Choosing where to stay in Prince Edward Island is a strategic decision.
With a landmass under 6,000km² (3728miles²), PEI is small enough to see all the major sites in just a few days, yet big enough to put some destinations out of a day trip’s reach if you stay in the wrong area.
A Canadian prairie local, I recently paid a visit to the east coast for the primary purpose of finding the top places to stay and the best things to do on Prince Edward Island.
By chatting with locals, touring a ton of properties, and staying in the hotels myself, I came away with important info on where you should stay to optimize your trip.
In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know in order to make the best decision about where to stay (including my hotel recommendations).
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Stay in Prince Edward Island
- Best Areas to Stay in Prince Edward Island
- Tips for Staying in PEI
- FAQs about PEI
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Best Places to Stay in Prince Edward Island
Want the short answer to where you should stay in Prince Edward Island?
Here are my top property choices on the island, depending on your travel style:
- ✨ Best Overall Hotel – The Holman Grand in Charlottetown, high-end accommodation for the chic traveler
- 🍸 Best Luxury Hotel – Sydney Boutique Inn & Suites, 5-star suites in a historic building
- 👪 Best Hotel for Families – The Hotel on Pownal, modern accommodations with amenities
- 💻 Best Hotel for Business – Rodd Charlottetown, elegant accommodation with excellent WiFi reviews
- 🛎️ Best Boutique Place to Stay – The Great George Hotel in downtown Charlottetown, a historic hotel with gorgeous suites
- 👉 Best Place to Stay in Western PEI – The Loyalist Country Inn, a quaint hotel in Summerside
- 🛏️ Best Hotel for Budget Travelers – The Arts Charlottetown, basic accommodation with kitchen access and common areas
With that, let’s do a deep dive into the best neighborhoods and areas to stay in Prince Edward Island. With so many options for the best places to visit in Prince Edward Island, it’s a lot to consider!
Best Areas to Stay in Prince Edward Island
Before you decide on a Prince Edward Island hotel, you need to decide what regions you want to prioritize.
Prince Edward Island is essentially split up into four areas — western, Charlottetown, central, and eastern.
Though you’ll find Charlottetown in the central area, I’ve split them up into distinct zones for the sake of this guide. Charlottetown is very much the hub of the island, and the central zone outside of Charlottetown is much more off-grid.
Though the east and west sides of the island are decidedly more rural, they are great places to base yourself if you have specific items you want to check off your bucket list (we’ll get into those items more below).
Home to just 40,000 people, Prince Edward Island’s capital of Charlottetown is very much the beating heart of the island. Though it’s the province’s largest city, it very much has a small, homegrown vibe to it and the locals are just as friendly as you’ll find in more rural areas.
The core of Charlottetown is easily walkable and very safe, and all the major hotels, restaurants, and things to do are conveniently right in the center of it all.
Here, you’ll find the Confederation Centre of the Arts, Victoria Row, Beaconsfield Historic House, Victoria Park, Province House National Historic Site, and tons of restaurants. I especially recommend walking around historic downtown Charlottetown, which is a special hotspot for Canadian history.
On my PEI visit, I stayed right in Charlottetown and, though I did rack up a few miles on the road, I found it a great location from which to explore other destinations around the island.
👍 Pro tip: Notable sit-down restaurants in the island’s capital tend to fill up on a nightly basis. Don’t take the chance of not getting a table and make reservations in advance.
Pros of staying in Charlottetown:
- The entire downtown area is within walking distance
- A wide array of restaurants and shopping
- It’s a great central location for day trips
- Accommodation options for all travel styles
Cons of staying in Charlottetown:
- You’ll miss staying amongst nature
- Hotels are the priciest in this area
📚 Charlottetown Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Solo & Business Travelers
Central Prince Edward Island
The area surrounding the capital city, central Prince Edward Island stretches between Charlottetown in the east and just before Summerside in the west.
It includes north and south coastal regions and is home to the Green Gables Heritage Place, red cliffs, Prince Edward Island National Park, North Rustico, and Victoria. Summertime festivals in this region are plentiful and it’s a great option if you don’t want to stay right in the city but want to be close enough to experience its entertainment.
Central PEI is also home to some amazing beaches including Cavendish, Brackley, Tracadie, and Thunder Cove.
✨ Tour alert! If you’re a fan of Anne, then you gotta check out this Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place tour from Charlottetown. It’ll take you to the best spots!
Pros of Staying in Central Prince Edward Island
- Staying central means easy access to all of the island
- The primary PEI attractions are close by
- The main entertainment and festival area
- Easy access to car rentals and amenities
Cons of Staying in Central Prince Edward Island
- Hotels tend to book up fast in the summer months
- Is generally the pricier area of the island
📚 Central PEI Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Anne of Green Gables Fans & Beach Lovers
- ✨ Best Hotels – Barachois Inn • The Lookout Inn • The Cavendish Motel
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – The Table Culinary Studio ($$$), Blue Mussel Cafe ($$), The Mill in New Glasgow ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – The Ship’s Company Pub & Galley, Island Stone Pub
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place, Prince Edward Island National Park
Western Prince Edward Island
Including the town of Summerside and everything west, western PEI is known for its vast stretches of open area, quirky sites, and absolutely stunning north cape.
Though its population is sparse, it makes for a great place to stay if you love peaceful nature and have a penchant for scenic hikes.
In particular, this area is known for the Canadian Potato Museum, Bottle Houses, Cedar Dunes Provincial Park, North Cape Wind Energy Interpretive Centre, the North Cape Nature Trail, and West Point Lighthouse.
Pros of Staying in Western Prince Edward Island:
- An off the beaten path area with wild, rustic nature
- Stunning north cape coastline
Cons of Staying in Western Prince Edward Island:
- Far away from most amenities
- Not a huge selection of hotels and conveniences
📚 Western PEI Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Adventure Travelers & Nature Lovers
- ✨ Best Hotels – Loyalist Country Inn • Clark’s Sunny Isle Motel • Traveller’s Inn Prince Edward Island
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Wind & Reef Seafood Restaurant ($$$), Backwoods Burger – Craft Beer Cookhouse ($$), Starlite Diner & Dairy Bar ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – The Alibi Bar & Grill, The Albert & Crown Pub
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Canadian Potato Museum, Cedar Dunes Provincial Park
Eastern Prince Edward Island
Including everything east of Charlottetown and the #2 highway heading north, eastern PEI is known for its historic lighthouses, red sand beaches, ocean adventures, and walking trails.
Like western PEI, the east side of the island is fairly sparse population-wise, but it packs a punch with things to do. In particular, it’s home to Greenwich Park, Basin Head Provincial Park, deep-sea fishing excursions, Point Prim Lighthouse, and Cape Bear Lighthouse.
Pros of Staying in Eastern Prince Edward Island
- An off-the-beaten-path feeling
- Some of the best lighthouses in the province
- Plenty of natural beauty, picturesque seaside towns, and historic buildings
Cons of Staying in Eastern Prince Edward Island
- Few hotel options and most are seasonal
📚 Eastern PEI Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Ocean Experiences & Lighthouse Lovers
- ✨ Best Hotels – Lanes Riverhouse Inn & Cottages • Rodd Brudenell River Resort • Rollo Bay Inn
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Point Prim Chowderhouse ($$), Clam Diggers Beach House & Restaurant ($$), The Lucky Bean Cafe ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Wheelhouse in Georgetown, 1888 Pub
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Cape Bear Lighthouse, PEI National Park — Greenwich
Tips for Staying in PEI
Rent a Car
Renting a car on PEI is essential to see all the attractions. Prince Edward Island is small, but it’s still much too big to navigate without wheels.
Before you book, check Discover Cars to compare rates and get the best bang for your buck. They’re my car rental go-to!
Plan for Summer
If you’re traveling to PEI for vacation, then it’s important to note that it is very much a seasonal destination.
Peak season here is in the summer (May through September), and many hotels, attractions, and restaurants are closed outside of these specific months. I visited in late September / early October, and I found that though there was still a lot to do, many businesses shut their doors precisely on October 1st.
In accordance with the above point, because PEI’s peak season is only five months, make sure you book your hotel, car rental, festival tickets, and activities as early as possible.
A condensed tourism season means that everyone books their travel during the same time of year, driving up prices across the board and leaving a lot of businesses without vacancies.
Plan for the Unexpected
Though Canada is a very safe country, it’s still a global health crisis, so it pays to think ahead and have a plan for the unexpected.
Book More Than One Location
As you can probably tell, though PEI is the smallest province in Canada, it does require a bit of driving to get from the western tip to the east.
To get the best of all worlds, I recommend splitting up your hotel stays so that you book a couple of nights in each area. This way, you can plan your road trip in advance and see the sites without spending the bulk of your holiday in the car.
👉 Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Canada
FAQs about PEI
How many days do you need in PEI?
Though Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province, it does pack a punch with things to do and see. For this reason, I’d recommend at least five days to adequately check out the top sites.
What should you not miss on Prince Edward Island?
Some of the top attractions on Prince Edward Island include the Anne of Green Gables Heritage Site, Cavendish Beach, a tour of the Great George Hotel, the Confederation Trail, Cape Bear Lighthouse, and Singing Sands Beach.
Does Prince Edward Island have nice beaches?
Prince Edward Island has gorgeous sandy beaches of both the white and red variety. Some of the best beaches include Cavendish, Greenwich, Brackley, Basin Head, Cedar Dunes, and Jacques Cartier.
What is the warmest part of PEI?
The warmest parts of PEI include the southern region and the east. In particular, Singing Sands Beach on the west coast has some of the warmest sea waters in the province.
That’s it for my guide on where to stay and the best hotels in Prince Edward Island!
Though it’s a small province, there’s a great variety of accommodation options, and you’ll have no problem booking the perfect property for yourself.
For more information about travel in the great white north, check out these 16 essential Canada travel tips.
Have fun in Prince Edward Island!