Eastern Prince Edward Island is where you will find “The Natural Alternative”. Miles of white sandy beaches and the natural beauty of our red island roads surround this pristine part of PEI. We pack a big punch for such a small island with adventure around every turn, charm that’s hard to even image and our cuisine is out of this world, PEI will lure you from tip-to-tip. The island's landscape is pastoral: rolling hills, woods, reddish white sand beaches, ocean coves and the famous red soil have given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty.
As islanders we like to share our simple pleasures with visitors and tell a yar’n or two along the way. Most islands are unique and ours is no different from the stories, music, customs, recipes and skills that are passed down generation to generation. Visitors to PEI fall in love with the island way of life and return year after year to unwind and let their worries drift away with the tides…..
PEI has a wide variety of attractions to see and activities to do:Lighthouses - Historic Sites - Confederation Trail - Clam Digging - Buffalo Park
In the east we boast of 50+beaches. We have red sand, white sand and our famous “Singing Sands”. As you explore the east you will be no more than 15 minutes away from a body of water at any given time. In August the temperature range from Min. 9.7°C, Max. 24.3°C, Mean. 17.3°C. During your drives you will find many red dirt roads and most likely at the end there will be a beach of some sort. There are many Provincial beaches across the island and the east brags of 10, some supervised and others are not.
Supervised National and Provincial Beaches
There are two pristine beaches that we brag about in the east and have been in many blogs, magazines and photos. They are Basin Head Beach (singing sands) and the Greenwich National Park and Interpretive Centre. Both these beaches offer miles of long white sand beach and dunes.
Greenwich Peninsula's offers a great long white swimming beach. But the most significant and sensitive feature is the rare and relatively undisturbed parabolic dunes which lie at the western end of the peninsula. Parabolic dunes are U-shaped mounds of fine to medium sand that form near coasts where sand is abundant and there are strong, unidirectional onshore winds. The area also contains an extensive and fragile coastal dune system, wetlands and various natural habitats in which numerous rare plant species are found. Habitats of the endangered piping plover and the rare pleated woodpecker as well as remnant skeletal forests are evident in the area. Greenwich is also noted for its cultural and historical richness. The area contains traces left by the major cultures that have existed on Prince Edward Island over the past ten thousand years, including the first Aboriginal peoples, the Mi'kmaq, French Acadian Settlers, Scottish, Irish and English immigrants. The park has 3 interpretive trails which detail the rich history of Greenwich while visitors experience the natural beauty of the park. The Greenwich Interpretation Centre has 20 exhibits to teach visitors more about the history of the park. Campsites are available at the park, along with beach facilities including washrooms, showers, picnic tables and a lookout tower. Greenwich is eco-friendly, all of the beach facilities are powered by wind or solar energy.
Basin Head Beach entertains us by singing as you scuff your feet. It might seem magical however; the singing is the result of the high silica content in the sand making it squeak underfoot when heated by the sun. The beach is kilometers long with the whitest sand on the Island. A narrow channel running to a small inland pond divides Basin Head Beach. Depending on the tide, water in the channel can be fast moving and many brave locals and visitors like to jump from the bridge and be rushed out to the sand bar at the mouth. This beach is supervised in the summer months and offer essential amenities like picnic tables, showers, and washrooms.
Northumberland Provincial Park is near the Wood Islands Terminal. This large campground has playgrounds, bandstand, basketball court and a volleyball net, along with the essentials of washrooms, showers, laundry and picnic areas. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer. If you like clams this is an excellent place for clam digging and bird watching because of the burrowing cliff swallows in the area.
Panmure Island Provincial an island off the island, connected to PEI by a causeway. The causeway has beaches on both sides one side is a white sand ocean beach with beautiful panoramic views of the ocean, and the other is the sheltered red sand St. Mary’s Bay beach, a prime spot for clam digging. The beach has lifeguard supervision in the summer and a scenic watchtower by the parking area. The provincial park campground has washrooms, showers, laundromat, picnic tables and change rooms. Visitors can go for a tour at the historic lighthouse on the island, the oldest wooden lighthouse in PEI. There is an annual Pow Wow held by the First Nations people, which have a drum band, a sweat tent and crafts usually held the third Sunday in August.
Red Point Provincial Park is mostly used for camping. It has a great beach and just before the singing sands beach. It is not far away from the town of Souris and there are organized activities or special events for the whole family to enjoy throughtout the summer.
Unsupervised National and Provincial Beaches
Brudenell River Provincial Park is a river park in Georgetown Royalty. The park offers activities for kids, along with a playground, kayaking, and canoeing. There is a riverfront walking trail and horseback riding along the beach and through wooded trails. The red sand river beach does not have lifeguard supervision. The park has essential amenities like showers, washrooms, laundry, picnic tables and fireplaces.
Kings Castle Provincial Park is a fairy-tale spot to bring the kids. It has many unique play structures and forts, including statues of storybook characters. Kings Castle is located on Murray River, with an unsupervised river beach swimming area and large barbeque areas. The beach has change rooms, washrooms and a canteen.
Pinette Provincial Park is one of the smallest parks on the island and is a day park with an unsupervised riverside beach, perfect for taking a dip while travelling. The beach has a picnic area, washrooms, and a playground. It is a recommended spot for finding seashells.
Sally's Beach Provincial Park is located in a 40 acre park and very scenic. It is popular with locals and has picnic areas, change rooms and washrooms. The beach is unsupervised day park and a part of the Points East Coastal Drive.
Wood Islands Provincial Park is next to the ferry terminal. This small beach has the lovely focal point of the Wood Islands Lighthouse, which started running in 1876. The lighthouse has a museum which teaches visitors about fisheries and the shipping industry. There is also a craft shop selling artisan goods of the island. This beach is unsupervised and for day use, but has washrooms, picnic tables, a boat ramp, a playground and a canteen.
Souris Beach Provincial Park located at the causeway as you enter the seaside town of Souris on route 2. As you approach the causeway you will see locals and tourist walking and swimming on this picturesque beach or maybe an eagle or two sitting on the roost. It is a day park with a playground, showers and washroom facility that is wheelchair accessible. For your enjoyment you will find food venues, crafts, fresh seafood, bike, canoe and kayak rentals. If the south wind is blowing you will find windsurfers out catching the gusts and flying through the air.
The Globe Guide has named some of the beast beaches in Prince Edward Island you will note that a few mentioned above are captured in the article.
Here is a link to the PEI tides great for knowing when to go clam digging or out on the water canoeing or kayaking.
Living on an island gives us lots of advantages, especially this one. Our land is rich, which allows our farmers to produce a bounty of fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products. The island waters are teeming with fish, as well as lobster, oysters, mussels, crab and other shellfish. Ask almost anyone in the world where the best mussels or oysters come from, and they'll tell you: Prince Edward Island. Our farmers and fishermen provide the ingredients and our award-winning chef’s turn those fresh ingredients into culinary masterpieces.
Across the island you will be treated to delicious cuisine whether it is our lobster church suppers, clam boils, pig roasts, or the many restaurants that prepare the island dishes. The island is named “Garden of the Gulf” for a reason! Cows Ice Cream, the fresh island cheeses, delicious beef, and of course our famous PEI potatoes are also a must. Being a small island all these delicious ingredients come from small family farms.
The PEI International Shellfish Festival is a lively three days filled with music, mussels and oysters plus the intensely exciting shucking competitions. In late September more than 75 events pack the Fall Flavours Festival agenda. Culinary keeners go from smoking and pickling workshops, to oyster tonging and potato picking, to spectacular fine dining with top chefs cooking up nine-course extravaganzas.
Rossignol Estate Winery located in Little Sands on the south shores 9km from the Wood Islands Ferry. The winery has free tastings and specializes in fruit wines. The divine Blackberry Mead has won a string of gold medals and the Wild Rose Liquor made from rose hips is also well worth a try.
Prince Edward Island is new to the craft brewery scene but it is already excelling. In Montague you will find Copper Bottom Brewery. The brewery is located in a historic building in Montague which was the first town hall in 1938 and was the office space for the town newspaper for 40 years. The taproom overlooks the Montague River where you can enjoy a couple pints and listen to some live music. The Bogside is the other craft brewery in Montague, it is located by the marina. The food is delicious at the Bogside and worth checking out!
Although Prince Edward Island is only 140 miles long, it has 1100 miles of spectacular coastline. For those who love lighthouses, Prince Edward Island is a virtual gold mine. From the East Point Lighthouse to North Cape you can travel tip to tip to view these landmarks that protect our coastal waters.
East Point Lighthouse on Route 16 past Souris was built in 1867 and one of the busiest aids to navigation stations for both deep-sea traffic and the inshore and offshore fishery. The history on past shipwrecks off our coast shows this area as being one of the most difficult due to the “meeting of three tides” and the “three reefs” off East Point. This lighthouse is one of the Island's last manned lighthouses and is one of the most popular sightseeing places on the Island. (Height in meters above ground: 19.5) Climb to the top and experience a magnificent 360 degree view of the most easterly tip of the island or visit the craft shop and restaurant.
Shipwreck Point Lighthouse is also located on route 16 at the Naufrage Harbour. Naufrage meaning “shipwreck” is only one of two concrete lighthouses on the island, the other one being Brighton Beach Range Rear in Charlottetown. The waters that the lighthouse guard is known as one of the best lobster fishing grounds of PEI (Height in meters above ground: 13.5)
Panmure Island Lighthouse located on Route 347 off Route 17. The lighthouse was built in 1853, and is used to enter into the area called “three rivers”, which include the Cardigan River, Montague River and Brudenell River. It is on the southwest extremity of Cardigan Bay and marks the entrance to Georgetown Harbour, on the east coast of Prince Edward Island. It has a wooden octagonal tower and the light was used as a coast light serving considerable steamer, schooner, and fishing boat traffic. You are welcome to come and experience the climb up the stairs and see a magnificent view. At present, the machinery at the Panmure Island lighthouse is operated electrically. (Height in meters above ground: 18.6)
Point Prim Lighthouse located Off TransCanada Hwy, Route 209 was built and designed in 1845 by Isaac Smith; the same architect who designed Provincial House in Charlottetown. It is Prince Edward Island's oldest lighthouse and sits on a body of land the juts out from the shore. It is also the only round lighthouse on the island and you can climb 80 ft. above sea level for a magnificent view from this unique, round, brick structure. The walls are made of brick and are18” thick. Years after the original construction the structure was sheathed with wooded strapping and shingles, which you see today. You can enjoy a guided tour and see a historical maritime display at the lighthouse. (Height in meters above ground: 18.3)
Wood Islands Lighthouse was built in 1876 and is situated on the cliff at the mouth of the Wood Island Ferry Terminal in eastern PEI. In 1941, a foghorn was requested to help the ferry when it was docking. In 1958, the dwelling and light tower were electrified and the light itself operated on a 1000 watt airway beacon lamp and had changed from a fixed light to a flashing light. This lighthouse has the unique distinction of being the last lighthouse on PEI where the light keeper and his family lived right in the lighthouse. Come and relive the lifestyles of light keepers through photos, displays and documentation. Take a peek inside the light keeper's quarters, stroll through the rum-running room. Over 200 artifacts uniquely displayed in 10 themed settings. Climb the stairs and see a breathtaking view of the red, rich soil and the miles of the picturesque coastline.
Cape Bear Lighthouse located near Beach Point Route 18 on the south side of the island. Built in 1881, this square, three-story lighthouse has guided many vessels traveling the Strait. Even though the lighthouse is still operational it is used as a museum. In addition to preserving local community history, the Museum features a reconstruction of the Marconi Station that was located on the site from 1905 to 1922. Local lore says that in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, operator Thomas Barlett received the S.O.S. distress call from the Titanic as she sank 153 km south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Journey into the past as you visit the Museum to hear Bartlett's recollections of that fateful morning and see the artifacts of this piece of history. Climb to the top to the light and enjoy our red sandstone cliffs and secluded beaches that overlook the shimmering waters of the Northumberland Strait.
St. Peters Lighthouse was established in 1881 and sat at the mouth of St. Peters Bay overlooking the beautiful Greenwich National Park. It was 20 feet at the vase and 5 feet 3 inches at the top with a galvanized iron lantern. In 1964, a steel culvert replaced the lighthouse. The area is noted for sand bars so ships of the past welcomed the construction of this lighthouse for their safe passage. The view of miles of dunes and long sandy beaches is spectacular.
St. Peters Harbour Lighthouse is located between Bristol and Morell, Route 2. The lighthouse was constructed in 1865 and is 10.4m in height. This tower is typical of the broad-based, steeply-sloping short towers. There is no record of a light keepers dwelling. The main tower seems to be on its original site, though it was apparently located on a breakwater. The nearby range lights were moved frequently, as often as 2-3 times per year. It's hard to imagine small ships once tied up to the wharf next to this lighthouse, but they did. The lighthouse wasn't moved since then. Instead, the sand shifted until it hid all evidence of a harbour. It is worth the walk to see the picturesque view of the dunes and sandy beach.
Souris East Lighthouse is located in the seaside town of Souris on Route 2. This lighthouse guards the Souris harbor and can be seen as you drive into the small fishing town or from any point around the waterfront. This light has the unique distinction of being the last manned lighthouse on PEI. During the last week-end in July there is a Sea Glass Festival held on the grounds of the lighthouse.( Height in meters above ground: 14.3)
Across PEI there are 21 Golf Courses and Eastern PEI has three of the top courses according to "Golf Digest", Brudenell, Dundarave and the Links at Crowbush Golf Course. Besides these three there is Avondale an18 hole and three nine holes called Seal Cove, Belfast Highland Greens and Rollo Bay Greens. The Brudenell and Dundarave Golf Courses are side by side which allows you to do both courses without traveling. The Links at Crowbush Cove was recognized by Golf Digest as Canada’s Best New Course in 1994. Well renowned golfers from around the globe come here to play this five star rated course.
Deep Sea Fishing, Tuna Charters and Recreational Fishing are in demand on PEI. Many of the ponds, rivers, bays and harbours throughout the island are great places to try your luck! Many of the harbours along the Points East Coastal Drive offer many fishing spots but most famous on the island is North Lake Harbour. This harbour is considered the “Tuna Capital of the World”. Many avid blue fin tuna chasers come to this spot in eastern PEI to try their luck.
For recreation fishing give http://www.peiflyfishing.com a call. They will provide everything you need to try and land a sea trout. We also have salmon fishing here on the island and Morell River is an excellent spot to try your luck. Throughout the eastern region you will find many rivers, streams, ponds or bays to try your hand. Be sure to visit Access PEI to get your licence https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/buy-fishing-licence-online.
Bird Watching onthe island is enjoyed by many there is about 333 birds that visit throughout the year. Great Blue Herons are seen in almost every estuary and have come to represent the Island to many. The Piping Plover is listed as endangered and is known to nest in our Prince Edward Island National Park. Birders from the least experience to the seasoned watchers will find the Island a great place to add to their lists of lifetime sightings. The bald eagles have increased over the years and can be seen soaring overhead especially along the coastal waters. The Provincial Prince Edward Island bird is the Blue Jay. We like to think it was selected because it is like an islander. It prepares for the long hard winter by gathering and storing grains, seeds and suet.
Most of the species of whale that can be found in the waters of Canada's Maritime Provinces, including Prince Edward Island, are migratory and are likely to be seen from June to September. Fortunately for whale watching fans, this season is also when the waters of the Atlantic tend to be the most predictable, making for ideal whale watching conditions all round. Here are some of the species that are in the PEI waters.
Pilot Whales: Most of the world's population of pilot whales (one of the most numerous species) live in the southern hemisphere, but there is a population of around 200,000 that call the north Atlantic home. Several dozen of these make the waters around PEI their year round home, and can not only be seen on tours but also from the shore on occasion. Finback Whale: These are the second largest animals in the world. Humpback Whales: One of the most widely distributed species in the world; the humpback is also famous for its acrobatics. They almost always show their flukes when diving, and are also well known for breeching (coming almost totally out of the water in an impressive aerial display). Minke Whale: Another acrobatic specimen waiting to entertain you. Right Whale: The rarest species of whale in the world, tour guides and tourists are mutually delighted and surprised to catch a glimpse of these over hunted cephalopods. Dolphins and Porpoises: The harbour porpoise and the white-sided dolphins are frequently seen around PEI. Sightings of the orca, a dolphin species that is more known for the northern Pacific Ocean are extremely rare bur they have been seen.
In addition to these usual species, whale watchers out of PEI may be treated to the sight of an occasional stray whale not usually seen in those waters, such as the pygmy sperm whale and the beaked whale. All in all, the waters around Prince Edward Island are sure to offer you a whale watching experience that you won't soon forget!
Kayaking is a great outdoor activity because of the calm waters in the rivers, inlets and Northumberland Strait. Many of the beach houses, cottages and executive homes for rent on this web site provide kayaks if they are on the south side of the island. The north side is dangerous to use kayaks if you are not experienced.
Confederation Trail is a walking and cycling trail that extends tip-to-tip across Prince Edward Island, derived from the railway that was abandoned in 1989 (The PEI Railway/CN Railway operated here from 1875 to 1989.). From the starting point of Tignish to the end of the line at Elmira the trail travels 279 km. With all the branches that extend into small towns throughout the island the trail is 357 km long. You will journey through woodlands, pastoral landscapes, inlets, over bridges, along rivers and coastline, a perfect way to see the islands natural beauty. The trail is also a perfect place to experience the islands habitat and heritage from plant and animal life to bird watching and rural communities
Sightseeing along the Points East Coastal Drive is quite something to experience. Around every turn your will see beautiful vistas whether it is the green rolling hills with bales of hay, horses running through meadows, bald eagles soaring or the never ending beaches and dunes along the coat.
Belfast MiniMills is the one of many great yarn and fibre experiences on PEI. They have everything a yarn enthusiast needs. On the farm you will find their Textile Mill, (where they make products). The Mill Store (where they sell hats, roving, yarn, felting kits etc.) Depending if the weather is nice you will see the sheep, goats, donkeys, guinea foul, chickens, rabbits and dogs. Spend a couple hours at the MiniMills.
Ceilidhs are in full swing during the summer months. Ceilidhs are really kitchen parties held in churches, schools or halls throughout the island all year long. As you travel across the island you will be entertained by our very talented musicians, story tellers and dancers. In June each year there is the Festival of Small Halls taking place in charming rural venues across Prince Edward Island.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts is a cultural centre dedicated to the visual and performing arts located in the city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The story of Anne plays all summer it is a must see as a local or visitor.
Kings Playhouse in Georgetown offers local players from the island who tour church halls and community centres putting on plays and concerts. It is located in the AA Memorial Gardens, which is a pleasure to stroll through before a show. The unique town offers many delights such as bakeries, Sea Glass Studio, restaurants and a historical walk through the town.
The Guild is a Not for Profit Arts and Culture Hub with a provincial mandate to support new, emerging and professional artists, creative industries, and community organizations. They present and produce first class theatre 12 months of the year in the 175 seat black box performance space.
St. Peters Courthouse Theatre located in St. Peters Bay, comes alive with a line up showcasing local musicians, local plays, comedy acts, and storytelling shows. Whether you are looking for a side splitting comedy, an intimate Cabaret night with jazz and blues, a toe tapping good time with traditional musicians, or up and coming musicians performing pop, country, or rock music, the Courthouse Theatre strives to provide a variety of shows suited to differing tastes.
Elmira Railway Museum is located between North and South Lake in the community of Elmira on Route 16A. Known as the end of the line for those traveling east on Prince Edward Island, Elmira Station became an important part of railroading on the Island in the 1900’s, opening in 1912. Elmira Station now a museum has expanded and undergone extensive renovations with photographs, maps and artifacts that recount the fascinating story of railroading on the Island. Come for a ride on the PEI Miniature Railway or view the large model railway collection. Visitors are also invited to hike or bike along the Confederation Trail, which is also known as the “end of the trail”.
Basin Head Fisheries Museum is located at the Basin Head Beach just fifteen minutes east of Souris. Basin Head tells the story of the Province's historic inshore fishery through its displays and artifacts. On site are dioramas illustrating methods and materials, small-craft displays and a coastal ecology exhibits. Visit the Cannery for a glimpse at what the fishing industry really looked like on PEI. A boardwalk features access to the magnificent white sand beach (known as the singing sands), gift shops, food and beach services and a children's play village. Please come and learn about our inshore fishery and hear our sand sing.
Sir Andrew MacPhail is located in Orwell off the Trans-Canada Highway next to Orwell Corner Historic Village. This 1.4 km nature trail leads from the MacPhail house down the lane and into a deep valley bordered by large eastern hemlock, yellow birch, eastern white pines and maples. Two other trails are also located near the Sir Andrew MacPhail Homestead. This is a great place for bird watchers and they offer interpretive walks or you might want to attend one of the night owl walks throughout the summer season. The MacPhail House offers afternoon teas and a tour through the home.
Orwell Corner Historic Village Museum also located in Orwell off the Trans-Canada highway. Learn about PEI agriculture crossroads in the 1890s. Visit the farm and surround yourself with the mood, charm and activities of a small Prince Edward Island. They offer programming, specially chosen to keep children happy, while learning and having tons of fun with the animals. Drop by the general store or the working blacksmith shop, stroll through the gardens and have a picnic outside the old schoolhouse or by a scenic look-off to the beautiful Orwell Bay
Garden of the Gulf Museum is located in Montague now called Three Rivers. On the southern side of the river, the statuesque former post office and customs house (1888) overlooks the marina. Inside this three story museum are several artifacts illustrating local history as well as a research centre for anyone wanting to look into the past life.
Green Gables although not in the eastern region of the island is a pol[ular visitor destination. Located in Cavendish it was the Campbell home, that L.M. Montgomery called the "wonder castle of my childhood". The now museum was built in 1872 by her Uncle John and Aunt Annie Campbell. The first Campbell’s settled here in 1776 and it is still in the Campbell family after over two hundred and thirty years. Here, L.M. Montgomery, author of the world famous novel Anne of Green Gables was inspired to write many novels and it is the setting for Anne's Lake of Shining Waters. Be sure to book the Anne of Green Gables live theatre show at the Confederation of the Arts in Charlottetown.
The designation of Scenic Heritage Roads became possible in 1987 when the Provincial Government passed regulations under the Planning Act limiting activities that may take place there with the intent of protecting and preserving some of these scenic and cultural refuges. As of 2005, eleven of these special places have become Designated Scenic Heritage Roads. Six of the eleven are along the Points East Coastal Drive. We have the Glen, New Harmony, Jack’s, Mellish Pond, Klondyke and the County Line Road.
These rich, red clay passage ways wanders through bright green glens where wonderful woodland and pastoral farmland greet the traveller. Each of these are located in once thriving agricultural community where French, Irish, English and Scottish nationalities settled, most of the farmland has been reclaimed by woodland. Today the roads are used as an access to farm lands, scenic drives and shortcuts to the main roads. During Prohibition years, the remoteness of the roads made them a prized location for rumrunners and bootleggers to hide illegal alcohol. The beauty of the land, the living Celtic, Acadian and Mi'kmaq heritage, and the smiling faces and warm hospitality of Islanders make PEI a special and unforgettable place to visit. Be sure to book your island vacation and experience Prince Edward Island!