17 Best Things to Do in Prince Edward Island (in 2023)
If you’re traveling to eastern Canada and want to know the best things to do in Prince Edward Island, I’ve got you covered!
One of Canada’s maritime provinces, Prince Edward Island is home to fine sand beaches, dramatic red cliffs, the quaint capital city of Charlottetown, fresh seafood, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet in your life.
A born and raised Canadian, I recently visited Prince Edward Island for the first time and was wowed by the scenery, ocean lifestyle, and history. For such a small island, my trip was jam-packed with things to do, including these awesome Charlottetown activities.
So, what are the very best things to do in Prince Edward Island, Canada? Let’s dive in:
Table of Contents
- 17 Best Things to Do in Prince Edward Island
- Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place
- Deep-Sea Fishing Excursion
- Basin Head Provincial Park & Basin Head Beach
- Orwell Corner Historic Village
- Cows Creamery
- Victoria Row
- Charlottetown’s Historic District
- Confederation Centre of the Arts
- Confederation Trail
- King’s Castle Provincial Park
- Canadian Potato Museum
- PEI’s Central Coastal Drive
- PEI National Park
- Lobster Rolls
- North Rustico
- North Cape Coastal Drive
- Prince Edward Island FAQ
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17 Best Things to Do in Prince Edward Island
Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place
Visit the Prince Edward Island epicenter of everything Anne of Green Gables
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 963 7874 | Website | 👉 Book a Green Gables Shore Tour on Viator
For diehard fans of the Anne of Green Gables stories, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a must visit.
Not only was author Lucy Maud Montgomery a local, but she also used the island as the backdrop for her picturesque novels. Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place, located in Cavendish, is the premier stop for everything Anne.
Here, you’ll find the Green Gables Museum (devoted to Lucy Maud Montgomery and her life), a souvenir shop, the iconic green-roofed farmhouse that you can walk through, a gorgeously manicured farmyard, and hiking paths that Lucy Maud Montgomery drew inspiration from.
In particular, I recommend hiking the Haunted Woods and Balsam Hollow Trails on the property. The Balsam Hollow Trail is a leisurely 1.2 km (0.7-mile) loop that will take you past rushing streams and through picturesque woods while the Haunted Woods Trail is a 1.9km (1.2-mile) trail with interpretive signs, bridges, and plenty of balsam fir.
🚎 Fun alert! Want to see the best of Anne on PEI? Then book a guide for the day! This Anne of Green Gables guided tour from Charlottetown hits all the main spots.
Deep-Sea Fishing Excursion
Take a tour that includes deep-sea fishing and an on-the-boat cookout
📍 Google Maps | Website | Phone: (902) 969-7184
If you’re wondering what to do in PEI to get out onto the water, then you gotta consider a deep-sea fishing excursion. There are plenty of deep-sea fishing operators on Prince Edward Island, but mine was booked through Tranquility Cove Adventures in Georgetown.
The tour consisted of six guests and two tour operators, and we got a quick lesson in lobster and crab catching before trying our hand at fishing mackerel. After we had our catch (somehow I caught seven fish), we cooked the fish right on the boat and had lunch.
This tour is awesome if you want to learn about the island’s lobster fishermen, but if you’re into something a little different then this operator also offers clam digging and starfish hunting experiences.
⛵ Pro tip! If you get at all queasy from being on boats, then I recommend taking some ginger tablets along for the ride.
Basin Head Provincial Park & Basin Head Beach
Home to a fisheries museum and a beach that “sings” when stepped on
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 357 7230 | Wikipedia
For an outdoorsy experience featuring one of the best beaches in Prince Edward Island, head over to Basin Head Provincial Park.
Located on the Northeast coast of Prince Edward Island, Basin Head Provincial Park is best known for being home to the “singing sands beach”. That’s right — when stepped on, the pure white sand of the beach literally sings due to the high silica content.
When I went to the beach, I was all ears wondering what exactly sand singing would sound like, and I found it to be more of a sweeping / squeaking noise than anything else.
Still, this beach is absolutely beautiful and is also home to stunning red rocks, full-service washrooms and showers, and a play area for kids. For some indoor fun at Basin Head Provincial Park, visit the Basin Head Fisheries Museum. It’s located right off the beach and has a great collection of fishing artifacts and exhibits.
Orwell Corner Historic Village
Learn about what life was like in 1800s Prince Edward Island
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 651 8515 | Website
⚠️ Closure Note: As of early 2023, this attraction is temporarily closed due to Hurricane Fiona.
Are you a history lover looking for the best things to do in PEI? Then the Orwell Corner Historic Village should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Prince Edward Island.
One of seven Museum and Heritage sites on Prince Edward Island, Orwell Historic village was settled in the early 19th century and is the perfect place to learn about what life was like for Canada’s early European settlers. At the site, you’ll find a heritage museum, farm buildings, a church, and a blacksmith shop. In the summer, they even host candle and ice cream-making workshops.
Though this is absolutely a great place to take kids, I went as a solo adult and found the site to be a ton of fun. Upon arrival, the staff immediately took me under their wing and gave me a carriage ride, blacksmithing lesson, and full history lesson of the property. The grounds are also beautiful and the fact that farm animals are running around is a very cute plus.
🚗 Pro tip: Having your own set of wheels for PEI is an absolute necessity. For comparing rates and options, check Discover Cars first — they’ll help you get the best bang for your buck!
Indulge in a tasty treat at this iconic creamery
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 628 3614 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm daily
Any company that brands itself the best ice cream in the country has a tall reputation to live up to, and that’s exactly why you need to experience the ice cream at Cows Creamery on PEI for yourself.
Launched in 1983 in Cavendish, Cows Creamery has since expanded to six locations around the island, with its headquarters now in Charlottetown (conveniently located at 12 Milky Way). While here, you can take a free tour to see how they make their premium ice cream and cheeses and sample some of the iconic flavors.
And get your ice cream in a waffle cone — I had the strawberry ice cream (made with PEI strawberries) with a chocolate-dipped waffle cone and the sugar rush was real. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Charlottetown!
Go shopping, grab a drink, or experience a festival on this gorgeous Charlottetown street
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 621 0995 | Hours: 6:30 am – 3 am daily
Whether you’re looking to hit some mom-and-pop shops, have a patio drink, or catch a street festival, Victoria Row in the charming city of Charlottetown is where it’s at.
Framed by an archway entrance, Victoria Row is a pedestrian walkway lined with the cutest boutique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and coffee shops — an entire block worth of historic buildings.
If you’re in for the full Anne of Green Gables experience, then you have to stop in at the Anne of Green Gables store on the corner of Queen and Richmond — it’s loaded to the brim with souvenirs and candy.
Charlottetown’s Historic District
Discover important Canadian history in this scenic area
Running perpendicular to Victoria Row, Charlottetown’s Great George Street Historic District is a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the most beautiful areas of the city. Many of Charlottetown’s best boutique hotels can be found here too.
Encompassing six blocks of St. George Street from the waterfront to Richmond Street, the district was notable in the dawn of Canada’s independence and features a ton of historic sites and buildings from that era. In particular, you’ll find mid-1800’s architecture, the Gothic Revival-style St. Dunstan’s Basilica, Province House National Historic Site, and plenty of colorful pathways.
🛏️ Need a Place to Stay in PEI? Be sure to check out my full guide to where to stay in Prince Edward Island. It covers the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels!
Confederation Centre of the Arts
Catch a musical or theater performance at this Charlottetown venue
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 800 565 0278 | Website | 👉 Book a Walking Tour of Charlottetown on GetYourGuide
If you’re looking to be entertained on your PEI trip, then grab some tickets for a show at the Confederation Centre.
Conveniently located in downtown Charlottetown, the Confederation Centre is home to a concert hall and art gallery, and regularly hosts musical acts, art classes, and theater performances. In particular, the theatre company here is noted for their annual Anne of Green Gables musical production. If you’re coming to the island for the Anne experience, then this is a must-see.
Outside of the hall itself, one of the most popular productions put on by the Confederation Centre is their ongoing “Confederation Players” interpretation. These shows are walking tours put on by actors wearing full cloaks and top hats, and educate visitors about the rich history of Charlottetown.
For those a little braver, they also put on Ghost-themed walking tours!
☂️ Tour alert! Speaking of walking tours, this two-hour Charlottetown walking tour is highly rated and is a great taster for the city.
Traverse a part (or all!) of this scenic PEI hiking trail
One of the most popular outdoor activities on the island, stretching your legs and hiking the Confederation Trail is a great way to get up close and personal with PEI nature.
The Confederation Trail is a 273km (169 miles) extremely flat trail that runs tip-to-tip on the island — Elmira to Tignish — and can be completed by either hiking or bicycle.
With branch trails running off the main drag, there are plenty of options for small towns to stay in and restaurants to check out. The Confederation Trail is a great way to see a ton of PEI’s natural beauty and get some (okay, a ton of) exercise in while you do it.
Search for the coolest and most scenic lighthouses in PEI
It’s no secret that PEI is loaded with beautiful lighthouses. In fact, the province is believed to have the highest lighthouse concentration in North America with 63 of them. Needless to say, finding some beautiful lighthouses to check out on your trip will be a breeze.
In my experience, these lighthouses stand out in particular:
The first — Cape Bear Lighthouse — is my personal favorite. Located in eastern PEI along the Northumberland Strait, 3-story Cape Bear Lighthouse was built in 1881 and has guided sailors home ever since. On a clear day, you can see Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, and PEI’s rocky red coastline, and there may even be some seals lounging around.
King’s Castle Provincial Park
Explore the red sand beaches of this family-friendly park
📍 Google Maps | Wikipedia | Hours: 24 hours daily
For a premier red sand experience on the island, head over to King’s Castle Provincial Park — it’s located just 10km (6.2 miles) down the road from Cape Bear Lighthouse (near Murray River along the Points East Coastal Drive) and is a must for outdoor lovers.
The park features campgrounds, easy walking trails, and a very cool red sand beach — it’s awesome both for photo ops and for lazy afternoons.
This is also a great place to come if you have kids, as there are playgrounds and life-sized statues of storybook characters scattered around the park.
Canadian Potato Museum
Learn all about spuds at this tasty PEI museum
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 859 2039 | Website
⚠️ Closure Note: This attraction is temporarily closed until May 14, 2023.
If you love quirky points of interest as much as I do, then you’ll love the Canadian Potato Museum on PEI.
One of Prince Edward Island’s main economic drivers is potato farming, and this museum, located in O’Leary, will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the industry and more.
The museum is self-guided — complete with various displays, photographs, machinery, and a gift shop. Plus, the world’s largest potato sculpture out front is totally worth the photo op.
But perhaps the best part of the Canadian Potato Museum is the Potato Kitchen, which runs from mid-June through September and is a quintessential spot on the island to taste some homegrown PEI spuds.
I should also mention, if you plan ahead, you can learn all about PEI farm life through an O’Leary Farm Tour. You can book through the museum’s website.
👉 Pro tip: The Potato Museum is one of many PEI attractions that are only open seasonally. I recommend you visit PEI in summer in my guide to the best times to visit Prince Edward Island.
PEI’s Central Coastal Drive
Check out the sites on one of Prince Edward Island’s best road trips
👉 Read Next: The Best Canadian Road Trips To Drive At Least Once
If red rocks and beautiful beaches are calling your name, then hitting the road on PEI’s Central Coastal Drive should be a priority on your Prince Edward Island itinerary.
The drive includes the Anne of Green Gables Heritage site and natural sites such as Cavendish Beach, Greenwich Beach, and the famous red sand cliffs. The cliffs honestly go on for miles, and I guarantee you’ll be regularly pulling over your car every few minutes to take in the scenery.
But perhaps my favorite spot on this drive was Thunder Cove Beach — home to rolling sand dunes and the picture-perfect Teacup Rock sea stacks.
Located near Darnley, just outside of Kensington, Thunder Cove beach feels very much off the beaten path. Here, you’ll find red sandstone cliffs, a pristine white sand beach, and some of the most stunning natural rock formations on the island.
❗ Heads up! Be aware that the road into Thunder Cove beach can be a little dicey. There isn’t an established parking era and no facilities, so be prepared for a bit of an adventure with this one.
PEI National Park
Explore what makes this park a national treasure
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 672 6350 | Website
While exploring the north shore of the Central Coastal Drive, you’ll come across the only National Park on the island, aptly named Prince Edward Island National Park.
PEI National Park runs about 60km (37 miles) along the coast and features sand dunes, pristine beaches, wetlands, bird sanctuaries, and hiking trails.
While looking at a map, it’s important to note that the park is split up along the shore.
To the west, you’ll find Cavendish and Dalvay by the Sea while in the east you’ll come across Greenwich. Both National Park areas are worth a stop and bring different elements to the table, but this did trip me up a bit when planning my route.
While on the Greenwich side, I recommend tackling the 2.7-km Greenwich Dunes Trail — it’ll guide you through marshland, parabolic sand dunes, and straight to the ocean. And don’t worry, there are boardwalks to keep your feet dry.
👉 Read More: 16 Canada Travel Tips to Know (By a Local!)
Sample as many lobster rolls as you can on your quest for the best
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 902 368 3212 | Website
Let’s be honest, a huge reason you’re planning to go to PEI is to eat your body weight in seafood, and for that, I salute you. So, to help you on your quest, I have to recommend some of the best restaurants on the island for lobster rolls.
In Charlottetown, by far the best lobster roll I came across was at Water Prince Corner Shop. The outside is pretty nondescript, but the bun was perfectly toasted, the lobster was out-of-this-world fresh, and the whole thing was seasoned to perfection.
Besides that, you’ll also want to check out Dave’s Lobster and Row House in Charlottetown, and Lobster Barn in Victoria. Definitely call ahead and make reservations for any sit-down establishments though — they book up well in advance.
Explore this charming PEI village
A location that will probably look familiar to Anne of Green Gables fans (it was a filming location) North Rustico is a small fishing village along the north shore that is full of charm, sandy beaches, photo ops, and seafood.
While here, take a mosey along the boardwalk, book yourself a guided kayaking tour (there are a few walk-in locations), grab some food at the Blue Mussel Cafe, laze on North Rustico Beach, and check out Doyle’s Cove.
👉 Read More: Is Canada Safe to Travel? (Important Tips & Advice)
North Cape Coastal Drive
Witness sunsets, beaches, lighthouses, and more on this epic PEI road trip
On the lookout for the best sunsets on PEI? Then you gotta check out the North Cape Coastal Drive.
A 350-km (217 miles) route on the west side of the island, the North Cape coastal drive is characterized by lighthouses, museums, and oceanside experiences.
Some of the most notable points of interest along the North Cape drive include the Acadian Museum, the Canadian Potato Museum, West Point Lighthouse (which is also a B&B), Bottle Houses (literal houses made of glass bottles), and Cedar Dunes Provincial Park.
🚗 Pro tip: Driving rules and safety practices in Canada can vary by province. Read our guide to driving in Canada for everything you need to know before you hit the road.
Prince Edward Island FAQ
What should you not miss on Prince Edward Island?
While visiting PEI you should not miss the Anne of Green Gables sites, red cliffs, sand dunes, driving over the Confederation Bridge, PEI National Park, the Confederation Art Gallery, shopping on Victoria Row, and visiting the singing sands beach.
How do you get to Prince Edward Island?
There are three main ways to get to PEI, Canada: Take a car or bus over the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick, take the ferry from Nova Scotia, or fly into the Charlottetown Airport.
What’s the best time to visit Prince Edward Island?
The best time to visit PEI is from mid-June through mid-September. During these summer months, the weather is at its best, festivals are in full swing, and most activities and hotels in PEI are open.
What’s special about the Confederation Bridge?
The bridge that joins PEI to New Brunswick, the Confederation bridge is not only Canada’s longest bridge but also the world’s longest bridge over icy waters. More than 1 million people drive across the bridge every year.
👉 Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Prince Edward Island
That’s it for my list of the best things to do in Prince Edward Island, Canada! This tiny province in Atlantic Canada truly is chock-full of adventure and guaranteed you won’t come up short of things to do. Check out these 15 Best Places to Visit in Canada for more great Canadian ideas.
Have fun in PEI!
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You missed Greenwich National Park one of the most beautiful places in PEI.
Actually it’s in the article. It is part of Prince Edward Island National Park.
Wow, well 👍 done article. I love visiting the Island and you have described my favourites beautifully. Thanks. This makes it easy to share my favorite spots with friends when they ask for recommendations.
Awesome article! just to include the water is generally mild to warm and very clear with no so much current and waves, making it great for those who love swimming and water activities!!
Loved it! Thank you for this extremely helpful article