Staying in Charlottetown and want to explore Prince Edward Island on a daytrip? Here are 15 places for you to visit on a day trip from Charlottetown.
1. Panmure Island
Panmure Island is a small red sandstone island with sandy beaches located off the East Coast of Prince Edward Island in the Kings County area. The perfect place for a day trip and family getaway, Panmure Island is quiet, serene and historic. Visit the lighthouse at Panmure Island Provincial Park, take in a show at the Kings Playhouse, and stop in for a cold brew at Copper Bottom Brewing.
2. North Cape
North Cape is located at PEI’s most northwesterly point of the Island in West Prince. Famous for its natural rock reed and where the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence meet the waters of the Northumberland Strait, North Cape is a wonderful place for the whole family to spend a day exploring. Stroll along the shores taking in views of marine life at low tide, stop in for a visit to the North Cape Interpretive Centre gift shop and museum, and dine on lunch with a view at the Wind and Reef Seafood Restaurant.
3. Brackley Beach
Only 15 minutes from Charlottetown, Brackley Beach is one of the most popular beaches in PEI among tourists and locals alike. With miles of breathtaking sandy beaches and lofty sand dunes, Brackley makes for a lovely day trip just outside of the city. With no shortage of attractions, Brackley is the home to the Dunes Gallery which is filled with all kinds of local arts and crafts. The Dunes Gallery even has its own café offering splendid avant-garde Island cuisine.
Greenwich is a must-see location when visiting Prince Edward Island. Located in the northwestern area of the province, Greenwich is a part of the PEI National Park in Kings County. The beach boasts the largest sand dunes of all Island beaches, with trails and floating wooden boardwalks that stem far across marshes and grasslands. This hidden gem makes for the perfect spot to spend a warm summer day outside of the city, spending time in paradise walking along the endless, pristine shoreline. Explore the Greenwich Interpretive Centre to learn more about the protected sand dunes and wildlife in the area, and stop for a classic PEI dinner favourite at Rick’s Fish and Chips.
5. Argyle Shore Provincial Park
Argyle Shore Provincial Park is located on Route 19 on the Red Sands Shore touring region. The park is a lovely place for families to spend a day exploring the red sands and sandstone features of the Island. Only 20 minutes from Charlottetown, the day-use park offers an unsupervised beach, playground and picnic facilities. Pets are also permitted on a leash! The park is also a great place to take off on the waters in kayaks and canoes, and other small watercrafts. After a long day at the beach, pop in for some relaxation, a taste of local ciders and fine dining at Riverdale Orchard in Bonshaw.
6. Victoria by the Sea
Tucked away on the South Shore of PEI, halfway between Charlottetown and Summerside, is Victoria by the Sea. This quaint little village may be tiny, but there is loads to do while visiting. Relax on the red, sandy beaches, get your photo taken with PEI’s biggest tree, take in a show at the Victoria playhouse, explore the Seaport Museum located inside an authentic lighthouse, rent a kayak and head out for an evening on the water, and feast at one of many restaurants located in Victoria, such as Beachcomber’s or Lobster Pub & Eatery.
7. West Point
West Point PEI is a great off-the-beaten-bath destination for adventurers looking to explore the best that the Island has to offer. There are several Provincial Parks in the area including Mill River. Mill River features recreation activities and an interpretive centre, golf courses and more fun for the whole family. Visitors can also tour the West Point Lighthouse Inn and Museum, the Island’s only inn located inside of an authentic lighthouse. A day trip is not complete without a filling lunch, and the Catch Kitchen & Bar is the perfect place to grab a bite!
8. Point Prim
Off of the Points East Coastal Drive is one of PEI’s most beautiful locations, Point Prim. The narrow peninsula is surrounded by the sea and the Island’s oldest Lighthouse, also the only circular brick lighthouse in Canada, lives here. Point Prim Lighthouse is named after the ship that brought Scottish settlers to PEI. Point Prim Chowder House is only a few minutes away and serves up a classic Island chowder like no other. Visitors are delighted to explore the area – and the vast sunset views are next level stretching out across the sea.
9. Orby’s Head
Orby’s Head is a lookout point located in North Rustico. Adventure for the day with bike rentals from Outside Expeditions to ride along the coast from Rustico to Cavendish, stopping at Orby’s Head to get some scenic photographs, a glimpse of some ocean wildlife, and enjoy the fresh, salty breeze. Orby’s Head is a rare geological formation which actually preserves fossils dating back to the Permian Period.
10. Basin Head
Basin Head, the beach known for its singing, white sands, is located just outside of the Town of Souris near the most Eastern point of the Island. Basin Head is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. The beach itself offers spectacular views and beautiful swimming waters. Take a walk along the boardwalk and grab a bite to eat on-site before exploring the Basin Head Fisheries Museum located at the park.
11. Dalvay by the Sea
Experience historic charm and countryside elegance at Dalvay by the Sea located in Dalvay. Originally built in 1895 by businessman Alexander MacDonald, the lower part of the house’s structure is was built with local sandstone in its natural form. Grand fireplaces were also built with quarried blocks made from PEI’s famous red sandstone. The 25-room retreat was voted one of Canada’s top 25 most romantic locations – and it’s not hard to see why. Spend the day at Dalvay Beach and exploring large property which includes lakes to kayak and canoe, tennis courts, and outdoor sitting areas perfect for a relaxing evening. The MacMillan Room Room inside the historic Victorian home is a full-service restaurant with a relaxed fine dining atmosphere offering highquality modern cuisine featuring fresh and local offerings.
12. Robinson’s Island
An old campground on PEI’s north shore, Robinsons Island, is now a thriving day-use park featuring activities and structures that teach people how to bike and mountain bike. Pack a lunch and head out to the family-friendly park to spend the day exploring nature and riding the trails. There are even trails for hikers and novice to intermediate level bikers.
13. North Rustico
Rustico is a quaint, Island town and a wonderful place to spend the day. Known as “The Crick” by locals, Rustico lights up in the summer as and offers a variety of activities and experiences. Go deep sea fishing with one of the many fishing outfits run out of the local harbour, hit up the sandy beaches and pop in for a lobster supper at the famous Fishermen’s Wharf Lobster Suppers.
14. Thunder Cove
Pack your beach towel and sunscreen because once you’re lying on the beach at Thunder Cove, you won’t ever want to leave. Thunder Cove Beach is one of those special destinations that Islanders try to keep to themselves. Located outside of Kensington on the north shore, Thunder Cove features famous PEI sandstone cliffs and cave formations which have been shaped over time by the waves and wind. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the sun for the day before stopping into the Malpeque Oyster Bar to browse their seafood market and grab a bit to eat.
15. Cabot Park
The largest day-use park in the western part of the Island, Cabot Park offers plenty for the whole family. With playground equipment, supervised swimming, floating chairs and an activity centre for the kids, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. The park even houses the historic Fanning School at Cabot Park, named after Governor Fanning, which was built in 1794. The school was restored converted for day-use and moved to the park in 1993. Visitors to the area can also take in a tour of the Kensington Railyards, a kayak trip with the Malpeque Bay Sea Kayak Tours and indulge on some classic Island favourites at Ship to Shore restaurant in Kensington.
Author – Cassandra Bernard