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An insider’s guide to Prince Edward Island

- Belle DeMont Photo Illustration
- Belle DeMont Photo Illustration

With summer-time on the way people are anxiously planning their next adventure.

Here in Atlantic Canada there’s lots to see and do. Partner that with a drive to support local businesses and you’ve hit the nail on the P.E.I. head.

But what are the spots to see? Places to shop? Restaurant’s to eat at?

Well, Island owned and operated businesses are a huge part of the province’s culture and tourist destination. But there’s also the sought-after sights from the red dirt roads and beaches to classics like the “Anne of Green Gables” inspired properties.

To sum it up, it’s about the experience. Consider this your intro to Island stops.

West Prince

Coming off the bridge, you can go east or west.

Starting in the western part of the Island there’s the North Cape Coastal Drive and West Point Light house.

Stop into Moth Lane Brewing for a drink, found off the beaten path or head to another fan favourite – Backwoods Burger. Rustic vibes, great food, even something for non-burger lovers (and the best onion rings).

Prince County

Continuing ‘east-bound and down’ you hit Summerside area. There’s the well-visited Spinnakers’ Landing – a boardwalk of shops located on Heather Moyse Drive (named after the Summerside’s loved Olympian), as well as other local businesses the street over – Water Street.

There’s Samuel’s Coffee House – delicious foods and drinks with a welcoming and warm atmosphere, Seaside Books – a used book store that usually has coffee or tea on tap, and The Hive – a local artisan shop run by Islanders-by-choice that features artwork, knit-goods, chalk paint if you’re looking to complete and DIY, and much more.

There’s also Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour -homemade, delicious ice cream with Island-made ingredients like ALD milk– it’s a win-win.

Looking for music – take in the Indian River Festival at Historic St. Mary’s Church in Indian River.

It’s important to remember that from tip-to-tip you’ll see farmers in the fields, fishers in their boats and dozens of Dairy Bars.

In the mood for some exotic butterflies and a trip to a tea-room? New Glasgow has the place the go – The Butterfly House and the Island Preserve Company. Located on the same property, have lunch or high-tea and then a visit with some fluttering friends.

Of course there’s the shops, provincial parks and beaches in the Cavendish area that everyone goes to (they’re like a classic novel – they’re a classic P.E.I. staple.)

Now, at some point during your stay on the Island you must, and I mean MUST, enjoy a handpie. It’s as it sounds a pie that fits in your hand, but they’re not a dessert necessarily – savoury meats, veggies and other flavours can be packed into one tiny pastry.

Queens and Kings Counties

Continuing east, you can head to the capital city for a trip down Victoria Row, a walkable city street with stores. Or go even further east and head to locations like Greenwich National Park and take in the dunes (but don’t walk on them) explore boardwalk systems and more (it’s so beautiful you’ll feel like you’re in a place you could only find on a postcard). Or check out East Point Light house, Basin Head (one of the most popular beaches) and listen closely for the singing sands. It was given the title because of the white sand (a rarity on the Island) sings as you walk through it due to it’s chemical (I’m talking chemistry) make-up.

To be honest, no matter where you going on the Island there’s a treasure around every turn, a story behind every place name (there has to be a reason for Seacow Pond), a dozens of places to explore.

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