A strange thing happens when you're a Prince Edward Island-born guy, living in Toronto,
and PEI gets to be a popular vacation destination. People ask you for
advice! I guess this isn't the craziest thing, I am from there after
all, but I really had to stop and think to myself:
" What kind of things am I certain that people would enjoy, and
is there anything I would really not recommend? "
In a Toronto bar
one night I started my first "Matt's Recommended" list of
PEI vacation ideas on a cocktail napkin. Here's a subset of the current list for visitors to PEI, Canada:
A well rounded trip to PEI always includes:
- Anne of Green Gables house, in Cavendish. The anchor.
- Cavendish beach :The second most popular national park in Canada. A dune beach utopia, except for the crowds.
- Charlottetown- The cradle of Confederation. Regale in stories of Ontario delegates bringing shiploads of booze to ply the maritimers with. PEI didn't join until 1873, when it was broke from building a railway that seemed to follow a fractal path of infinite length.
- St. Anne's Lobster Suppers - Lots of people mention this to me -
I've never been, since they don't serve beer - a church thing
- Cow's Ice cream. -Charlottetown, Cavendish, elsewhere. You might have seen the t-shirt. I
don't think the shirts are trendy anymore. Don't eat too much - it's a million calories a bite.
- A visit to either one of the northern tips of PEI. Both are cool. Good beaches near the Eastern one.
- A visit to a lobster pound, buying and steaming your own lobsters and
mussels. Examples: Victoria, Charlottetown, Rusticoville
- Digging clams. And then cooking clams and then eating clams.
- A deep sea fishing excursion- Take sunscreen, extra water, and a sweater, just in case. I have been known to take a case of beer, too. Don't book too far ahead because you may not want to go out if it is raining for example.
- Golf - There are 21 golf courses, all nice, all cheap.
Prince Edward Island Golf Courses.
The Tacky and Tasteless
There are a lot of places that sprung up on the theory that tourists
will buy anything.
- Cavendish - Alas, it was once beautiful. Now the HWY #6 route is a
form of blight. It's kind
of fun to drive down and marvel at King Tut's tomb, or Captain Bart's Science
Adventure park - the worst of the lot. But Islanders stay away from this
part of the island.
- Anne-o-belia - Everything about
Anne of Green Gables. You can buy anne-hats. They have little pigtails on them. There is nothing funnier than seeing my dad wearing one of these things.
- North river causeway: A minor version of the Cavendish thing
- McLobster. - McDonald's in the Maritimes will serve you a hot dog bun full of
lobster salad for $4.75 or so. Avoid
the novelty if you can