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What To Do in PEI: 7 Ideas for Summer

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 Prince Edward 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 kilometres 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 kilometres 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 kilometre 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 – Photo credit: fussball_89 on Flickr

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 now been playing for over 50 years.

"Anne of Green Gables House"

Anne of Green Gables House – Photo credit: Peter Dutton on Flickr

6. Go 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 – Photo credit: Melissa Roy on Flickr

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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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 33 Comments

  • Christy says:

    Okay, I’m sold. Lobster, beautiful scenery and beaches – that is my ideal trip.

  • Jennifer says:

    I agree with Christy! I love that first photo of the fields in bloom and then you really had me at lobster. Oh, how I miss lobster!

  • Sounds lovely, but in courtesy of ignorant Europeans a map would have helped:) Is it on the same latitude as France or does the Google map cheat and make the climate seem warmer than it is?

  • John says:

    Number 8: Pie- all sorts of pie everywhere.

    Can’t believe you didn’t include pie. In fact, it battles lobster for number 1. They have terrific pie makers and I loved eating all the different types of pie. Blueberry, Raspberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream etc etc. In case you didn’t know, PEI is actually PIE mis-spelled.

  • Ana says:

    I’m completely sold. It looks like my ideal day and that lobster looks delicious.

  • Roberta Loufek says:

    This is someplace I have been yearning to visit since seeing the film “Anne of Green Gables”, then reading the books. Lovely. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    • @Roberta If you’ve followed Anne – and I certainly did when I was a kid – then the island really comes to life. Hope you make it there one day soon.

    • Carol says:

      Anne of Green Gables unfortunately was filmed in ONTARIO not PEI. PEI is much more beautiful. Read the books and go to the authentic sites and put that Ontario travesty behind you. PEI is a wonderful place, is on the same latitude as Bordeaux, and has the warmest water for swimming north of the Carolinas and a wonderful climate in the spring and fall.

      • @Carol Thank you for that info. Fortunately if you’re in PEI you can still see the musical every summer. I have swam on numerous occasions off the beaches f PEI and agree that it’s very warm.

  • Beautiful PEI! I’d do them all. That lobster looks delicious, so I’ll take one and either some strawberry or blueberry pie.

  • Yes, I’m sold too! Will definitely put this on my bucket list for when we can finally do that round the world trip :) Some great photos too. BTW, thanks for commenting over at my blog, ZigaZag earlier x

  • I’ve always thought Prince Edward island looked interesting and you have just confirmed it…I’d also love to compare the taste of your lobster to our crayfish!

  • Life Images by Jill says:

    what a fabulous island! thank you for taking me there! I wish I lived closer so I could visit.
    Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by my blog today.

  • santafetraveler says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to PEI, but we never made it. We came close when we spent a few weeks in NS including a week on Cape Breton years ago. It was magical. Hope we get there someday.

  • Sophie says:

    We were in Prince Edward Island in autumn a few years ago and absolutely loved it. My oldest daughter even thought about doing a term at uni there, but the selection of courses was a bit limited. This was in October, so naturally there were gorgeous colours, a bit cold for the beach, and quite a few attractions were closed. But we had lobster, visited Anne of Green Gables, stopped by the most adorable fishing villages (just to look, not to fish:) ) and just ambled about Charlottetown.

    • @Sophie It sounds like you were a few weeks to late to catch the musical Annie. I bet your youngest would love it. I always love to see places ablaze in fall colours but to me PEI is at its finest when it’s a hot summer day and you can enjoy the beach and sit outside to eat lobster and drink wine.

  • This reminds me of some of the parks we have along Lake Michigan with the dunes and wetlands.

  • Jane says:

    Just happened to stumble upon this and so nice to see such lovely comments about my childhood home :-) We still have family there, own a cottage on the south shore that we spend time at every summer and look forward to retiring there in the not *too* distant future. I encourage you all to visit one day, it truly is beautiful! Thanks for the positive review “Hike Bike Travel”

    • @Jane Thank you for taking the time to comment. What a great place to return to every summer. WE did meet up with friends one night and they provided the beautiful lobster you see in the photograph.

  • Rebecca Meador says:

    Going in September. Having a family reunion on the family farm. Most of us have never been. Our grandfather immigrated to Massachusetts in the early 1900’s. Can’t wait to see everything.

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