Thunder Cove Beach is one of those hidden gems that locals try to keep for themselves. It’s off-the-beaten-path in Darnley, just outside of Kensington. While most of PEI’s north shore is known for epic rolling dunes and wide beaches of fine sand, Thunder Cove is so much different. The shore and beach is geologically diverse and a real-time example of how water and wind shape and change the Island landscape. The sandstone cliffs, columns (sea stacks) and cave formations are never the same way twice, completely at the mercy of a restless stone carver – nature! If you’re looking in the right direction, you can imagine you’re standing in the Arizona Desert. Well… if the desert overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. Cliffs and dunes surround the beach. Bring your beach blanket and let your worries be washed away by the gentle waves rolling in from the sea. This is an unsupervised beach. Thunder Cove is outside of Federal and Provincial parks so dogs are permitted off-leash! The cliffs and formations cast their fair share of shade, making this beach ideal for dogs.

Insider’s Tip: Be careful climbing the cliffs. Sandstone is fragile rock, which makes for gorgeous sand but tricky climbing. And look out below! Local kids love doing flips off the dunes into the soft sand below. A short drive or kayak paddle away is a mesmerizing sea stack known as Teacup Rock. It is best viewed in early morning when the water is calm and the sun is still low in the sky.

Where to Find It: Thunder Cove is 66km from Charlottetown via PE-2W. At Kensington, take PE-20 toward Darnley. Take a left onto Lower Darnley Road and a right onto Thunder Cove Road. It’s recommended to park along the 90-degree turn at the beach.