Conveniently connected to Nova Scotia by ferry and New Brunswick via the Confederation Bridge; Canada's smallest province is known for its vivid colours, rolling landscapes, miles of pristine beaches and red sandstone cliffs. It couldn't be easier to combine PEI with a tour of its neighbouring provinces on our Maritime Magic Treasures driving holiday. Yet despite its recent nomination as one of Canada's natural wonders, Prince Edward Island isn't just about glorious scenery.
A Prince Edward Island holiday offers more than 80 authentic PEI experiences that let you participate in the local culture; imagine catching and cooking your own lobster or learning an Acadian step dance. These are the experiences that let you walk in our shoes and take home a piece of our lives. In addition, this small island claims 10 of the Top 100 golf courses in Canada. A Prince Edward Island Short Break is the perfect way to dip a toe into the culture.
Families can enjoy their own private playground. PEI is especially good for a family motorhome holiday, like our suggested Enchanting Maritime Coastal route. The Confederation Trail alone offers 250 miles of exploration with a new wonder at every turn. For water babies, the Island is a kayaking and boating dream, with countless inlets to discover. And when you've worked up an appetite, you can savour culinary masterpieces from the multitude of award-winning chefs. Or, create your own with a host of food experiences from the Culinary Trail or Flavour Trail to the International Shellfish Festival, and dozens of events at the annual Fall Flavours Festival.
One of the islands' most popular attractions is the birthplace of Canadian Confederation, Province House National Historic Site which stands as one of Canada's iconic landmarks. Visitors can learn the story of how Canada became the great nation it is through guided tours, displays and an audio-visual presentations.
Anne of Green Gables is of course set on Prince Edward Island. The musical, now the world's longest running annual production at 51 successive seasons, is a story that has touched the hearts of readers around the world and the novel has sold more than 50 million copies. The story has been translated into more than 20 languages and adapted into feature films and highly successful made-for-TV movies.
Prince Edward Island National Park, Greenwich was developed to protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources found in the area. The site contains an extensive and fragile coastal dune system, wetlands and various natural habitats in which numerous rare plant species are found. Among the most spectacular natural characteristics to be protected at Greenwich are the unusually large and mobile parabolic dunes. This phenomenon is very rare in North America.
Things to do
Popular Prince Edward Island holiday ideas
Top tips for visiting Prince Edward Island
Top Tip 1
• Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s oldest settlements. We recommend visiting Province House in the capital, which is one of Charlottetown’s most important landmarks and a designated National Historical Site. The birthplace of the Canadian Confederation and the seat of Prince Edward Island's provincial legislature since 1847, visitors can learn about the site’s history and the current Legislative Assembly through guided tours, displays and an audio-visual presentation.
Top Tip 2
• As a culturally rich province, a holiday to Prince Edward Island would not be complete without spending time at Stanley Bridge Hall, a popular venue hosting a variety of performances. One of our favourites is the Ross Family Ceilidh who fill the room with non-stop singing and dancing for two hours – you will be tapping your toes all the way back to your hotel!
Top Tip 3
• The Confederation Centre of the Arts is another cultural centre located in Charlottetown. It is open throughout the year and showcases the best in Canadian visual and performing arts. If you are taking your holiday between June and September, be sure to attend the Charlottetown Festival which features some of Canada's best designers, playwrights, composers, and directors who perform at the Centre.
Top Tip 4
• When Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908, most people could only ever dream of visiting her beautiful home. Today, millions of the book's fans have visited the Island and experienced the land that captivated Anne first-hand. In Cavendish, you’ll find Green Gables Heritage Place, and the author’s Cavendish Home, where her descendants still live. Watch ‘Anne of Green Gables the Musical’ at the Confederation Centre of the Arts and browse one of the several gift shops in Charlottetown to find the perfect Anne memorabilia.
Top Tip 5
• The historical sites in Prince Edward Island are fascinating, but one of the best ways to enjoy the province is outdoors. Along the north shore, visitors can enjoy white sandy beaches, coastal wetlands and over 31 miles of walking trails at Prince Edward Island National Park. The park's protected beaches provide a nesting habitat for the endangered Piping Plover, so keep an eye out for this small, sand-coloured shorebird with striking yellow legs.
Top Tip 6
• For a small province, Prince Edward Island boasts more than 90 sandy retreats, each with their own unique characteristics. Snorkel or swim with seals and porpoises and gain a whole different perspective of the Island in a kayak. One of our favourite beaches is located in Basin Head Provincial Park in the east of the Island. Admire the red cliffs as you stroll along miles of pristine ‘singing sand’ which squeaks beneath your feet! Brackley Beach is a short drive north from Charlottetown and is also worth a visit, particularly when it is high tide because there is still plenty of room to walk along the dunes.
Top Tip 7
• Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Prince Edward Island is home to 34 golf courses, all located within 45 minutes of each other. The season on the Island runs from May to October, so be sure to make time to play in the province voted ‘Canada's Number One Golf Destination’ by ScoreGolf Magazine.
Top Tip 8
• For those who prefer cycling or hiking, the Confederation Trail is 255 miles of gentle gradients with beautiful rolling hill scenery and dramatic seascapes. The trail starts in Tignish and ends in Elmira, but we are certain you will want to stop along the way for a bite to eat in one of the charming villages.
Top Tip 9
• When exploring Prince Edward Island on holiday, you'll be surrounded by miles of rolling farmlands and coastlines dotted with fishing harbours. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the Island’s food industry is the most important contributor to the provincial economy. Prince Edward Island is particularly famous for its oysters, mussels and even potatoes and visitors can choose from a number of ‘field to table’ culinary tours with a range of hands-on food experiences. If you consider yourself to be a foodie, September is the culinary month, with the International Shellfish Festival and over 75 culinary events at the annual Fall Flavours.
If you’d like more information about booking your holiday to Prince Edward Island call one of our dedicated team of experts who will help you plan the trip of a lifetime!