There is no better way to experience the heart of a place than to uncover the hidden gems that lie off the beaten path. From small halls that come alive with music to sandstone caves and sea stacks, there are so many hidden gems that lie outside of the tourist handbooks. Take a step into some the charming places, landscapes, and one of a kind experiences that make this Island so unique.
Thunder Cove and Teacup Rock
Thunder Cove and Teacup Rock are really two gems in one. They can both be found along the same stretch of coastline at the western end of Prince Edward Island. Thunder Cove is a series of caves, cliffs and sea stacks that have been sculpted by the awesome forces of wind and water. Teacup Rock is among this coastline’s most notable natural sculptures, often visited by kayakers, photographers and beach explorers.
At Island Winds, the breeze truly does carry a tune. This maker of hand-tuned wind chimes has been crafting their wares from metals and woods that ring true to key. Stop by the Hunter River Gallery during their regular seasonal hours or by appointment to listen to the wind chime in a perfect key of C.
Tony Diodati Art Gallery
Tony Diodati and his Island art can be found seen from April through October at his Sprink Brook Gallery on PEI. Inspired by the serenity and peace of PEI’s landscape, fishing villages and natural spaces, Tony’s style and approach offer fresh perspectives and representations of quintessential PEI subjects.
Victoria-by-the-Sea is a bustling hub of cultural activity masquerading as a tiny seaside village. This small community has galleries, eclectic shops, refreshing eateries and one of the Island’s most cherished community theatres, Victoria Playhouse, which is a hidden gem inside a hidden gem!
PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls
The PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls is a vibrant two-week celebration of traditional music, storytelling and dance that takes place at more than 40 small venues in rural communities across PEI. This festival is a brilliant opportunity to experience the folk charm of more than 50 performances and a unique opportunity to visit some of the Island’s quaint and unusual performance spaces.
Cape Tryon Lighthouse
Cape Tryon Lighthouse stands along the shoreline of the Western North Coast of PEI, though it feels like it sits at the edge of the world. This active lighthouse is hidden down a rambling farm road between two hayfields. Its precarious perch atop ever-eroding red mud cliffs will some day force this tower to find more stable ground from which to guide mariners.
In the gorgeous village of Victoria-By-the-Sea is By-the-Sea-Kayaking, a kayak tour company and outfitter. Here, peaceful shallow waters along the south shore of PEI offer a unique perspective on this stunning coastline that is accessible to all experience levels. Join on a guided trip out into the Northumberland Straight and dig your own clams for chowder or go it alone on a standup paddle board and feel the lively sea flow beneath your feet.
Just off the beaten path in Victoria Cross is Knox’s Dam. Originally part of a gristmill, Knox’s Dam became the electrical power generating station that supplied the town of Montague in the early 19th century. Now the dam is a sweet stop along the 1.7km Keith Mill Nature Trail. Spend a lazy day watching spawning sea trout and salmon jump the fish ladder or dip a rod in the pool below as you watch the falling water form a glassy layer over the dam’s edge.
Belfast Mini Mills
Belfast Mini Mills is a rare find for fans of exotic yarns, textile crafting kits and exceptional gifts. But more than a gift shop, it’s a mill capable of turning fine fibres into spun treasures and a manufacturer of spinning machines for other mills around the world. Contact them to try an afternoon of felting or a quick rug hooking class. Or roam through the gift shop and be inspired by their yarns, dyes, felting supplies and meticulously crafted gifts.
King’s Castle Provincial Park
Watch the eyes of your wee ones light up when you arrive to King’s Castle Provincial Park. Apart from an extensive playground, canteen and river beach this park has a winding trail that meanders through a Storybook Woods where kids can enjoy whimsical statues from famous children stories. And the best part? It’s free!
Beaconsfield Historic House
Beaconsfield Historic House is one of Charlottetown’s most elegant buildings. It’s a fine example of Victorian Architecture and has a fascinating history as the home of prominent Island families and later as a residence for student nurses. Beaconsfield isn’t just interesting because of its fine construction, meticulous grounds and historic legacy; it also hosts tours, concerts, lectures and special events.