Aerial view of a neighborhood in Charlottetown

3 Day Charlottetown Itinerary (How to Plan the Perfect Trip)

Planning a comprehensive Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Itinerary means covering a fair amount of historical sites, foodie hotspots, artsy gems, and natural wonders.

Though the city itself is fairly small (it’s home to just south of 40,000 people), it has hundreds of years worth of history, features some of the best restaurants in the country, and has enough to see and do to keep you entertained for days on end. 

On my recent trip to Prince Edward Island, I made a point to discover the very best things to do and see in Charlottetown, the best places to stay, and the best Charlottetown itinerary for three days in the city.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Let’s dive in!

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3 Day Charlottetown Itinerary

Day 1 – Historical Charlottetown

The author in front of the St. Dunstan’s Basilica

On your first day in Charlottetown, get prepared to tackle everything historical. 

I recommend starting your morning by heading to Confederation Landing at the end of Great George Street. This park is gorgeous in the morning, will give you awesome views of the harbor, and makes for a great historical launching pad. 

Begin your self-guided historical tour by visiting the William Henry Pope statue near the Peakes Quay Marina. It’s more or less just a statue, but it makes for a fun photo op and will set the tone for the rest of the day.

For context, Charlottetown was the site of the initial meetings regarding the Confederation of Canada. There are a ton of relevant sites about this in Charlottetown, and William Henry Pope was a key figure.

From there, head up Great George Street and visit St. Dunstan’s Basilica, a gorgeous cathedral modeled after St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Then, head up the street to Province House National Historic Site (Canada’s Confederation birthplace), and take a tour. 

For a light lunch, head to Water Prince Corner Shop at the intersection of Water and Prince Streets (get the lobster roll…trust me), and then continue on to Beaconsfield Historic House. I recommend taking a tour here while you check out the Victorian architecture and decor. 

From there, head back downtown and take a Charlottetown city highlights bus tour. This will give you context of what you’ve been looking at all day and is a great way to get a birds-eye view of Charlottetown’s history.

For dinner and craft cocktails, make your way over to Slaymaker & Nichols Gastro House. This historical property was integral in the formation of Canada and is arguably the best place to eat in the city (make reservations!)

📚 Related Reading: 17 Best Things to Do and See in Prince Edward Island

Day 2 – Charlottetown’s Arts & Culture

View of people along the Victoria Row at night time

On your second day in Charlottetown, I recommend taking a day trip before capping off the day with a show.

After breakfast, hop in your rental car – search Discover Cars if you still need wheels, by the way – and head about an hour northwest to Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place

One of Prince Edward Island’s most beloved characters, this site is awesome whether you’ve heard of Anne or not and includes a museum, house, hiking trails, and more. There are awesome Anne of Green Gables shore tours available, or you can just make the trip yourself.

While in the area, grab lunch at the Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico before heading back to Charlottetown

Then, I recommend heading to Victoria Row. This historical strip of the city is full of cafes, boutique shops, bars, and, in the summertime, musical performances and festivals. 

In case you’re still hungry for dinner, head to Row House Lobster Co. for a bite to eat and then head over to the Confederation Centre of the Arts. This performance venue is both a theater and an art gallery, and you’ll want to check out the exhibits before catching a show.

In the summer, they regularly host Anne of Green Gables performances – a local favorite.

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Day 3 – Charlottetown’s Nature & Water Sports

View of boats in PEI and the colorful sunset

Day three in Charlottetown is all about getting out in nature. 

To begin your day, head down to the marina and take a water tour. You’ll have to book this ahead of time, but they have everything on offer from sailing to kayaking, educational, fishing, and seal watching tours.

After your tour, grab lunch on Peakes Quay at Dave’s Lobster and then head to Victoria Park. This bit of land is great for water views and there’s even a heavily-wooded park to meander through.

While there, walk the boardwalk to the lighthouse and stop at the floating dock along the way.

If you feel like getting some more exercise, then I recommend doing a quick stint of the Confederation Trail. A trail that runs tip-to-tip across Prince Edward Island, there’s a leg of the trail that touches Charlottetown. 

Though you won’t be able to go far in just an evening, this is a great way to further stretch your legs.

For dinner, make your way to Hopyard – a no-fuss establishment that has excellent food and regular musical performances.

📚 Related Reading: Where to Stay in Prince Edward Island (Best Places & Areas)

How to Get Around in Charlottetown

View of two people walking in by the sea in Victoria Park Boardwalk

While downtown Charlottetown is very much walkable, I do recommend renting a car for day trips around Prince Edward Island. 

RentalCars.com is my first go-to for car rentals in PEI, as their service makes comparing rates and vehicle types easy.

Driving around Prince Edward Island is fairly straightforward, but do beware of toll roads – either have money on you or route your map to avoid them.

There are some bus routes that criss-cross the island, but frankly, I wouldn’t rely on these as your primary form of transportation. Some routes are more frequent than others, but they won’t take you to the best places to visit on Prince Edward Island.

Charlottetown Itinerary Planning Tips

Tip #1 – Don’t Just Stick to Charlottetown

View of a colorful sky during sunset in Charlottetown

Though you can stay solely in Charlottetown no problem, I highly recommend planning a longer Prince Edward Island Itinerary. 

Charlottetown itself is not a very large city, and there’s so much more to see beyond its borders.

📚 Related Reading: 5 Day Prince Edward Island Itinerary

Tip #2 – Go in Summer

The author in front of Beaconsfield Historic House

Like elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island isn’t exactly a winter destination. In winter, many activities, attractions, and accommodations close for the season, and you’ll be limited in what you can see and do. 

Plan to visit between June and September and you’ll be a happy camper.

📚 Related Reading: The Best Time to Visit Prince Edward Island (Honest Guide)

Tip #2 – Book In Advance

View of a colorful houses in Charlottetown

Because high season on Prince Edward Island is such a narrow window, book all of your activities, rentals, and accommodations in advance. 

PEI sees a flood of tourists as soon as the warm weather strikes, and even most sit-down restaurants require reservations.

See my guide to the top Charlottetown hotels if you still need accommodations. 

Charlottetown Itinerary FAQ

How many days do you need for PEI?

In order to visit every area of the island, plan to spend at least 5 days on PEI, if not longer.

What is the best month to visit PEI?

The best months to visit PEI are July and August for the best weather, activities, and festivals. See my full guide to when to visit Prince Edward Island for a month-by-month breakdown.

How far is Anne of Green Gables from Charlottetown?

Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place & Museum is 53km (33) miles from Charlottetown; just under an hour’s drive.

***

That’s it for my 3 day itinerary for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island! Though a small city, Charlottetown packs a punch with things to do (especially in the summertime)!

For more inspiration on visiting Canada, check out:

Have fun in Charlottetown!

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