Seven Reasons Why I Love Prince Edward Island – and Why You Should Visit

I have spent two weeks on Prince Edward Island (PEI) in May, and I still miss this place. Before my visit, I had not met anyone who grew up on Prince Edward Island or heard of anyone who had traveled there. Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces and is the smallest province in Canada in terms of land mass and the population, but travel around PEI is extremely fun and awe-inspiring. Here, I will reveal the parts that I love about Prince Edward Island and why you should visit if you are in Canada.

Charming coastal drive

Who would not like to drive on the coastal highways with oceans on one side and the extended greenish farm fields on the other side? Apparently, nobody. Prince Edward Island has countless beaches, bays, and inlets, and a road trip along the coast delivers appealing scenery at every turn. One can explore the island in three coastal drives: North Cape Coastal Drive, Central Coastal Drive, and Points East Coastal Drive. Each coastal drive has different vistas, seascapes, and culture.

Route 12 to North Cape, PEI
Route 12 to North Cape, Prince Edward Island

I have driven around the island, and the coastal drive on the North Cape is my favorite. The finale took me to the North Cape, where North America’s longest natural rock reef tower over the red sand beaches. This is also where the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence meet, creating strong winds comes from all directions. The panoramic seascapes are so serene and charming that I cannot help but stare.

North Cape, Prince Edward Island, PEI Canada
North Cape, the most northwesterly tip of Prince Edward Island, Canada
North Cape, at the end of Route 12
North Cape, Prince Edward Island

Rich history

Prince Edward Island has some unexpected historical facts waiting for you to discover. Do you know this small Atlantic province is the birthplace of Canada? Canada was born there in 1864 through the Charlottetown Conference. A visit to the Founder’s Hall will take you back to 1864 to learn how Canada started to take shape over that period.

Along the North Cape Coastal Drive, there are several museums in the rural communities for you to learn about Canada’s history and the heritage of the island. One of the most interesting museums in North Cape is the Canadian Potato Museum, which about a 30-minute road trip from Tignish. It features the history of potato farming machinery and agriculture, and potato artifacts. At the door, you can take a photo with the world’s largest potato sculpture.

Canada was born here, in 1864
Canada was born here, in 1864

If you are interested in the discovery of the first nation, visit Lennox Island, the largest Mi’kmaq community in Canada. Take a trip to the Acadian Museum in Mischouche to learn the history and the culture of the French pioneers. For lighthouse artifacts, visit West Point Lighthouse Museum and watch the sunset – it is one of the best on the island. Overall, the history of Canada can be found everywhere on Prince Edward Island.

Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island
Lennox Island, PEI, Canada

Festivals all summer

Summer is when Prince Edward Island comes alive. There are countless sports events, outdoor concerts, culinary festivals, and theater productions on the island. One can get a taste of local lifestyle and learn so much more about Prince Edward Island by simply hitting the musical festival at Homburg Theater in Charlottetown.

If you like plays, the Victoria Playhouse Festival is the best place to visit. The historical Victoria Hall features comedy, drama, and music that display the significance of the island culture. One can also enjoy culinary events like the Indian River Festival and the Summerside Lobster Festival. Other festivals and events can be found here.

Sunset at Cavendish Grove, PEI
Sunset at Cavendish Grove, Prince Edward Island

Fresh seafood galore

If you are obsessed with seafood, Prince Edward Island is a wonderful place for you. With the stunning coastline and blooming fishing industry, Prince Edward Island has a variety of delicious seafood to offer. If you take a stroll along the coast in the early morning, you will spot the fishing boats in the middle of the ocean capturing sea creatures for businesses.

The best way to indulge in a seafood meal is to grab mussels and lobsters from the local fisheries. They are less than half the price as in the restaurants. Find out how to cook mussels and de-lobster yourself, and have them for dinner with PEI potatoes and a bottle of wine at an outdoor seating area. Many restaurants also offer delicious local delicacies, such as lobster dinner, fish and chips, and lobster rolls.

Confederation Bridge

Whether you decide to cross land to New Brunswick or not, you cannot leave Prince Edward Island without checking out the Confederation Bridge. This 12.9-kilometer bridge links Border-Carleton, Prince Edward Island, to the mainland, Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick, and it is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world. This bridge is an engineering marvel, taking four years and costing CAD $1.3 billion to build. It takes approximately 20 minutes to travel across. This bridge has dozens of surveillance cameras, speed limit, emergency alarms and curves to make you focus on the drive. The view of the bridge is the best from the lookout on the North Carleton road.

View of Confederation Bridge in North Carleton, PEI
View of Confederation Bridge in North Carleton, PEI

Lovely islanders
The friendly and trustworthy locals make it a perfect reason to visit Prince Edward Island. Everywhere I went, I was welcomed by locals, and I was invited to their groups for dinner, games, and playing tennis. There are several B&Bs on the island, and for each one I stayed, I was treated as a queen. Not every B&B I have stayed elsewhere had owners who set up a table for me for dinner, share their favorite spots on the island, tell me where to get the seafood, help me find accommodations on my next leg of travel, invite me for post-dinner games, and chat me up like we were old friends.

Under the tourists radar
Prince Edward Island is a less-visited place, and you can totally embrace the serenity this island has to offer. If you venture there during the low-season in May and if you are in the places outside Charlottetown and Summerside, chances are you will have the most attractive sites on your own. Although Cavendish on the central coast can get slightly busy, it does not get quite as packed as the city center in large metropolitan, and you will find plenty of spots to rest and embrace the stunning vistas. In North Cape where I spent the most time traveling, I could count the numbers of oncoming vehicles on Route 12. On Route 14 from the North Cape to West Point, I felt I had wheeled myself into a no-man’s land with a long stretch of coastline on the side of the road. At the East Point, I only saw one traveler walking around the oceanfront, and he left shortly after we arrived.

Why I love Prince Edward Island
Route 14 from North Cape to West Point, Prince Edward Island, CAN.
Basin Head Provincial Park, Point East Coastal Drive, PEI
Basin Head, so remote and we were the only group there

I hope this post shows you how interesting and fun it is to explore Prince Edward Island. Although Prince Edward island is the smallest province in Canada, it is rich in culture and history, and filled with unparalleled natural sites. It provides a great insight into island life and on how the island shape into how the confederation to what it is today.

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Prince Edward Island - Why You Should Visit

Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

32 thoughts on “Seven Reasons Why I Love Prince Edward Island – and Why You Should Visit

  • September 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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    I have heard about this place and always wanted to visit. It looks like you has a lot of fun! I love the sun set picture, it captures a very special moment. Great post!

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    • October 7, 2016 at 7:47 pm
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      Thank you Paula! Prince Edward Island is really beautiful in terms of landscapes and the people. Hope to get to visit there sometime!

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  • September 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm
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    great reasons. We love traveling and will def. be considering this

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  • September 26, 2016 at 6:22 pm
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    Nice pictures. Always wanted to go there.

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  • October 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm
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    Prince Edward Island wasn’t even on my radar of places to visit, and this post just changed that. I love the less touristy, more serene finds.

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    • October 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm
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      Glad this post inspire you to visit PEI. It is an enchanting place to be.

      Reply
  • October 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm
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    This place looks beautiful and tranquil. Love the pictures!

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    • October 8, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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      Thanks Annalize.

      Reply
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  • February 20, 2017 at 8:36 pm
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    We visited PEI a couple of years ago, especially loved Charlottetown.

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  • Pingback: Exploring North Cape - the Most Northwesterly Tip of Prince Edward Island

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  • Pingback: How to Explore Cavendish on Prince Edward Island

  • Pingback: Canada Road Trip: Points East Coastal Drive on Prince Edward Island

  • June 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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    My wife and I love getting seafood. It is awesome there are such great options on PEI. What was your favorite dish that you sampled? In addition, I am a sucker for a great sunset. The picture from Cavendish Grove looked amazing. I am sure it was a wonderful evening taking in the beauty!

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    • June 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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      The lobster is my favorite. I purchased them from fisheries and had some wine and potato with it.How about you? The sunset in Cavendish is amazing but it is the greatest on the North Cape and the West Point.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm
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    Wow! I never knew Canada started in Prince Edward! That’s a really fun fact for me! I visited Victoria Island last year and it was so beautiful! I’ve heard about Prince Edward before but it’s never been on my list of other places to visit in Canada. I always thought it was just a normal quiet town. Now your post makes me want to visit this place! I might spend Christmas in Canada this year, do you know how the weather is during the winter?

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    • June 8, 2017 at 5:18 pm
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      I have never been to PEI in winter but I read the winter there is pretty brutal 🙂 It would be great to visit PEI in the Spring and the summer, so does Victoria Island.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm
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    I haven’t been to the American continent yet, so thanks for this guide of PEI!
    Looking at the name of the island, I thought its somewhere in England or Scotland!!
    Good to know that the islanders were friendly and its still not been exploited by too many tourists!

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    • June 9, 2017 at 3:13 am
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      PEI has many English heritage there and there are many properties on the island resembles English architecture, as if you are walk into the Downton Abbey.

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  • June 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm
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    I used to live in Canada but never made it anywhere near Prince Edward Island but I really wish I did. I had no idea it was the birthplace of Canada, that is really cool. The musical and lobster festivals sound super appealing.

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    • June 9, 2017 at 3:11 am
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      The history in PEI is interesting isn’t it? Prince Edward Island is really beautiful and the lobster there is cheap and delicious.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm
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    Lovely to see the remote beach scenes, it’s always nice when you find a place to yourself like that! I’ve never been to Canada but it’s on my hit list! 🙂

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    • June 9, 2017 at 3:10 am
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      Hope you will come to Canada and check out PEI one day Alex! It is remote and it is a great feeling to have a place all by yourself.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2017 at 7:29 pm
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    Beautiful Coastal drive.Red sand Beach on North Cape is really panoramic and serene. Sunset at Cavendish Grove is stunning and worth watching. Also I would like to have picture of me with Potato scuplture.

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    • June 9, 2017 at 3:09 am
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      I am now regretting with not having a picture with potato scuplture, Yes North Cape is really beautiful and serene, and the road trip is worthwhile.

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  • June 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm
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    There are some interesting facts about Prince Edward Island, Canada here. I had no idea it was the birthplace of Canada through the Charlottetown Conference or that it was the smallest and least populated province. I’d love to visit during the summer when a festival is going on. The Confederation Bridge is an impressive structure and very Instagrammable!

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    • June 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm
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      The Confederation Bridge is marvelous and it will make a great IG photos. Hope you will get to visit PEI one day, it is a beautiful place.

      Reply
  • June 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm
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    I have not heard of Prince Edward Island, Canada before but it looks so lovely. I can see what people must go there for sure. I love visiting places to that don’t get many tourists. That Confederation Bridge of wow that is so very long.

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    • June 10, 2017 at 2:55 am
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      Yes my friends drove cross the Confederation bridge and they said the same, but you got the beautiful view of the ocean and the other side. PEI is a beautiful place and people who went there kept returning.

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  • June 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm
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    I don’t think I had any idea about the Prince Edward Island before visiting this blog. I am glad to know that it is less touristy. I always try hard to find such places that have not been ruined by excessive commercialization.

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    • June 10, 2017 at 4:14 pm
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      Now you found one! Yes PEI is a less touristy place and I hope you get to visit there one day.

      Reply

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