Updated: October 23rd, 2021
With a beautiful coastline and stunning red sand, Prince Edward Island has become a popular Canadian Maritime destination. It’s small and picturesque, unique in its history, and home to an incredible cuisine with some of the freshest seafood available anywhere in the world. Whether you’re looking to eat fresh mussels right next to the sea, learn about Canada’s history, get outdoors for some hiking, or go on a fun and scenic coastal road trip, Prince Edward Island should be on your Canadian bucket list.
PEI is also the smallest province in Canada, and so unlike our other provincial travel guides, we’ll focus on the entire province rather than splitting it out into different regions. After all, you can drive the entire length of the island in less than three hours. It is, however, sandwiched in-between other Atlantic provinces as well, such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, so if you have more time, you can always extend your trip and truly take in the splendour of Atlantic Canada.
To learn more about Prince Edward Island, including what to do, where to go, and how to get there, this travel guide is for you!
Table of Contents
- Getting to Prince Edward Island
- Getting around PEI
- Best Time to Visit PEI
- Road to 150 - Prince Edward Island
- Things to Do in PEI
- Confederation Centre of the Arts and Walking Tours
- Historic Charlottetown
- Beaconsfield Historic House
- Government House
- St. Dunstan's Basilica Cathedral
- Saga Sailing Adventures
- Island Boat Adventures
- Green Gables Historical Place
- Lucy Maud Montgomery Cavendish Home
- Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush
- Avonlea Village
- Cavendish Beach Music Festival
- Cavendish Beach
- Prince Edward Island National Park
- 5/15 Fermentation Trail
- The Table Culinary Studio
- Orwell Corner Historic Village
- Acadian Museum
- Basin Head Provincial Park
- Fiddling Fisherman
- Tranquillity Cove Adventures
- Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst
- Frolic Fricot and Fiddles
- Weaving with Wood
- West Point Lighthouse Museum
- Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum
- Fall Flavours Festival
- Go Golfing
- PEI Road Trips and Trails
- Where to Eat - PEI Restaurants
- Where to Stay in PEI
- PEI Tourism and What to Do Next
Getting to Prince Edward Island
There’s a variety of ways for getting to Prince Edward Island, including driving across the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick, taking the ferry from Nova Scotia, or flying into Charlottetown.
Getting to PEI by Plane
If you’re flying into Prince Edward Island, then you’re going to be flying into their capital city of Charlottetown. It’s serviced by Air Canada, Westjet, and some other smaller airlines. Air Canada offers the most flights to Charlottetown from Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Toronto on a year-round basis with additional capacity during the peak summer months. Westjet, as mentioned, is another option, followed by Flair Airlines (from Toronto only), Atlantic Charters, and Maritime Air Charters.
For more information about flying to PEI, please visit the Charlottetown Airport’s website.
Getting to PEI by Car
If you’re driving to Prince Edward Island, you’ll either have to cross the incredible Confederation Bridge or take the ferry from Caribou, Nova Scotia.
If you’re taking the bridge, you’ll be coming from New Brunswick. The Confederation Bridge is a 13-kilometre engineering marvel that takes approximately 10 minutes to get across. There is a toll for the bridge (approximately $50) but it’s only collected when you leave the island. If you don’t have a car, a shuttle service is available for pedestrians and cyclists arriving via ferry.
If you’re up for a scenic road trip, PEI is not only small but due to the location of the ferry and the bridge, it actually makes for a great circuit tour, as you could arrive via ferry in Wood Islands on the Points East Coastal Drive and loop your way into Charlottetown, then drive up to the central Red Sands Shore and Green Gables Shore, and finally complete the drive with the North Cape Coastal Drive in the west, leaving via the Confederation Bridge. You could also do it in reverse order.
Northumberland Ferries: Departing from Caribou, Nova Scotia, and Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, the 75-minute car ferry trip offers a scenic way to arrive on PEI. Walk or drive aboard the vessels, enjoy the views, and have lunch at the relatively new Salt Water Café. Another cool little place we visited before departing PEI on the ferry was visiting Point Prim Lighthouse, which is the oldest lighthouse on the island.
Getting to PEI by Bus
For those keen on arriving via bus, Maritime Bus offers daily bus service between Charlottetown, Summerside and Borden-Carleton and over 40 locations across the Maritimes, with connections to Central and Western Canada. There’s also a number of companies offering shuttle services by van to and from Charlottetown (and selected other Island locations) to/from Halifax. These companies operate from various locations and on different schedules; contact each for details about their specific services.
There’s no train going to PEI but you could travel by train as far as Moncton, New Brunswick or Halifax, Nova Scotia, and continue on to Prince Edward Island by bus or rental car. VIA Rail and Amtrak (via Montréal) offer services that connect to Moncton, New Brunswick.
Getting to PEI by Cruise Ship
As a seaside location, another option for visiting PEI is to come by boat. A number of major cruise lines stop in the port of Charlottetown each year, as it’s a popular stop on Canada/New England cruise itineraries.
As you can see, there are many ways to arrive in PEI, but the most important thing is that you get there and see it for yourself!
Getting around PEI
Prince Edward Island is not the easiest place to get around if you don’t have a car. In Charlottetown, you’ll certainly find taxis and public buses, but outside of Charlottetown, it gets harder. There are some buses and shuttles going to other “major” centres, but if you’re really wanting to explore the island to its full extent, you’ll either need a car or you’ll need to join a big tour. Another popular option is cycling.
Best Time to Visit PEI
Without a doubt, the best time to visit Prince Edward Island is during the summer months between June and September. Other potential visits could occur in the late spring or early fall but during the winter, most things close down. Generally speaking, the winter in Canada is a fun time to explore this country, but due to its size, PEI is not a great place to explore in the winter as many attractions and hotels close down.
Road to 150 – Prince Edward Island
Back in 2017, we did a 150-day road trip across Canada to make a 12-part travel video series about each and every province. Prince Edwards Island was our third stop, after both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We started our trip by staying in Cavendish, which is home to Green Gables Historical Place and the starting point of Prince Edward Island National Park. Next, we went to Bay Fortune for an incredible feast before completing our adventure in the city of Charlottetown. There was no way for us to experience everything the island has to offer but we did experience enough to make some recommendations.
We had only five nights to explore and I truly wish we had the whole summer. Gorgeous sandy beaches, lovely people, and incredibly delicious food make this province a wonderful place to visit. It was also interesting to learn about Canada’s confederation, which fit perfectly into our series, which was inspired by Canada’s 150th birthday. The province is also home to an incredible food scene and is the perfect place for any passionate foodie. We had no idea about the love of food on the island but it didn’t take long for us to figure it out. From cooking lessons at the Table to one-of-a-kind experiences by the famous Canadian Chef, Michael Smith, our days were filled with tasty local delights.
Things to Do in PEI
Since Prince Edward Island is quite small, we’re going to start by recommending things to do in Charlottetown, followed by other things to do across the island. Since there’s no other major centre and since you can drive across the entire island in less than three hours, we won’t separate it out by region. If you have any recommendations, let us know!
Confederation Centre of the Arts and Walking Tours
One of our top memories from Charlottetown was our time with Confederation Players Walking Tours. They dress up in period clothing and act as characters from the days of Canada’s confederation. This allows for some great photo opportunities but also makes Canada’s history much more real and interesting. This is a great tour for your first day in Charlottetown as it’ll really make it come to life.
Aside from the walking tours though, the Confederation Centre of the Arts occupies an entire block and is perfect for those interested in the cultural and performing arts. The center is dedicated to showcasing works of art created by Canadians, and it also serves as the country’s official memorial to the Fathers of Confederation. Some of the highlights include a realistic replica of the original Confederation Chamber, an art gallery full of both historical artifacts and contemporary artwork, and five theatres that regularly hold live performances.
Wondering what show to watch while in town? If playing, we recommend watching Anne of Green Gables – The Musical. We’ll talk about the VERY popular Anne of Green Gables Historic Site below, but until then, why not enjoy a musical at the lovely Confederation Centre of the Arts mentioned above? This show is very popular and tells the beloved story of Anne and her adoptive parents, who have captured the hearts of readers worldwide for the past 53 years and counting.
As the province’s capital city, Historic Charlottetown is full of historic buildings and landmark sites. You can explore the streets on foot, by car, or by bicycle, but another unique experience is to take a carriage ride through the side streets of the historic city center. One of the most popular areas is Victoria Row, which is closed to car traffic during the summer and offers an excellent array of shops and restaurants. If you take the walking tour we mentioned above, it will include historic Charlottetown. If not, simply grab a map from the visitor centre and do your own tour.
Beaconsfield Historic House
Designed and constructed by architect W.C. Harris, the Beaconsfield Historic House dates back to 1877 and is one of the most elegant historic homes in Charlottetown. The home still retains many of its original features, including certain conveniences that were seen as cutting-edge technology back in the day. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour, as well as occasional lectures and concerts. Hours of operation vary according to the season, but the museum is open all year round and the staff is happy to arrange tours by appointment outside of opening hours.
A national historic site of Canada, the Government House was built in 1834 as the official residence for the Lieutenant Governors of Prince Edward Island. The white wooden shingled building has a commanding view of Charlottetown Harbour and is surrounded by spacious lawns, tree-lined walks, and formal gardens. It’s a beautiful site to see and tours are available at select times.
St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral
For those into beautiful cathedrals, this is one you don’t want to miss. St. Dunstan’s Cathedral Basilica is a stone French Gothic church built in 1913 from the remains of the cathedral that had been damaged by a fire that year. St. Dunstan’s is the fourth church on the site and one of the most visible landmarks in Charlottetown with its spires being some of the highest points on the City skyline. It is the only Roman Catholic cathedral and basilica in the province and one of the most elaborate churches in the Maritimes.
Saga Sailing Adventures
As they say, “When in Rome”. In this case, you’re in PEI, which means you should probably get out in a boat and enjoy the beautiful coastal waters! Based out of the Charlottetown Harbour, Saga Sailing Adventures offers a variety of tours onboard their 36-foot sloop known as Saga. You can kick back and enjoy the scenery or enjoy the opportunity to help adjust the sails or even take the helm. During the busy season, the cruises take place three times a day in the morning, afternoon, and evening, but charter tours can be arranged for almost any time of day. The boat has a maximum capacity of 12 people, and catering is available for special events.
Island Boat Adventures
Another option for getting out on the water is with Island Boat Adventures. Operating out of Charlottetown Harbour, Island Boat Adventures offers the chance to board their 42-foot Fundy Cruiser, which has space for up to 40 passengers. Guests can choose from a wide range of tours including lobster dinner cruises, deep-sea fishing tours, clam digging experiences, and seal watching tours. Each trip takes between 2 and 3 hours, and the boat is equipped with washroom facilities.
Green Gables Historical Place
One of the reasons Prince Edward Island is famous is because of the novel Anne of Green Gables. Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery back in 1908, the area that is now Green Gables Historical Place was the actual place that inspired the story. You’ll get to walk inside the “fictional” house as described in the book, learn about the history of the author, and see other areas featured in the book. For lovers of the story, this is a historical site you cannot miss. Guided tours and interpretive programs are offered from July 1st until Labour Day, and the site is closed during the winter season.
Lucy Maud Montgomery Cavendish Home
Right next to Anne of Green Gables Historic Site is the Lucy Maud Montgomery Cavendish Home, which has been designated a National Historic Site. Why? This is where the Anne of Green Gables author spent the first 37 years of her life. Although the house and farm buildings are no longer standing, there are a number of placards to be found around the site, offering quotes and pictures to help visitors gain a better understanding of the author’s life and works. An on-site museum displays original artifacts from the homestead such as lamps and photos, and visitors can purchase stamped copies of their favourite Anne of Green Gables books in the bookstore.
Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush
If you still haven’t had enough Anne of Green Gables, consider driving 20 minutes to the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush, which is dedicated to the life and works of L. M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. Located on the homestead that was built by the author’s aunt and uncle in 1872, the charming home inspired Montgomery to write her famous novels and actually served as the setting for the novel Anne’s Lake of Shining Waters. The cottage houses a unique collection of memorabilia as well as beautiful gardens that you can walk around or admire via a carriage ride around the 110-acre property.
Avonlea is the fictitious name that Lucy Maud Montgomery gave Cavendish in her famous novel, Anne of Green Gables. The Village consists of purpose-built structures combined with heritage ones as a way to re-create the fictional 19th-century hometown of the loveable heroine, Anne Shirley. For lovers of the novel, this is obviously a place not to miss, but even if you don’t know about the novels, Avonlea Village offers an experience in genuine Island hospitality showcasing delicious food and quaint shopping.
Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Summer in Canada is all about festivals and If you find yourself in PEI in early July, don’t miss the opportunity to join tens of thousands of country music fans for the island’s annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival! This concert has hosted some of the biggest names in country music over the years, including Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Little Big Town.
With some of Canada’s best beaches, PEI is a great place to soak it all in. Spend a day filled with sun, sand, and sea at the island’s most popular beach. White sand, clear water, and views of the island’s signature red sandstone cliffs are just some of the reasons that make this is one of the best beaches in the whole country.
Prince Edward Island National Park
Parks Canada does a great job of managing some of the best natural areas around the country and Prince Edward Island National Park is no exception. From white sand to red sand, we loved the array of beaches found all over the island. Established in 1937 to protect a wide range of animals as well as beaches, sand dunes, wetlands, and salt marshes, this national park is a must-visit for those wanting to see the uniqueness of Prince Edward Island’s natural beauty.
5/15 Fermentation Trail
During our most recent trip to PEI, we decided to do the new 5/15 Fermentation Trail, which is basically a self-guided road trip visiting a variety of local alcohol producers. It’s called 5/15 because the trail starts approximately 5 minutes from Charlottetown and features 5 producers, each of which is about 15 minutes apart. Each visit is different as the tour includes beer, wine, cider, spirits, and mead. Obviously, you won’t want to drink too much as the tour requires driving (or convincing someone to be the designated driver) but it’s a really cool way to sample different alcohol, meet the producers, and see different landscapes. Plus, you can pick up a Fermentation Trail Passport at the first stop, get a stamp from each producer, and then be entered to win a $150 gift card. Of all five producers, our personal favorites were Island Honey Wine Company and Deep Roots Distillery.
The Table Culinary Studio
This was our first activity on the island during our 150-day road trip across Canada and one that we’ll never forget. From baked beans to Fiddleheads, we learned how to cook local meals from 150 years ago to celebrate Canada’s 150th. We baked our own biscuits, stuffed our own mock duck, and prepared an incredibly delicious sticky date pudding. We did all of this with our own hands, as machines wouldn’t have been used back in the day. However, this is just one of the many styles of cooking classes you can take at The Table Culinary Studio. The property is beautiful, the owners are great, and this is one tasty activity that we highly recommend.
If you’re looking to experience genuine P.E.I farm life, Chore-Time should be on your bucket list. This unique, hands-on attraction and farm is home to animals like sheep, pigs, chickens, and rabbits that live outdoors in the pastures, all of which you can have the opportunity to feed and move their pens around. If you’re keen on visiting, it’s advisable to make bookings at least a day in advance and to wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Orwell Corner Historic Village
Located on the drive between Charlottetown and the ferry to Nova Scotia, the Orwell Corner Historic Village is a great stop for those looking for a “living museum”. The village is a fascinating recreation of a 19th-century farming community with a working blacksmith shop, an old schoolhouse complete with a bonneted school teacher, and the opportunity to interact with real farm animals. Daily programs such as candle-making lessons and ice-cream-making classes are offered during the busy summer months of July and August, and visitors are welcome to stop by the tea room to sample a delicious treat or two.
Another great museum on the island is the Acadian Museum, which was opened in 1954. The museum is full of treasures and artifacts that tell the story of the Acadians of P.E.I. The permanent exhibits walk visitors through Acadian history from 1720 until the present day, while temporary exhibits cover various aspects of Acadian life throughout the years. In addition, you’ll also find a gift shop, a research center, and the lovely outdoor Heritage Trail, which is a great place to take a walk.
Basin Head Provincial Park
If you make your way to the easternmost tip of Prince Edward Island, you don’t want to miss Basin Head Provincial Park, which is located just off Route 16. It’s known for many things, one of which is its “singing sands”, which squeak when you walk on them. It’s also home to beautiful white sand beaches, warm water (during the summer months), and amenities such as a public washroom with showers, a children’s play area, and a canteen.
An adventure around Prince Edward Island just wouldn’t be complete without spending some time on the water, and the Fiddling Fisherman provides an awesome opportunity to learn about the province’s traditional music and fishing industry while sailing next to the island’s signature red cliffs. Captain J. J. Chaisson is a world-class entertainer and multi-instrumentalist, and visitors who hop on his lobster fishing boat Chaisson A Dream will be given a true taste of P.E.I. culture. Guests can choose between a musical tour with song and dance and/or a special lobster dinner.
Tranquillity Cove Adventures
For more adventures on the water, Tranquility Cove Adventures offers everything from deep-sea fishing tours to starfish hunting trips. Fishing tours come with the opportunity to spot seals and other wildlife, and most tours feature the option to have your fish barbecued right on board the boat for an unforgettable meal. Private charters and customized tours are available upon request, including 4-hour wedding packages. For those who just don’t want the adventure to end, a beachside suite is available for anyone wanting to spend the night on the waterfront.
After being founded by the French in 1720 as one of the first Acadian settlements in the country, Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst served as the island’s first military fortification under both the control of France and Britain. Because of its rich history, the site was designated a National Historic Monument in 1958 and now offers visitors an incredible glimpse into the island’s early European history. The ruins of the fort are still visible, and interpretative panels can be found throughout the site. Visitors are also free to stroll around the well-maintained grounds, which offer excellent views of the surrounding farmland and the Charlottetown Harbour.
Frolic Fricot and Fiddles
Music and food are two things you really shouldn’t miss when in PEI, so why not combine the two with Frolic Fricot and Fiddles, which offers a unique experience that combines cooking classes with top-notch fiddle playing. A traditionally dressed Acadian Islander will demonstrate how to make traditional dishes like a hearty chicken soup known as fricot and a tasty fruit pastry called poutine à trou that guests will have a chance to make themselves. After a delicious lunch, guests are then given the opportunity to explore the village and watch performances of fiddle playing and step dancing. Reservations are required.
Weaving with Wood
Weaving with Wood is a program offered by the Island Traditions Store, a business dedicated to preserving and sharing the traditional art of ash splint basket-making. Making baskets from ash splint takes practice and dedication, so the basic workshop gives guests the opportunity to weave a basket out of reeds from the local marshes and decorate it with your choice of bark from the island’s forests. All courses are taught by professional basket makers, and the on-site store sells works by some of the most accomplished artisans in the province. For anyone into arts and crafts, this is an experience not to be missed!
West Point Lighthouse Museum
While the museum itself boasts one of the most extensive collections of lighthouse memorabilia on the island, the real gem is having the opportunity to spend the night! The four-star hotel located inside the beautiful 69-foot lighthouse offers 13 rooms, all of which offer breathtaking views of the Northumberland Strait. Some rooms also feature walk-out decks, and two rooms are located in an exclusive section of the West Point Lighthouse Museum. Spend the night, enjoy the views, and learn all about lighthouses! We actually returned here in 2021 and spent the night inside the actual lighthouse. We stayed in the Tower Room, which is the actual guestroom that would have been used for visitors over the last 100 years. It was a cool experience. However, if we return, I think we would opt for the newly-built rooms because they have balconies facing the water.
Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum
You know potatoes are an important part of the local culture when they create an entire museum dedicated to them! The Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum stands as a unique testament to this incredible food and the farmers who have grown it throughout history. First, you’ll be greeted by the world’s largest potato sculpture, and then you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history and the culture of the potato through an excellent collection of displays. Tours are available if reserved in advance, and visitors are invited to try a bite of potato fudge or another delicious potato dish at the on-site restaurant.
Fall Flavours Festival
If you love food and happen to be visiting Prince Edward Island in September, you may want to check out the lineup for the Fall Flavours Festival, which brings in both local and national chefs to create delicious food experiences all across the island. During our visit, we attended Savour Victoria in Victoria-by-the-Sea, an event that brought in Food Network celebrity chef and celebrated cookbook author, Chef Lynn Crawford to help create the menu. In addition to the food, there was a short walking tour with different Eau D’oeuvres, live music, and more.
For those into driving the ball, Prince Edward Island has established itself as one of the premier golf destinations in Canada, and golfers have ample options all over the island. Some of the most popular golf courses include Cowbush Cove, Dundarave, and Mill River.
PEI Road Trips and Trails
Another thing Prince Edward Island is known for is its road trips and trail networks. Below are some of the best.
Central Coastal Drive
Perhaps the most popular drive of them all is the 253-kilometre road trip that begins in Charlottetown and loops around the central region of the province, allowing visitors to explore everything from the sandstone cliffs and rolling pastures of the southern Red Sands Shore to the beautiful beaches and walking trails along the Green Gables Shore. It’s possible to do the entire drive in one day, but visitors who have more time can easily spend several days visiting the many attractions along the road. Don’t forget to indulge in some fresh seafood along the way!
North Cape Coastal Drive
The North Cape Coast Scenic Drive is another fantastic road trip experience that should not be missed. The 350-kilometre road winds its way along the island’s stunning west coast, passing through tiny traditional fishing villages and alongside acres of fields filled with gorgeous red soil. Although the drive was named after the North Cape, the westernmost tip of the island, the beginning of the road starts just 20 minutes away from the Confederation Bridge in the lovely town of Summerside.
Points East Coastal Drive
While the North Cape Coastal Drive focuses on the eastern part of the island and the Central Coastal Drive focuses on the middle portion, the Points East Coastal Drive focuses on the easternmost portion of Prince Edward Island, giving you an insiders look at Island life. It’s considered a peaceful drive but is also chock full of adventures, including a variety of towns, 50 beaches, 13 golf courses 6 lighthouses, 34 historical and cultural attractions, 12 provincial parks, a plethora of restaurants, 6 scenic HEritage Roads, and a national park. The drive could be done in a day, but with so many things to do, you’ll want more time to really soak it all in.
Stretching 435 kilometres across the entire province, the Confederation Trail was built along the rail tracks after the P.E.I. railway was abandoned in 1989. During the summer, it’s now a popular trail for walkers, runners, and cyclists as well as a popular snowmobile trail during the winter. The trail is also a prime destination for geocaching enthusiasts with more than 1,600 geocaching sites hidden along the route. The trail is practically flat the entire way, making it suitable for people of most ages and fitness levels, and a selection of accommodation, food outlets, and other services can be found along the trail.
Art & Heritage Trail
Prince Edward Island is full of unique cultural attractions, and the Art & Heritage Trail is one of the best possible ways to experience and understand the island’s culture for yourself. The trail showcases the significant importance of the Island’s culture and will enable both visitors and residents to design customized itineraries for their ideal vacation. Choose from a wide variety of attractions, including artisan studios, museums and historic sites, art galleries, historic architecture and buildings, hands-on experiences, and performing art venues that offer both live music and theatre performances. Both physical and electronic copies of the trail guide are available on the Arts & Heritage website.
If you’re driving to Prince Edward Island, then you’re either taking the ferry from Nova Scotia or driving across the Confederation Bridge, which at 12.9 kilometres (8 miles) in length, is the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered water, and is one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century. It’s quite the thing to see and so we highly recommend driving over it if you can!
Where to Eat – PEI Restaurants
Besides red sandy beaches and Anne of Green Gables, PEI is known for its delicious food. There’s no way we could write about all of them, but we do want to mention some of our favourites.
The Inn at Bay Fortune and FireWorks Restaurant
I am so happy that we found this place. Not only is it an incredible place to spend the night but it’s also home to the FireWorks Restaurant, which was created by Chef Michael Smith and his wife. For those who don’t know Chef Michael, he is the host of Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef at Home, and Chef Abroad, which are seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 countries worldwide. We knew the food was going to be exquisite but we never imagined how cool the actual experience was going to be. “The Feast” is a 5-hour event, which starts with a variety of food stations spread out around the property. We tried fresh oysters with bloody mary crushed ice, as well as tacos with a maple spread. Once this finished, we did a toast with some Nova Scotian sparkling wine and then began the incredible 5-course dinner. Every single ingredient is grown on the property and everything is cooked by fire! Everything! No stove, no dials…just fire! Then you eat communal style, which allows you to meet people from all over the world. It was an incredible experience, and as a bonus, we got to meet Chef Michael. Unforgettable and Highly recommended!
Bonus: Although quite expensive, you do have the option of staying the night, which includes a very delicious breakfast.
Blue Mussel Café
This Blue Mussel Cafe is located right next to the North Rustico harbour. As you can imagine, you’ll find fresh delicious beer and mussels as well as many other varieties of fresh seafood. We had a delicious pan-fried haddock dinner followed by their in-house Chocolate potato cake, which as you might guess, is made with potato. It sounds strange but it turns out that the potato makes the cake fluffier and boy was it good. We even met some new friends on the balcony and watched birds capture fish in the nearby harbour. Whether you’re looking for seafood chowder, lobster, fish, or mussels, this is the place to go!
Slaymaker & Nichols Gastro House
Created by the same team behind Blue Mussel, this new, delicious, and upscale restaurant is located in the heart of Charlottetown. They feature creative meals made with local ingredients in one of the coolest settings in town. We ended up eating here three times, trying a variety of dishes such as their Seared Halibut with Jalapeno Crema, Summer Linguini with Hazelnut Pesto, and their PEI Blue Dot Sirloin. In addition to the amazing food, they also have one of the best cocktail bars in the city, something we always love to see. But perhaps even cooler than the restaurant is their three-bedroom Inn, which is located on the top floor. We’ll talk about that in our “Where to Stay” section but it’s one of the coolest rooms we’ve ever stayed in, anywhere.
Founders’ Food Hall & Market
Another great low-key place to find some food is the newly opened Founders’ Food Hall & Market, which blends together a taste of urban and rural flavours from sea and farm. It’s located near the waterfront and offers a variety of different food vendors and artisans selling everything from hot sauce to hand-made goods. The facility is quite huge and is licensed so you can easily buy food from different vendors and sit down with a beer. We decided to take a break from meat and opted for a vegan burger from Lil’ Darlings, which was actually quite delicious.
Ice Cream from Cows Creamery
Rated as one of the top 10 best ice creams in the world by Reader’s Digest, you can’t come to the island without trying some of the ice creams from Cows Creamery. We recommend eating the ice cream off of one of their freshly made waffle cones. For those into souvenirs, they have quite the gift shop as well. As an added bonus, you’ll find Cows Creamery all over the island. We tried it in Charlottetown.
Where to Stay in PEI
Prince Edward Island is a popular place to visit and there are all sorts of places to stay across the island, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and even lighthouses.
Slaymaker and Nichols
If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you read about them in this article as they have one of the top restaurants in Charlottetown. Well, they also offer some of the coolest guestrooms we’ve ever seen. Located on the top floor of the restaurant, all three guestrooms are exquisitely designed with a sort of old-fashion Equestrian-Style decor that is timeless, traditional, and classic. Everything from the paint to the pillows to the stunning gold-trim bathrooms is a work of art. Each room even has a record player with a selection of records ranging from The Beatles to the Tragically Hip. We had the opportunity of staying in both the General Scott Guestroom and in the Mlle Caroline Guestroom, both of which are throwbacks to the Slaymaker and Nichols Circus that stole the spotlight away from the Fathers of Confederation when they met in PEI more than a century ago. The Mlle Caroline is the largest of the three (and has the coolest bathtub) but the General Scott does have a balcony. Included in the rate is a breakfast Charcuterie Board with French-Pressed coffee or tea.
The Great George Hotel
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay that actually adds to your experience of the island, the Great George Hotel is a perfect place to rest your head in Charlottetown. Not only is it Atlantic Canada’s Premiere Experiential Hotel, but it’s also the hotel where some of the delegates stayed during the birth of Canada’s confederation. Each day at 4:00 PM, the staff give a Historical Walking Tour and on weekday evenings, there’s a free beer and wine tasting event. Our hotel “room” was basically an entire loft-style apartment and one of the nicest places we’ve ever stayed. We had a jacuzzi tub, a stand-up rain shower, in-suite laundry, and a full kitchen. Oh, and there are endless amounts of fresh chocolate chip cookies. Need I say more?
Cavendish Maple Cottages
I really can’t imagine a better place to stay in Cavendish. Whether you’re travelling with your partner, friends, or your whole family, these cottages are perfect. Nestled amongst trees, open fields, and farms, this is a good place to relax and enjoy the PEI vibe. The cottages also have full kitchens, which is helpful for those wanting to save money on food. They also come with a fireplace, flatscreen TV, and a jacuzzi. There’s also a heated pool and hot tub on-site, as well as soccer nets and a playground for the kids. I really can’t stress enough how lovely these cottages are. They’re also a 2-minute drive from Green Gables Historical place!
West Point Lighthouse
There are not many places in the world where you can stay in a lighthouse, so this place is quite unique. We stayed in the Tower Room during our visit, which is the only room that’s in the tower itself. In fact, it’s the same room that would have been offered to guests during the time when it was operated by a lightkeeper. Another unique room is the Keepers Room, which is where the actual lightkeeper and his family would have stayed. However, they’ve now built 13 rooms with balconies that face the water. The people are so friendly and it’s such a special place to stay, not only because of the lighthouse and museum but also because of the views and the beach. The Tower Room and Keepers Room are the most popular rooms simply due to their uniqueness but the views are much better from the newer rooms with balconies. Included in your stay is a light breakfast with things such as toast, cereal, yogurt, and sliced cheese.
The Orient Hotel
If you happen to find yourself in the charming little town of Victoria-by-the-Sea, then we can highly recommend staying at the historic Orient Hotel. Established in 1900, this historic summer hotel now operates as a bed & breakfast featuring seven guest rooms & suites with water views and private baths.
Nature Space Resort & Retreat Centre
During our recent visit to PEI, we were scheduled to stay here but a family emergency popped up and we had to cancel our visit to Nature Space Resort. However, it’s high on our PEI Bucket List for the next time we come because where else in Canada can you stay in a REAL Mongolian Yurt? Yes, they actually imported all the materials from Mongolia! But in addition to the cool accommodation options, they also offer a number of activities ranging from yoga, kayaking, and more.
PEI Tourism and What to Do Next
We’ve been to Prince Edward Island a number of times now, often spending 5-7 days on the island and wishing we had even more time. Canada is not usually thought of as a beach country, but PEI may just change that. From red and white sandy beaches to rolling sand dunes, history, and delicious cuisine, Prince Edward Island is one of the top summer destinations in Canada.
Wondering what to do next? There are many things to do around Prince Edward Island, so here are some articles to get you started!
- Things to Do in New Brunswick
- Things to Do in Nova Scotia
- Things to Do in Newfoundland
- Things to Do in Quebec
- Newfoundland’s Viking Trail
- Things to Do in Halifax
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