Prince Edward Island

The Smallest Canadian Province Off the Eastern Coast

Prepare for a love affair with Prince Edward Island, Canada’s most rural province. Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a land of quaint rural communities, rolling hills, and great seafood. But most importantly, the island is the setting for Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s world-famous novel. Follow in the footsteps of red-haired Anne Shirley as you visit Cavendish and Prince Edward Island National Park.

Then head to PEI’s red sand beaches, considered among the finest in Canada. This pretty island is the stuff that dreams are made of. Scroll down to learn more!

Prince Edward Island Facts

  • Capital: Charlottetown
  • Area: 5,660 sq km (2,190 sq mi)
  • Population: 142,907
  • PEI is a small island with a lot of mussels. It accounts for 80% of Canada’s mussel production. 
  • PEI’s fertile red soil is the result of iron oxide, which rusts when exposed to air.
  • Thanks to its iron-rich soil, the island produces more potatoes than any other Canadian province. 
  • The Island Hymn was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who made the island famous with her novel “Anne of Green Gables.”

Prince Edward Island Map

Located on the east coast of Canada, Prince Edward Island is surrounded by the warm waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. On the map, you’ll find PEI between the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Northumberland Strait separates PEI from the mainland. The capital city of Charlottetown is found on the south shore of the island.

How to Get to Prince Edward Island

Most international travelers fly into Charlottetown Airport with direct flights from Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, and Ottawa. The airport also serves connecting flights from Boston, Detroit, and New York. Major airlines flying to the province are Air Canada, Delta, and WestJet.

Prince Edward Island Confederation Bridge

If you’re driving, you can reach PEI via Confederation Bridge — the world’s longest bridge over ice-covered water —  from New Brunswick. Alternatively, you can take a car ferry ride (operated via Northumberland Ferries) that departs from Caribou, Nova Scotia. 

Prince Edward Island Weather

Edward Island Buildings Colourful buildings

As one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces, PEI welcomes you with a mild climate. Thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the province has hot summer days and warm summer nights. During summertime, the temperature ranges from 20°C (68°F) to 32°C (90°F). Beach lovers can expect water temperatures of 20°C (68°F) in July and August.

Beach lovers can expect water temperatures of 20°C (68°F) in July and August.

Spring temperatures range from 8°C (46°F) to 22°C (71°F). In the fall, temperatures are similar to those in spring but with cooler evenings. That said, make sure to bring a good warm jacket and clothes you can layer to adjust to varying temperatures.

Winters tend to be crisp with temperatures ranging from about -3°C (27°F) to -11°C (12°F).

Prince Edward Island in Winter

Prince Edward Abandoned House

Sure, summer means beach time and warm evenings, but there are lots of reasons why you should consider visiting PEI in winter too.

In the wintertime, PEI is less crowded than in summer and the sun still shines. The province is known for crisp winter days perfect for exploring PEI’s sights. Then, of course, there are plenty of exciting winter activities such as snowmobiling, skiing, skating, and snowshoeing.

The Confederation Trail in winter

The Confederation Trail one of the world’s best cycling routes turns over to snowmobilers in winter. This 449 km (279 mi) trail runs the length of the island through picturesque countryside and small towns. Pastoral landscapes look even prettier under a fresh blanket of snow, and your pictures will look amazing. 

The Best Things to Do in Prince Edward Island

From searching for Anne of Green Gables to swimming in the ocean and golfing, Prince Edward Island will keep you busy for days. To help you plan a weekend getaway or a longer trip, we’ve selected the best things to do on the island all year round. Let’s take a look!

1. Get Lost in the World of Anne of Green Gables

Green Gables house in Prince Edward Island

Green Gables House

If you want to see real-life places that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, then head to Cavendish, the author’s home town. Discover Green Gables House and its Victorian surroundings, which reflect the book with great accuracy. And who knows? You might even see the red-headed orphan Anney Shirley fluttering about the house.

Whether you’re a fan or not, Green Gables will steal your heart. In 1937, the house became part of Prince Edward Island National Park and is now preserved as a historic site.

"[Anne is] the dearest and most loveable child in fiction since the immortal Alice."

- Mark Twain

For true Anne fans, we recommend visiting the L.M. Montgomery Birthplace just outside of Cavendish in the town of New London.

Once you come back to the capital city Charlottetown, check out Confederation Centre of the Arts that runs Canada’s longest-running musical “Anne of Green Gables - the Musical.”

Visit Prince Edward Island and see Anne’s house on our unforgettable St. Lawrence River Cruise in Quebec.

2. Cycle the Confederation Trail

The Confederation Trail in Price Edward

The Confederation Trail

Fancy yourself a biker? Then grab a map at the nearest tourist office and discover lots of trails of various difficulty levels. The most popular route is the Confederation Trail, which runs from tip to tip across the island. The route follows an old railroad and reveals superb views of rolling hills, bucolic villages, and coastlines.

The flat and well-maintained Confederation Trail is perfect for bikers of all fitness levels.

Cyclist at Gulf Shore Parkway

The Gulf Shore Parkway

If you seek the road less traveled, get out on the route from Brackley to Dalvay in the PEI National Park. This cycling trail features the famous red sandstone cliffs of Cavendish and is perfect for families with kids. 

3. Go to the Beach

Cavendish Beach in Price Edward Island

Cavendish Beach

You can’t come to Prince Edward Island and not visit one of its gorgeous beaches. With 1100 km (684 mi) of shoreline, the province has some of the best beaches in Canada. To take in red sands, head to Cavendish Beach or Cedar Dunes. These reddish coastlines become even more vibrant when the sun sets over the ocean.

These reddish coastlines become even more vibrant when the sun sets over the ocean.

Singing Sands Beach

Singing Sands Beach

Longing for warmth? Discover Singing Sands Beach at Basin Head Provincial Park. There you’ll find the warmest waters north of Florida. The white sand is known for singing when you walk on it. It’s an ideal place to go for a long swim or shore up your seashell collection. 

4. Visit Lighthouses

West Point Lighthouse

West Point Lighthouse

For fantastic views over the island and its red shores, climb to the top of a lighthouse. With more than 60 lighthouses, PEI invites you to feel like a lighthouse keeper. We recommend stopping at West Point Lighthouse, which serves as a museum, a restaurant, and an inn. If you love the story of Titanic, you must visit Cape Bear Lighthouse, where the first distress signal from the Titanic was received.

If you love the story of Titanic, you must visit Cape Bear Lighthouse, where the first distress signal from the Titanic was received.

Each lighthouse tells a different story and will teach you a lot about the past of the province. Just don’t forget to bring your best camera! The views will make your jaw drop.

For detailed information about lighthouses, visit the official Prince Edward Island tourism page.

5. Go Golfing

Prince Edward Island Golf Course

The Links at Crowbush Cove

The province of Prince Edward Island is small but has big golf ambitions. Considered the world’s best undiscovered golf destination, PEI has more than 25 amazing golf courses. Whether you’re a novice or a professional golfer, you’re sure to find a course that fits your taste.

Considered the world’s best undiscovered golf destination, PEI has more than 25 amazing golf courses.

One of the best things about PEI golf courses is their eye-caressing views. Play golf on the shore or nearby a river. For sweeping ocean views, make sure to check out the Links at Crowbush Cove and Belfast Highland Greens. While the first one is an 18-hole challenge overlooking north shore dunes, the second is a 9-hole delight built on the historic Lord Selkirk Park.

6. Enjoy Lobster Supper

No trip to Prince Edward Island is complete without tasting its famous lobster. Prime lobster seasons are spring (May-June) and fall (August-October). For an unforgettable dining experience, choose New Glasgow Lobster Supper, serving since 1958. Gorge on saltwater boiled lobster served in the shell with clarified butter. All meals include appetizers, salads and desserts. It’s a food feast you won't soon forget!

FAQ

What Travelers are Asking About PEI?

Beach lovers will want to come in July and August when the weather is warmest and water temperatures are perfect. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in spring or fall when the weather is still pleasant and perfect for hiking and cycling.

During the winter, enjoy the crisp air and see another side of the province. The season is perfect for thrilling activities such as snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.

The province is best loved for Green Gables, golf, and gorgeous sandy beaches. Moreover, PEI is a great culinary destination offering world-class seafood. After a day spent adventuring on the island, enjoy a freshly caught lobster, steamed mussels or champagne-poached oysters.

Firstly, you should visit Anne of Green Gables destinations such as Green Gables Heritage Place and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Birthplace. Next cycle the Confederation Trail in summer or snowmobile on this scenic trail in winter. For a breather, immerse yourself in red sand beaches. Love golf? Check out PEI’s world-class golf courses with stunning ocean views.

Finally, cap off your adventure with an exquisite seafood supper cooked using local ingredients.

With one of the lowest crime rates in Canada, Prince Edward Island is safe for both living and traveling. The province’s people are warm and inviting. 

Yearning for more travel inspiration? Check out our hand-picked tours and activities in Canada and start planning your trip today!