Discovering the capes and coastal gems of Prince Edward Island
by Jared Nusinoff
Tourists venture out to Eastern Canada to experience the geographical beauty and tranquillity which makes this part of the country unique. Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada, and a destination to experience the charm and beauty of a relaxed coastal lifestyle.
When most non-Eastern Canadians think of PEI they automatically associate Anne of Green Gables. Though the island’s greenery and fertile farmland are representative of the fictional story’s traditional setting at the Green Gables Heritage Site, there is so much diversity to the island’s scenery found inland and by the sea.
You may be planning to visit the popular Cavendish Beach, but be sure to check out the magic to be found at the hidden coves, capes and red sandy shorelines around the island.
1. “Singing Sands” at Basin Head Beach
Basin Head Beach got its nickname the “Singing Sands” after the mysterious squeaky sound it makes when you walk across the shore, which is due to its high content of silica and quartz in the sand. The area is a provincial park and is a popular spot for locals during the summer. A must-do when you visit Basin Head is the bridge jump off “the run”, which is the boat passage splitting the small white sandy beach from the big beach which runs for miles heading east.
2. Sand Dunes at Greenwich
Just east of Basin Head is one of PEI’s most beautiful National Parks, Greenwich. It is a coastal location with a unique landscape featuring pristine white sand beaches and a parabolic sand dune, surrounded by luscious greenery. It’s a wonderful place to explore, with hiking trails and bike paths mapped out, including a wheelchair accessible loop, picnic areas, and supervised swimming.
You get there after walking a short while down a floating boardwalk! Depending on the season, you may want to only go for a very quick swim, as the waters in the surrounding beaches can be quite chilly.
3. Malpeque Bay Oysters
Home of world famous Malpeque Oysters, if you’re a foodie or a fan of shellfish you’ll want to check out the local seafood restaurants of Malpeque Bay. These oysters are now rivalled with Bluepoints as the most popular oyster, because of their affordability and taste, making them perfect for a palate which is new to the delicacy. The Malpeque Region is a picturesque scope of secluded beaches with backdrops of the bay. Visit Cabot Beach Provincial Park, a beautiful spot for picnics and the host of classical concerts and the Indian River Festival in the summer time, held at the historic site St. Mary’s, a restored French Gothic style Church.
4. North Cape
Located at the Northwestern-most extremity of Prince Edward Island, North Cape is famous for the 2km natural sedimentary rock reef which extends offshore from the cape where the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Straight meet. Nature lovers will enjoy the marine life, seabirds, and local flora and fauna along the 5.5km Black Marsh Nature Trail, known for its dramatically changing scenery and magnificent sunsets.
Along the beach you’ll find display of Inukshuks built by visitors day after day- be sure to make your own to commemorate your visit!
5. Brackley Beach
Part of the Green Gables Shore Touring Region, Brackley Beach is a small Canadian rural farming community situated in the PEI countryside with tranquil beaches and majestic sand dunes. The beach extends into Rustico Harbour and forms Rustico Island, offering sites for camping and quaint accommodations such as guest houses and Bed & Breakfasts.
The community of Brackley is a welcoming vacation touristy spot full of souvenir shops, dairy bars, and is home to the only drive-in theatre in PEI. Outdoor activities include deep sea fishing, horseback-riding, biking and canoe and kayak rentals.
Spend an hour or two exploring The Dunes Gallery. The studio features an eclectic mix of treasures such as Island Arts and artisan-made craft collections. Al fresco dining from a menu of avant-garde cuisine at the cafe is enjoyed in the presence of the magnificent botanical gardens, with beautiful flora, water fountains, and stone sculptures.
Jared Nusinoff just launched a new budget focused roadtrip experience travel company focused on Canada – www.OutHereTravel.ca – to help folks venturing to amazing spots in Ontario, Quebec, PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. They provide buses that get you to big cities and the good stuff around them, cool small towns, amazing national parks, with adventures and activities throughout. They also provide you with the flexibility to do what you like — with multiple options each day.
Other posts by Jared Rover that you’ll enjoy:
Stuff your face with potatoes & seafood in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada
Canada Tunes for a Canadian Road Trip – Part 18 of 670701
Feelings from the backcountry of Quebec and Ontario, Canada
This article was published in December 2017.