Clam digging, kayaking, singing sand and ceilidhs are just some of the island’s many attractions—and, of course, Anne of Green Gables.
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That precocious, red-headed heroine Anne of Green Gables isn’t the only reason to visit Prince Edward Island, Canada’s most gentle isle. PEI’s gorgeous beaches of red and white—even singing—sand await you, along with spectacular seaside drives, workshops and more.
Here are 10 ideas to inspire your trip plans.
1)Literary inspiration: At the Anne of Green Gables Museum visitors can “meet” Anne, followed by a tour with Matthew’s Carriage Rides. The route goes through the property, alongside the Lake of Shining Waters, then onto a private beach.
2) Live the island life: Authentic PEI Experiences offers traditional activities such as digging for clams or making soap from Irish moss.
3) Camp by a beach: Provincial parks such as Panmure Island and Red Point have overnight camping, plus children’s activities in July and August. Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada protects part of the north shore’s rare dune coastline ecosystem, while Greenwich has a superb interpretive site that explains the parabolic dunes, plus a boardwalk. Or camp with beach views at Cavendish Campground.
4) Get in the festival spirit: Celebrate beaches during annual fests such as Mermaid Tears Sea Glass Festival (fourth weekend in July) or Fall Flavours Festival. Throughout the year, catch a Celtic ceilidh, like the one at Brackley Beach, or check Facebook for news on the latest parties.
5) Dine out: For fine food with a Balinese flair, visit The Dunes gallery, gardens and restaurant at Brackley Beach.
6) Mix theatre, kayaking and seafood: Don’t miss Victoria-by-the-Sea seaport’s “down home, old time feel.” See a play at the historic Victoria Playhouse, kayak (and add clam digging to your jaunt), stay at the Orient Hotel, then dine at Landmark Café or on the pier at Lobster Barn Pub & Eatery.
7) Discover singing sand: At Basin Head Provincial Park, multi-edged quartz crystals in the sand “sing” as you walk along the beach. The Fisheries Museum explains ocean life from lighthouses to shipwrecks and fishing.
8) Glorious bird watching: Look out for great blue herons and endangered piping plovers. Be prepared to shelter gear such as take binoculars and tripods from blowing sand and salt.
9) Hit the road: The North Cape Coastal Drive has breathtaking coastal scenery. Discover First Nations Mi’kmaq and Acadian cultures, kitchen parties at St. Luke’s Hall and more.
10) Love is in the air: Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site, voted one of Canada’s most romantic destinations in 2012, commands beautiful ocean views from the main lodge or cabins.
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