Recently I did a last-minute trip to the East Coast of Canada for a little PEI vacation. If you’ve been following along on my social, I’ve had a busy summer here in Toronto, and I’m finally getting some time to sit down and write about my East Coast adventures I had with Mel of Mel Had Tea.
Even though I travel quite a bit more than the average person, I have done very little of my own country. Partly because I know that my country will always be here for me to explore freely, and easily, but also because Canada is huge and it’s not cheap to hop between provinces.
This summer I decided to head out to Halifax to visit Mel, and she wanted to do a road trip to Prince Edward Island (PEI) for a little adventure. Of course, I was down because I’ve never been to the tiny little island in the East Coast of Canada.
We were only there for a weekend, so here is my advice on what to do with a weekend (or two days) while on a PEI vacation. (I should also mention that PEI gets some nasty winters, as does most of Canada, so this is a summer itinerary. I’d recommend traveling in the summer for a longer list of things to do, and a better chance of good weather.)
First off, there are a few ways to get to PEI, you can fly there, or you can drive from one of the neighbouring provinces and take either the ferry to the island or the bridge. Note that the ferry cost about $80 CAD one way, and the bridge only charges you when you leave and is around $40 CAD.
When you arrive at PEI, locate yourself either near Charlottetown, the province capital, or Cavindish, another area that has a bit more than the rural back roads that mainly makes up PEI.
We rented an Airbnb that you can find here.
First stop, let’s do some beach hopping. PEI has a ton of beautiful beaches to choose from. Our first stop was Brackley Beach. Brackley is located about 15 minutes from Charlottetown and is a popular destination for its sandy beaches and dunes. It’s located within the PEI National Park which means you’ll need to pay the park fee to enter which varies based on time of year.
Full pricing details for PEI National Park can be found here.
After spending some time on the beach, hop in your car and drive about 10 minutes in the park to Richard’s Lobster. This will really be a highlight for any foodie on a PEI vacation. Richard’s is known to be one of the best lobster rolls in the province, you may need to wait in a bit of a line for Richard’s, but I promise it is worth it!
Once you’ve gotten your lobster fix, head back towards Charlottetown with a stop at Island Hill Farms. Mel really wanted to go here, and I thought it be a super lame petting zoo, but it was actually so fun. You get to seriously get up close and personal with all the animals and hang out with baby goats. They also have a great little shop on site with lots of products made from goats milk! Entrance is $10 CAD.
When you arrive back in Charlottetown, clean yourself up from the goat farm, and head for dinner and a bit of brewery hopping. We did two breweries while in PEI, Upstreet, and PEI Brewing Co. but there are a ton around the island if you’re willing to drive to them.
Here is a full list if you want to do the full brewery trail.
For dinner, head to one of the many restaurants in Charlottetown. I opted for a lobster dinner because when else do I have the opportunity to eat this much fresh lobster? There are several options for a lobster dinner, and all are very similar. However, make sure to ask for a lesson on the proper way to do it because I would’ve had no idea if Mel wasn’t there to coach me!
Day two of your PEI vacation and it’s time to hit up some more beautiful beaches in PEI. Start your day with Cavendish Beach. Cavendish Beach is also located in the PEI National Park and stretches for 8 KM. It’s known for it’s beautiful red sandstone cliffs. Spend some time exploring, and relaxing then head off to the land of Anne of Green Gable’s, a Canadian icon in PEI and beyond.
I personally never read the Anne of Green Gable’s book series, so I wasn’t interested in going to the museum/house but you can choose to if you please! It’s definitely iconic here. Instead, we headed to Avonlea Village, a little village they’ve built for tourists filled with cute shops, and restaurants. We explored the shops, and had another lobster roll at Dave’s Lobster, another famous spot for a roll.
After Avonlea, we went to a few more scenic spots including Thunder Cove Beach and walked to enjoy the beautiful red cliffs. Perfect spot for photos!
Lastly, we headed to Malpeque Oyster Barn to try some local oysters. If you can, try and make a reservation, but we just showed up and waited for about 30 minutes. Their oysters are delicious. I bet you can’t eat just one ;)!
This basically brought us to the end of day two by the time we headed back to Charlottetown. However, you may want to head for dinner in this side of the province. Some popular spots are:
If you do head back to Charlottetown for dinner, here are some options to check out:
There you have it, a weekend in PEI! What are some of your must-do things and places in PEI? We obviously couldn’t cover everything so would love to hear your recommendations for my next trip!
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P.S. Shout-out to Mel for taking so many fabulous photos of me while in PEI! If you are looking for a photographer in the East Coast, she’s your gal.