Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (or PEI) is one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. It is Canada's only island province. It is the smallest province by both area and population, but is also the most densely populated province, mostly owing to it not containing vast expanses of sparsely populated land in the north.

Cities

Towns

Other destinations

Understand

"The island", as locals call it, is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches and dunes and potato fields. It is also the home of the gregarious Anne Shirley from Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables. It became the "Cradle of Confederation" after the Fathers of Confederation met there in 1864 to discuss the possible union of five British North American colonies. Canada was formed three years later in 1867.

PEI is recognised for its red soil and sand that emerges from the break down of red sandstone. The high iron content of the sand gives it its rusty colouring and prominence. As the islanders say, "There are no white dogs in PEI."

Red clay beaches of Prince Edward Island

Get in

By car

Being an island, PEI has limited access by car.

By boat

There are a number of car ferries to PEI:

Throughout the summer months, cruise liners stop in Charlottetown for one day visits.

By plane

Prince Edward Island is served by a single airport in Charlottetown (IATA: YYG). The following airlines operate passenger flights into the airport:

Get around

Non-metered taxi service is available within the city limits of Charlottetown and Summerside, as well as in most large communities. Most taxi companies are willing to provide transportation to rural areas of the island as well but be prepared to pay a higher rate for this service.

In 2005, the city of Charlottetown introduced a new public transit system that provides bus transportation at a cost of $2 to various locations around the city. Although the service does not extend very far beyond city limits it does provide fast, reliable transportation to most locations within them. There is little intercity public transport: T3 on line Charlottetown-Kensigton-Hunter River-Charlottetown

In the summer cycling is popular. Although most roads do not have wide shoulders or designated bike lanes, drivers tend to be quite courteous to cyclists. The landscape consists mostly of rolling hills; there are few steep hills to climb. Additionally, the Confederation Trail stretches from one end of the island to the other. Built on a disused rail bed, the trail has low grades and is reserved for cyclists and pedestrians. Cycling maps, sample itineraries and other cycling resources are available from Tourism PEI, MacQueen's Island Tours (based in Charlottetown), and Atlantic Canada Cycling.

Outside of walking, hitchhiking or cycling, a vehicle is almost mandatory to travel the island, especially in winter.

See

Greenwich dunes and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Tourism in PEI often focuses on beach, seafood, music and the Anne of Green Gables House which seems especially to appeal to visitors from Japan, for whom this is the third or fourth most popular destination in North America (after the Grand Canyon and Banff, Alberta and often ahead even of Niagara Falls).

Do

Sports

The PEI Rocket are a major junior hockey team. They have had a few players play in the NHL or AHL. Former Rocket Maxime Lapierre plays full time for the Vancouver Canucks.

Churchill Arms FC is an amateur men’s soccer club out of Charlottetown. They stand-ins for PEI at the BMO Canadian National Soccer Championships in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) have teams in both the Atlantic University Sport division, and the Canadian Inter-university Sport division. Teams involved in UPEI include Men and Women’s soccer, Women’s Rugby, Field Hockey, Men and Women’s Basketball, Men and Women’s Hockey, and Swimming.

Buy

During winter and early spring (January-May) most stores remain closed on Sundays although all essential services are available. Between the end of May and December, stores are open on Sunday. Given the island's large tourism industry, there are many, varied souvenir shops all over. Some of the more impressive are Prince Edwards Island Preserves in New Glasgow, Vessy's Seeds in York and The Dunes in Brackley. These shops carry locally produced art work, food and clothing items.

Eat

In recent years, Prince Edward Island has seen a tremendous improvement in the quality of its restaurants. The traditional tourist restaurants serving boiled lobsters with all-you-can-eat coleslaw still exist, and can be a lot of fun, but those looking for a more refined or exotic meal now have several options.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Groceries

If you choose to cook your own meals at a rental cottage or a camp site there are a number of large grocery stores located around the island. Atlantic Superstore (locations in Charlottetown, Summerside, and Montague) and Sobeys (locations in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, Stratford, and West Royalty) are the largest grocery stores in the province, and both carry a wide selection of staples as well as international imports. Sunday shopping is currently in effect for the summer season, and will be in place until further notice. Also, there are two Walmarts in the province, (locations in Charlottetown and Summerside.)

Drink

The legal drinking age in Prince Edward Island is 19. Bars, clubs and liquor stores will typically ask for a government-issued ID from anyone who looks under 25. Retail alcohol sale on the island is restricted to the government controlled PEI Liquor Commission. Their stores carry a reasonable selection of wine, beer and liquor.

Sleep

Go next

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