It’s the height of the summer and there’s no better time to be in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island! When the red dirt roads lead in so many directions, it’s hard to know what to do. Whether you have bouncing babies, toddlers on the go, little munchkins, or big swimmers — this list has something for everyone on the family’s list. Have fun!
Get an early start and enjoy lattes and breakfast sandwiches at Samuel’s Coffee House. Check out the Avonlea Artisan Studio on your way through, where crafters come from all over PEI to sell their wares. The village is also home to COWS Ice Cream’s second Cavendish location (in addition to Cavendish Boardwalk) and to Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, Anne approved of course. The utterly stupendous Moonsnail sells everything you need to soak your beach feet at the end of the day.
Shining Waters Family Fun Park & Sandspit
The epic water park adventure, Shining Waters, has something for everyone, from the biggest to the littlest. My kids are super fans! We love the diversity of this park, between the splash pad and water play to the swinging bridges of forest adventures. There are flying rides that are perfect for kindergarteners, and even a barn full of baby goats, if that’s your jam! Older kids will appreciate adding Sandspit Amusement Park to the mix across Route 6, where splashy bumper boats and the Cyclone Roller Coaster can add a classic thrill to your vacation adventure.
Cavendish Beach Adventure Zone
Cavendish Beach Adventure Zone lives up to its name and is full of adventure for kids of any age. Take a tour of the Route 6 Motel and you will walk, run, or for some, just barely crawl out of the haunted winding corridors. For some action-packed fun, there’s an indoor laser-tag area that is sure to get you moving through the black-lit, fog-filled, obstacles. And not to worry, for those of you who want to stay in the beautiful sunshine, the River of Adventure Mini Golf course is there to challenge your golf skills… and maybe add in a few curveballs to throw you off your game!
Grandpa’s Antique Photo Studio
What kid doesn’t love dressing up? At Grandpa’s Antique Photo Studio, your kids (and you!) will have a chance to dress up and be silly. Even pets are allowed to throw on a costume. Your family photos have no chance of being boring when you go back in time to the Victorian era, or head to the Wild Wild West. 1920’s flapper dresses are a huge hit, while Southern Belles are quite charming too! Whatever time and place you decide to go back to, Grandpa’s has the outfits and camera ready to capture the fun.
Cavendish Beach – PEI National Park
This white sand beach offers full wheelchair access and has the benefit of full-time surfguards in a supervised area. The park offers walking trails and interpretive programming, and miles of PEI sand dunes. Take the back way in by hiking through Cavendish Grove. Most Islanders grew up with the theme park Rainbow Valley on that property, so if you’re lucky, you’ll still see the magical dust of fairies around.
The Boardwalk has long been a staple on the Cavendish scene for those looking to hook up with new flip-flops, beach towels, or some PEI souvenir merch – drop your anchor at Coastal Culture, the Island’s number one souvenir shop. If you’re travelling with a tweener, head to BeaverTails at the Sunset Boardwalk next door, they will love to SnapChat to all their friends back home. For adventurers, go banana chocolate, for purists, cinnamon and sugar!
Just off of Cavendish, you can cool off in New London with the area’s newest ice cream shop, the Potter’s Parlour! Located right on Route 6, the Potter’s Parlour offers flights of ADL ice cream, East Coast craft soda floats, giant Jenga, hammocks, and a dress-up room for kids of all ages. The Parlour is newly opened this year by Suzanne Scott (of Village Pottery), and you get a 10% discount on pottery if you visit the shop next door.
Cousins Shore & Thunder Cove
When you’ve conquered Cavendish and feel like a little drive, the coastal drive to visit neighbouring beaches is a great way to spend the day! The perfect beach for babies, Cousins Shore will delight young splashers with tidal pools ‘til Tuesday. The beach sweeps from dynamic dunes to jutting rock fronts on Thunder Cove, and offers quietude and privacy from Cavendish’s busy beachfronts. If it’s a road trip you’re looking for, the stretch from Cavendish to Darnley overlooks New London bay, French River, and then the PEI’s north shore, making it by far one of the most beautiful drives on Prince Edward Island. No wonder it’s a locals fave!
Basin View Seafood
At the end of the day, make sure that Mom and Dad stop in to Basin View Seafood’s Darnley or Cavendish locations, and visit the grandeur of what four generations of fishers have to offer. The shops specialize in live or whole cooked lobsters, choice oysters, PEI mussels, and Halibut, when in season. The trip to the Darnely location will dazzle any young fisherman as it offers two outdoor “ponds” where lobsters can be sold the very same day they’re caught! Want to know how to eat a PEI lobster? Watch our tutorial here: How to Eat a PEI Lobster.