Fun things to do in Prince Edward Island right now

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Canada’s Prince Edward Island is not exactly off the beaten track. When Canadians want to escape to the east coast, they will likely head to this tiny island province, with its Anne of the Green Gables history, colorful mansions and beaches with natural arches carved into the sandstone cliffs.

But the point is, PEI’s peak season runs from June to August. During shoulder season, like, say, September through November, you basically get the 120 mile long island – and that’s not even the only reason it’s the best time to visit.

You can see colorful leaves floating on red dirt roads, you can dig into amazing farm-fresh foods like lobster rolls and oysters at the Fall Flavor Festival, or let yourself be spooked by ghosts in a haunted mansion. Plus, if or when you visit in the fall, all of these adorable lighthouse-like cabins are available for booking. Hell, maybe I just persuaded myself to go back for another trip.

Charlottetown
Fly to Charlottetown. | Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

How to get to Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island had some of the toughest pandemic restrictions in Canada, but it has since opened up to international travelers (along with the rest of the country) and is working to revive its tourism industry. If you choose to fly (the nearest airports are in Charlottetown, Moncton, and Halifax) you will need to follow Canada’s travel restrictions, including being fully vaccinated, taking a Covid test in advance, and completing the form. in line. ArrivalCAN form.

If you are driving (easy for you Mainers, but it’s about 10 hours from Boston, if that puts it in perspective), keep in mind that you will have to cross the 8 mile Confederation Bridge, which costs $ 48.50 CAN (US $ 37.85) round trip for a normal car, paid on departure.

In any case, you will also need to register for a PEI Pass, however you enter.

greenwich dunes
The Atmospheric Greenwich Dunes Trail | marevos / Shutterstock imagery

Go leaf gazing and hike

Prince Edward Island is beautiful and the crimson, green and neon yellow maple leaves drifting in the fall take it to another level. Descend tree-shaded roads where iron-infused earth has oxidized to red, or cruise along the Atlantic Ocean for a beautiful coastal road.Tourism PEI even has a useful card.

But the best way to discover PEI. is to stand on its own two feet. The Greenwich Dunes Trail, part of Prince Edward National Park, is a 2.7 mile jaunt that takes you through a swamp, past huge sand dunes, and ends at the beach. Other fun hikes include the 15 mile trail system along the river in Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park and the path behind the Anne Museum, the house of green gables known as the Balsam Hollow Trail – and I don’t recommend it just because it’s my last name.

Can’t decide which hiking trail to take? Go around the whole island with the freshly marked Walk on the island, a 32-day, 434-mile walk inspired by the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Or hop on a bike and cycle the 180 miles Confederation Trail on the old railway tracks.

rocks of thunder cove
Teacup Rock is just one of Thunder Cove’s many red sandstone formations. | COSPV / Shutterstock

Explore the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is known for its white and red sand beaches fringed by sandstone cliffs. Don’t let the generally cold fall weather put you off. Beaches are all over Prince Edward Island, but some of the most popular are Brackley Beach, which is closest to the capital, Charlottetown, and Cavendish Beach. When in doubt, take any road that leads to the sea and find your own secret beach. Whatever floats your goat!

Did I just say goat? You can have fun with the adorable bearded mammals on a beach every Saturday (until October 24) at Beach goats. Believe me, this is not your average petting zoo.

west point lighthouse
Beetlejuice atmosphere at West Point Lighthouse. | Vadim.Petrov / Shutterstock

Make yourself crawl (on purpose)

Let’s face it, Prince Edward Island’s historic buildings are beautiful, but they’re also pretty spooky if you think of all the people who lived there and died there. Fortunately, the province is embracing its spooky side this Halloween season with the Scarecrows in the city festival in Charlottetown, which features ghost rides, wagon rides and mystics in the park.

Other spooky adventures include exploring the abandoned theme park The Great Island Science & Adventure Park, the Haunted house in Kensington, and the terrifying Route 6 Motel.

For a bit of fall fun that doesn’t lift your spirits, there’s pumpkin and apple picking on farms across the island.

lobster fishing boats
Tasty lobsters caught here. | Yingna Cai / Shutterstock

Harvest festival

Prince Edward Island prides itself on being “Canada’s Food Island”, and the harvest season is undoubtedly one of the best times to take advantage of it. Fall Flavor Festival from September to October 14, there are tons of tantalizing – and cleverly named – events like Oystoberfest, and Clammin ‘and Jammin’. If meat of land origin is more what you are looking for, the month of September Burger Love Festival offers buns stuffed with a really unhealthy (but tasty) amount, like Thirsty chef‘s “Whole Shebang”, with beef, steak, pickles, cheddar, bacon, cremini mushrooms, vegetables and sauces.

Fancy a good meal? Blue mussels coffee in North Rustico is popular for a reason: try the lobster thermidor and seafood chowder. Lobster Barn offers you that quintessential dock experience with lobster rolls and Prince Edward Island potato fries.

Prince Edward Island may be small, but it has a surprising number of craft breweries, distilleries, cider houses and wineries. Among them are Upstream brewery in Charlottetown, Domaine Rossignol Cave, Riverdale Orchard and Cider House, and Deep Roots Distillery for his absinthe, October seems to be a suitable month to hunt a green fairy.

But no trip to Prince Edward Island is complete without attending a local music performance, and the place to do so is at Music room at the edge of the trails, which serves robust meals in front of top Canadian musicians — Great Big Sea’s Séan McCann and Joel Plaskett performed recently.

Calling all fans of Anne, the House of Green Gables. | Unsplash / Carl Campbell

Where to stay in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is home to some of Canada’s most beautiful and historic hotels and bed and breakfasts, but they are usually fully booked in the summer. However, you should be luckier in the fall, and some fun places include West Point Lighthouse Inn, which was built in 1875 and has a pretty spooky vibe. Other unique places are Around the sea, a hotel that rotates 360 degrees throughout the day for an equal view of the ocean, and Dalvay by the sea, a very special Canadian national historic site for Anne of the Green Gables fans because he’s featured in multiple film adaptations.

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Joel balm is a freelance journalist and travel guide writer whose work can be found in National Geographic Travel, Time, The Guardian, Planet alone, and Travel + Leisure. Follow it @joelbalsam.



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