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 Islands Information

Place: Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island: A World Within a World
By Caitlin Moore

The smallest Canadian province is hardly the most unremarkable. Prince Edward Island has charm and beauty to spare, and somehow its noteworthy qualities seem all the more precious because they are contained within the perimeter of a very small area. Peaceful beaches, plentiful outdoor activities, a rich sense of history and a playful atmosphere of whimsy and romance define a trip to Prince Edward Island, making it worth crossing the Northumberland Strait.

Donít be intimidated by the Canadian geography and complicated mix of cultures that define this unconventional place. Once youíve arrived by air, boat or car (thereís an impressive nine-mile bridge that connects the island to New Brunswick) it will become clear that everyone is welcome and a number of possibilities are up for grabs. Thereís no fear of feeling like a castaway on this island; Prince Edward meets the challenges of providing even the most hyperactive travelers with more than enough options for staying busy.

The water of course plays an important role, so set aside plenty of time for the beach. Clam digging, deep-sea fishing, swimming, strollingÖall the expected activities plus a few special ones are on the menu. Bird watching, windsurfing and sea-kayaking will highlight the wild side of PEI, and the popular spots within the National Parks are a true sight to behold. Overall, there is a shallow, sandy shelf surrounding the isle that causes the water to become nice and warm, so summer visitors should definitely bring their swimsuits and enjoy the perhaps unexpected Canadian conditions.

Back on dry land, a fine way to spend a day involves renting a bicycle and striking out for a nice long ride. Try the Confederation Trail if youíre serious about becoming acquainted with the island from one end to the other; itís largely flat and very safe, perfect for the whole family. Woodland rides and guided tours are also available, ensuring that fresh air and exercise receive their due during this trip.

Keep the endorphins flowing by going for a run on one of the many clean-cut trails or participating in a game on the cutting edge of technology: Geocaching. For the uninitiated, this is a modern day version of hide and seek that involves seeking out units marked with Global Positioning Devices around the island. There are around 200 on PEI and finding one means discovering a canister of some sort that contains messages, notes and knick-knacks left behind by previous discoverers. Itís a fun way to see the sites and connect to a larger network of travelers.

Prince Edward Island happens to be Canadaís number one golf destination thanks to the weather, layout and stunning scenery of the island. Itís also a good place to find a great meal, especially if youíre in the mood for a lobster supper. Other seafood, like oysters and mussels, as well as locally grown potatoes are all worth a taste as well, and when enjoyed within view of an ocean sunset every bite is sure to be amazing.

Literature fans surely know that PEI is the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the creator of the much beloved Anne of Green Gables Character. The island is proud of this creative connection and showcases it with a festival, tours and even an Anne musical. Visit the sites that you have thus far seen only in your mindís eye and treasure the chance to revisit childhood while getting to know the real location a little bit better.

All of this is a lot to pack into one vacation, so itís best to allow plenty of time to properly enjoy an escape to this mythical-seeming island. Do this by reserving a vacation cottage on the shorefront, tucked away on a slice of farmland or nearly hidden in a lush forest. Many romantic and comfortable houses are available for short or long-term stays, and tend to complete the picture of the ideal getaway that is probably flourishing in your imagination right now.

The current to-do list is shaping up as follows: take a good chunk of time off work, start locating all suitcases and vacation attire, and go online to reserve the Prince Edward Island Vacation Rental that is destined to bring it all together. lists over 75,000 vacation rentals across the world.