Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province both in size and population. With only 5660 square kms (2184 square miles) and just over 140,000 residents you might think it’s not an essential stop on a tour of Canada’s Maritime provinces. That would be a big mistake: PEI, as locals call it, has a variety of attractions that make it one of Canada’s most popular vacation spots, particularly for families. Many people who visit PEI choose to rent a holiday cottage in the Cavendish area near the center of the island and use it as a base for exploring the island. It’s small enough that one can drive from Cavendish to one end of the island and back quite easily in a day. This means it’s better to simply base yourself here than need to pack up your things and move to a new destination each day.
PEI has branded itself as The Gentle Island for good reason. The landscape is composed of gently rolling green hills famous for their tremendous fertility that accounts for PEI’s other tag – The Garden of the Gulf. If you enjoy driving through bucolic scenery, past fields of grains, vegetables (especially potatoes) and pastures where horse, cows and sheep graze then this is the place, but that’s only part of the attraction. As an island PEI is surrounded by water on all sides. Whether it be red sandstone cliffs topped with scenic lighthouses, sandy shallow and warm beaches backed by some of the largest dunes in Canada or quiet coves with colourful fishing boats tied up to the wharves, PEI’s coastline is constantly fascinating.
PEI has a unique place in Canadian history as the Cradle of Confederation. The idea of a united country was born in the provincial capital of Charlottetown in 1864 when delegates from a number of British Colonies met to discuss merging to create an entirely new country – Canada, which happened in 1867. Ironically, PEI was one colony not to go along with the original proposal, but later joined in 1873. For visiting Canadians and students of history in general, a walk around Charlottetown’s historical area to visit Government House, where the talks took place, is an important pilgrimage.
More known worldwide are the stories of Anne of Green Gables, which have been enjoyed by millions who are drawn to visit the spots where author Lucy Maude Montgomery placed her red-haired heroine, Anne Shirley. Although the books are works of fiction, there are many areas in the Cavendish area that are readily identifiable including Green Gables house which is a popular place for Anne aficionados to get married.
As mentioned, Cavendish is a popular spot to use as a base for touring the island, but most of its attractions are much closer at hand including Prince Edward Island National Park. The park is a combination of beaches, huge sand dunes, offshore islands and sheltered coves. It is home to the warmest ocean waters north of the Carolinas and is a magnet for families who can alternate between relaxing at the beach and enjoying the park’s water by canoe or kayak or hiking one of the many gentle trails.
Golfers know PEI as one of the best, friendliest and cheapest places to play in Canada. With 28 courses to choose from including top 100 courses Links at Crowbush Cove and Dundarave there’s a course for golfers of all abilities and budgets.
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Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We donât want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.
Price ranges are quoted in C$.
See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
$ => Tickets less than $5 per person
$$ => Tickets $6-15 per person
$$$ => Tickets $16 per person
$ => Rooms less than $100 for a double
$$ => Rooms $101-200 for a double
$$$ => Rooms $201 for a double
$ => $1-20 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$ => $21-40 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => $41 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
N/A => Not applicable
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-30 per person