I’m back! For our summer vacation this year my husband and I decided to stay in Canada and check out the Atlantic coast. We both grew up right on the Pacific coast so we thought it would be neat to see the other side of the country. I’d heard so many great things about Prince Edward Island and was excited to have an entire week to check it out. After flying into Ontario and visiting with my family for a few days, we left the kids with my parents and flew to PEI.
As long time readers here know, I like to write a post like this one after each of our trips to help others who are maybe organizing and planning a similar vacation and of course to really just help me remember everything about our trip. If you’d like to read about my other vacations I’ll include the direct links at the bottom of this post for you.
So Prince Edward Island is amazing, let’s just start with that. It did not disappoint. What a beautiful province that also happens to be an island! PEI, the smallest Canadian province, is not very large with only about 150,000 people living on the entire island. I have so much I want to share about this lovely place, so I’m just going to get to it.
We stayed in Summerside, a community of about 16,000 on the south side of Prince Edward Island.This was a good central location for touring various locations around the entire island.
The motel we stayed at was called Clark’s Sunny Isle Motel and we choose this one based on the many positive reviews it has been given. It wasn’t fancy but it was super clean with a decent price which made me happy. Unfortunately it wasn’t right on the beach but it did have a lovely 15 minute walking trail through the trees to get to a very private breathtaking beach!
Next time though I think I would really like this view right from my room window, wouldn’t that be nice? :)
Lobsters and Potatoes
Everywhere you go, two things are for certain on PEI, lobsters and potatoes. Rows and rows of potatoes are planted and grown by farmers wherever you look and fresh lobster can be found at pretty much every restaurant. Both are delicious! While technically not allowed on the Paleo diet, I have found that limited potatoes don’t bother me (I follow the diet to keep my Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation down) so I did enjoy them while I was there especially the hand cut fries.
As for lobster, I actually only enjoyed one lobster supper there because while it was delicious, the price was a little much for me considering how little meat you get from one.
I did try Mussels for the first time on this trip and really enjoyed those by the bucketful :)
Beaches and Red Sands
Well let me tell you, because the province is an island there are beaches galore everywhere! Oh my, I was in beach heaven. Every day we checked out two or three new beaches, I just couldn’t get enough.
Each one so unique in it’s own way. I was absolutely fascinated with the red sand that you’ll find on many of PEI’s beaches. It was so different than anything I’ve ever seen before.
Unfortunately I was freezing though most of the time I was on the island and this is how I basically looked every single day. So cold!
While the temperature was a nice 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) on most days, the cold wind coming off the water was chilly! Brrr. We had one day where the wind died down for us and I was able to walk into the water up to my waist. I wasn’t brave enough to swim though, the water was cold y’all!
Sea Glass Obsession
Okay this was something I totally knew nothing about. While visiting the shops I found out about sea glass and instantly fell in love with it’s beauty. When we were told that one of the best beaches for finding sea glass was Souris beach on the east side, I knew we had to go there.
After finding a few tiny pieces I quickly became obsessed with wanting to find more. It was so much fun!
Thankfully beach combing is also something that my husband enjoys so we literally spent hours searching for gems. Locals tell me that sea glass is so much harder to come by now then it used to be but it was still fun to find a few pieces even if they were really small.
Boardwalks and Lighthouses
With so many beaches on the island comes plenty of beautiful boardwalks for me to photograph. This has quickly become another obsession of mine.
I love the anticipation of walking a boardwalk or sandy path knowing that on the other end will be a magnificent ocean view. The ocean is my happy place and I’m so thankful I was able to visit one this year in my own country.
PEI is also known for it’s many lighthouses. They really are beautiful to see.
Anne of Green Gables
Of course no trip to PEI would be complete without visiting the site of the Anne of Green Gables house which of course we did. Green Gables is a Parks Canada Heritage Place that has become famous around the world as the inspiration for the setting in Lucy Montgomery’s classic tale of fiction, Anne of Green Gables.
The house and grounds have been restored and decorated as Montgomery described in her novel, and depict a typical Prince Edward Island farm of the late 1800’s. Since I am such a huge fan of the book, it was really neat to see. This was my favorite room, I need a yellow chair like this one in my life!
We also took in the Anne of Green Gables Musical at the Charlottetown Centre of the Arts which is a definite must see. It was an excellent musical with very talented actors playing the various roles.
Driving Prince Edward Island
Since the province is only about 224 km long and from 6 to 64 km wide, we spent a lot of time driving the coastal routes to take in as much as we could. You could pretty much drive from one side of the island to the other in just a few hours or less.
While I prefer to plant myself on a beach with a good book, that is not my husband’s idea of a good time on vacation. He loves getting in the car and exploring the land. Since the weather wasn’t so cooperative for sun bathing, I was okay to tour around. We drove around the entire province (except for the most northern tips) stretched out over a number of days. Much of the stretches of road are right alongside the ocean so it was an absolutely stunning drive to say the least.
So as many of you know I love me a good gift shop. I’m pretty sure I talk about them on every travel post…ha! But it’s not the tourist trap gift shops that entice me, it’s the unique locally crafted artisan shops that thrill me. There are so many of these around the island that we would just randomly stumble upon on our travels. I love seeing what the locals make and I have to say there are some very talented people that live there!
When we were in the Souris area we found out about a local artist that makes stunning jewelry out of sea glass so of course I had to visit her shop. I purchased a lovely piece of jewelry in remembrance of my late Gramma who so generously paid for our trip.
To get off the island of PEI, you can either fly, take a ferry or cross over the ocean using the Confederation Bridge to the province of New Brunswick. The bridge, which opened in 1997, is 13 kilometers long (8 miles) and took approximately 4 years to build. It is the world’s longest bridge over ice-covered water and it takes approximately 12 minutes to cross.
So even though there is a fee of $46.00 to cross (you only have to pay leaving the island), my husband really wanted to do it. I’m glad we did though and the lunch we had on the other side was delicious. And of course now I can say we’ve been to New Brunswick as well :)
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip. Have you been to PEI yourself or planning a trip there? I highly recommend it…you most definitely should really go…just be sure to bring a sweater or two with you :)
My other vacation posts: