by Christopher Gills & Craig Dauphinee
Local experts and owners of two vacation rental properties: St. Alban’s Vacation Home located in beautiful Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia and stylish home in downtown Charlottetown - check them out.
Charlottetown is the birthplace of Canadian confederation and as such holds a special place in the hearts of locals and Canadians alike. Set in the crossroads of the sea, PEI is home to acres upon acres of untouched woodland, farms and beaches.
Tourism is an integral part of the Island economy and as such, there is never a shortage of things to do. Charlottetown, the provincial capital and largest city in the province, is a beehive of activity with everything from shopping, theatre, a thriving local food scene, and historical places to visit.
Our favourite things to do in Charlottetown are walk, shop, visit, eat and of course, play!
We are fortunate to live in the heart of the downtown core and most everything the city has to offer is at our fingertips. One of our favourite things to do is to simply walk around the downtown and take in all the city has to offer – live music, shops, and people watching to name a few.
If we are interested in a quiet stroll, Confederation Landing is a great place to visit. From here you can watch the cruise ships come and go, grab a bite of local seafood or listen to live music. Another favourite is walking the scenic boardwalk of Victoria Park.
While in Victoria Park a stop at the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion, Fanningbank, is a must. This gorgeous, preserved home is actually home to the Lieutenant Governor but is nevertheless open for guided tours during the summer months. From here we recommend making your way back downtown to visit the provincial legislature, Province House.
A must for any history buff, you can walk the halls our forefathers once did and see where this great country began. From here you can skip down a half block to St. Dunstan’s Basilica. This building provides the centrepiece of the definitive but diminutive Charlottetown skyline. Another one of the city’s gorgeous buildings, “the Basilica” is open to the public during the summer.
After touring the sights, shopping is a must. After you leave the Basilica you can head down to Water St. to Moonsnail Soapworks. This eclectic shop features locally made soaps and a variety of other interesting items. Details Past and Present is our favourite gallery in the city and it features lots of local and Canadian artists; there is sure to be something here for everyone. Speak with Arlene about shipping and tell her we sent you!
Article authors' home in Charlottetown PEI
After you’ve made a purchase at Details, head up the street to Cottage Industry. This locally owned furniture and design store has a wide variety of gorgeous decorative items and we have no doubt you will be able to find one of their locally sourced pieces to stuff in your carry-on.
All this touring and shopping is sure to work up an appetite and Charlottetown has no shortage of great places to eat. Sim’s Corner Steakhouse is one of the city’s premiere restaurants, and offers a great selection of steak, and oysters. They’ve also got a piano bar and two amazing patios.
If you’re in the mood for lobster or seafood, head up to the Row House Lobster Co. on Victoria Row (their lobster tacos are a must). If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, head to Terre Rouge, on Queen St - their menu is flavorful, thoughtful and always creative.
Vacations shouldn’t always be about go-go-go and as much as we love the stimulation of shopping and touring we also love to relax and play. Touring Charlottetown on the Harbour Hippo is always fun and a great, low-key way of seeing the sights and hearing about the city.
Sitting and relaxing with a cold drink while listening to live music is always a favourite pastime, and regardless of your musical taste we have no doubt you will be able to find something to listen to in this great little city of ours. You can check out The Buzz (a local monthly entertainment publication) for an up-to-date listing of what’s happening around the city, and across the province.
Of course, a trip to PEI would not be complete without a visit to one of our famous beaches. Our favourite is Dalvay – it is on the picture perfect North Shore within the national park and is an untouched gem in our crown of beaches - this is to say, it often isn’t as crowded as some of our other beaches.
Whatever your interest or desire we are sure Charlottetown will not disappoint. We feel like each summer we rediscover paradise and we’re certain that you will too. If you have any questions or comments or would like to book our vacation property we would love to hear from you.