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“Genuine Hospitality and a Great Hands on Experience”

Experience PEI - Happy Clammers
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The original providers of Happy Clammers, Gilbert and Goldie Gillis have decided to retire but Gilbert's brother John and his wife Jackie have stepped in to take their place continuing to provide their unique clam digging experience in front of their house on the beautiful Pinette River. You'll dig your own soft-shelled and hard shelled clams (quahogs). After digging, you'll go back up to their house overlooking the river where Jackie will steam and grill the clams for you to enjoy. You're welcome to bring additional food with you...bread, cheese, wine, beer to make a full meal. The experience takes place half an hour east of Charlottetown and is offered daily Monday-Friday subject to John & Jackie's availability. All equipment needed is provided. We have some rubber boots you can use but we suggest everyone come with footwear that won't be damaged if it gets wet.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Happy clammers is a genuine experience put on by multi-generation Islanders. You first start out at their home and make the introductions and get ready to drive out with (or behind) Gilbert to the clam flats at the beach. It is about a 5 minute drive.
The Digging Experience: Gilbert gives everyone a quick lesson at the beach on how to dig into the beach and where to look for the clams. His experienced eye always found great bunches for harvest. It can be a little dirty and clams might also 'pee' on you so be prepared. Once a bunch is harvested, they are cleaned and brought back to the house for phase #2.
The Cooking Experience: They are good enough to open their home for this part. Clams are brought back for cooking by Goldie while everyone can get cleaned off. Prior to dinner, Goldie will give everyone a lesson on the different types of local clams available. Dinner will be steamed clams followed by homemade clam chowder. Finish with cheesecake and blueberry sauce and coffee. Special formula of homemade rhubarb and soda to drink. Dinner on the back deck with casual conversation with the hosts and other guests.
Overall: A very different and warm experience put on by two very nice people. Recommended to all.
Tip #1: As everyone has noted, the beach sand is very red so have a change of clothes if needed for the kids and wear water shoes or sandels and clothes that can afford to get alittle dirty. The red soil can stain.
Tip #2: Not their fault, but we did get several mosquito bites (mainly in their driveway) so perhaps some bug spray for protection.
Tip #3: Book in advance so you are not disappointed.

4  Thank synToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (65)
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48 - 52 of 65 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2012

After reading rave reviews about this experience we decided to try for ourselves. Gilbert took us out to his favourite clamming spot and showed us how to harvest our very own clams, he was thoroughly entertaining the whole time and told us lots of interesting stories and facts about life as a fisherman. We cleaned the clams and took them back to Goldie at their gorgeous home, there we cooked the clams, followed by a wonderful chowder and blueberry pie, all home made of course!

Wear clothes you dont mind getting dirty in and waterproof shoes or crocs. Bring a change for the kids just in case they fall in the mud!
If you love shellfish and nature and picking your own food for supper, then this is a MUST!

Thank AnnapolisGeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

My mom and I would recommend this experience to anyone traveling to PEI who wants to know more about island resources and traditions. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Gilbert and Goldie at their beautiful house and then heading down to the red sand beach to dig up our lunch. We learned all about the best techniques for clamming for little-neck clams, and Gilbert was great about getting the whole, disparate group involved. (We were 2, and there were two other groups with 7 people.) We also learned from him about oyster and mussel gathering techniques. It was fun to gather around the clams with our tools (about 20 pounds of little-necks) and take "victory" pictures. We also were happy to share the work amongst the larger group. Then, back at the house, Goldie put on such a lovely meal that started with a lesson on how best to eat our clams, which she had steamed. Her chowder, served as a second course, is delicious, as was a homemade rhubarb drink, and then dessert too . . . it was just a wonderful way to spend about 3.5 hours.

Thank becwa62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The best way to experience PEI is to get to know some locals, and Gilbert is about the most local you can get. The stories and information he had on all types of fishing and farming the area over the past how many years was worth the tour itself. On top of that, clamming was pretty fun and the meal afterward was amazing. Steamed clams, clam chowder, homemade biscuits, rhubarb juice (unreal) and cheesecake. Don't plan on eating for a while after. Gilbert and Goldie are two truly nice people who welcome you right into their beautiful home. The view from their backyard is amazing and the whole experience is unforgettable. Definitely one of the top experiences of our week long vacation.

Thank Clark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

Having never done any clamming before, we weren't sure what to expect.
Gil, our host, made everyone comfortable about what the experience entailed.
We had a great time, and with our group picked enough clams for our lunch in about 45 mins.
After cleaning off the clams in the ocean, we went back to Gil & Goldie's house, where Goldie steamed the clams, made everyone a chowder & biscuits, and had some great deserts.
All this while looking out at a gorgeous view of the Northumberland Strait from their balcony.
Great hosts, and a highly recommended activity while in the area.

1  Thank BluntInstrument
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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