What is there to see and do on Prince Edward Island?

A couple of times a year I get an email from faraway friends or family that’s some variation of “my buddy Gregor is coming to PEI in a few weeks: what should he be sure to see and do?”

I’ve just had another one, and rather than responding privately, I’ll respond here so that others in the same pickle have a place to look (or a place to point).

The things listed below are limited selection that reflect my own particular tastes rather than being any attempt at being broad and universal (of particular note: I’ve left out a couple of places that I don’t want tourists gumming up).

These are the places I take people when they visit, the ones that are not “generic anywhere.”

Where to Eat


Outside of Charlottetown

  • The Pearl – quite possibly the best place to eat on the Island; dear, but worth it
  • Landmark Café – another contender for “the best place”
  • PEI Preserve Company – unsweetened iced tea; raspberry pie
  • Richard’s Fresh Seafood – fresh fish, stone’s throw from the beach in Stanhope; tell the National Park attendant “we’re going to Richard’s” and you won’t have to pay park fee
  • The Fifth Ingredient – a French bakery in the (relative) wilderness; excellent bread, but also pizza and sandwiches and smoothies of note
  • Sheltered Harbour Café – never had a bad meal here; my go-to place in Souris
  • Blue Mussel Café – fresh fish; no fries; stellar location; friendly staff

Where to Drink Coffee


Outside of Charlottetown

  • Samuels Coffee House – unexpected gem in Summerside; even after the “good coffee… in Summerside?” surprise wears off, the coffee is still good, the space is nice and the folks are friendly
  • Shore Market – ice coffee & capers; near the beach; amazing; beside Richard’s in Stanhope (see above)
  • Island Chocolates – Factory Coffee = coffee + chocolate; in Victoria-by-the-Sea near the Landmark (see above)

Where to Beach

  • Blooming Point – a spectacular semi-officially-recognized beach with no facilities other than parking
  • Stanhope – inside PEI National Park; most remarkable for easy access to good food and coffee (see above)
  • Argyle Shore Provincial Park – a nice place to picnic; water is shallow and calm and warm
  • Canoe Cove Beach – another warm, shallow south-shore beach
  • Sally’s Beach – not north shore, not south shore; not near anything; one of my favourites
  • Tea Hill Park – an unremarkable beach with lots of mosquitos; but it’s very close to Charlottetown

What to See and Do


  • City Cinema – an “art house” cinema in downtown Charlottetown. Tiny, friendly and air conditioned with an eclectic program.
  • Confederation Centre Art Gallery – austere, air conditioned, quiet space right downtown; a good place to get away from the crazy tourism-drenched streets on busy days

Outside of Charlottetown

  • Yankee Hill Pioneer Cemetery – the most beautiful cemetery you will ever visit
  • MacAusland’s Woollen Mills – worth the drive up west: the most interesting factory you’ll ever visit; you will leave having purchased a blank, I promise
  • McKenna Road – one of the Island’s “heritage roads”; best avoided after a rain; drive along a clay road under a canopy of trees; spectacular
  • Brackley Drive-in Theatre – the Island’s only drive-in; in the woods (so bring repellent) near the shore; we go at least once a summer
  • Gardens of Hope – walking trails through forest and gardens along the river; beside the PEI Preseve Company (see above); excellent if you need a calm oasis
  • Dunes Studio Gallery – most interesting for the architecture and the views; be sure to visit the gardens behind
  • Trailside Café and Inn – it’s a café and an inn, yes, but most notably it’s a tiny perfect music venue; you will not be disappointed if you see a show here (and do go early and have supper before; you’ll get a good seat and a good meal)
  • Kingfisher Outdoors – kayaking for non-kayakers: they have the kayaks, paddles and life-jackets, they drive you up the Morell River and put you in, you lazily drift/paddle down-river for two hours
  • PEI National Park at Greenwich – hiking for non-hikers: the walk from the parking lot, through the woods, over the boardwalk through the marsh and out on to beach will take you breath away; it’s my favourite walk on the Island
  • Belfast Mini Mills – most interesting to the fibre-loving tourist, but I love the simple pluck of the enterprise


vbj's picture
vbj on July 6, 2015 - 10:25

OK, I want the non-tourist list. Promise not to gum things up.

Kevin Lewis's picture
Kevin Lewis on July 6, 2015 - 14:59

Many excellent recommendations. For the drive in, I bought some loose window screen material from the hardware store. At the drive in, I use painters' tape to fasten it to the outside of the car, one on each side, so I can put windows down as far as I want and still have no bugs.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 6, 2015 - 16:00

This is an excellent hack; thank you.

Bob Gray's picture
Bob Gray on July 6, 2015 - 19:06

This may be the best list ever published. My standard answer, "Do? Nothing. See? Everything."
And don't forget coasting and eating on a hot summer eve on the veranda at 21 Breakwater in Souris. And the country breakfast at PEI Preserves in New Glasgow.

Robin Enman's picture
Robin Enman on July 6, 2015 - 23:02

Also If you wanna eat in awesome Pizza (Famous Peppers - in Chtown)
If you got a set of clubs and wanna try golf in west prince but don't have time for the whole or even half the course...(Mill River has 3 free holes)

Serendipity Golf COurse is dirt cheap and in French River...

Heather Mullen's picture
Heather Mullen on July 7, 2015 - 07:29

Check out the Thoughtful Squash in Mount Stewart this summer, it has become my oasis close to home. We often visit Jewell's in York for Ice Cream & to visit the goats.

The interpretive centre at Greenwich is a fantastic interactive museum - I think all our Island students should be visiting. Great information on the animals & environment of PEI.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 7, 2015 - 09:29
We drove by the Squash on our way back to town from Souris on the weekend. It doesn’t show well from the outside. We kept driving. Next time we’ll stop in!

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