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Prince Edward Island
Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in prince edward island
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As you drive towards the island over the Confederation Bridge, the first thing you notice is the colour. Across most of the island, the soil and the sand is red. Bright red in some areas!
Although there's nothing particularly dramatic about the island, its a great place to spend a quiet vacation. You can drive from one end of the island to the other and never see a traffic jam. It doesn't take too long until you've slowed down to the same pace of life as the locals.
Prince Edward Island National Park has some fantastic beaches and hiking trails. North Cape has the most rugged (but maybe least attractive) coastline where you'll find giant experimental wind turbines perched on top of windswept cliffs which are crumbling into the ocean at an alarming rate.
Being an island, PEI has limited access by car.
Prince Edward Island is served by a single, airport located in Charlottetown (IATA Airport Code: YYG). The following airlines operate passenger flights into the airport:
Throughout the summer months, cruise liners stop in Charlottetown for one day visits.
Public transportation is almost non-existent on Prince Edward Island. Most visitors will want to use an automobile to explore the island.
In the summer cycling is popular. Although most roads do not have wide shoulders or designated bike lanes, drivers tend to be quite courtous to cyclists. The landscape consists mostly of rolling hills; there are few steep hills to climb. Additionally, the Confederation Trail stretches from one end of the island to the other. Built on a disused rail bed, the trail has low grades and is reserved for cyclists and pedestrians.
Tourism in PEI often focuses on beach, seafood, music and the Anne of Green Gables House which seems especially to appeal to visitors from Japan, for whom this is the third or fourth most popular destination in North America (after the Grand Canyon and Banff, Alberta and often ahead even of Niagara Falls).
PEI features many scenic fishing villages.
Malpeque Harbor (http://www.gov.pe.ca/placefinder/index.php3?cgndb=BADKX&formattype=&city=Malpeque) is the source of not just the famous oysters but many postcards and posters of the picturesque fishing boats, colorful barn-shaped boat houses, and neatly stacked lobster traps. Arrive in late afternoon or early morning for the best light on the water.
St. Peter's Bay is bordered by the Greenwich Dunes on one side, and is full of row upon row of buoys used for mussel farming.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts (http://www.confederationcentre.com/) in Charlottetown hosts a variety of theatrical and musical acts throughout the year in addition to the long running Anne of Green Gables musical which plays every summer. The centre also houses a small art gallery and a public library.
The Victoria Playhouse (http://www.victoriaplayhouse.com/) in picturesque Victoria by the Sea presents up to 85 live theatre and performance events each season. The playbill includes a mix of established classics and new plays by young playwrights.
In recent years, Prince Edward Island has seen a tremendous improvement in the quality of its restaurants. The traditional tourist restaurants serving boiled lobsters with all-you-can-eat coleslaw still exist, and can be a lot of fun, but those looking for a more refined or exotic meal now have several options.
Widely recognized as the best dining on PEI is the Inn at Bay Fortune (http://www.innatbayfortune.com/) (in Bay Fortune). The menu was originally developed by chef Michael Smith, and his Food Network series The Inn Chef was filmed at the Inn. Smith has since left to focus on his television programme, but the quality of the food has not decreased. Chef Renee Lavalle offers a daily tasting menu (but, surpisingly, no matching wine pairings). The restaurant has been awarded three stars (the maximum) by the Where to Eat in Canada dining guide. (902) 687-3745 or (860) 563-6090 (winter)
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Dining Room (4 Sydney Street, Charlottetown) is operated by the Culinary Institute of Canada (http://www.hollandcollege.com/CIC/index.htm), a well respected school for chefs. The students prepare and serve meals under the tuttelage of their professors. The food is classically and competently prepared. The dining room has an excellent view over Charlottetown Harbour. (902) 894-6868
The Café on the Clyde (http://www.preservecompany.com/index.cfm?do=about_dining), located in the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company (http://www.preservecompany.com/) store (in New Glasgow at the junction of routes 224 and 258) has a selection of breakfast items served until 11:00 a.m., and lunch and dinner items served after that. The potato and bacon pie is excellent, as is the lobster croissant. The fish cakes are made the traditional way with salt cod and potatos; an authentic Maritime experience, but most customers don't order them twice. A wide selection of black and herbal teas are available either hot or iced. The dining room has a beautiful view over the idyllic Clyde River. It's a great place to stop for breakfast, lunch, a light dinner, or just a cup of tea and a piece of home-made cake. 1-800-565-5267
The Formosa Tea Room (at 186 Prince Street, Charlottetown) provides shockingly inexpensive vegetarian meals. Serving a selection of fine Asian teas, dim sum treats like dumplings, and large bowls of noodles, vegetables and vegetarian "ham", you won't go hungry. The menu is small but every item on it is delicious and very reasonably priced. (902) 566-4991
Malpeque oysters are known around the world for their large size, soft flesh and sweet, mild flavour. Eat the freshest possible Malpeque oysters at the Malpeque Oyster Barn in Malpeque Harbor. Oysters are a bargain at $18/dozen. They also serve chowder, mussles, beer and sodas. Open until 8:00 p.m. (902-836-3999)
The Water Prince Corner Store (http://www.tourpei.ca/site/51/index.php) (located at the corner of Water and Prince Streets in Charlottetown) offers simple but well prepared seafood meals at exceptional prices. Start with an order of fresh Malpeque oysters, and then have a lobster roll, some lightly battered fish and chips, or even a 2 lb. steamed lobster. (902) 368-3212
A highly popular dining experience, available everywhere on the island focusses on the plentiful lobster. These meals are built around a main course of lobster and include several appetizers, soups, salads and desserts. The most widely acclaimed place for this experience is New Glasgow Lobster Dinners located in the village of New Glasgow. You can choose from 1, 1.5 and 2 lbs lobsters. Prices, though high for the island, are very reasonable compared to anywhere else.
If you choose to cook your own meals at a rental cottage or a camp site there are a number of large grocery stores located around the island. The Real Atlantic Superstore and Sobeys (both located on University Avenue in Charlottetown) are the largest grocery stores in the province, and both carry a wide selection of staples as well as international imports. Be aware that most grocery stores are closed on Sundays.
The legal drinking age in Prince Edward Island is 19. Bars, clubs and liquor stores will typically ask for a government-issued ID from anyone who looks under 25.
Retail alcohol sale on the island is restricted to the government controlled PEI Liquor Commission (http://www.peilcc.ca/). Their stores carry a reasonable selection of wine, beer and liquor.
Shopping and souvenirs
Most stores remain closed on Sundays although all essential services are available. Given the island's large tourism industry, there are many, varied souvenir shops all over. Some of the more impressive are Prince Edwards Island Preserves in New Glasgow, Vessy's Seeds in York and The Dunes in Brackley. These shops carry locally produced art work, food and clothing items.
The ferries to the Iles de la Madeleine and Nova Scotia are fairly infrequent. However, Confederation Bridge remains open year round and is the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way back to the mainland.
There are daily flights between Charlottetown and Montreal, Toronto and Halifax.