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Prince Edward Island

Photo © Midworlder

Travel Guide North America Canada Prince Edward Island

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Introduction

Prince Edward Island Bridge

Prince Edward Island Bridge

© All Rights Reserved sunraybret

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province of Canada in both land area and population. The capital is Charlottetown and the island is located north of Nova Scotia and east of New Brunswick.

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Geography

Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, west of Cape Breton Island, north of the Nova Scotia peninsula, and east of New Brunswick. Its southern shore bounds the Northumberland Strait. The island's landscape is pastoral. Rolling hills, woods, reddish white sand beaches, ocean coves and the famous red soil have given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty. The coastline has a combination of long beaches, dunes, red sandstone cliffs, salt water marshes, and numerous bays and harbours. The beaches, dunes and sandstone cliffs consist of sedimentary rock and other material with a high iron concentration, which oxidises upon exposure to the air. Large dune fields on the north shore can be found on barrier islands at the entrances to various bays and harbours. The magnificent sand dunes at Greenwich are of particular significance. The shifting, parabolic dune system is home to a variety of birds and rare plants

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Sights and Activities

  • Prince Edward Island National Park covers much of the central north coast and tourist destinations.
  • Provincial Parks of PEI
  • Cape Bear - Formed from high cliffs that offer a good location for photography and viewing seals. During World War II, the lighthouse at Cape Bear was used to spot German U-Boats. Cape Bear was also the first land station in Canada to receive an SOS from the Titanic in 1912. edit
  • The Ghost Ship of the Northumberland Strait - A legendary ghost ship believed to sail the Northumberland Strait by nightfall engulfed in flames. Many ships ventured out on rescue missions to this burning ship. Reportedly, the ship always receded from view. Witnesses across the island will testify to sightings of this phantom ship. edit
  • High Bank (In Kings County in eastern PEI) - The cliffs surrounding High Bank provide sweeping views along the Northumberland Strait of Nova Scotia and Pictou Island. edit
  • Malpeque Harbour - A bay in Prince County. It is the source of not just the famous oysters but many postcards and posters of the picturesque fishing boats, colorful barn-shaped boat houses, and neatly stacked lobster traps. Arrive in late afternoon or early morning for the best light on the water. edit
  • Murray Harbour (In southern Kings County) - In the 1700s the harbour became an important Canadian port for the fishing trade. Today, Murray Harbour is still a fishing community. Local fishermen cast around the harbour for lobsters and scallops. edit
  • St Peter's Bay - Bordered by the 900 acre Greenwich Dunes on one side, and is full of row upon row of buoys used for mussel farming

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Festivals and Events

Prince Edward Island is home to many festivals and events throughout the year. A few of the annual events that take place throughout the year are the following:

  • The Festival of Lights occurs over the Canada Day Holiday, and hosts a series of concerts.
  • Jack Frost Children's Winterfest occurs over the weekend in February, and is a village created out of snow where children can explore and enjoy being outside.
  • PEI Jazz and Blues Festival occurs during July and is a festival that hosts concerts throughout the day and the night. The Festival takes place on one of Charlottetown's busiest streets.
  • Old Home Week occurs during August and is a family event that showcases PEI's traditional Island. During this week there is a carnival that is one of the main attractions.

For more information on these and other Festivals and Events visit Discover Charlottetown.

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Weather

Prince Edward Island has generally warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures in summer (June to September) are between 20º C and 23º C during the day, while in winter (December to February) temperatures are below 0 º C during the day, nights averaging below -10º C in January. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year with snowfall in winter. There is ample precipitation throughout the year, although it is heaviest in the late autumn and early winter and mid spring. The island receives an average yearly rainfall of 855 mm and an average yearly snowfall of 285 cm. From December to April, the island usually has many storms (which may produce rain as well as snow) and blizzards. Springtime temperatures typically remain cool until the sea ice has melted, usually in late April or early May. Autumn is a pleasant season, as the moderating Gulf waters delay the onset of frost, although storm activity increases compared to the summer.

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Getting There

By Plane

Charlottetown Airport (YYG) functions as the main gateway to Prince Edward Island by air.
Destinations are mainly to other Canadian cities like Montreal and Toronto with for example Air Canada. There are however seasonal flights to Detroit, New York and even to La Romana in the Dominican Republic.

By Car

The Confederation Bridge links Prince Edward Island with New Brunswick. It's reached from the mainland on TCH Route 16 near Aulac, and stretches 13 kilometers across open water to the island. The CDN $44.25 toll, based on the 2012 rates, is collected on the PEI side when returning to the mainland.

By Bus

Acadian provides service between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and into Quebec connecting with other bus companies.

By Boat

There are a number of car ferries to PEI:

  • The Northumberland Ferries, +1-888-249-7245, cross from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Woods Islands about once every hour and a half, from 6:30am to 7:00pm (a return trip is $15 per passenger or $66 per car, in fact, similarly to the toll bridge, only the way out from PEI is charged). The ferries do not operate during the winter months.
  • CTMA, +1 418 986-3278, runs ferries from Cap-aux-Meules on Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec to Souris about once a day ($40 per passenger or $75 per car).

Throughout the summer months, cruise liners stop in Charlottetown for one day visits.

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Getting Around

By Car

Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:

By Bike

As Prince Edward Island is small, in the summer cycling is popular. Although most roads do not have wide shoulders or designated bike lanes, drivers tend to be quite courteous to cyclists. The landscape consists mostly of rolling hills; there are few steep hills to climb. Additionally, the Confederation Trail stretches from one end of the island to the other. Built on a disused rail bed, the trail has low grades and is reserved for cyclists and pedestrians. Cycling maps, sample itineraries and other cycling resources are available from different companies.

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Eat

In recent years, Prince Edward Island has seen a tremendous improvement in the quality of its restaurants. The traditional tourist restaurants serving boiled lobsters with all-you-can-eat coleslaw still exist, and can be a lot of fun, but those looking for a more refined or exotic meal now have several options.

PEI is known for its great seafood selection, primarily in the summertime. Three of the most popular locations are New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, Lobster on the Wharf, and St. Ann's Lobster Suppers.

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Drink

The legal drinking age in Prince Edward Island is 19. Bars, clubs and liquor stores will typically ask for a government-issued ID from anyone who looks under 25. Retail alcohol sale on the island is restricted to the government controlled PEI Liquor Commission. Their stores carry a reasonable selection of wine, beer and liquor.

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Sleep

  • Briarcliffe Inn, 274 Salutation Cove Rd, ☎ +1 902 887-2333. The Briarcliffe Inn is a bed and breakfast in Salutation Cove with a beautiful view overlooking the Confederation Bridge. $115-$175.
  • Northumberland Provincial Park Campground, 12547 Shore Rd, Rte 4 (3 kilometres from the Wood Islands Ferry), ☎ +1 902 962-7418. Open from 27 May-17 Sep. The Northumberland Provincial Campground provides a gentle camping experience. The park has a lovely view of a family friendly island beach with lifeguards on duty through the summer. $25-$45.

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Contributors

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Prince Edward Island Travel Helpers

This is version 18. Last edited at 8:56 on Mar 1, 16 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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