Illustration by Jeannie Phan
Charlottetown is the perfect place to experience P.E.I.'s natural beauty and old-fashioned charm.
Pretty sweet: Charlotte's Rose
Inn If light-filled rooms, feminine decor and sweet touches like locally produced goat's-milk soaps are up your alley, book your stay at this house-turned-inn that was built in 1884.
Charm central: The Harbour House
This family-owned boutique hotel is located in the heart of downtown Charlottetown and features 21 modern rooms with handcrafted P.E.I. furniture.
Home style: Local 343
Chef Emily Wells' restaurant offers a delicious sampling of East Coast fare mixed with international flavours. Try the P.E.I. mussels in coconut curry sauce or the Mediterranean seafood chowder.
Fresh fare: Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound
This cozy, rustic location offers generous portions of authentic Maritime dishes. Tuck into soft-shell clams, Malpeque oysters and Atlantic lobster, and don't miss the scallop burger. You can also place an order and have it shipped home.
Cold brew: Upstreet Craft Brewing
Stop in for a mug of locally made pilsner, ale or lager and stay for the food and the sense of community.
Summer: Top Notch Lobster Tours
Climb aboard a fishing boat and learn about the history, biology and conservation of the province's lobster population, plus get up close and personal with a live crustacean.
Fall: Victoria Row
Explore the cobblestone streets and historic buildings of this area, which is known for its restaurants, cafés, art galleries and boutiques. Shoppers can expect to find jewellery, accessories and Lou La Belle Skin Care, a natural beauty line that has quickly become a local favourite.
Winter: Cross-country skiing
Charlottetown has three trails within city limits, including a perfect-for-beginners two-kilometre groomed trail on the grounds of the Belvedere Golf Club.
Spring: The Ceilidh at the Irish Hall
A 30-year tradition in P.E.I., this lively weekly gathering celebrates traditional Celtic music and dance. (The province has strong Celtic roots thanks to waves of Scots and Irish immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries.) Ceilidh season kicks off in mid-May and runs to mid-October, and often features a surprise guest or two.
What's close by
If you have time to range farther afield, here are three other cool spots to see in the province.
One hour away: Bay Fortune
Now owned by chef Michael Smith, The Inn at Bay Fortune is a quaint spot to stay the night and indulge in a family-style dinner made with fruit, veggies and herbs grown on the property.
For more great Canadian travel destinations, visit Our Ultimate Canadian Travel Guide.