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The trodden track in Prince Edward Island goes something like this: Cavendish, Anne of Green Gables, Brackley Beach, home.
It’s one that offers tourists and locals something to see each time they visit and is famous for good reason. But the Island holds many more surprises outside of these go-to hot spots.
It doesn’t take much deviating from these red roads to find things that’ll surprise even the most seasoned of P.E.I. visitors, so consider doing a little something different next time you visit.
A different beach
Spellings of the area differ. Some say SeaView, others Sea View, but if you look on a map, just head towards Park Corner, and then west along the coast until you reach Branders Pond Road.
Public access to Sea View beach is at the end of this road, where you’ll find stunning views of red cliffs, fluorescent green seaweed, beautiful warm waters, washed-up lobster traps and even the odd piece of sea glass. There is also a piece of eroded cliff that sits alone on the beach’s far side, which has two face profiles on it.
The beach offers some of the most stunning scenery on the Island, but be sure to park in the public access area and not on private property, and don’t use private staircases to access the beach.
A different coffee
Whipped coffee has been taking the world by storm, whether professionally made by a barista or the instant variety whipped up at home. Vietnamese cuisine has been made famous by dishes such as pho, but did you know its coffee is just as famous?
Hiep Pham owns and operates Alambé Coffee in Charlottetown, where he whips up delicious espressos and other specialty coffees. At $4.38, the Dalgona whipped coffee is served cold over ice, and its refreshing whipped texture and taste are sure to please. The café also offers bahn mi sandwiches, another famous and tasty Vietnamese offering.
A different speed
Prince Edward Island is becoming a cycling destination, thanks to its slopping hills and beautiful scenery, but how many know how bike-friendly its city, Charlottetown, has become?
The city has mapped out numerous bike routes that make it easy and safe to navigate its downtown core. There are beautiful cycling paths, including one that follows its Victoria Park Boardwalk along the Victoria Park Roadway. While downtown, pick up a ‘I Bike Charlottetown’ bike map, or visit Charlottetown.ca/cycling for information on specific cycling routes through the city.
A different seafood
Anthony Bourdain wasn’t kidding when he described how magical a freshly caught oyster can taste. Why not try that experience out for yourself and shuck your own oysters by the ocean in Summerside, where JMK Fish Mart offers the tasty seafood for $1.50 apiece, along with shucking knives to get you started.
The small fish mart sells everything from quahogs to oysters, lobsters and salt fish. When eating the oysters, consider bringing lemon wedges or hot sauce to use and elevate the flavour in no time at all, but be sure to try at least one on its own. It’s a flavour you’re not likely to forget.
Caution: watch the knife when you shuck, and don’t cut yourself!
A different shop
You needn’t leave Prince Edward Island to shop designer and you needn’t worry about what impacts your purchases have on the environment, as there is one store that solves both potential quandaries.
Luxury Market Consignment boutique in downtown Charlottetown carries brands including Bottega Venetta, Yves Saint Laurent and others so unique that most people have likely never heard of them. Shop owner Mary Beth Campbell adds new items to the floor almost daily and offers a generous, size-inclusive selection for men and women. This place is a treasure trove full of beautiful, one-of-a-kind designer items and offers a sustainable way to shop.