This article was published on August 4th, 2022
Few places in Canada are as pristine and picturesque as Prince Edward Island (PEI). It’s the smallest province in Canada, located on the east coast, in a region commonly known as the Maritimes. This is a beautiful island, laid back and relaxed, and known for its warm and friendly people.
When you’re here, there are so many things to do: spend the day at one of our beautiful beaches, on a boat tour, or on an adventure to the land of Anne of Green Gables.
Charlottetown is the largest city on PEI, and the capital of the province. It’s a charming, oceanside city, known for its rich history, fresh crab, lobsters, oysters, and PEI blue-dot beef. It’s where the Confederation of Canada was first drafted.
You can enjoy a leisurely stroll on one of the many scenic beaches and explore historic sites like Government House and Peakes Quay marina. A visit to PEI is not complete without enjoying some local craft beer from one of the many breweries. For active outdoors people, there are a plethora of hiking trails and kayaking.
When it comes to gaycations, Prince Edward Island warmly welcomes LGBTQ+ visitors. Many businesses proudly display and fly Pride flags and the City of Charlottetown has installed a permanent rainbow crosswalk in the center of the city.
There are monthly drag brunches, drag shows, LGBTQ+ meetups, and queer owned businesses. PEI also has a very active trans community. It’s a very active and diverse community.
Top Notch Tours is a fabulous crab and lobster tour setting sail from Peake’s Wharf. You’ll learn about the local fishing industry, and how to fish for both crab and lobster on a real working lobster boat. You’ll pull up crab and lobster traps and have the opportunity to hold a real PEI lobster. Plus learn about ecology, conservation, and protecting local fisheries. It’s a fun and educational tour.
Adventures Marine Zodiac Boat Tours
Head out into the open waters with Adventures Marine Zodiac Boat Tours aboard a 24′ Zodiac boat to Governors Island with Captain Mark for a seal watching adventure. This is a fantastic 1.5 hour adventure adventure for groups of up to 12 people.
Learn about the local ecology and marine life, get up close to see seals, eagles, Russian eagles, cormorants, blue herons, and other shore birds, and get a beautiful view of the city of Charlottetown.
Province House National Historic Site
The Province House National Historic Site is one of the oldest buildings in the city and tells the story of how Charlottetown developed over time. The Province House National Historic Site is located at the intersection of Richmond Street and Great George Street in downtown Charlottetown. Completed in 1847, Province House was built in neo-classical style by local architect Isaac Smith to accommodate the provincial legislature and administrative offices. It also housed the Island’s Supreme Court until 1872.
The Province House is now part of an interpretive centre that tells visitors about various aspects of Charlottetown’s history as well as details about its architecture and design features. Visitors can walk through galleries where they can view historic artefacts including paintings and photographs; listen to audio recordings of people talking about their experiences with this historic site; and learn about important events that occurred here throughout its history.
The interior is currently closed while it undergoes extensive conservation work.
It’s easy to see why Great George Street is called the “Oldest Street in Canada.” Great George Street is steep, which gives it its name. The tree-lined street climbs uphill for six blocks, from the waterfront to the Province House National Historic Site of Canada. There is a variety of architecture along the street, from historic to modern, along with sculptures and places to rest.
At Victoria Row, located on Richmond St. between Queen St. and Great George St., you can find a pedestrian street full of tasty treats, local art, and outdoor music. The fine 18th-century brick architecture provides housing for various boutiques and galleries, so you’ll never run out of things to see or do in this area.
The street is known as a hub for the arts scene in Charlottetown. It has a bit of everything: seafood restaurants, pubs, a wine shop, an organic market, a small bakery, and an ice cream shop.
Victoria Row is the place to enjoy a patio, live entertainment, and to people watch.
Peake’s Wharf is a collection of shops and restaurants that are located on the historic Charlottetown waterfront. The area has been around for many years and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It’s known for its beautiful architecture and rich history, but even more than that, it’s known for its gorgeous views of the harbour, which makes for some stunning and picturesque photos.
My Little Stash has got everything you could possibly need in your life—and then some! And Dave’s Lobster is known for their amazing lobster rolls, but they also serve up everything from delicious sandwiches to poutine. Cows Ice Cream has been around since the early 1900s and serves up some of the best ice cream in Atlantic Canada. Finally, there’s the new floating marina food court serving up fresh seafood, cocktails, and snacks.
Founders Hall Food Market is a new addition to Charlottetown’s food scene. Housing 20 unique vendors and delicious food outlets for shopping and dining pleasure. The market measures 16,000 square feet, it has a mezzanine level upstairs so people can sit and relax – it has a capacity for about 500 people.
The market is also fully licensed with one of the vendors being Notables by PEI Liquor. Vendors include everything from an oyster bar, Receiver Coffee Company, Rawsome Juice, as well as locally grown fruit and produce.
There are also market vendors selling items including soap, lavender, and candles from The Hive, Maritime Marzipan, and a pottery stop where people can paint their own pottery. You can even pick-up a PEI Dirt Shirt – shirts dyed with the pigment from PEI’s iconic burnt-orange colored soil.
Receiver Coffee is the epitome of community-centric, firmly rooted in the heart of Charlottetown. With multiple locations throughout Charlottetown, their food menu features locally sourced breakfast and lunch options, as well as fresh baked goods. They also offer a variety of hot drinks—including lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate—so you can choose from whatever you’re craving at the moment. They also serve up a wine and a variety of cocktails.
Peake’s Quay Restaurant and Bar
The Peake’s Quay Restaurant and Bar patio is the largest in Charlottetown, with stunning ocean views! The décor is casual and nautical, with wooden furniture, outdoor lighting, and a fire pit. If you’re craving seafood, you’ll love their fresh catches of the day or choose from their menu of other fresh options. You’ll also find great fare including PEI beef, local, domestic, and international beers, and refreshing frozen drinks on their menu.
Sim’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar
Prince Edward Island’s first authentic Steakhouse, Sim’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar is a haven for steak lovers. In a world where it seems like everyone is trying to create the perfect steak, Prince Edward Island has taken the crown.
From your first bite, you’ll know that Sim’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar is special. And not just because of its incredible PEI blue-dot beef—it’s also because of its attention to detail: aged, cut and cooked to perfection, fresh seafood, and a carefully curated wine selection.
Say hello to Charlottetown’s newest addition: PonyBoat! PonyBoat has all the activities, games, food, and drinks you need to make your trip to Charlottetown a winner. With 12,000 square feet of games, activities and casual foods, this spot is perfect for any occasion—whether that be meeting up with friends for a few drinks or playing pool. There is also bowling, arcade games, and darts. Try local craft beer and relax on the outdoor patio.
Stay at The Arts Hotel
We all love the arts, and we all love to travel. The Arts Hotel is easily the most queer-friendly hotel in Charlottetown. It’s a safe space for LGBTQ+ travellers.
There are opportunities to meet and connect with locals, and they offer a no-nonsense, modern tech-traveller experience. Make your reservation at The Arts Hotel today.
Prince Edward Island is home to exquisite cuisine, diverse culture and natural scenic beauty, the Island offers something for everyone, from an Island escape to endless opportunities. Here, you’ll find eclectic artisanal, craft and antique shops, thriving organic farms, rustic and exclusive inns and cottages, and a host of other authentic hyper-local Island experiences.
Start planning your trip now with Tourism PEI.