Charlottetown PEI Tourist and Visitor Tips
Things YOU GOTTA SEE when visiting Charlottetown and PEI
Day One: From Confederation Bridge To Charlottetown, from the West
On the first day, you approach Charlottetown from the mainland, presumably via the Confederation Bridge, which connects the Island to the Mainland, 22 kilometres apart.
If you have time, you can detour via Summerside (or save this as another leg on the Day Two: Anne of Green Gables tour) which is the gateway to Prince County, the western end of the Island.
At Gateway Village in Borden-Carleton you can fulfill a lifelong urge to have long red braids, as Cavendish Figurines invites you to have your photo taken while dressed as Anne.
The village of Victoria (yes, PEI has one, too, not just British Columbia!) is a quitte little town overlooking the Northumberland Strait
On the way in to Charlottetown, you pass close to Port La Joye and Fort Amherst, which defended the harbour mouth from attack a century or two ago
As you approach the city, you cross over necks of tidal estuary, and through the Town of Cornwall to the south, and after crossing a long bridge, you pass by the campus of University of PEI. (The Trans-Canada now bypasses Charlottetown to the west and north, to get visitors quickly to PEI National Park to the north, but continue straight ahead, and turn right on University Ave)
When you cross Euston street, the street's name changes to Great George St and you pass many historical structures and Charlottetown attractions, and the road ends at the PEI Province House (Legislative Assembly).
Confederation Centre is to the southwest, and St Paul's Church is to the northeast. Behind Province House is popular Victoria Row (with shops and restaurants, including the Anne of Green Gables Store, if you are here for only a day) and behind that is St Dunstan's Basilica Cathedral.
Heading toward the water along Water Street (from southwest to northeast) are Victoria Park (with great views south), Beaconsfield Historical House, the Queen Charlotte Armoury, the Convention Centre, Confederation Landing Park, the marina, and the harbour.
Water Street runs northeast to the Hillsborough Bridge over to Stratford
Day Two: Anne of Green Gables
Today, you can follow in Lucy Maude Montgomery's footsteps:
Drive to Cavendish through the beautiful pastoral farmlands that L.M. Montgomery made so famous in her books.
Your first stop will no doubt be Green Gables in APrince Edward Island National Park. Here you will find preserved the gabled house that inspired the setting of Montgomery's story of the red-haired orphan. Allow lots of time to explore the house and grounds with the Haunted Woods, Lovers Lane, interpretive programs, films on L.M. Montgomery along with gift shops and a snack counter.
Visiting the charming little home in New London that was her birthplace displaying her wedding dress and personal scrapbooks.
Continue on until you come to the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum in Park Corner. Visit with the Montgomerys, relatives of the author and see many artifacts from Montgomery's time spent at this home.
Here also, create your own "Anne" memorabilia with Ribbons and Roses - The Anne of Green Gables "Treasury Experience".
As well in the Park Corner area visit the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush where you will find artifacts from L.M. Montgomery's time spent with at this home of her relatives, the Campbells. Allow time for tea and shopping while on this property at the Shining Waters Craft Shop & Tea Room, which also offers special wedding packages arranged in the parlour where L.M. Montgomery herself was married.
Here also, you can enjoy Matthew's Carriage ride around the Silver Bush property, down by the Lake of Shining Waters or overlooking pastoral farmland on the way to a beach.
In Lower Bedeque visit the Lower Bedeque Schoolhouse where L.M. Montgomery taught school. Look around at the old furnishings, books and written materials.
And in Bideford the local community has restored the Parsonage and opened it as a museum. Montgomery lived there in the late 1800s and the site is also a fund of information on the lifestyle of the era and the Island's shipbuilding industry.
Not to be missed in Cavendish is the Lucy Maud Montgomery's Cavendish Homestead where relatives of the author, John and Jennie Macneill, still reside and offer guided tours of the grounds and the opportunity to purchase books from their bookstore.
Avonlea Village has recreated the type of rural community where Anne lived (music, wagon rides, candy shop and animators in heritage buildings). Keep your eyes peeled in the Cavendish area, as Anne and Diana are often seen greeting tourists and performing small vignettes.
In early August, the L.M. Montgomery Festival is in full swing with special events taking place that are tied to the author and her famous fictional character.
Finish your tour in Charlottetown, spending the day touring the craft and gift shops looking for the perfect Anne memorabilia. (Watch for the tags that confirm the
product has been officially authorized by the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority.)
The Anne of Green Gables Store probably has a complete selection of Anne-related goods
Right next door you will find the Anne Chocolates store, and next door to that you can join "Anne and her friends" for tea, as they present a "concert to raise funds for the African mission."
Purchase tickets to Anne of Green Gables - the Musical (TM). Canada's longest running family musical is presenting its 38th season at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, and the show never fails to draw large and appreciative audiences from mid-June to mid-September.
Best Anne Buys:
- Straw Hat with braids already attached
- A Bend in the Road CD-ROM
- Raspberry Cordial
- Anne of Green Gables Society Memberships
- Anne Chocolates
- Matinee tickets to Anne of Green Gables - the Musical(TM)
- Paperback set of the first three Anne books
- Anne dolls as licensed by the Anne of Green Gables Authority
Day Four: From Charlottetown, east to the Northumberland Ferry
Heading North toward Brackley Beach, and Rustico you can easily spend a day--or a week--at PEI National Park, known for its red sand beachs and red cliffs facing the Gulf of St Lawrence. There's also a summer Drive-In theatre there, to make your evenings more fun.
If you head east to Souris, you can catch a Ferry to the Magdalen Islands (or Iles de la Madeleine), which are French-speaking Islands that are part ofthe Province of Quebec, in the middle of the Gulf of St Lawrence. The islands are as famous for their windsurfing and kitesurfing, as for their remoteness. The crossing takes 5 hours each way, so check the Ferry Schedule, and plan to stay at least one day/
Heading East from Charlottetown you drive through Kings County, where there are a number of small coastal villages and towns you pass through, each with their unique charm, history, shops, and restaurants. On the way to the Ferry, you'll pass through Stratford, Vernon Bridge, Orwell, Eldon, and Pinette.
At Wood Islands (yes, plural) you can catch the ferry back to the mainland (all tolls are paid getting OFF the Island, whether on bridge or ferry). Check the Northumberland Ferry schedule beforehand, so you have time to check out the lighthouse and other attractions near the ferry dock before leaving PEI.