PE Island: Marvelous, Mellow, Manicured


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Published: August 9th 2022
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” Dave has pleasant childhood memories of going camping at age 14 with his father on Prince Edward Island. From early in our marriage, I’ve heard his reminiscences. It was a joy to experience this location with Dave.” Merry Jo



There are times when you gather your expectations, only to see them exceeded by what is conceivably some of the most pleasant scenery acre for acre in our travels. Prince Edward Island, part of the Maritime Provinces of Canada is such a place.

On this trip we are traveling with our friends Chuck and Martha who live near St. Louis. We all met when we were working in Pittsburgh more than a few years back and now finally had the opportunity explore a new place together. We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, scooped up our rental car and headed to Truro for the evening where we had a nice meal and then made an early night of it as we were off to PE Island the next morning.

On our way to Charlottetown, were able to stop at Joggins Fossil Cliffs which is a UNESCO Site. They have a visitors center with a very
North Cape LighthouseNorth Cape LighthouseNorth Cape Lighthouse

A beautiful location
well done museum featuring interesting fossils that have been found in the area. The boardwalk leads to several steps allowing you to go down to the beach during low tides. The walk on the beach next to the cliffs is lovely but we enjoyed the beach walk with all the colorful stones just as much. When we arrived, the tide was low but headed back in. The cliffs are fairly close to The Bay of Fundy, it is known for its dramatic tide changes and standing on the beach we were able to visualize the changes in water levels that would occur was rather amazing. This area is rich in history and the fossils tell a magnificent story from the coal age—100 million years before the dinosaurs. It is hard to wrap your mind around the significance of all the stories and knowledge the fossils share.

A while later the Confederation Bridge came into view and the excitement began to build. We stopped for photos and admired the grand structure. We read that this is the longest bridge in the world that crosses over ice covered waters. This eight-mile (12.9 km) bridge toll will cost you $50. 25 Canadian
Lobster Roll babyLobster Roll babyLobster Roll baby

Albert and Crown Pub
or $38.86 U.S.! Before its completion in 1997, the only access to PE Island was by ferry or private boat. This was a big deal. The bridge has gentle curves that make it an attractive bridge. Our photos don’t do it justice. A drone is needed to get the proper viewing. Ferry service still connects the southern part of the island to Nova Scotia.

So….you’ve driven and toured all morning, what to do next? Enjoy a marvelous seafood lunch on a floating dock restaurant called the Cork and Cast where we got our fill of good beer and fresh haddock. We checked into our darling Bed and Breakfast where we greeted by our host and settled into our rooms before taking a short walk along the waterfront promenade. The Eden Hall is a stately manor along a tree lined street where several other large homes have been converted into B & B’s. If you are a foodie, you may want to stay here to enjoy the breakfast. Later in the evening we walked into Charlottetown for a light supper. Our late lunch left us wanting a nibble but nothing big. We grabbed some hummus and pita while listening to a local band.

Our first full day of exploration took us to the north and western part of the island where we were in search of lighthouses. The quaint village of North Rustico gave us a look at our first one. We observed that they are not as tall as the ones in the U.S. and also constructed of wood. As the day progressed, we visited the North Cape Lighthouse which is on a scenic cliff and the West Point Lighthouse which turned out to be a bed & breakfast and was located on a public beach. We surmised that they may have had the same architect for all of the lighthouses on the island. They were all basically the same size and shape. The differences came in the way they were painted. They don’t offer the individual uniqueness of the ones you will find in the U.S. but a lighthouse is always a welcome stop in great locations.

To see Prince Edward Island well we highly recommend renting a car as the island is far larger than you would expect. After driving several hundred miles in various directions along some beautiful curving country roads one thing was abundantly clear to us… the people of the island have pride and take great care of their property. All the houses were freshly painted, the lawns were mowed, manicured and decorated. Many of these homes were on 5, 10 acres or more and the grass was mowed short, there were a plethora of flowers planted in front of the homes and along the driveways, window boxes and hanging flowers baskets from every porch. There weren’t any old cars and tractors or trash piled up in any place we could see. The cleanliness grabs your attention and makes the properties beautiful.

When we googled Prince Edward Island it said it was known for Green Gables, golf, its seafood and sandy beaches. All of this is true but we found this island to be rich in agriculture. They are famous for their potato farms and while we were here the new potatoes were in bloom. To be more specific PE Island produces 2.5 billion pounds of potatoes each year. Wow! The root vegetables grow well, we saw acre after acres of wheat and corn as well. The most beautiful was the enormous blankets of yellow surrounding us as we drove –
Ocean brushed rocksOcean brushed rocksOcean brushed rocks

At Joggins Unesco Site
yes they are rich in canola fields. It would be hard to find something more lovely than the sun shining on the fields of wheat and canola.

We believe that most of you who read our blogs are aware that we write our blogs together and attempt to write it in a way that you are never sure who wrote which paragraph, but you may be able to take a correct guess on this paragraph. Ok, so let’s talk about Anne of Green Gables. We had not read the books as children but had heard of them. As time grew closer one of us (guess) started reading the books… once into the 4thbook interest was lost. The first two books were very good, and the third book was fairly good. One of us felt obligated to go see the house. It is a big tourist attraction with busloads of people waiting to go to the museum, gardens and check out the house. Not being avid fans, we decided to walk along the fence to grab a photo of the Green Gables house. Some people were coming out the side gate as we passed by ( Merry Jo and Martha)
It may be slateIt may be slateIt may be slate

Beautiful texture to this stone at Joggins
so we ran in and took a picture a bit closer and got out of there before we got busted. It was worth taking a glance at the house and seeing their vision of the gardens and that was enough for us. The books have stimulated a cottage industry og all things related to Anne and Green Gables.

When we travel, we love visiting quirky museums. There is just something that draws you in and when you visit them, you are rarely disappointed. We’ve seen museums like the Barbed Wire Museum in Texas, the Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame California and others that are simply fun. The Canadian Potato Museum was just up our alley. Our friend Chuck was not as enthusiastic about the visit before he went and perhaps, we could state that he was a bit of a nay sayer…. What a great little museum. Chuck had to admit it was nice but not as thrilled as the rest of us. Who knew that a potato museum could be so fun and informational.

Our 2nd day was jam packed with beauty. Our first stop which was one of our favorites on the island was a walk at the Greenwich Dunes. It involves a walk through the woods, across a floating boardwalk in the marshlands that lead to the stunning sand dunes and finally you reach the beaches with lovely sand banks. The diversity of this walk was immensely enjoyable. Pictures do not really do this park justice. Our words do not do it justice. The Greenwich Dunes are a must if you enjoy being outside.

Our next stop was the East Point Lighthouse which looked similar to the others. Again, a scenic setting which allowed us to wander and appreciate the beauty of this province. It was located nicely on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and provided a great overlook.

Martha was looking for a place for a swim and Basin Head was a wonderful choice. They have a lovely welcome center with showers. This was a warm summer day, and it was packed with happy people of all ages enjoying paddle boarding, catching some sun and jumping from a bridge into the causeway that leads from the river to the sea. Martha opted to walk the sandy beach and enter the brisk water from there where she had a
North Cape LighthouseNorth Cape LighthouseNorth Cape Lighthouse

Plus communication tower
fun time. (68 degrees). MJ would have joined her but she injured her toe the week before we left so opted to keep it safe from potential injury. Dave wanted no part of 68 degree water!

We’d like to wrap this up by talking about ice cream. Everyone recommends going to Cows Creamery and so we did visit. It was decent ice cream but not as good as we were expecting. On our last day on PE Island we were in Summerside for dinner and were told about Holman’s Ice Cream and so yes we checked it out. We recommend making the effort to get to Summerside as the ice cream was far superior!

PE Island is made for those who want to hike, bike, swim, boat, enjoy the outdoors and eat some great seafood! The scenery is amazing, the people incredibly friendly and there’s no shortage of seafood.



Where we stayed:

Eden Hall B & B

Restaurants to recommend:

Cork and Cast

John Brown’s Grille

The Pilot House. (don’t leave without trying the carrot cake)

Bluewater Grill in Summerside

Albert and Crown Pub in Alberton

The Boat House Harbor Eatery in North Lake


Additional photos below
Photos: 64, Displayed: 29


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East Point LighthouseEast Point Lighthouse
East Point Lighthouse

Prince Edward Island
West Point LighthouseWest Point Lighthouse
West Point Lighthouse

Prince Edward Island
Fields of flowersFields of flowers
Fields of flowers

Scenic highways and vistas
Eden Hall InnEden Hall Inn
Eden Hall Inn

Our lodging for three nights


9th August 2022

PEI
Enjoyed your PEI blog. A beautiful and serene place. I remember traveling there by car ferry. The bridge toll is quite hefty!
9th August 2022

PEI
We enjoyed it immensely. A beautiful part of the world.
9th August 2022

PEI
Dave and Merry Jo, Delighted that you enjoyed this lovely island which, like yourselves, left you with some very fond memories. I guess we were fortunate to have 'Winnie' our trusty RV to take us into some of the extremities and do the touristy bits. Janice just had to take me to Green Gables, a much loved book here in the UK and particularly Japan for some odd reason - perhaps it's in the school curriculum when learning English. Japanese women are a soft touch for a bit of romantic English (or is it Canadian?). To see our take on PEI: https://www.travelblog.org/North-America/Canada/Prince-Edward-Island/blog-79511.html - but that's a long time ago!
9th August 2022

PEI
David and Janice, We will take a look at your travels. We are glad we rented a car but an RV would have made it even easier. It is a wonderful part of the world. I enjoyed the authors writing and really enjoyed the first two books…. But by the 4th one in a row I’d had my fill. Maybe I’ll get back to it at some point.
9th August 2022

Busted!!
What a wonderful start to a great trip. This looks like a very fun,relaxing time with great friends, food, beer and scenery. I do love that you were busted at the house, and know I would have been right there with you. Looking forward to the next segment of this trip.
9th August 2022

Busted
We are having fun. Wish you were here! Yes, you would have been there with us getting in trouble when it happens.
9th August 2022

Looks Delicious!
What a lovely area! The food looks amazing, and I had no idea they were famous for potatoes. I had only heard about PEI mussels! I wonder if the bridge is also the most expensive in the world? Seems reasonable when compared to a ferry but that is pricey.
10th August 2022

Looks Delicious!
Lobster, clams, mussels, haddock, potatoes, carrots and more are in abundance. Every restaurant has carrot cake and we’ve sampled a few. I bet it is one of the more expensive bridges to cross. Yes, cheaper than the ferry plus it is cool driving across. There is a lot of great hiking.
10th August 2022

carrot cake!
Every restaurant had carrot cake is reason enough to go, though it looks so clean and beautiful. Antithesis of Sicily :-)
10th August 2022

Carrot Cake!
Indeed the carrot cake would be reason enough to go. Yes, indeed the antithesis of Sicily. Miss you .... let's travel soon.
10th August 2022

Museums
There’s a Barbed Wire Museum? Sounds like we need to add PEI to the list.
10th August 2022

Museums
The barbed wire museum is in Texas. We were adding it as an example of quirky museums. The potato museum was well done.
10th August 2022

PEI
Enjoyed your review of PEI and it mirrors our thoughts since we were just there in July. Just like you guys, we found everything so neat, clean and well maintained. Guess that we will have to differ on the ice cream - we thought Cow's Blueberry was some of the best ice cream we have tried.
11th August 2022

PEI
I'm glad you felt the same way we did about PEI. The Cow's was good until we ate Holman's ...... However, we didn't try the blueberry.
10th August 2022

PEI!
I very much enjoyed your PEI blog! I was born in Nova Scotia, but my family left for the west coast when I was a small child, and I've never been back to the Maritimes. I would love to see it, and PEI looks like a great place to visit.
11th August 2022

PEI
It sounds like you left when you were very young. I'd like to know what it would be like to grow up on the island. It is lovely. Hopefully, you'll have to get back to see if any memories get jogged. We really enjoyed our visit.
10th August 2022

Yes, this is a place we would love!
The stories and photos have cemented the desire that we might visit one day. What a relief to be around things so well cared for. Have grown weary of the poor care and trash of many places where we live in NC.
11th August 2022

Yes, this is a place we would love!
I do hope you can make plans for PEI. So much serenity and nature. It was pleasantly startling at first to see how clean and well cared for everything was.
11th August 2022

Nice entry
After reading your blog I mentally added PEI on my list of future destinations. Did I miss the photo of Ann of Green Gables house?
11th August 2022

Nice Entry
Whoops.... I didn't realize I didn't add the house. I'll go back in and add it. Nice Catch! PEI is lovely.
12th August 2022

I am jealous, as usual.
It is on my bucket list. Lovely commentaries, pictures
12th August 2022

I am jealous
You would enjoy it here. The beauty is around every corner.
13th August 2022
The Potato Museum

We also love quirky museums
We also love quirky museums or, as we call them, theme museums. We have seen several over the years such as a toilet museum, petrol museum, teddy bear museum and a pig museum. I just added the potato museum to the list of places we'd love to go to one day. /Ake
13th August 2022
The Potato Museum

Quirky Museums
This museum was very well done. I’m glad you are adding it to the list.
14th August 2022

The measure of a man when it comes to lighthouses
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - Martin Luther King, Jr. When I saw your blog it struck me how many lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and the potential for our 'Lighthouses of the World' thread in the Photography Forum. But due to the new servers the ability to post on the thread is presently denied. Which got me to thinking...how serene it looks from your pics...but how wild must be the sea around PE when the wind and waves are in a frenzy?
14th August 2022

The measure of a man when it comes to lighthouses
Martin Luther King Jr. was a wise man. This part of the world has and needs many, many lighthouses! The seas were calm while we were here but so many sailors lost their lives.... details in our next blog. When a nor'easter hits it wreaks havoc. As you say the winds and waves are in a frenzy.
14th August 2022
Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge
Now that's a really solid bridge...a sea wall in other ways!
14th August 2022
Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge
A sea wall indeed… sturdy as she comes. The ice must be amazing to see in the winter when you drive over this bridge.
22nd August 2022

Reminiscing
Lovely to read this , I was living in Ontario and in 1972 took a camping trip to PEI , so then it was a ferry and also not many people at Green Gables. I bought an ‘Anne’ doll for my then baby daughter, it’s probably in the loft ! Reading about it makes me want to take another trip there. Love the idea of a potato museum ! Thanks Dave and MJ .
22nd August 2022

Reminiscing
I’m sure you would love another trip to this part of the world. 1972 was a while ago but I doubt there are too many changes other than the crowds at the Green gables.
23rd August 2022

love your update
You peaked my interest in the Confederation Bridge so I had to look it up! I hope to make it up that way, these past few blogs have been some of my all time favorite.
24th August 2022

Love your update
Canada is amazingly beautiful and the people are so dang nice. It is a joy to travel here. You must plan yourself a trip. The Confederation Bridge is a nice piece of construction. I'd love to photo it from a drone.
25th August 2022

PE Island
I read a few of the Anne of Green Gables books when I was younger, and you're right, the middle books are a bit boring - but they get better as Anne moves into adulthood and the books become much more about her children. When I was a child I didn't realise PE Island was a real place...I now need to go back and check if Matthew Cuthbert was a potato farmer. How amazing that a whole tourist industry can spring up so many years after the books were written. Loved this blog :)
25th August 2022

PE Island
Maud Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Gables has brought both fame and fortune to this part of the world. Maybe I’ll consider the later books after a bit of a break. Too much Anne is a bad thing.
11th September 2022

PE Island
Wow, lovely place! I love the image of every house having manicured gardens, flower baskets, and being well-cared for. I am an outdoor lover, so I think I'd be in my element with the lighthouses, boardwalks, and 68 degree sea water! I was not one of those who knew you took it in turns to write paragraphs, but this fascinating fact will give reading your blogs a whole new meaning - trying to figure out who wrote which paragraph, lol! I just loved the sneaky photo you took in the Green Gables house and getting out of there before you got busted, lol! Must have saved you a small fortune in admission costs! Well done 😊
13th September 2022

PE Island
Indeed a lovely place. We've really enjoyed our travels to the Maritime provinces. Good luck on trying to figure out who wrote what...LOL! The cost to go onto the grounds and the museum was pretty high. We are glad we stole three minutes to grab a photo and got in and out. We were stealth like.

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