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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

6 reasons to visit Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is one of the three maritime provinces in Canada and also the smallest province being about 5,620 km2 in  in size  and is the world's 104th largest island. Nothing remarkable about these statistics, so then why head to this small Canadian island? Lots of reasons! Keep reading!

1. Channel your inner Anne with an 'e':  If you grew up reading the adventures of Anne of Green Gables and falling in love with Anne's island, then visiting PEI is a no-brainer! There is much to discover to channel you inner Anne. We went to the Green Gables Heritage Place where you can step inside the world of Anne Shirley.  Kids are free and you can get an interactive activity booklet at the visitors information desk to keep their interest piqued.

You can often find Diana & Anne around the property!

Before you step into Green Gables, you can learn all about Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne at the newly built interpretative centre and interactive exhibition. There are also daily tours available, two short walking trails,  and a small cafe where you can get your fill of Raspberry Cordial. Try to spot Anne & Diana as they pop up throughout the grounds!

We followed up our Anne of Green Gables visit by heading over to Avonlea Village, a re-creation of the fictional 19th century hometown of Anne Shirley.  Here you can choose one of the many restaurants for lunch, a snack or special treat or pick up a souvenir.  And if you haven't filled up on enough Anne adventures, you can catch a musical show in Charlottetown as well, check out the details here.

Re-created Avonlea

2. The Beaches: Picture smooth warm sand, red sandstone cliffs, rolling sand dunes, soft blue sky, and white-capped waves. That should be enough of a reason to go to PEI - just to visit the beaches! You can spend your whole time on the island discovering the different beaches and spending blissful days ocean side. You can get into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean for a invigorating swim - but be warned, the warmest ocean water temperatures come in the summer and even then they are more on the chilly side.

3. Golf: With over 15 courses to pick from, the island makes for a great golf destination. Our family enjoyed a couple of rounds at The Links at Crowbush Cove, and as a non-golfer I can tell you that I enjoyed the stunning scenery while I watched my family play.

Golf at the links at Crowbush

4. Oysters & Potatoes:
Ok, not just for oysters and potatoes, but for the overall fresh food that PEI offers! We enjoyed fresh lobster and seafood everywhere we went from charming restaurants in Charlottetown (try Terre Rouge) to an amazing dining experience at the Fire Feast at Inn at Bay Fortune. Starting with a farm tour, oyster hour and a feast served communal style with organic and locally grown, caught and farmed food from the island. It is truly a feats for all of your senses! Book early as it fills up quickly or put your name down on the wait list as we did and see if you luck out! Tip: depending where you are staying on the island, you may choose to stock up on some groceries and your best bet is to stock up in Charlottetown where you will find the most selection.
Where you don't need a reservation and will be a hit for everyone is indulging in in ice cream from Cows where ever you are on the island.
Oysters, oysters, oysters!

5. History, arts and Culture in Charlottetown: 
The capital city of PEI is Charlottetown where you will find shops and restaurants by the water by Confederation Landing and live music while you dine on Victoria Row. Also home to Victoria Park, St Dunston's Basilica Cathedral, and the Confederation Centre of the Performing Arts where you can catch an Anne of Green Gables Musical.
Sit & chat with Canada's first prime minister

6. The slow pace: Come to the island and enjoy life on island time - the Canadian version. Enjoy scenic drives around the island, go light house hunting and see how many you can visit in one day, or just laze around on any one of the stunning beaches. Prince Edward Island is about slowing down and enjoying life on a Canadian island.

When to go

Prince Edward Island is probably best enjoyed in in the mid summer months when the temperatures rise and the island can be enjoyed for all of it's natural beauty.

How to get there:
We were coming in from Halifax and drove over the Confederation Bridge. Our drive form Halifax took about 3 1/3 hours to get Charlottetown.

If driving, consider taking the North Cumberland Ferries from Caribou Nova Scotia over to Wood Islands, PEI. The journey is about 75 minutes long and so easy! Just drive on, park and head upstairs to take in the pretty ocean views, listen to live music or grab a snack or treat from the on board cafeteria. I highly recommend making your reservation online ahead of time.

Air Canada also has numerous flights from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa daily that fly you into the Charlottetown Airport.

Where to Stay:
We chose to make Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort our home for our 3 night stay. The property boasts one of the best golf courses in the country as well as a tranquil setting along the island's North Shore with stunning sand dunes and a long stretch of beach. With almost 50 guest rooms and suites and 32 cottages, it was a no brainer for us to book. We had a spacious, two bedroom cottage with two bathrooms, kitchen and bbq and daily housekeeping. It was the perfect choice for us to spread out comfortably as a family of 5. Bonus: Kids stay, eat and golf for free! Another extra special offer is by Travelzoo, click here to check it out

Another hotel recommendation by one of my favourite family bloggers The Local Passport family was the Delta Hotels in Charlottetown if you prefer to stay in the province's main city.

Other notable accommodations that I would stay at are the historic Dalvay By the Sea and the luxurious country Inn at Bay Fortune (more to come about their Fire Feast!)

Have you been to PEI? Share what your favourite thing to do there is!


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