Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hip Getaways - Prince Edward Island

What do I love about summer?  Road trips!  An East Coast road trip has always been high on my agenda with Prince Edward Island being the target destination.  It is now proven, that I will drive over 19 hours to be closer to fresh seafood and lobster.

You will need lots of butter for the two-and-a-half pound beast (pictured left).  They can be found at Lobster Suppers across the island.  PEI embodies summer living and relaxation to me.  Who can resist waking up next to the ocean, eating fresh seafood, Anne of Green Gables kitsch and tanning on the beach?  

The province will likely see a spike in popularity as Regis & Kelly film their daytime talk show from Charlottetown, PEI this week.  You can ride along as The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide recaps our little road trip from last summer, starting with PEI....

Getting There:  19 hours by car from Toronto BABY.  Read 'em and weep.'s a beautiful scenic drive through rolling hills, ocean and roadside attractions.  We suggest stopping halfway in Quebec City at the nine hour mark and spending the night in La Belle Province and eating what else?  Poutine from Chez Ashton's (see below).  I can't resist those thick, juicy curds and poutine sauce from this fast food chain.  If you have time, get your shop on at our favourite 'only in Quebec' store, Simons.  A department store and H&M hybrid with great prices and lots of style.  

Where to Stay:  We rented a small cottage on the ocean for around $250/night in low-season and it slept 6-8 people.  It was great hanging out during the day and it was a place we could relax, read, watch movies and have a campfire, unlike a small hotel room.  The cottage came equipped with yoga mats and DVDs, so we could yoga every morning with a view of the ocean.  Having a kitchen meant cooking your own breakfast, eating lots of charcuterie and not having to eat out for every single meal.  In the Charlottetown area, there are lots of hotels to choose from right in the core.  So if you only have a couple days vs. a week, we recommend staying in Charlottetown.  The cottage we rented was close to all the attractions in Cavendish, but we had to drive to the restaurants and grocery stores up to 30 minutes away.  Our oceanfront cottage rental (below):

What To Do:  Visit Cavendish Beach, a National Park and you can catch a tan if it's not too windy or hike one of the trails.  There are lots of amusement and water parks in the area.  So take a plunge and don't be afraid to indulge your inner-kid again.  There are also lots of cute touristy shops in the area and Anne of Green Gables everything.

The view at Cavendish Beach
Dalvay-by-the Sea is a gorgeous landmark that stood in as The White Sands Hotel for all you hardcore Anne of Green Gables fans out there.  Once a grand old home built in 1895, the building is now a charming hotel and a perfect place to stop in for Afternoon Tea and Tour ($25).  The grounds are beautifully landscaped and deserve a good walk around.
Anne of Green Gables is practically the official mascot of the island.  We visited 'Green Gables' which is a Government-owned theme park or sorts celebrating the book. It's funny because the house they have on the property is inspired from the movie and didn't actually exist in real life.  The Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace and home is probably closer to the real deal of what inspired the actual house.  The 'Haunted Wood' was also imagined on to this park and there is a lovely hiking trail reminiscent of the story.  I would call this a 'Tribute Park' to Anne with a museum and gift shop.  Located near Cavendish.  
Lisa of Green Gables
Where to Eat:  No trip to PEI would be complete without a Lobster Supper.  We chose the one on Fisherman's Wharf in Rustico because of the all-you-can-eat 60 Ft. Salad Bar!!!  The menu includes one main for a flat rate of around $38.95.  Non seafood lovers can also enjoy steak.  We shared a 2.5 lb lobster which also included bread, clam chowder, mussels, soft drinks, fruit, ice cream, dessert and the salad bar.  It was a really fun experience with the bibs and everything.  The atmosphere is very casual and laid-back.  Lots of tour buses stop here and there is a gift shop.

Cows Ice Cream is everywhere and a local homegrown ice cream company.  Their creamy, luscious dessert is slow-churned with a 16% butterfat content and made with fresh cream, real eggs and sugar.  Um, yum.  They not only sell ice cream, but also funny t-shirts with cow humour.

The Water-Prince Corner Shop is not to be mistaken for a convenience store.  They serve some of the most delicious seafood in the Charlottetown area inside their small restaurant.  We highly recommend booking a day to explore all the cute little shops in the area and stopping in here for a nice light lunch.  hip + urban husband or huh? ordered a classic Lobster Roll with Potato Salad.  I went for the Scallop Dinner with juicy scallops and a baked potato.

Flex Mussels - We heard nothing but great things about this place, but it was closed on the day we were in Charlottetown.  They are incredibly successful with a location in New York City as well.  The menu is a mussel-lovers dream with 23+ various sauces to soak these meaty mussels in.  

Leaving the Island:  We loved coming across the Confederation Bridge, which is longest over ice-covered water in the world.  It takes approximately 10 minutes to cross and you only pay ($42) when you leave the island.  We chose to continue our road trip into Nova Scotia and took our car on the Wood Island Ferry for around $64.  The 75-minute ride was a great way to relax and enjoy the ocean.
So that's our road trip to PEI!  Stay tuned for more travel adventures from other stops from this fun summer vacay.  Do you have a PEI suggestion or tip to share with our readers?  If so, please add your comment below!


  1. Sounds like you had a really good time. I've always want to go to PEI...

  2. HEY! My house was ALSO built in 1895...hmmmm. thanks for the post, you fab lady you.

  3. interesting interesting... planning a short trip with family in August, PEI looks like a good destination! thanks Lisa =)

  4. Great post! My whole family is from PEI (although I was born in T.O.) - spent all my summers there growing up. I almost can't believe it exists - so charming and pretty.

  5. I love the island! Lucky Michelle got to summer there...I think it's cheaper to rent a cottage in PEI and drive, then doing the same in Muskoka. A *must* experience for everyone.

  6. Oh wow! I just made a side note in my journal to add PEI to my list of must-see places. It looks stunning. Are hotels in town super expensive?

  7. I think you can swing a B&B for around $150, but it's more usually in the summer. Hotels are around there, maybe around $169?

  8. Hey lisa, can you tell me where you found your cottage? My family is heading to PEI and I want to look into a cottage :)