For a truly unique Canadian travel experience, consider visiting the beautiful and breathtaking island and province of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), considered Canada’s “Gentle Island,” which is also the country’s smallest, yet one of the largest and most interesting and dynamic in terms of culture, heritage, beauty, scenery, and recreational activity. In fact, P.E.I. is considered one of the most beautiful locations not only in Canada, but also throughout North America and the world. Some people even say Prince Edward Island is like a second Ireland, with its comparable greenery and famous potato crops.
Whether you’re seeking a quiet and relaxing vacation or one filled will plenty of activity, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for in Prince Edward Island. Besides its spectacular beauty, scenery, and landscapes, Prince Edward Island is renowned for its quaint charm found within many of its small towns; its rich and interesting history, particular regarding capital city Charlottetown; its abundance of festivals, concerts, musicals, and theater; its vast array of impressive, stunning, and largely unspoiled beaches, striking red sandstone cliffs, brilliant green fields, and lighthouses; the chance to tempt your taste buds with succulent seafood such as lobster and oysters as well as potatoes; and, of course, Anne of Green Gables, which brings many tourists to P.E.I. from all over the world. In fact, Anne is so popular in Japan that there exists special charter flights from Japan to Charlottetown (and back again) simply to allow Japanese fanatics to visit the Anne of Green Gables-related attractions in P.E.I.
Many fans of the beloved classic books (written by famed author Lucy Maud Montgomery) and movie Anne of Green Gables come to Prince Edward Island to visit Cavendish, situated in the heart of what is called “Anne’s Land” near the province’s north coast, and home to the setting for Montgomery’s Anne books and the famous Green Gables house, Montgomery’s childhood home.
Cavendish is also home to Avonlea village, now a historical amusement park, Cavendish Boardwalk, Cavendish Red Trolley, as well as Cavendish Beach, which boasts a vast 40-kilometer coastline of pristine white-sand beaches in Prince Edward Island National Park, another favorite attraction for local Islanders as well as tourists and visitors. Activities associated with Cavendish include hiking, biking, swimming, sailing and other forms of boating, bird-watching, golfing, museum-visiting, and shopping.
Anne lovers will also want to take the time to indulge in a performance of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical during their stay in Prince Edward Island. This musical is performed regularly as the highlight of the Charlottetown Festival, an annual summertime event occurring between May and October, celebrating the arts through art exhibitions, many musical and theatrical performances, and other entertainment. Anne of Green Gables: The Musical is performed at the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown, which houses three theaters, an impressive art gallery, a library, a restaurant, a few boutiques and shops, and also offers guided tours for tourists.
Other attractions in Prince Edward Island that fans of Anne of Green Gables would appreciate include Lucy Maud Montgomery’s birthplace located in Clifton Corner, which features the author’s wedding dress, scrapbook, and other artifacts; the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush; and the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum.
In addition to all the attractions associated with Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island is also renowned for its many beautiful lighthouses the litter the coastlines—15, in fact, that are publicly accessible to both locals and visitors; many more that are private and inaccessible. Three popular lighthouses that are definitely worth your while to visit include Wood Islands Lighthouse, Leard’s Range Front Lighthouse, and West Point Lighthouse, which is situated near a B&B, a restaurant, and a museum.
Prince Edward Island makes for a fantastic tourist destination basically any time of year because its moderate and mild climate, thanks to the nearby Atlantic Ocean’s warm currents. Spring is a great time to visit P.E.I. if you’re mostly after scenery because the province is in full bloom with its flowers, plants, and trees, and very green fields. Fall is also quite beautiful with the vast array of colors, and winter is milder in P.E.I. than other parts of Canada, allowing locals and tourists to actively participate in some fun winter activities, such as cross-country skiing (a local favorite) and snowmobiling. However, summertime is still a favorite season for many visitors to the Island, which allows them to take advantage of the many beaches as well as the summer festivals and events.
Because the economy of Prince Edward Island is largely dependent on the province’s agricultural industry, dining in P.E.I. is a recreational activity in and of itself. Prince Edward Island is most famous for its crops of potatoes and for its production of seafood. The potatoes, comparable to those of Ireland, are known internationally for their quality and taste, and are so successful due to the abundance of P.E.I.’s rich, red soil. Because of its proximity to the ocean, P.E.I. is also famous for its seafood, most notably lobsters and oysters, as well as mussels and fish such as flounder, mackerel, and cold. Other oft-cultivated foods in P.E.I. include grains, turnips, and berries. Make sure to take some time to sample some of Prince Edward Island’s fine cuisine. The Island offers many locations where you can take advantage of its famous lobster suppers (usually comprising rolls, salad, chowder, mussels, and dessert in addition to the lobster), particularly at St. Ann’s Church Lobster Suppers, Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, and New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.
For getting to and around in Prince Edward, you can opt for traditional transport such as flying, driving, and shuttle bussing (no train service available), but if you don’t take some time to try one of the ferry services, such as the one traveling to and from Wood Islands (located southeast of Charlottetown) and Caribou, Nova Scotia, you’ll surely be missing out. The Confederation Bridge, which essentially links Prince Edward Island to the rest of Canada, is considered one of P.E.I’s most notable attractions, as it stretches 13 kilometers long and is well-known as world’s longest, uninterrupted bridge.