Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada. Regardless of its size though, it’s packed with history, beauty and charm – especially its capital city. Ready to explore? Here are 10 things to do in Charlottetown on your next vacation…
10. Hit the trails
Here, abandoned railway lines are transformed into epic walking trails. The Confederation Trail is great for exploring by bike or foot. The trail itself is over 450km and spans across the entire Island. Pass over colourful bridges and stop for a picnic along the water. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
9. Eat all the ice cream
Is there anything more Canadian than COWS Creamery? OK, maybe maple syrup, but COWS comes real close. COWS started in PEI in the 1930’s and now has 12 store locations across Canada. So really it wouldn’t be a trip to Charlottetown without a visit to try their cheese or ice cream… or both.
8. Explore storied streets
There’s something about the cobblestone streets and beautiful red-brick buildings that screams Charlottetown. Victoria Row is the place to be to experience all of that in more. It’s great for shopping, tasty restaurants, quaint cafes, and most importantly people watching.
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7. Shop at local farmer's markets
When in Charlottetown town, do as the locals do. Spend your Saturday enjoying the welcoming atmosphere of Charlottetown Farmer’s Market. Shop for local produce, fresh seafood, handmade artisan gifts, and sample local delicacies. Mini doughnuts, freshly baked berry pies, and poffertjes – delicious Dutch mini pancakes you just have to try.
6. Visit historic buildings
Charlottetown is full of history and incredible architecture. Immerse yourself in the Gothic art of St Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral. Check out Government House, where PEI’s Legislature has met since 1847. And most importantly, Province House National Historic Site. The birthplace of Canada’s Confederation. Keep your eyes peeled for Confederation Centre’s Players too. Decked out in historic costume including those of the Founding Father’s, they know a thing or two about Canada’s past.
5. Walk along the waterfront
Take a stroll down Peake’s Wharf Historic Waterfront. There are plenty of places to grab a bite or drink on the patio overlooking the scenic harbour. Plus if you visit in the summer you’re almost guaranteed some free live music every single night.
4. Visit the red sandy beaches
Surrounded by rugged coastlines, Prince Edward Island has tons of sandy beaches to explore. And some of these beaches run a deep red hue. Argyle Shore Provincial Park is likely one of the closest red sandy beaches to the capital. Spend the day with your feet in the sand taking in the beautiful rich colours hugging the ocean.
3. See the horse racing
Often referred to as the Kentucky of Canada, PEI takes horse racing very seriously. So it would be rude not to watch a horse race while in Charlottetown. Visit the historic Red Shores venue for live harness racing, full buffet dining options, and a casino right in the heart of the city.
2. Eat fresh Atlantic lobster, because why not?
Prince Edward Island is known around the world for it’s incredible seafood. From oysters and mussels, to prawns and lobster, there are plenty of places to get your fix of fresh Atlantic seafood. Particularly when it comes to lobster. Dave’s Lobster is perfect for that lobster roll hankering. If you’re looking for more of an epic once-in-a-lifetime lobster feast, check out Fisherman’s Wharf for all the fixings.
1. Take a trip to Anne of Green Gables
No trip to PEI is complete without visiting Anne of Green Gables! Cavendish is just a 30-minute drive away from Charlottetown and is the place that first inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write her best selling novels. Take a step back into time and learn more about the red-haired orphan girl who has become such a beloved character for so many around the world.