What To Do in PEI: 7 Ideas for Summer

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I’ve been on a holiday to PEI four times now. If you’re wondering what to do in PEI here are 7 ideas for summer – based on the trips I’ve done to the island with and without kids.

Allow at least a week to explore PEI – more if you really want to unwind.

1. Bike the Length of the Island

Prince Edward Island offers up easy cycling. Spend a day on the Confederation Trail - a tip to tip trail on old railway lines or cycle the length of the entire island. It’s only about 250 kilometers long so it’s not as epic as it sounds, especially if you do it at a leisurely pace over the course of a week.

I recommend the following: Grab a shuttle and head for Tignish at the northwestern tip of the island. Before you go pick up a good map and then work your way east on a combination of quiet back roads and the Confederation Trail. Finish in Souris, about 250 kilometers later, and shuttle or cycle back to Charlottetown.

"Fields in flower along the back roads"

Fields in flower along the back roads

2. Walk the Greenwich Dunes Trail

In 1998 Greenwich became part of the PEI National Park because of its large parabolic sand dunes, the endangered piping plover and many rare plants.

Greenwich is accessed via Highway 313 out of the town of St. Peters, only an hour from Charlottetown. Getting to the mostly deserted beach (bring a picnic lunch) requires a 4.5 kilometer round trip hike – and includes a fantastic section of boardwalk. The interpretative center is also worthy of an hour of your time.

"The beautiful boardwalk to the Greenwich Sand Dunes"

The beautiful boardwalk to the Greenwich Sand Dunes

3. Spend a Day on the Beach

There are seven supervised beaches within PEI National Park. Brackley Beach is my favourite with its miles of pristine beaches and sand dunes. These beaches are ideal for those of you with young families. And in the summer the water is warm enough for swimming.

"Brackley Beach in PEI National Park"

Brackley Beach

4. Eat Lobster

Lobster is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of PEI. I remember stopping at little fishing shacks and picking up lobster rolls for lunch. It feels so decadent to do that! Other non-restaurant options are church lobster suppers or you can buy them fresh from the lobster pound.

"Freshly cooked lobster"

5. Visit Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place

If you’ve read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery then you’ll appreciate a visit to the house where the fictional Anne lived. When I was there I was surprised by the number of Japanese tourists visiting – but as it turns out the book is part of the Japanese curriculum. And if there’s a member of your family who is crazy about all things Anne – don’t miss the musical in Charlottetown. It’s in its 49th season this year. The musical goes from July 3rd to September 25th.

"Anne of Green Gables House"

Anne of Green Gables House

6. Deep Sea Fishing

On one of our visits to PEI we spent an afternoon out deep sea fishing. It was fun for a while but what I really remember is how sunny and lovely it was just relaxing on the boat. Mackerel is the fish you’re likely to catch – good for your omegas but not my favourite eating fish. There are giant bluefin tuna out there – but that’s a whole other world I haven’t tried.

"One of the many fishing villages in PEI"

One of the many fishing villages in PEI

7. Go antiquing

PEI boasts an antiques trail. I’ve driven or cycled part of it and in fact came home with an antique pine table after one visit. Even if you’re not into antiques following the trail gives you an excuse to drive the pretty backroads of the island.

What are your favourite things to do in PEI?

Leigh McAdam

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Photo credit: Brackley Beach, Anne of Green Gables, PEI fishing

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