“You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.
| l. m. montgomery |
If there’s one thing every girl dreams of at some point in her life, I’m pretty sure it’s being Anne of Green Gables. I never read the books as a girl, but saturated myself in the movies. So often I took the name of “Anne” as I put on my makeshift edwardian clothes and traipsed through my backyard as I pretended to be the heroine. She had an extra hold on me I guess because I was a writer, or wanted to be, so the personality seemed to fit. But there was one thing that I could never quite get past in this pretend world. I could make due with my clothes not being “just like Anne’s” but the backyard I played in, my backyard of creek gravel driveways, pine trees and the smell of rural Tennessee, just wasn’t Anne’s Avonlea with sand dunes and Island smelling countryside. I longed to see Prince Edward Island for myself someday. There was a little girls dream, that went on hold for the unforeseeable future.
Fast forward 10 or so years later, my wonderful fiancé spills the beans on where he wants to take me on our honeymoon. . .you can imagine the huge smile that lit up my face when he told me. We planned things sparingly the next few months, contacting friends who had been to the island about their “must see’s” but leaving most of the exploring til we got there. It added so much fun, and more than a few adventures by taking this route.
If staying in a little yellow cottage like Rachel Lynde’s house for a whole week didn’t give me the shivers enough, staying at a place called “Shining Waters Country Inn” definitely sealed the deal. It was the most charming hotel I’ve ever stayed in; with painted white trim, and blooming flowers hanging from the porch. It looked like it had stepped out of one of L. M. Montgomery’s novels.
Each day on this storybook-like island etched memories in my mind that I will keep forever.
Here is the day-by-day in photos of our adventures. I’ll spare the words and let you just “drink it in”.
Day One: First view of the island + Cape Tryon Lighthouse.
Day Two: Green Gables exploring + Cavendish Beach
Day Three: Rainy day on the island + Cavendish Boardwalk + Cow’s Ice Cream
Day Four: Heading off the Island, Confederation Bridge + New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Day Five: Charlottetown exploring + Wharf
Day Six (Last day): White Sands Hotel + Stanhope Cape Beach + Covehead Lighthouse
And so ended our week of travels to the destination of my childhood, it seems a dream even now.
Every boardwalk street we walked, every coastal farmhouse we sighted, all the red cinnamon colored sand between my toes… I wish I could pack it all into a suitcase to unzip everytime a needed a little “vitamin PEI”. Truly, pictures do not even do this incredible place justice.
It needs to be experienced, soaked up, explored.
I’m leaving a list of the highlights of our trip below, the “must see’s and do’s”.
1. Cow’s Ice Cream – Anywhere on PEI
2. The Lost Anchor – Cavendish, PEI
3. Cavendish Fish & Chips – Cavendish, PEI
4. Raspberry Cordial – Pretty much anywhere on the Island
5. Pizza Delight – County 911 Jail, Charlottetown
1. Stanhope Cove Beach
2. Dalvay Beach
2. Cavendish Beach
>Shining Waters Country Inn<
Great service, included breakfast, minutes walk from Green Gables and very central. We loved staying in Cavendish.
1. Cape Tryon Lighthouse
2. Covehead Lighthouse
Places to Visit
1. Cavendish Boardwalk – we spent our rainy day here, great souvenir shops and just a fun place!
2. Green Gables (of course, it’s SO worth it!)
3. Confederation Bridge – Super fun, a bit expensive, but worth seeing what’s on the other side.
4. Victoria Row/Charlottetown – worth taking a whole day or a few days to explore, the wharf was amazing.
5. Anne & Gilbert Musical, Charlottetown – we made it a night on the town, definitely a must see!
6. Victoria Park, Charlottetown – breathtaking and a beautiful view of the town
7. “White Sands Hotel” or Dalvay by the Sea – bike rentals were here, and all the nostalgia. Beware, the inside is dated and not like shown in the films. 😉 But the outside it just beautiful.
8. NOTE* we tried finding the “Stanhope by the Sea” which was where the inside of the White Sands Hotel was filmed. But according to some sweet local ladies who informed us it burned down a couple months ago. SADness.
Thanks for tagging along with these adventures! If you’re planning a trip to PEI, or want to one day, feel free to contact me for anymore info. I’d be happy to share a “tourists” favs.
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