We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

PEI vacation summer 2012

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
74 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
PEI vacation summer 2012

Hello all,

I am traveling from Montreal through New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia and back around again in July with my boyfriend.

We will be driving, so we are trying to keep kilometers down as much as possible, We want to see all the good stuff while sticking to main areas that are not far from each other...(ie 2 days in Cape Breton and surroundings, etc)

Also, we will be trying to camp as much as possible...

Last time I was in PEI, I was 14 and once the week was up, I cried because we had to leave...I adore the island and everything it has to offer.

We want to spend about 6 total nights in PEI, ideally spread as 2 in the western part, 1 in Charlottetown area, and the remainder at Red Point Provincial Park (LOVE that place!)

I enjoy fisherman's wharfs, beaches, outdoor activities, deep sea fishing, etc whereas my boyfriend is more of an urban guy, liking indoor adventures/restaurants and has a strong interest in history and ships, etc.

If any of you could suggest must-do activities that fall in our interests...please do! Your idea not in my list of interests? Doesn't matter, let me know anyways...sometimes we surprise ourselves!

Must-dine restaurants?

Nicest campground in western PEI? Charlottetown?

Winery/brewery/distillery tours?

Anything is greatly appreciated.

I want to ensure I get the most out of this vacation!

In terms of budget, we want value. A great little spot off the beaten path for lunch? Yes please...a 5 star restaurant, try to keep those at a minimum! =P

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Happy travels!

Mentioned in this post
Montreal
Montreal
Quebec, Canada
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
Nova Scotia, Canada
Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

tr1ch89: Red Point Provincial Park is great but did you ever check out Brudenell Provincial Park? It is also located not far but offers more privacy with trees and good sized lots. I find Red Point has a great view and is in a good location but the lots are really small and almost no privacy. I am more familiar with Eastern campgrounds but the Cabot Beach Provincial Park is a nice option on that end. You could always stay in Cavendish, although it is not what you would call West, as there are lots of great provincial and private campgrounds. I personally love Sunset Campground in Cavendish. Really nice campground right beside the boardwalk and right across the road from Cavendish beach.

I assume you have been to Basin Head beach if you have stayed in Red Point? Probably the best beach on PEI to check out if you haven't but I assume considering it is right down the road from Red Point that you have. Brackley Beach is great to check out, it is about 15 minutes from Charlottetown. There's a section of beach if you keep driving just past the main area of Brackley that is even better IMO. Less crowded and the water is deeper in some areas for swimming but still has numerous sandbars. Also has a great restaurant that has a patio with a great view and serves seafood caught fresh and delivered by local fishermen.

As for little restaurants have you eaten at Rick's Fish And Chips? It is in St. Peters on your way from Charlottetown to Souris, you can't miss it. Great food and you can eat out on the deck with a view of the St. Peter's Bay. If you do stop there, if you take a left instead of a right headed to Souris you will come to Greenwich Provincial Park. There is walking trails and you can even walk over a wetland by way of a floating boardwalk. Really nice beaches there as well. If your b/f likes history he should visit Founders Hall while in Charlottetown. It is a museum of the Charlottetown Conference and Confederation. Neat little interactive things to do on the tour, very informative. If you are in Cavendish he could also check out the wax museum or Ripley's Believe It Or Not, some cool things to see. There is great biking all over PEI on trails. Biking along the dunes of Brackley Beach is breathtaking let me assure you. Lastly, you can take a brewery tour of the Gahan House in Charlottetown but it is nothing special. You said you were going to NS as well so if you are in Halifax you should really take the Keith's Brewery tour, well worth the money IMO.

As for restaurants you can check out the Pilot House in Charlottetown, my favourite. It is located right around the corner from the Confederation Centre of the Arts if you're seeing a show. Great food and very reasonable prices. The Gahan House also is a nice place and serves their own beer. Nothing special IMO but you may like it. If you like curry or fish and chips the Churchill Arms is a must visit. Prices are great and their curry is the best I've ever eaten. The fish and Chips is a MASSIVE portion so arrive hungry lol. Do avoid Sims Steakhouse if you are on a budget. Ridiculous prices. The food is good but I'd never eat there because I find it a poor value.

I gave you quite the list but feel free to ask for anything further or if you want more information on something I mentioned. Cheers

Edited: 5:02 pm, March 05, 2012
Mentioned in this post
Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Cabot Beach Provincial...
86 Reviews
Malpeque, Canada
Cavendish
Cavendish
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Cavendish Beach
Cavendish Beach
726 Reviews
Cavendish, Canada
Brackley Beach
Brackley Beach
176 Reviews
Brackley Beach, Canada
Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Brackley Beach
Brackley Beach
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Souris
Souris
Prince Edward Island, Canada
The Gahan House
The Gahan House
1,525 Reviews
Charlottetown, Canada
The Pilot House
The Pilot House
463 Reviews
Charlottetown, Canada
The Churchill Arms
The Churchill Arms
239 Reviews
Charlottetown, Canada
Wilmington, North...
Level Contributor
32 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

You might consider camping at the Jacques Cartier Provincial Park near the western end of the island - there are several tent sites at the water's edge with an unobstructed view of the water. Enjoy walking along the beach - you can go for hours. From here you can head north to North Cape, where there are windmills and an exhibit area that describes the research that is being conducted to optimize the wind power. There is a restaurant at North Cape with a grand view of the cape. (On the way to North Cape you will pass Seacow Pond - very picturesque - and there is a take-out if you want a burger).

Stop for an hour or so at Green Park Provincial Park to see exhibits of the early ship building industry, which was important in the develpment of the Island. This is a pretty park, however, has a large population of mosquitos that make camping uncomfortable.

Get your fill of Canadian history at Founder's Hall in Charlottetown and then walk into town to Province House to learn about the role PEI played in the Canadian confederation. See the free reenactment of the confederation meetings, at 11 am (I think). Walk along the waterfront, maybe visit the residence of the Lieutenant governor.

Check the tourist info to see when the Bluegrass festival is being held at Rollo Bay - in early or mid July. You can camp overnight for a small fee and enjoy the entertainment - much fun.

Whille at Red Point go to the nearby Basin Head for a swim or to see the exhibits. This is a very popular beach for "locals" and tourists - especially the young crowd - you'll love it.

As memtioned earlier, tent camping is congested at Red Point. You might also consider Panmure Island Provincial Park which has some sites with a water-view (bayside). There is a marvelous beach with the lighthouse at one end.

Several lighthouses are open to visitors - Panmure Head on Panmure Island, East Point and others.

For more ideas check www.drivecrosscountry.net/RouteM1 and also click the "letters" tab for more info on the Maritimes.

Mentioned in this post
Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Panmure Island Provincial Park
Panmure Island...
63 Reviews
Panmure Island, Canada
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
74 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

nramsay8:

Thank you so much for your timely reply!

I have not checked out Brudenell, but if you say that there is more privacy than at Red Point, I'm interested! (that was my only issue with Red Point!)

Thank you for suggesting all these beaches, I'm sure we will beach hop from one place to another and spend the most time at those we adore.

I will check out Rick's for sure, as I am a fish and chips lover! We might skip Gahan House then, waiting for better tours (like Alexander Keith's in Halifax)

I was wondering if you knew anything about the lighthouses scattered around the coast...when I went to PEI with my parents 8 years ago, we went to a bunch of lighthouses and my boyfriend and I would like to do as many as possible (an adventure!) I think that you had to pay an entry fee for some but others were free? I don't know if this has changed or if my memories are correct...Thanks again! And if you think of anything else, I appreciate it! =D

C-USA11:

Thank you for your reply!

Jacques cartier sounds great, will definitely check it out, thanks!

We will try to avoid the mosquitoes!!! We both get eaten alive every year!

I was actually looking at Panmure Island as well, as it seems to be a gorgeous venue...

Are there fees to visit all the lighthouses around the island? I can't remember...

Thanks again! And if you think of anything, we appreciate it greatly! =D

Mentioned in this post
The Gahan House
The Gahan House
1,525 Reviews
Charlottetown, Canada
Halifax
Halifax
Halifax Region, Canada
Dartmouth, Canada
Level Contributor
456 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Hi tr1ch89 and welcome. If you are interested in Lighthouses, you might want to check out this page of the Tourism PEI website http://www.tourismpei.com/island-lighthouses it maps out all the lightthouses around PEI. Some lighthouses may have a fee to go through if they have a museum attached or to go to the top. This website should let you know if there are any fees.

If you want to do something really cool, The West Point Lightouse in the western end of the Island has an Inn right in the lighthouse! There are not many rooms so you'd want to book early but if that's not in your budget there is a campground there as well, Cedar Dunes.

Wilmington, North...
Level Contributor
32 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

In 2011, I believe the fee for lighthouses was $3, tho who knows what it will be next summer. There are no admission fees to enter the provincial parks, however, there is a fee to enter the national parks. Also, no fee for parking or use of changing rooms at provincial parks.

One thing we do that we find interesting is to stop along the docks and chat with the fishermen -- learn how the season is, what's running, what time of day they go out (you get the idea) etc for an understanding of the life of a fisherman. Watch them haul in the fish from the boats onto the piers, maybe see a Tuna on the scale. Learn to whom they sell the fish. Some of the ports are at Malpeque Harbour, adjacent to Cabot Beach Provincial Park; Seacow; North Lake; Naufrage; etc. You may find these chance encounters will enrich your visit and give long lasting memories.

Go to a ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) a musical type event often sponsored by churches, civic groups. Most are neighbors entertaining neighbors, but some are professional. You'll see signs telling you when & where they're held. They're weekly at Dundas and Montague, biweekly in Sturgeon. I believe you can camp, for a small fee ($5?) at the Dundas site the night of the ceiidh.

BTW. As you approach Charlottetown you will see signs for the tourist office. Follow those signs, the tourist office is at Founder's Hall. Adaquate parking is available. From there you can walk to most places of interest in the city. Camping is no longer available within walking distance of C'town so you might consider the Cornwall KOA, which I have heard is nice; or Pine Hills RV Park. Both are convenient to the city. We stayed at Pine Hills last summer and think it would be nice for tenters.

Another tip. You pay only as you leave the island. As the ferry is more expensive, many people take the ferry to the island and depart via the bridge and save a few dollars.

PM me if you feel I can answer your questions

Mentioned in this post
Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Cabot Beach Provincial...
86 Reviews
Malpeque, Canada
Montague
Montague
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Cornwall
Cornwall
Charlottetown, Canada
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
74 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Thank you all for your replies! I am in the planning stage now of the trip and want to be able to make reservations ASAP (I believe they start taking on April 1st!)

I have found myself in a pickle as I am no longer sure where i want to stay in the East! I am stuck between:

-Red Point (This is where I stayed and enjoyed it tremendously, loved the beach, the view, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, and the facilities were well kept and clean - also it's close to Basin Head which is a plus! - BUT the campsites were close together (we had kids trip over our tent pegs and fall into our tent - and almost break it!) with very little privacy and shade)

-Panmure Island (I have heard great things about the white sand, the view, and the lighthouse being right there)

-Brudenell River (I have heard from a number of people that this is a gorgeous spot, there is a lot more privacy for the campsites and the view is still very good with lots to do...)

What is your pick? What are the pros and cons of each? Which one has best access to activities/groceries etc?

Thank you all again, I will likely be coming back with more questions as the planning continues!!!

=)

Happy travels!

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
74 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Ok I may as well throw in my questions for western and central PEI now!

Best campground in the West anybody?

Or something more central that we can still do day trips to the west end?

I have never been past Summerside, and I don't want to miss out this time around...we want 2 nights in the western part, 1 maybe 2 nights in the central part, then of course our 3 nights in the eastern part of PEI!

Let me know!!!

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Summerside
Summerside
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Hi again tr1ch89. As I suggested I would go with Brudenell personally and here's why.

Brudenell: Large lots with cement slabs for having fires with firewood for sale right in the camground. Privacy with lots of trees around. All the bathroom facilities are clean and well maintained. Beautiful location is also something to consider. If you go for a walk you cross a bridge with a beautiful view that connects the wooded lots to the more open area that is for trailers and such. There's a swimming pool right there as well as horseback riding if you are so inclined. A really neat note about Brudenell. There is a narrow sand landbridge that you can walk along and it takes you to this really neat little island that is only about a hundred feetlong and wide. It has a little cemetery for some of the first people to arrive on Prince Edward Island and settle in the region dating back to the 1700s. Not a big deal but interesting and there is a great view from there. Lastly, if you like golfing there is a course right beside the campground, just an added bonus. Not a terribly long drive to Basin Head, maybe 15-20 minutes and you are not far from Montague if you need to get supplies, a liquor store, or Mickie D's :)

Red Point: Everything you would want out of a campground other than the privacy. We stayed one night here and couldn't stand being side by side with other people, it felt almost uncomfortable. Not to mention the couple next to us was how shall I say it.....very vocal that night......Plus side is as you said beautiful views and right down the road from Basin Head. I just crave privacy and comfort a little more. I noticed they had planted some trees when we were there which might help a bit, but I doubt it. Groceries readily available in Souris as well as a liquor store

Panmure: Probably one of the more beautiful campgrounds on PEI to visit. Problem is again a lack of privacy and there is almost nothing to do around there. If seclusion is what you like this would be a good choice, just wasn't my taste personally. Also a bit of a drive for any supplies.

Therefore for those reasons Brudenell would be again my choice, if you want to send me a PM with your e-mail I would be more than happy to send you some pics so you can see for yourself what I'm talking about.

Mentioned in this post
Montague
Montague
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Souris
Souris
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
74 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Also, is 1 full day enough to see Charlottetown? Or should we try to stay there a little longer if possible?

How is the parking in Charlottetown? Free, by the hour?

Thanks, sorry for the bombarding today!

Mentioned in this post
Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: PEI vacation summer 2012

Oh I might as well answer your other question as well. I'd go with Cabot Beach Provincial Park, absolutely beautiful. Not much to see or do on the West end past Summerside just in my personal opinion. A great beach to check out is Thunder Cove Beach which is a stone's thrown from Cabot Park. Beautiful beach with huge sand dunes, very popular with the locals. As always, anything else jsut ask :) Cheers

Add-on: You can see Charlottetown in a day, but it will be a basic view of the city. A great way to explore is literally just walk around town, lots of signs that describe historic buildings. You can also take the double decker bus tour that shows you the basics of the city or the harbour hippo which also includes a boat ride aspect to that double decker tour.

Edited: 11:09 am, March 22, 2012
Mentioned in this post
Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Cabot Beach Provincial...
86 Reviews
Malpeque, Canada
Summerside
Summerside
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island, Canada