travel

Dreamy Prince Edward Island: The Perfect East Coast Getaway

Posted May 5, 2018 by Stephanie

I’ve been dreaming about PEI ever since one particular Christmas when I was a little girl. That year, my aunt gave me the classic children’s novel, Anne of Green Gables. I think I spent the rest of the night hanging out by the tree, being completely anti-social, eating candy canes and reading. Hmm, now that I think about it, not much has changed. I still love reading, candy canes, and being somewhat anti-social. Anyway, quirky Anne made me fall in love with that tiny island she was lucky enough to call home.

If you haven’t read Anne, or heard of Prince Edward Island, I’m not surprised. It’s a tiny, tiny slip of a thing in the Atlantic ocean and it’s the smallest of all the Canadian provinces. But, even though it’s small, I think PEI may be one of the most well known of the provinces, especially because it’s so incredibly beautiful. Rolling green hills, red sand beaches, cute little beach towns, lighthouses, and lobster rolls, PEI has it all.

Last summer, Mike and I made it all the way out to PEI. We drove across Confederation Bridge, an eight-mile long bridge connecting the island to the rest of Canada. I feel like I’ve been on some pretty long bridges, but this bridge was really long. It was amazing to be driving straight over the ocean. Well, technically, not truly the ocean because the bridge actually spans a straight, but it looks like you’re driving on the ocean. Windows down, the ocean breeze, our hair flying in the wind – it felt like a bridge in the future that led straight to the past.

Anyway, this is what we did and ate!

The Handpie Company

PEI is incredibly quaint and kind of old-school. Our first stop, right after jumping out of the car to take photos of the Welcome to PEI sign, was to head into a tiny hand pie shop. We had tourtière, a classic Quebec style pork pie, but handheld. The crust was flaky, the insides were juicy, and the whole thing just hit the spot. All the pies are made in house and the ingredients are locally sourced.

Water Prince Corner Shop

Being that we were in PEI we decided that we wanted lobster, naturally. Actually, I’m kind of obsessed with lobsters and we all know that the East Coast is known for lobsters. We went all out and ate like, 6 lobsters this trip alone. Our first lobster experience was at Water Prince Corner Shop, where we put on our lobster bibs, started off by eating some local steamed mussels, and then moved on to a giant lobster. There was butter and french fries and I was in heaven. All french fries should be served with lobster, am I right?!

The Table Culinary School

This was our first time taking a cooking class and it was fun and informative. We learned loads about lobsters (duh), how they’re harvested, and how best to cook them. The class was held in a cute renovated old church and we cracked lobsters with a butter knife, de-bearded mussels, and made pasta. The drive to the Table was insanely gorgeous. We were almost late we stopped so many times to take photos.

Green Gables

No trip to PEI isn’t complete without a visit to Green Gables, the farm that inspired LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. You can tour the house, which Parks Canada has made into a sort of museum inspired by the book. We even saw a little red headed girl dressed up as Anne (the Japanese tourists could not stop kawaii-ing over her) who led all the little kids in a game of duck duck goose. They also had some old fashioned ice cream making going on. It was cute and quaint and if you love Anne, you’ll love getting a peek.

Blue Mussel Cafe

After spending some time on the beach (more on that later) Mike and I headed to Blue Mussel Cafe, a cute little seasonal restaurant at the North End of the island. There are no deep-fried foods on the menu (😭) but to be honest, I didn’t miss them. We ordered so much that our table was overflowing and it was all extremely good. Probably our best meal in PEI and the sunset was gorgeous. The lobster caesar salad (dressing on the side) was one of the best caesars I’ve had in a while and the seafood chowder came with a cheddar biscuit! The house made smoked seafood charcuterie board was really good too. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it, to be honest.

Point Prim Chowder House

The next day, after a good nights sleep, I woke up hungry…for lobster. Yes, we overdosed on lobster, but to be honest I don’t think we even ate enough of it. Anyway, the whole time we were in PEI I kept asking Mike if there was somewhere that we could have lobster on the beach. I kept thinking that there would be lobster bakes all over (kind of like a clam bake, at least in my head), but apparently lobster bakes are not really a thing.

But, Mike found the next best thing, a chowder house on the beach. A chowder house that served lobster! Point Prim is the cutest little restaurant literally on the ocean. There are tables right up against the beach and you can even see Point Prim lighthouse in the distance (okay, only about 300 feet away). All the seafood is local and fresh and delicious. It was probably our best meal in PEI. Okay, I know I said that about Blue Mussel Cafe, but this was best overall, including the atmosphere and food. We had a lobster steamer pot and chowder, of course.

Singing Sands/Basin Head Beach

Bellies full, we decided to visit the beach. PEI is well-known for beaches and Basin Head Beach may be the most well known of all of them. There’s a little boardwalk that leads to the beach, but before you get there you’ll see a boat run and bridge that dives the beach into two. There’s a small white sandy beach on the right and on the left is an immensely long beach with miles and miles of “squeaky” sand. The squeaky sand is why the beach is called Singing Sands.

Basin Head is incredibly popular, so be prepared for crowds. Oh, people also love jumping off the bridge into the boat run. You’ll see loads of local teens jumping off and I’m pretty sure tonnes of tourists do it too. Basin Head was a thumbs up in our books. The water was warm and clear, the sand soft and singing, and we even found a patch of sand that wasn’t too busy.

Richard’s Fresh Seafood

After we worked up an appetite, it was time for more lobsters, this time of the roll variety. Apparently the best lobster rolls on the island are at Richard’s, so of course we (and the entire island) went. There was a massive line up, but we patiently waited and were rewarded with a lightly mayonnaised whole local lobster in a buttered split top bun. Fries on the side of course. Oh, and some fried fish too, for good measure. We scored a seat on the roof top and watched the sun go down while feasting.

Cedar Dunes

That night, we went to Cedar Dunes and stayed in a LIGHTHOUSE! It was striped and square and cute. When we woke up, we had coffee on the little balcony and looked out at the ocean. The beach stretched on forever and we went on a long walk along the dunes before heading to our last stop on the island.

PEI Potato Museum

Our last stop before heading back over Confederation Bridge was the Potato Museum. They have a giant potato outside that just begs to be hugged. I mean, if you know me, you know that I love potatoes so we couldn’t go to PEI without visiting. One of PEI’s main exports is potatoes, because the conditions and red soil are perfect for growing potatoes. They supply potatoes for Cavendish Farms (frozen french fries), McCains (again frozen french fries), Frito-Lay, and Old Dutch (chips). To be honest, the potato museum wasn’t that interesting, maybe because I’m not a farmer, but, I’d go just to take a picture of the giant potato outside.

Anyway, that was our trip to PEI! It was full of good food, beaches, and glorious blue skies. I’d go back in an instant, especially for the lobster ;)

TL;DR:

The Best PEI Lobster Roll: Richards

The Most PEI Experience: Point Prim Chowder House

The Best Dinner: Blue Mussel Cafe

The Best Beach: Basin Head

4 Comments

  1. Faye Lewis says:

    Of course now I want to go there. Thanks for sharing your your trip!

  2. Pauline Fortak says:

    Sounds wonderful!!!!!!🤗

  3. Gorgeous! PEI isn’t too too far from me over here in Boston, so it’s on my list to visit! But this post is moving it up the priority list ;) thanks for sharing Stephanie! xo

  4. Marcy says:

    I am from Nova Scotia but spend a weekend every July at a friend’s family cottage (which is on the little stretch of coast just to the left of the bridge in your pic). It is the home of my heart and my favourite weekend of the whole summer.

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