With the release of Anne (of Green Gables), comes renewed interest in PEI as a vacation destination! Spectacular summers, breathtaking beaches and scenery, unique activities, delicious dining, rich history and a touch of whimsy make it a top destination for families. Everyone is offered a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in a way of life that is foreign to many, yet profoundly Canadian at the same time.
I’ve never forgotten my camping trip to PEI as a child. We took the ferry back then, which only added to the experience. Now you can drive on the Confederation Bridge!
“The curved, 12.9 kilometre (8 mile) long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water, and continues to endure as one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century,” boasts the Confederation Bridge website.
I distinctly recall the Rainbow Valley flying saucer gift shop, part of the Rainbow Valley Park back in the day. The red soil and beaches almost made it feel like another planet, so the saucer fit right in. This small island is packed with a level of uniqueness that imprints itself on a child’s memory, ensuring they will never forget this family vacation.
Plan your trip now, before limited accommodations and entertainment are fully booked for the Summer! Following are just a few family experiences recommended by Tourism PEI.
Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, who is a Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables expert, shares her thoughts on PEI.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (March 19, 2019) – With nearly 700 miles of pristine beaches and the home of the beloved Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Prince Edward Island has long been a sought-after destination for families. Canada’s smallest province is also known as the country’s food island, boasting 600,000 acres of farmland, which also yields a mighty number of hands-on experiences for families that include farm visits, animal interaction, oyster shucking, and even cooking classes.
Island Hill Farms
Locally known as one of the cutest places on earth, Island Hill Farms in Hampshire is home to roosters, alpacas, miniature donkeys, bunnies, and more. The farm also hosts nine different varieties of goat, who wear knitted sweaters when it’s cold and often snuggle up to visitors. Families can catch a glimpse into life on a farm and learn about the importance of farming, animals, sustainability, and supporting local communities. There’s also a local store filled with fresh products, including homemade soaps from the goat milk produced on the property. The farm is open daily, the entrance fee is $10 per person and $6.50 per child (2-4-years old).
Learn How to Shuck Oysters
Seafood lovers can take part in a farm-to-table experience with the Valley Pearl Oysters’ Get Shucked tour. Participants will practice tonging oysters, the process of gathering oysters off the ocean floor with long rake-like tools. After collecting oysters, the group will return to the plant to learn about oyster processing methods, practice shucking, and taste some of the world’s best oysters. Guests will learn from owners and competitive oyster shuckers, Jeff Noye and Damien Enman. This experience is offered July 1 – September 30 by appointment, from $90 per person.
Anne of Green Gables Experiences
Millions of Anne of Green Gables fans have visited Prince Edward Island to discover the land of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories that were published in 1908. In 2019, visitors can experience the story in a new way by joining The Table’s Anne’s Picnic, about which includes a cooking class with the award-winning culinary studio to create sweet and savory treats, followed by an outdoor picnic based on Anne’s first social gathering – the Sunday School Picnic. Fans can also buy tickets to view Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, visit Green Gables Heritage Place, visit or take a ride on Matthew’s Carriage Ride past the Lake of Shining Waters at the Anne of Green Gables Museum.
Taters, Tractors and Tales
French fry lovers can visit the Roberts Family Farm for Taters, Tractors, and Tales to explore the island’s 200-year history of potato production. The farm maintains antique farming equipment from the 1800s, and guests can take a turn ploughing the fields or picking their own potatoes. The family farm has been in business for generations, allowing visitors to listen to their stories about the evolution and changes of the farming industry. At the end of the day, visitors eat a helping of fresh French fries. This experience is offered from June 4 – September 30, Monday through Saturday from 10:00am – 12:30pm, priced at $75 per person.
Beaches and Sandcastles
Parks Canada provides annual programming along the coast for children and adults alike to explore the province’s famous beaches and stunning red sandstone. Families can join the renowned sand sculptor and art teacher Maurice Bernard for a Sensational Sand Castles lesson, where participants build their own small beach front property in less than two hours. There’s also a dedicated Beach Hut located at Prince Edward Island National Park that hosts a touch tank, nature demonstrations, and interactive activities. During free time, the island’s beaches offer plenty of opportunities to collect sea glass or take a scenic drive to spot all 63 lighthouses that line the coast.
For more information about the province, visit Tourism PEI.
About Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT):
This project has been made possible through funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). ACAT is a nine member pan-Atlantic initiative comprising the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Provincial Departments responsible for tourism.
Gina Dolecki/Ashley Mindnich
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