The Beauty of Prince Edward Island
The Canadian Atlantic Provinces worked together during the summer months dealing with the Covid Pandemic so that anyone outside this area had to isolate, allowing for those within this ‘bubble’ to explore locally. Instead of international destinations, locals took to discovering what was around them. A road trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island is merely a short three hour drive–or so, either passing through New Brunswick to cross over the Confederation Bridge or via ferry from Caribou, Nova Scotia.
Prince Edward Island, or ‘PEI’ as most Canadians call it, is notably famous for its red soil, potatoes and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables series. A visit to PEI isn’t complete without a stop at one of its many beaches, a Cows ice cream, a trip to the fictional village of Avonlea, set in and inspired by Cavendish, or a walk around the capital city of Charlottetown. During a summer road trip throughout the smallest Canadian Province, Here & There highlights a few iconic areas worth noting.
The island itself is merely 225 km long and ranges from 3-65 km in width. Needless to say, getting around doesn’t take too long leaving much time to explore on a short weekend getaway.
Something to always consider when travelling somewhere new is finding spots that locals recommend. In Prince Edward Island, it wasn’t hard to imagine that most suggestions would be an influx of various lighthouses and beaches. So, with all the recommendations, here are a few highlights to note during a quick week-end excursion to the Island.
Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Driving from Halifax with a short drive through New Brunswick, the Confederation Bridge brought us to the part of the island where Cabot Beach Provincial Park is located. A quick stop to put our feet in the water, we wandered out into the water to a small sand area covered with large blue lobster claws–the gulls eat very well here! This beach was quiet, had soft, white sand and warm waters. What more could you ask for?
Prince Edward Island National Park
Run by Parks Canada, the Prince Edward Island National Park is a series of beaches (seven to be exact) on the North side of the Island. You could spend an entire day lazing in the silky soft, white sand or, take a break from sunning to hike one of the many trails–there are over 50km worth of cycling and hiking trails to explore as well as a floating boardwalk that lead to the tallest dunes on the island. The PEI National Park added six kilometres of the Greenwich Peninsula to the Park in 1998 to help protect some of the largest and most unique dune formations on the island, as well as rare plants and animals and archaeological findings that date back 10,000 years.
Green Gables / Avonlea
Located in Cavendish and also operated by Parks Canada is Green Gables Heritage Place. This tourist attraction is definitely a must for anyone who is a fan of the books. During open hours, you can wander throughout the house that was inspired by L.M. Montgomery and take a walk through the Haunted Wood or a stroll down Lovers Lane. Nearby, you will find the Avonlea Village which is set to resemble the fictional village of Avonlea and offers restaurants and shops, including an Atlantic favourite, PEI Cows ice cream.
There is no better way to explore a city than to just walk around. Charlottetown is a small city that is perfect for wandering. We suggest parking the car and going on foot. Our first stop was the Founders Food Hall & Market which included a variety of food and local artists booths including P.E.I. Dirt Shirt and Oh Hey PEI. Continuing towards the waterfront, you might note some public art which is part of the Art Walk. There are more little shops along the waterfront–mainly tourism shops featuring PEI-made gifts, as well as another Cows ice cream shop. Walking up Queen Street, head into The Kettle Black for a quick coffee or lunch. We recommend the avocado toast!
Imagine a beach with warm waters, beautiful red stone cliffs and natural structures to climb through and you have Thunder Cove. There are no signs to direct you here but eventually you find a dirt road lined with cars parked on the side. There is a small trail to walk the top looking down with worn down grass in areas that are suitable to climb down to the sand.
By Aleyah Solomon