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 Permalink

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 Permalink

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 Permalink

This is an excellent hack; thank you.

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

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 Permalink

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 Permalink

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 Permalink
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!