Wondering what are the best things to do in PEI? Keep reading!
One of the three Maritime provinces on Canada’s east coast Prince Edward Island or PEI, as it is most commonly referred to, makes for a unique Canadian trip. It is the smallest and only island province in the nation, measuring only 139 miles long and 40 miles wide, but Prince Edward Island manages to cram a lot of activities into a little area.
When you think of PEI, you might think of Anne of Green Gables. However, the island offers much more than just the backdrop of Anne of Green Gables, with activities ranging from seaside exploration to historical discoveries.
So, without any further adieu, here is the list of the top 15 things to do on Prince Edward Island are listed below.
15 Best Things to do in PEI :
1. Go Light House Spotting
One of the nicest things to do in PEI Prince Edward Island is lighthouse spotting, which is high on many people’s bucket lists for Canada.
There are 63 lighthouses on Prince Edward Island, and all of them were constructed in the middle of the 19th century to guard passing ships against the dangerous seas. Each of these lighthouses have fascinating anecdotes to share for which you must visit them. You’ll be sure to find them in good condition even though they are rarely used for navigation today.
These 63 lighthouses are spread all across the island but we would suggest you go along the Points East Coastal Drive on Eastern Prince Edward Island. You may view these from a distance as only 6 of them are open to tourists in the summer. Interestingly, one of these 6 happens to be Cape Bear, the location of the first Titanic distress call!
In the West Point lighthouse, located in the western part of the island, you even get the chance to spend the night in a lighthouse if. Below, I’ve included a few lighthouses you can visit.
1.1 Lighthouse at Cape Tryon
The inconspicuous wooden Cape Tryon Lighthouse is positioned close to a magnificent sandstone bluff. Here, the first lighthouse was constructed in 1905. The building that stands now is 33.4 meters tall and hidden on private land at the end of an old farm lane that meanders between two hay fields.
1.2 Lighthouse at West Point
The West Point lighthouse, a 20.6-meter wooden structure with a distinctive style, was constructed in 1875 to guide ships over the Northumberland Strait’s western entrance. The West Point lighthouse now provides the uncommon chance to snooze like a lighthouse keeper!
1.3 Cape Bear Lighthouse
The 12.2 m-tall Cape Bear lighthouse, constructed in 1881, is a good illustration of second-generation lighthouse construction. One of the seven Marconi Wireless Stations set up by Marine and Fisheries in 1905–06 is housed there.
Thomas Bartlett heard the Titanic’s initial distress call from this location on PEI’s southeast coast as the ship sank off Newfoundland in 1912.
1.4 Wood Islands Lighthouse
Since its construction in 1876, the 15.2 m-tall Wood Islands lighthouse has served as a crucial navigating aid at the entrance to the ferry docks.
The six-room, two-story keeper’s residence now contains a nautical craft store and the Fishery and Coast Guard Museum, and the operational lighthouse is open for daily tours.
1.5 Panmure Island Lighthouse
Even by itself, the Panmure Island Lighthouse merits a postcard. But the lovely white sand beach it overlooks and the far-off horse pastures only serve to enhance its beauty.
Not only is it the Island’s oldest wooden lighthouse, but it also has a significant history, having guided ships into Montague and Georgetown Harbors since 1853.
1.6 North Cape Lighthouse
As early as 1534, when Jacque Cartier described the perilous rocky shoal, the longest shoal in North America, seamen could see the necessity for a North Cape lighthouse.
It was constructed in 1865 and is one of three such octagonal, wood-framed towers in the Maritimes, along with the lighthouses at Seacow Head and Cape Jourimaine.
1.7 Lighthouse for North Rustico Harbour
The 12.4-meter-tall wooden North Rustico Harbour Lighthouse stands boldly next to charming fishing shacks and the boats it guards.
This bustling fishing hamlet is a much-loved fixture that serves as a constant reminder of the crucial role this light has played in guiding ships through choppy waters.
1.8 Lighthouse at Indian Head
The entire Indian Head Lighthouse, from its concrete foundation to its light, is an octagonal shape measuring 12.9 meters.
It was constructed in 1881 at the end of a long, rocky breakwater that could once be crossed by horse and buggy, but the water has taken its toll on the rocks, making it too uneven to be traveled on foot safely today. Rowboat access is only available to extremely cautious tourists.
1.9 Lighthouse at Point Prim
Since 1845, the Point Prim Lighthouse has assisted ships in navigating across Hillsborough Bay’s southeast entrance at the outer approach to Charlottetown Harbour. Point Prim, the oldest lighthouse on the Island and one of just a few brick-built structures in the nation, stands 18.2 meters tall.
Only two years after completion, the brick was damaged by the hard weather and needed to be shingled.
1.10 Lighthouse at East Point
At the easternmost point of Prince Edward Island, the 19.5-meter-tall East Point Lighthouse has a glass lantern that permits its light to be seen in all directions. This four-story lighthouse in the colonial style was constructed from sturdy lumber and had a charming shingled façade between 1866 and 1867.
Visitors may look far out over the rocky cliffs to where the Northumberland Straight joins the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the top of the tower.
2. Confederation Trail
The Confederation Route, the longest recreational trail in the world, is a 270-mile-long section of the Trans Canada Trail that runs through Prince Edward Island. It has branches that connect it to Charlottetown, the Confederation Bridge, and seaside towns as it spans from Tignish at one end of the island to Elmira at the other.
Regardless of your level of fitness, the route’s gradual inclines make it ideal for cycling or strolling, with lovely scenery along the way. There are several little communities along the Confederation Trail where you can stop and explore farms, marshes, woodlands, meadows, and lakes.
In Charlottetown, you can rent a bike (or an e-bike to cover more ground) throughout the summer and try geocaching, as there are over 1600 geocache locations along the trail. Alternatively, the trail can be used for snowmobiling during the winter, and tours are offered if you wish to give it a try.
3. Go to Green Gables
The 11-year-old abandoned child with red hair who was accidentally assigned to live with her middle-aged brother and sister after they requested a young man to work on their farm has been the subject of stories about Anne of Green Gables for more than 100 years.
The Green Gables Heritage Place, located on PEI’s north shore, looks like a scene off the page with its vibrant interiors and a historic carriage parked outside. It is indeed a feast for the eyes of the visitor!
The home previously belonged to the cousins of novelist Lucy Maud Montgomery, a brother and a sister who served as the model for the fictional Marilla and Matthew. Up to and including Anne’s bedroom in the east gable with her cherished puff-sleeved frock, the interior of the home has been faithfully reconstructed from the legends. You can also take a trip through the Haunted Wood, where the trail’s finish is marked by Lucy Maud’s tomb.
A place called Avonlea is situated there, it is a recreated 19th-century village in Cavendish with copies of the book’s houses and dining options, in addition to Green Gables Heritage Place. Both the Silver Bush home where Lucy Maud was married and the New London home where she was born are now museums. Anne of Green Gables: The Musical and Anne and Gilbert are two Anne-themed musicals that may be seen in Charlottetown.
4. Basin Head Beach and Basin Head Provincial Park
A beach that sings and a museum dedicated to fisheries are situated in Basin Head Provincial Park. Visit here for an outdoor adventure! One of Prince Edward Island’s top beaches, visiting it should be on your list of things to do in PEI.
The “singing sands beach” can be found in Basin Head Provincial Park, which is on Prince Edward Island’s northeast coast. And that’s right! The immaculate white beach sand actually sings when walked on due to its high silica concentration.
Even so, this beach is magnificent and features stunning red rocks, full-service restrooms, showers, and a children’s play area. Visit the Basin Head Fisheries Museum in Basin Head Provincial Park for some indoor entertainment. It features a fantastic collection of fishing artifacts and exhibits and is situated just off the shore.
5. Visit Victoria Row
Victoria Row in the picturesque city of Charlottetown is the place to be if you want to visit some mom-and-pop stores, enjoy a drink on a terrace, or watch a street festival.
With its Victorian red brick buildings, cobblestone streets, and shady trees, Victoria Row, often known as The Row, is one of Charlottetown’s loveliest streets, and visiting this street is one of the top things to do in PEI.
A variety of taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, galleries, and independent stores offering art, antiques, and gifts line the street. There are also a few Anne of Green Gables-related items there, of course. The Anne of Green Gables store at the intersection of Queen and Richmond is mandatory if you want the whole Anne of Green Gables experience; it’s stuffed to the gills with memorabilia and candies.
Victoria Row is pedestrianized from May to October, allowing you to sit outside and have a drink at sunset while listening to street performers. You may also go up to Fishies on the Roof’s rooftop patio bar for views of the city’s rooftops.
6. Explore Cows Creamery
When in PEI, you must try the best ice cream in all of Canada!
Beginning on PEI, Cows Creamery built its first location in Cavendish in 1983. Since then, they have grown across the nation and now operate six locations on the island, including their headquarters outside of Charlottetown, where visitors can take a tour to see how the products are created and purchase their recognizable cow pun t-shirts.
With milk from cows on the PEI, Cows ice cream is particularly creamy and served in hand-made waffle cones. There are more than 30 flavors available, including seasonal specials. Wowie Cowie (vanilla ice cream with toffee, chocolate flakes, and moo crunch) and PEI Apple Crisp were two of my favorites (apple ice cream with apple crumble).
7. Visit The Red Sandstone Cliffs
You’ll notice hints of Prince Edward Island’s distinctive brilliant red soil as you move throughout the island. Visiting the Red Sandstone Cliffs will be one of the fun things to do in PEI.
The island’s sandstone has significant quantities of iron, which oxidizes and rusts when exposed to air, giving the rock its distinctive color. In addition to being excellent for farming, sandstone also creates stunning views, especially when paired with PEI’s lush fields or azure waters.
The red sandstone cliffs of Cape Tryon and Prince Edward Island National Park may be located along the island’s north shore and feature odd and interesting rock formations that glow at sunset. More stunning sandstone views may be found on the south shore at Argyle Shore Provincial Park and Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst National Historic Site.
8. Go to A Small Green Town
Due to the island’s tiny size, you may easily visit a couple of the attractive small communities on Prince Edward Island in a single day. Visit Victoria-by-the-red Sea’s sand beach, go studio hopping, and browse the boutiques selling artisanal clothing, pottery, and jewelry. The Victoria Seaport Museum offers information on the maritime history of the region.
In North Rustico, observe the fishing boats arrive with the day’s catch and stroll along the boardwalk to reach the beach in time for sunset. Drink some wine from the Newman Estate Winery and watch wildlife while strolling along Murray River’s Beck Trail.
Alternately, discover the past and present of Eastern PEI at the Garden of the Gulf Museum in Montague, then have a local beer at Copper Bottom Brewery and drive down a section of the picturesque Points East Coastal Drive, which is 233 miles long.
9. Historic Village of Orwell Corner
The Orwell Corner Historic Village, one of the province’s seven Museum and Heritage Sites, is an excellent pit break on the route from Charlottetown to the ferry to Nova Scotia. You will cherish the experience of visiting this village for the rest of your life. So make sure you include this in your list of things to do in PEI.
The village is a remarkable replica of a rural town in the nineteenth century. Its attractions include a working blacksmith shop, an antique school with a teacher in a hat, and the chance to interact with actual farm animals.
During the busy summer months of July and August, daily activities like candle-making classes and ice cream-making workshops are provided, and guests are welcome to stop by the tea room to enjoy a few delectable treats.
10. PEI National Park
The Prince Edward Island National Park, which lies on the island’s north shore, was created in 1937 to preserve a variety of wildlife and habitats. It is one of the best National Parks in the World. You must definitely add this to your list of things to do in PEI.
There are plenty of monitored beaches available for anyone who wants to unwind, swim, or play in the sand. However, some of the park’s beaches serve as a nesting areas for the endangered piping plover. Visitors can also take advantage of a variety of multi-use pathways, such as the Gulf Shore Way and Robinson’s Island Trail System.
Even though we’ve already discussed PEI National Park, one particular region, Greenwich, merits a separate mention. The largest dunes in the province are located near Greenwich; these sensitive ecosystems are relatively uncommon in North America.
You may explore portions of the 900 acres of dunes at your own pace thanks to an extensive trail system and a floating boardwalk. Then, spend some time unwinding on Greenwich’s soft sand beaches or go to the Greenwich Interpretation Centre, which vividly illustrates the 10,000 years of local human history.
11. Deep-Sea Fishing Excursion
Consider going on a deep-sea fishing trip if you’re wondering what to do in PEI to get out on the water. On Prince Edward Island, there are many deep-sea fishing companies. This will be one of the fun things to do in PEI. You will enjoy this activity.
12. Visit this Charlottetown Venue
Get some tickets to a performance at the Confederation Centre if you want to be entertained while visiting Prince Edward Island.
The Confederation Centre, which is conveniently situated in the heart of Charlottetown, houses a concert hall and an art gallery and frequently organizes theatrical productions, art lessons, and musical concerts. The local theater company is particularly well-known for its yearly Anne of Green Gables musical production. This is a must-see if you’re visiting the island to experience the Anne phenomenon.
One of the Confederation Centre’s most well-liked productions outside of the hall is their continuous “Confederation Players” rendition. These performances, which are walking tours performed by actors decked out in top hats and complete cloaks, inform guests about Charlottetown’s rich past.
They also provide walking excursions with a ghost theme for the more daring!
13. Canadian Potato Museum and Museum of Antique Farm Equipment
The Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum serves as a singular tribute to this extraordinary delicacy and the farmers who have farmed it throughout history. This place is unique, and you will find this among one the top things to do in PEI.
The potato is much more than just a simple tuber. The largest potato sculpture in the world welcomes guests to the museum, where they can explore a fantastic selection of exhibits to discover more about the potato’s past and present. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a bite of potato fudge or another delectable potato dish at the on-site restaurant, and tours are available.
14. Eat Delicious Seafood
Prince Edward Island is well-known for its seafood, which includes some of the best oysters, silkiest lobster, and most delicious clams, scallops, and mussels in the world. The seafood of PEI is one of the best in the world, and I’m sure you will include this in your list of things to do in PEI.
The Claddagh Oyster House in Charlottetown and the Malpeque Oyster Barn on Malpeque Bay both serve delicious oysters. Try the clams at Georgetown’s Clam Diggers Beach House and Restaurant and the mussels at North Rustico’s Blue Mussel Cafe. Or, dine on crispy fish and chips on the Covehead restaurant’s terrace, Richard’s Fresh Seafood.
The lobster feast is a beloved PEI custom. These gatherings, which are still organized as fundraisers, were initially staged to pay tribute to the island’s lobster fisherman. Additionally, you can participate in lobster suppers at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers in North Rustico and New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, which has been serving lobster to the community since 1957.
The PEI International Shellfish Festival is best experienced in the fall if you enjoy seafood. Every September, there are tastings, musical performances, cooking demonstrations, and a record attempt for the longest lobster roll ever made. And if you want to catch your own, you may go clamming and oyster-shelling, go fishing, or both.
15. Confederation Bridge
The 1997-built, 12.9-kilometer-long Confederation Bridge, connects New Brunswick on Canada’s mainland with Prince Edward Island. One of the best things to do in PEI visits this bridge.
The longest bridge in the world over ice-covered seas, this magnificent feat of engineering must withstand the harsh weather conditions in the Northumberland Strait. It is tall enough for cruise ships to pass through. The best experience you will have in PEI is visiting this bridge, and must be in you
Even if you don’t cross the Confederation Bridge to go to Prince Edward Island—which many people do—still it’s worthwhile to go there and have a look. Borden-Carlton Historical Park offers excellent views of the bridge, and if you don’t have a car, a half-day tour* departing from Charlottetown consisting of a stop at the bridge.
We truly hope that reading about the fascinating, enjoyable, and unique things to do in Prince Edward Island was enjoyable for you.
PEI is home to a wealth of amazing tourist sites and fascinating historical details. Excellent chances can be found in PEI’s parks, museums, and other areas. Make travel plans to Prince Edward Island as soon as you can!