When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Calm beaches, red cliffs, rolling green hills...
Welcoming fishing villages, fresh seafood, Celtic music...
Prince Edward Island is all that and more!
With just 36,000 inhabitants, Charlottetown is the smallest provincial capital in Canada. It was here that discussions were held in 1864 that led to the founding of Canada. Learn more about this historic chapter of Canadian history at Province House , a national Historic Site. Take a walk down Victoria Row , one of the gems of Charlottetown. This pedestrian street is lined with charming red brick buildings housing an eclectic array of shops and restaurants, whose patios are the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and listen to local musicians.
Finally, take a stroll along Peake’s Warf, the heart of the waterfront, to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Charlottetown.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Season: Open daily from mid-May to mid-October, with full services available in July and August.
Entrance fee: $7.90/adult/day and $6.90/day for seniors aged 65 and over (free for youth aged 17 and under).
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Prince Edward Island National Park is home to sand dunes, stunning red sandstone cliffs and endless sandy beaches. Favourite activities include walking the Homestead Trail (6.7 km), which showcases the natural beauty of the park, or spending some time on Cavendish Beach , the most beautiful beach in the area.
The park also protects a section of the Green Gables Shore , a spectacular scenic route along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. While there, you can discover many sites that pay tribute to Canada's most beloved fictional character, Anne of Green Gables.
Distance (round-trip): 6.7 or 8.8 km (depending if you choose the short or long loop)
Time (round-trip): 2-3 hours
The trailhead is at the entrance to Cavendish campground.
GREEN GABLES HERITAGE PLACE
Cavendish, the gateway to Prince Edward Island National Park, is also home to the farmstead that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery's famous novel “Anne of Green Gables”, written in 1908.
The presence of the red-haired, freckle-faced orphan can be felt throughout the Island.
Open every day from May 1 to October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Avonlea is the fictitious name that Lucy Maud Montgomery gave Cavendish in her famous novel, Anne of Green Gables. Avonlea Village is a re-creation of the fictional 19th century town and features replicas of houses and shops from the time in addition to some heritage buildings, including the original schoolhouse Montgomery taught in! The buildings house restaurants, boutiques and art galleries showcasing delicious food, quaint shopping and local crafts. It's a great place to take a stroll, have a bite to eat and pick up some souvenirs.
Open every day from mid-June to the end of June and in early September from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and in July-August from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
NORTH RUSTICO HARBOUR
This picturesque little fishing village is well worth the detour. To get there, drive to North Rustico and continue straight on Harbourview Drive until you reach North Rustico Harbor . Here, the word “vacation” takes on its full meaning, as you sit on the patio of the On The Dock Eatery, drink in hand, with an unbeatable view of the harbour and a plate of oysters or a tasty lobster roll in front of you!
You can enjoy a bite at the Blue Mussel Cafe next door, buy some souvenirs at Seagull’s Nest Gift Shop, try deep sea fishing with Bob’s Deep Sea Fishing, rent a kayak or bicycle or book an excursion with Outside Expeditions. You could also enjoy a walk along nearby North Rustico Beach, part of Prince Edward Island National Park. And if you feel like it, you can park your car in North Rustico and walk along the North Rustico Sea Walk, a kilometre-long boardwalk along Rustico Bay, leading to North Rustico Harbour.
THUNDER COVE BEACH
Thunder Cove Beach is a hidden gem. While most of PEI’s north shore is known for rolling dunes and wide beaches of fine sand, Thunder Cove is much different. Here the shoreline has been carved by water and wind into the red sandstone columns and cave formations that make this spot so unique. Be careful: as sandstone is fragile and crumbles easily, do not attempt to climb the cliffs. Follow the existing paths to reach the beach, and if you want to see the fabulous sandstone formations, walk to your left when facing the water. There are no signs or directions, but they are easy to find.
You can park right on Thunder Cove Road near the beach, if it's available. If you are travelling by RV is better to park a little further back, on Thunder Cove Road but before the right turn at the end of the road.
To reach Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick, you must cross the Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in the world that spans ice-covered water. The 12.9-kilometre span was officially inaugurated on May 31, 1997. Tolls are collected only when you leave the island, at the Borden-Carleton toll booth. It is said that one of the most beautiful views of the bridge is to be had from the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, in New Brunswick.
A FAN OF LIGHTHOUSES?
Canada's smallest province boasts 63 lighthouses, only a few of which are open to the public. Here is a short list of our favourites:
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
THE CHIP SHACK ($)
Nobody should visit Prince Edward Island without eating some legendary PEI potatoes. Located close to the harbour, The Chip Shack serves tasty hand-cut fries, great for eating alone or in Fish & Chips. Good fast food, prepared with love!
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (in summer).
BLUE MUSSEL CAFÉ ($$)
This seasonal seafood restaurant in North Rustico Harbour, just 30 minutes from Charlottetown, will be an experience that you won't quickly forget! The Blue Mussel Cafe is committed to offering an authentic PEI dining experience, with seafood that is as fresh and local as possible. The menu features a large variety of delicious wholesome meals with no deep-fried food, including classics such as seafood chowder, mussels, oysters, lobster and fresh fish. As an added bonus, the view of the harbour is sublime!
Open daily from late May to early October, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (until 9 p.m. in July-August.)
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND PRESERVE COMPANY ($$)
A wonderful place for a cup of tea, a bite to eat or a fabulous dessert, with a breathtaking view of the picturesque River Clyde. The dining room is open for country breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers attractive dishes prepared using the freshest ingredients. Be sure to try the Potato Pie with maple bacon cream, the Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie, or their homemade ice cream. Pay a visit to the boutique which offers a wide array of handmade preserves and gourmet food items prepared on-site.
Open daily from mid-May to mid-October, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closes later in high season).
ON THE DOCK EATERY ($$)
Seated on the patio of the On the Dock Eatery, facing the superb North Rustico Bay, you'll really feel like you're on vacation, I promise! The menu offers simple, fresh fare with a “From the Sea” section including the famous Lobster Roll (one of the best in the area!), lobster plate, fish tacos and fish cakes, and a “Land” section featuring burgers and quesadillas. If you're a fan, don't miss the locally harvested Raspberry Point oysters or Prince Edward Island mussels.
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This small eatery is located on a floating dock at the Charlottetown marina and offers outdoor seating at tables on the dock. The place is extremely popular despite the short menu, and specializes in wood-fired pizza with a wide variety of original toppings.
GAHAN HOUSE ($$-$$$)
The Gahan House Pub offers a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, delicious pub-style food, handcrafted ales, and great service. The name comes from John Gahan, an importer of teas, wines and groceries and prominent merchant whose place of business was exactly where the restaurant is located today.
CLADDAGH OYSTER HOUSE ($$$)
Claddagh Oyster House has been a local favourite since 1983. In addition to the best oysters from Canada and around the world, the Claddagh offers a constantly changing menu that features the freshest mussels and lobster, premium Island beef, chicken, pasta and more.
Open Monday-Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
THE PEARL EATERY ($$$)
The Pearl is an eclectic eatery located between the fishing village of North Rustico and the Cavendish Tourist Area. Featuring urban food and atmosphere in a serene rural setting, the often-changing menu draws its inspiration from the many farmers and fishers who supply the restaurant with local Island produce. There is a love of detail that shows up not only in the food, but in the creative ambiance.
Open from mid-May to mid-September, Thursday-Monday from 5 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
Where to sleep ?
- Very Favourable