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The Potato Fields Of PEI

Things to do in PEI in Summer

I’ve been on a holiday to Prince Edward Island four times now and each time has been a resounding success. These 7 things to do in PEI in summer – based on the trips I’ve done to the island with and without kids should be enough to keep you busy and happy for a week or more.

If you really want to unwind, stay longer. Despite its small size, there are always things to do in PEI, especially when you’re never more than 16 km from the ocean.

Things to do in PEI –  Bike the length of Prince Edward Island 

Prince Edward Island offers up easy cycling. Spend a day on the Confederation Trail – a tip to tip trail on old railway lines or cycle the length of the entire island. It’s only about 250 km long so it’s not as epic as it sounds, especially if you do it at a leisurely pace over the course of a week.

Easy biking on the Confederation Trail
Easy biking on the Confederation Trail

I recommend the following.

Grab a shuttle through MacQueens and head for Tignish at the northwestern tip of the island. Before you go pick up a good map and then work your way east on a combination of quiet back roads and the Confederation Trail. Finish in Souris, about 250 km later, and shuttle or cycle back to Charlottetown. More details here.

The lighthouse in Souris
The lighthouse in Souris

Walk the Greenwich Dunes Trail 

In 1998 Greenwich became part of the PEI National Park because of its large parabolic sand dunes, the endangered piping plover and many rare plants.

Greenwich is accessed via Highway 313 out of the town of St. Peters, only an hour from Charlottetown. Getting to the mostly deserted beach (bring a picnic lunch) requires a 4.5 km round trip hike – and includes a fantastic section of boardwalk. The interpretative center is also worthy of an hour of your time.

Walk the boardwalk on the Greenwich Dunes Trail
Boardwalk on the Greenwich Dunes Trail; it leads to a gorgeous, uncrowded beach 

Spend a day on the beach

There are seven supervised beaches within PEI National Park. Brackley Beach is always a favourite with its miles of pristine beaches and sand dunes. These beaches are ideal for those of you with young families. And in the summer the water is warm enough for swimming.

I am a big fan of the quieter beaches in the Greenwich Section of PEI National Park. It’s a bit more of a hike to get there but the beaches here are pristine and totally lovely.

Beautiful beaches in the Greenwich Section of PEI National Park
Beautiful beaches in the Greenwich Section of PEI National Park – accessed via the Greenwich Dunes Trail

Eat lobster 

Lobster is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of PEI. I remember stopping at little fishing shacks and picking up lobster rolls for lunch. It feels so decadent to do that! Other non-restaurant options are church lobster suppers or you can buy them fresh from the lobster pound.

Lobster supper in PEI
You can’t beat a lobster supper in PEI

Visit Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place or the Historical Residence of L.M. Montgomery

If you’ve read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery then you’ll appreciate a visit to the house where the fictional Anne lived.

When I was there I was surprised by the number of Japanese tourists visiting – but as it turns out the book is part of the Japanese curriculum. And if there’s a member of your family who is crazy about all things Anne – don’t miss the musical in Charlottetown. It’s now been playing for over 50 years.

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island
The historical residence of L.M. Montgomery

Go deep sea fishing – one of the exciting things to do in PEI

On one of our visits to PEI we spent an afternoon out deep sea fishing. It was fun for a while but what I really remember is how sunny and lovely it was just relaxing on the boat.

Mackerel is the fish you’re likely to catch – good for your omegas but not my favourite eating fish. There are giant bluefin tuna out there – but that’s a whole other world I haven’t tried.

North Rustico - One of the many fishing villages in PEI
North Rustico – one of the many fishing villages in PEI – Photo credit: Rod Brazier on Flickr

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Go antiquing

PEI boasts an antiques trail. I’ve driven or cycled part of it and in fact came home with an antique pine table after one visit. Even if you’re not into antiques following the trail gives you an excuse to drive the pretty backroads of the island.

Where to stay in PEI

My favourite place of all time to stay in PEI is the Inn of Bay Fortune near Souris. While it’s not on a beach, it’s close and the food is divine.

In Charlottetown I’d recommend The Great George near the historic Charlottetown waterfront. You can walk everywhere from this hotel.

In Rustico the Barachois Inn is fabulous and their gardens gorgeous. A full English breakfast comes with a stay.

The Inn at St. Peters offers ocean views and well-tended grounds. It is rated as exceptional. 

The Inn of Bay Fortune in PEI
The Inn of Bay Fortune in PEI

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7 Things to do in PEI in Summer

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Number 8: Pie- all sorts of pie everywhere.

    Can’t believe you didn’t include pie. In fact, it battles lobster for number 1. They have terrific pie makers and I loved eating all the different types of pie. Blueberry, Raspberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream etc etc. In case you didn’t know, PEI is actually PIE mis-spelled.

  2. This is someplace I have been yearning to visit since seeing the film “Anne of Green Gables”, then reading the books. Lovely. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    1. Anne of Green Gables unfortunately was filmed in ONTARIO not PEI. PEI is much more beautiful. Read the books and go to the authentic sites and put that Ontario travesty behind you. PEI is a wonderful place, is on the same latitude as Bordeaux, and has the warmest water for swimming north of the Carolinas and a wonderful climate in the spring and fall.

      1. @Carol Thank you for that info. Fortunately if you’re in PEI you can still see the musical every summer. I have swam on numerous occasions off the beaches f PEI and agree that it’s very warm.

  3. Yes, I’m sold too! Will definitely put this on my bucket list for when we can finally do that round the world trip 🙂 Some great photos too. BTW, thanks for commenting over at my blog, ZigaZag earlier x

  4. what a fabulous island! thank you for taking me there! I wish I lived closer so I could visit.
    Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by my blog today.

  5. I’ve always wanted to go to PEI, but we never made it. We came close when we spent a few weeks in NS including a week on Cape Breton years ago. It was magical. Hope we get there someday.

  6. We were in Prince Edward Island in autumn a few years ago and absolutely loved it. My oldest daughter even thought about doing a term at uni there, but the selection of courses was a bit limited. This was in October, so naturally there were gorgeous colours, a bit cold for the beach, and quite a few attractions were closed. But we had lobster, visited Anne of Green Gables, stopped by the most adorable fishing villages (just to look, not to fish:) ) and just ambled about Charlottetown.

    1. @Sophie It sounds like you were a few weeks to late to catch the musical Annie. I bet your youngest would love it. I always love to see places ablaze in fall colours but to me PEI is at its finest when it’s a hot summer day and you can enjoy the beach and sit outside to eat lobster and drink wine.

  7. Just happened to stumble upon this and so nice to see such lovely comments about my childhood home 🙂 We still have family there, own a cottage on the south shore that we spend time at every summer and look forward to retiring there in the not *too* distant future. I encourage you all to visit one day, it truly is beautiful! Thanks for the positive review “Hike Bike Travel”

    1. @Jane Thank you for taking the time to comment. What a great place to return to every summer. WE did meet up with friends one night and they provided the beautiful lobster you see in the photograph.

  8. Going in September. Having a family reunion on the family farm. Most of us have never been. Our grandfather immigrated to Massachusetts in the early 1900’s. Can’t wait to see everything.

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