Charlottetown PEI Nearby Towns and Attractions: Central (Queens County)
The 192 kilometre Blue Heron Drive begins in Charlottetown as you head northwest to Prince Edward Island National Park, and circles around Queens County to Summerside, and then a long the southcoast past Borden-Carleton and the bridge to return along the Northumberland Strait, past historic Port la Joye, and returns back to Charlottetown.
Queens County Map
The finest beaches
are located within the boundaries of Prince Edward Island National Park
along the island's north coast. Two of the most popular are Cavendish and Brackley, while the beaches of Rustico Island and Dalvay are more deserted. Dunes shaped by swirling winds rise as high as 65 feet and are the dominant feature of the terrain at Blooming Point. Stanhope Beach is one of Canada's preferred areas for surfing.
Bathed by the warm currents of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, beaches are just one of many reasons why this is among Canada's favorite national parks. Its large tract of wetlands is home to many different species of wild geese including Canada geese, mallards, teal, ring-necked ducks and American black ducks. Bird watchers head for Brackley Marsh where it is possible to observe great blue herons, terns and perhaps even a rare piping plover, one of several endangered species in the park. Free guided events such as beachcombing and bird-watching along with evening presentations are offered throughout the year.
The Drive passes south of Prince Edward Island National Park before heading down to the southern shore.
One of Prince Edward Island's top year-round attractions is Green Gables House, situated in the national park near the Cavendish
entrance. This special abode plays a leading role in the novel Anne of Green Gables, written by Montgomery. Published in 1908, this romantic novel set in PEI has become a bestseller, especially among teenagers the world round. It has been adapted for screen and stage and is performed regularly during the summer at the Charlottetown Festival. Real "Anne buffs" can follow a tour that covers some of the sites from the book, and ends at Montgomery's grave in the Cavendish cemetery.
The Drive leads you through Rustico
where you can enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk that edges the bay and admire the weathered bait sheds.
the road goes through the town of New London, birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Born in 1874, she grew up in a tiny, green-trimmed white cottage that is now a museum filled with Montgomery memorabilia including her wedding dress and original editions of her books.
Then the road passes through French River
, heading back along the coast.
It follows the island's north central coast to Malpeque
, home to the world famous Malpeque oysters. Enjoy nearby Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Pass through the pretty town of Kensington
, with its Saturday famers market at the former railway station's freight shed.
The roadway heads in a southerly direction towards Summerside, the largest town in the western part of the province, and starting point for the Lady Slipper Drive. At this point, the Island narrows to a width of only 6 km, sandwiched between Malpeque Bay
and Bedeque Bay.
Wind south along the shores of Bedeque Bay. nearby Scales Pond
Provincial Park features am 1899 gristmill and the Island's largest
hydroelectic plant built in 1898. At Borden-Carleton, where the Confederation Bridge
leads to the mainland and New Brunswick.
Head eastward along the calmer Northumberland Strait side of the island, past Victoria
, and old shipbuilding community, now turned into pretty artists
colony. Victoria is also home to the PEI Summer Playhouse.
At DeSable you can make a detour to Bonshaw
to check out the car museum before rejoining the drive at Argyll Shore.
Head to the eastern end of Rocky Point to historic Port La Joye
, the first French fortification on the island, which became Fort Amherst under British occupation to protect Charlottetown's harbour.