Beaches in America

I am not a big beach-goer. Catherine would like me to be. And, indeed, we have been to the beach two days running, which is something of a first. It seems absurd, living in the beachy paradise that we do, to not go to the beach as much as humanly possible, if only to ramble around in the shallows.

Beach going is much easier, and much more fun, now that Oliver will wade independently, something he started, appropriately enough, in the Mediterranean south of Barcelona in May. Today at Tea Hill beach he was romping around in the water like a duck. Although, for now, he can only “swim” backwards.

In any case, even with my relatively infrequent beach-going, I’ve seen a lot of the beaches that the Island has to offer, both in the spring and fall and in the heart of tourist season. With the exception of a rather busy day up at Basin Head, I don’t think I’ve ever shared a beach with more than a dozen people. Indeed, most of the time, especially if you visit in the late afternoon, you literally can have miles and miles of beach to yourself.

Which makes this photo of Coney Island on July 4th seem like another planet of beach-going. I’ve never been to Cavendish in the heart of the season… does it ever get that crowded there?

Reminder to fellow Island indoor geekfolk: do not let the summer go by again without noticing; soon the snow will be flying, and you will regret every sunny afternoon spent in front of the screen.


Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on July 6, 2003 - 13:36 Permalink

My own knowledge of PEI Beaches is small — Basin Head and a few others. Would a Beach page on Real Charlottetown be a “good thing?”

Surely some of us are experts?

Wayne's picture
Wayne on July 6, 2003 - 13:51 Permalink

Far from an expert, Tignish Shore has one of the best undiscovered beach in the Province. A long drive from the capital city, but worth experiencing at least once.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 6, 2003 - 16:59 Permalink

Our favourite beaches are Argyle Shore (turn left at Bonshaw heading from Charlottetown on Rte. 1, drive to the shore, turn right, and Argyle Shore Provincial Park is up aways on your left), Sally’s Beach (near the Inn at Spry Point) and Tea Hill (in Tea Hill; loved mostly for its proximity to town).

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on July 6, 2003 - 17:03 Permalink

I drove to the beach last week only to re-discover that you have to pay to enter the national park. What good beaches are there withing a short (<20min) drive from Charlottetown that aren’t in the national park?

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on July 6, 2003 - 17:48 Permalink

Blooming point

nathan's picture
nathan on July 6, 2003 - 17:52 Permalink

All of the provinical parks are free, such as Argyle, Tea Hill, and Canoe Cove. The national park is free after a certain time; I used to go in the evening when there’s still sun but few people.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on July 7, 2003 - 00:07 Permalink

Tea Hill is now a municipal park, given to PEI’s 3rd largest community a few years back. I live a stone’s throw from it (I should see if my wi-fi works from the park…), but don’t particularly like the beach, which is a tad on the muddy side. Being brought up on the North Shore, the sandy beaches are the way to go, even with the colder water.

Here’s my guide to sandy and free beaches within about 20 minutes of Town:
(1) Blooming Point:
Get there early on a hot day, as parking is at a premium. The western part of the beach (where the nudies are) is actually part of the National Park, although it is the undeveloped portion, and there are no tolls.
Tracadie Harbour beach (next to Tim Bank’s summer mansion) is a favorite for the teenage party crowd, and personal water craft abound. The dune in the water straight ahead of the beach is the western tip of the Blooming Point beach.
(3) “Dalvay east”
A couple of laneways between Dalvay and Tracadie (and a short beach walk) afford free access to this National Park beach.
(4) Keppoch Beaches:
Visitors are unfortunately not welcomed at these two sandy south shore beaches a few minutes from town. You can probably sneak in on bicycle, park your car on the Keppoch Road and walk, or befriend someone in the Keppoch Beach Estates cottage subdivision. I used to live near one of the beaches, and was never bothered, but I have heard stories of other people who were not made to feel welcome.
(5) North Rustico:
There are two entrances to this National Park beach, one in the Park, and another (free) in the village of North Rustico.

I’ve got my $32 early-bird park pass (they’re $63 now) in hand, so I will be able to visit any beach, free or not.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 7, 2003 - 00:38 Permalink

Now that I am not protecting my local knowledge, the best beach for my money is the one next west of North (Rustico) in the park. It is a little bit of a climb down but it is unused, calm and usually you have your choice of shade or sun, something my middle name of “Bino” requires me to keep an eye our for. I am pretty sure it is east of Orby head so if you have gone that far from North, you have missed it. Good sandy seabed, sheltered when the wind is up and less seaweed than North.