, tell me in the comments what was your favorite thing to do, I would love to read to you!
See you in the next post,
For more travel posts click here!