A beginner’s guide to Prince Edward Island
Last summer we shared our beginner’s guide to Nova Scotia – and now it’s time to introduce you to one of Atlantic Canada’s other great provinces: Prince Edward Island.
Aptly nicknamed the Garden of the Gulf thanks to its calming landscape, Prince Edward Island is one of the best provinces in Canada if you’re looking to relax and get away from it all (while still having plenty of outdoor activities to sample). Here’s a quick guide to get you started!
Things to do
Explore its capital
Prince Edward Island only has two urban areas, one being the capital of Charlottetown. It is however only home to 34,000 people and you’ll find church turrets punctuating the skyline rather than skyscrapers. When visiting Prince Edward Island this will likely be your base for exploring the wider island and it’s well worth taking a day to wander around (especially in the evening when the sun sets over the harbour).
Visit the Anne of Green Gables house
Anne of Green Gables is a classic piece of Canadian literature, and deep within the Prince Edward Island National Park you’ll find the very house that inspired the book. Here you can wander through the Green Gables House, stroll around several museums, and take an afternoon walk along the Haunted Woods and Balsam Hollow trails as described in the book.
Listen to sand sing
No, you didn’t misread that. The sand found along Basin Head is a unique white silica sand that makes a “squeaking” noise when walked on. The cliffs also boast a beautiful red hue thanks to the high iron concentration that oxidises upon exposure to the air.
Technically the Acadian Forests stretch across Atlantic Canada and into New England – but they’re every nature lover’s dream no matter which state or province you are in. The Acadian Forest Region is actually a combination of the Northern Hardwood and Boreal forests – creating a unique blend of hardwood and softwood trees found nowhere else on earth.
Play a round of golf
There are 27 golf courses on Prince Edward Island. Which is no surprise given the natural beauty of the island – the island is also small enough that it’s not impossible to play more than one course in one day.
Food & Drink
With a landscape barely touched by urban development and the Atlantic Ocean right on its doorstep, it’s no surprise that Prince Edward Island is a world of wonders for foodie travellers. The island is very proud of its farm-to-table ethics, where any dish you eat could have easily been caught or harvested only 10 minutes away from the restaurant. They are also a variety of food tours and experiences on offer for anyone who wants to learn more.
Seafood is especially popular with lobster, oysters and mussels on almost every menu. If it’s vegetables you prefer, then you’ll find potato farms everywhere you turn. Potato farming is actually one of Prince Edward Island’s primary industries (McCain chips originated on Prince Edward Island!) and you’ll even find a potato museum!
If you also enjoy a good tipple, you’ll love the several wineries and distilleries on the island. They range from fruit wine, to craft beers to local vodka (again, the potato industry) – and most offer tours.
Getting there and getting around
Prince Edward Island is best when slotted into a wider Atlantic Canada itinerary. Halifax in Nova Scotia offers direct flights to the UK that only take 6 hours. After landing you can then take an internal flight to Charlottetown, hop on the PEI Express Shuttle, or hire a car and drive across the Confederation Bridge (or hop on the ferry). Top tip: when leaving the island via the Confederation Bridge you’ll be asked to pay a toll-tax.
The island is only 120 miles long, and you can easily explore it in a week – no matter your mode of transport. The pace of life is much slower on Prince Edward Island and is somewhere where you’d even be encouraged by the locals to slow down your car and take in the view.
Other important information
- Prince Edward Island’s tourist season is during our summer – if you go outside of the summer month you’ll find some attractions aren’t open
- Prince Edward Island is in the Atlantic Time Zone and is four hours behind the UK
- They use the Canadian Dollar, which you can obtain in most Barrhead Travel branches and on our website