Here’s my list of the top ten things to do on PEI. Bear in mind that my top ten things to do on PEI are heavily influenced by my personality. I love rural areas, people and the simple pleasures of Summer!
Top Ten Things to do on PEI
1. Anne of Green Gables:
Come on, it’s Prince Edward Island. No top ten PEI list would be complete without Anne of Green Gables.
Basically, you should visit Anne of Green Gables house. It’s where the story was set. You’re basically just going to go on a tour of the house, which is small and quaint. The grounds are lovely. Lots of crowds here, and be sure to get your picture taken in the buggy (see above)! It’s run by Parks Canada. If you’re a real LM Montgomery fan, be sure to take the walk across the highway to the site where LM Montgomery lived. The house is no longer standing, but I found it moving to be there. This is included in the admission. Make sure the weather is nice!
If you’ve got kids, you’ll probably want to go to Avonlea Village, too. It ain’t cheap though!
2. Cavendish area:
All of the Anne of Green Gables PEI craziness is in the Cavendish area. So while you’re doing the Anne stuff you should probably see all the touristy craziness that is Cavendish. Be sure to go to Cavendish Beach too. It’s very busy but very nice. It’s the most popular beach on PEI.
Also in Cavendish area are tons of kid-friendly places, like water parks, crazy museums, all kinds of silly touristy fun stuff.
Once you’ve got #1 and #2 out of the way, you’ll have finished with the made-for-tourism part of PEI. Please spend the rest of your visit on PEI exploring the rest of PEI. In other words, please spend the rest of your trip exploring the real PEI!
Yes, Cavendish Beach is the most popular beach on PEI. But guess what! There are lovely beaches all of Prince Edward Island, most of which are similar to Cavendish and totally deserted. Singing Sands (Basin Head) beach in Eastern PEI is also very popular. It’s called the “Singing Sands” beach because the sand squeaks when you walk on it. I didn’t believe it, but we went there last year and it’s true! It’s a very cute beach, with a canteen and it’s very popular with teenagers and kids.
4. Live music and ceilidhs:
Please go see a ceilidh on Prince Edward Island. They are variety shows that include singing and dancing, and they are just a really good time. Look in local newspapers to find out where they are. Or just ask around. They’re everywhere! They can range from being rather touristy to being totally real, where you may be one of very few tourists there. I love ceilidhs! Check out the Buzz Magazine or musician Gordon Belsher’s schedule. My personal favourite ceilidhs are in rural communities, whereas ceilidhs in Cavendish or in more urban areas are more geared to tourists. The less advertised they are, the more authentic they’ll be. But it really depends on what you’re into. Either way, check one out.
5. Spend a day in Charlottetown:
Have dinner, walk around the harbour, get Cows Ice Cream, you know, do the city thing for the day. Lots of great restaurants. Check out Victoria Row. Check out the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market (great place to grab lunch if it’s open). It’s a nice city, particularly by the water and near Victoria Park (nice houses to drive by near Victoria Park).
6. Drive along the coast:
Prince Edward Island is pretty small. Look at the map and start driving. You’ll be amazed at how far you can get in an hour or so. I think it takes five hours to drive from end to end. Please go for a drive along the coast and enjoy the view. Red sand, rolling hills, houses dotting the landscape, this is the real Prince Edward Island. There’s a bunch of recommended coastal driving routes, including Points East Coastal Drive.
7. Have dinner in a small town:
Spread out your map of PEI. Pick a town. Drive there. Meet local people. Grab a bite to eat. Some destinations could be Murray Harbour (Brehaut’s Restaurant), Cardigan (Cape Light Restaurant), Tignish, Victoria-by-the-Sea (Landmark Cafe), Hunter River, Margate (Shipwrights) and much more. (I’d advise planning where you’re going to eat first because sometimes restaurants can be hard to find.) Just ask people for a recommendation!
8. Eco-tourism, arts and crafts:
There are so many interesting home-based artists, bakers, artisans, craftsmen, farms, wineries and more. Just pick up the Buzz Magazine (free, available almost everywhere) and you’ll see lots of artists listed there. There must be a good online directory or something. (If anyone has a good link to share let me know in the comments and I’ll add the link here.)
9. Dairy bars:
While you’re driving, stop by a Dairy Bar (ice cream stand). There are tons in Kensington!
10. Lobster suppers:
Lobster suppers are a PEI thing. It’s a huge dinner. It includes a lobster. The best “experience” you’re going to have is at a place that only serves lobster suppers. Otherwise you’ll just be experiencing a normal dinner, which is nice but not very memorable. We’ve been to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a crazy huge buffet. What an experience! It’s just full of tourists but who cares! I’ve also heard good things about Mary’s Lobster Suppers? I think they’re church-run or something. I don’t think the name is quite right. Sister Mary’s? Something like that. Please correct me!
11. Bonus: Brackley Beach Drive In Movie Theatre
Brackley Beach Drive In — It is what it sounds like. Drive-in movie theatre! The movies are usually pretty bad, but who cares? It’s all about the experience!
Your Top 10 Things to See and Do on Prince Edward Island
For those of you who have ever been to Prince Edward Island, how does my top-ten list compare to yours? What would be your top ten things to do on PEI? What did I miss????? I know, it feels like I barely scratched the surface.