Planning an epic Prince Edward Island itinerary means being as strategic as possible.
Canada’s smallest province, you can certainly plan to cover the most popular destinations in PEI in a week or less, but this is really only achievable with a clear-cut plan before you arrive.
With seemingly endless sprawling beaches, lighthouses, art galleries, seafood restaurants, activities, historical sites, and festivals, knowing the best things to do in Prince Edward Island is essential to getting the most out of your trip.
And I’m here to help!
I recently went on a trip to Prince Edward Island with the precise mission of mapping out the best itinerary route. I visited hotels, drove the most popular road trips, and scheduled as many fun things as I could to give you the best advice possible.
In this post:
Before we dive in be, sure to bookmark my post on the best places for staying in PEI!
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5-Day Prince Edward Island Itinerary
Day 1 – Charlottetown
Located in the central area of PEI, Charlottetown is the province’s largest city.
Packed with cultural hotspots, you’ll find Charlottetown to be full of boutique shops, excellent restaurants, gorgeous hotels and inns, nightlife spots, and artistic gems. This is also a great city to learn about the confederation of Canada as there are plenty of historical sites to visit.
To kickstart your morning in Charlottetown, first head to Victoria Row to grab breakfast at the excellent Receiver Cafe. The Victoria Row area is perfect for browsing craft stores and mom-and-pop shops.
Then, head on over to Charlottetown’s historic district, where you’ll find St. Dunstan’s Basilica and Province House National Historic Site. These buildings both make for great walk-throughs.
In the afternoon, head west of downtown and over to Beaconsfield Historic House. This historic site makes for a great launching point to stroll the Charlottetown boardwalk, explore Victoria Park, and hang out at the Brighton Beach Lighthouse.
In the evening, grab some seafood at one of the many excellent restaurants (my lunch and dinner recommendations are below), before heading to Charlottetown’s wharf. The wharf is a great spot for drinks, live music, artisan shops, and even some sunset marine tours.
If you still have energy after such a long day of exploring, then I’d highly recommend catching a concert or theater performance at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Read my full Charlottetown itinerary for my ideas or to extend your trip.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: The Great George Hotel ($$$, boutique and historical), The Holman Grand ($$$, contemporary and luxurious), The Arts Hotel ($$, budget backpacker)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Water Prince Corner Shop ($$), Slaymaker & Nichols Gastro House ($$$), Founders Food Hall & Market ($ – $$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: The Gahan House ($$), Olde Dublin Pub ($$), Charlottetown Beer Garden & Seafood Patio ($$)
Day 2 – North Cape Coastal Drive
Located in western PEI, the North Cape Coastal Drive has arguably the best sunset-watching spots in the province and is full of rugged natural beauty. In this area, prepare to go off the beaten trail as the destinations are spread out and rural life is the name of the game.
To begin your adventure, first head to the city of Summerside. Grab a decadent breakfast at the Starlite Diner before browsing the Eptek Art & Culture Center, taking a kayaking tour, and visiting the Wyatt Historic House Museum.
From there, hop in your car and head west, making stops at the Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary, the Bottle Houses in Wellington, and the West Point Lighthouse Museum. Then, grab a quick bite to eat at Sally’s Galley Pub and Grill.
After lunch, make your way north up the coast and visit the North Cape Wind Energy Interpretive Center. If you’ve ever been interested in the science of harnessing wind energy, then this is the place for you.
Then, cap off the day with a meal at Wind & Reef Seafood — situated on the northern tip of PEI, this is a restaurant with some of the best views on the whole island.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: The Loyalist Country Inn ($$$, 4-star hotel), Slemon Park Hotel ($$, basic accommodations), Mill River Resort ($$, contemporary hotel with saltwater pool)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Wind & Reef Seafood ($$), Starlite Diner ($$)
Day 3 – Central Coastal Drive
PEI’s Central Coastal Drive encompasses the centermost area of the province and is where you’ll find red sandstone cliffs, towering white sand dunes, and the Green Gables Shore. The area is one of my top picks for the best areas to stay in PEI.
To start off your morning, drive 35 minutes north of Charlottetown to the charming fishing town of North Rustico. Here, you’ll want to take a stroll on the boardwalk and book a kayak tour before stopping for lunch at the iconic Blue Mussel Cafe.
After lunch, drive the Gulf Shore Parkway west along the coast to Cavendish (you’ll have to get a day pass for Prince Edward Island National Park) and stop at some of the incredible photo spots along the way. Doyle’s Cove, Orby Head, MacKenzies Brook, and MacNeill’s Brook are all incredibly beautiful, including Cavendish Beach itself.
After a while on this route, you’ll find yourself at the Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place. Here, you’ll find a museum celebrating author Lucy Maud Montgomery, two great hiking trails, and the Green Gables House.
👉 Anne of Green Gables fan? If you’re headed to PEI to soak up all things Anne, then an Anne of Green Gables Tour from Charlottetown may be just what you need! You’ll get access to a knowledgeable guide and hit all the best spots.
For the last stop of the day (and if you can line this up with sunset, even better), drive 30 minutes west to Thunder Cove Beach near Lower Darnley. This beach and the teacup red rock formations are one of the most beautiful spots on Prince Edward Island (in my completely subjective opinion!)
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Boardwalk Motel ($$, basic Cavendish motel), Cavendish Maples Cottages ($$$, large group accommodations) or Barachois Inn ($$$, luxury Inn)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Blue Mussel Cafe ($$), The Lost Anchor ($$)
Day 4 – Prince Edward Island National Park
Even though you went to the Cavendish portion of Prince Edward Island National Park earlier in the itinerary, today is all about doing a deep dive into the more eastern regions of the park.
Begin the day at Brackley Beach by grabbing brunch and viewing art at the Dunes Studio Cafe & Gallery.
Then, just a couple of minutes up the road you’ll find one of the best white sand beaches on the island, Brackley Beach. This is a popular spot among locals, especially in the summer, and they have a lifeguard and all kinds of activities on offer. While here, hit up the Robinsons Island Loop Trail — it’s a great family-friendly hike with wildlife viewing opportunities.
Then, hop back in your car and drive east to the Greenwich portion of the national park. This area is noted by marshland, parabolic sand dunes, boardwalk hikes, and a beautiful white sand beach.
Some of the best hiking trails in Greenwich are Tlaqatik (easy, 4.8km/3miles), Havre Saint Pierre (easy, 1.1km/0.7miles), and Greenwich Dunes Trail (moderate, 4.8km/3miles).
To close out the day, grab some local grub at The Seafood Shack in Morell — they’re one of the highest-rated spots on the island for lobster rolls.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Johnson Shore Inn ($$, coastal views), Points East Coastal Inn ($$, cozy B&B), Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort ($$$, luxury accommodations with spa)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: The Seafood Shack ($$), Dunes Studio Cafe & Gallery ($$)
Day 5 – Points East Coastal Drive
Located in the easternmost section of PEI, the Points East Coastal Drive is full of lighthouses, red cliffs, and lush landscapes.
Begin your journey by heading along the #16 highway to East Point Lighthouse. This is the starting point of the island-long Confederation Trail (which is a much longer hike than you could do in a day), and is home to both a museum and an awesome ice cream shop.
Then, head south along the coast with stops at Basin Head Provincial Park (it’s home of singing sands beach), King’s Castle Provincial Park (gorgeous red sand beaches), Georgetown (I recommend taking at Tranquility Cove Adventures deep-sea fishing tour), and Cape Bear Lighthouse (it looks out over the Northumberland Strait).
Along the way, grab lunch in Montague at the excellent Lucky Bean Cafe.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Rodd Brudenell River Resort ($$$$, multiple pools), Lanes Riverhouse Inn & Cottages ($$$, includes kitchenettes)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Lucky Bean Cafe ($$), Red’s Grill ($$)
How to Get Around Prince Edward Island
By far, the best way to get around PEI is by car. In choosing a rental option, my first go-to is always Discover Cars — not only will they stack up all the options and get you the best rate, but they also offer free cancellation.
Other than driving, there are some public transportation routes, although the system is very limited. At present, the bus routes connect the island’s major towns and cities but don’t go much beyond these hubs.
Alternatively, if you don’t drive and want to see locations outside of the bus route, there are some great Prince Edward Island tours available.
Itinerary Planning Tips for Prince Edward Island
Tip #1 – Visit in Summer
June through September is the peak tourism season in PEI, and it also boasts the warmest, most pleasant, weather. Outside of these months, tourism slows to a crawl, and many hotels, activities, and restaurants close for the season.
Plan your visit for summer and experience the best that the island has to offer.
📚 Related Reading: The Best Time to Visit Prince Edward Island (Honest Guide)
Tip #2 – Book Everything in Advance
PEI is a relatively small destination, and during the high season things can book up fast. To secure your spot, book your hotels, activities, rental car, and even some restaurants, in advance.
Tip #3 – Stay Central or Take a Road Trip
This itinerary is suited for someone who wants to take a road trip around PEI, stopping in at different hotels every night. However, you can easily base yourself centrally in Charlottetown and take day trips to each of the destinations listed in the article. Account for slightly longer driving times, but it’s a doable trip format.
For more tips on where to go in Prince Edward Island, check out my post on the top places to visit in PEI.
PEI Itinerary FAQs
How many days do you need in Prince Edward Island?
To see every area of the province, plan to spend between 5 and 7 days in Prince Edward Island.
How long does it take to drive around Prince Edward Island?
From tip-to-tip without stopping, it takes three hours to drive across Prince Edward Island. However, if you plan to see the sites and take in everything it has to offer, plan for longer driving times.
What food is Prince Edward Island known for?
Prince Edward Island is known for having bustling seafood and potato farming industries.
That’s it for my 5-day PEI Itinerary!
I hope this gave you a ton of inspiration for your eastern Canadian adventure as the island is truly a unique travel destination.
For more information on visiting Canada, check out my other guides:
- Where to Stay in Prince Edward Island (Best Places & Areas)
- 15 Best Places to Visit in Canada (By a Local!)
- Driving in Canada for Visitors | Rules, Tips, & Info
Have fun in PEI!