There are a few changes around Avonlea Village this year. Located on Route 6 in Cavendish, the historic village has always been home to Montgomery’s legacy: Anne’s schoolhouse (1876), the minister’s residence (1906) and the ancient but loved church (1872), now offering PEI weddings.
The quaintness of the village is the first thing you’ll notice, although most of the renowned characters of the past have sauntered back up to Green Gables. The feel is still the same, though, that you’ve somehow walked into the past. Being family reunion season in Prince Edward Island, I had no trouble finding an out-of-towner to take with me on my adventure, so thanks to my cousin Carolyn Shute for being my resident tourist of the day!
Why people love Avonlea Village
Avonlea Village is choc full of Prince Edward Island specialties: Moonsnail Soapworks, (where I wafted through Red Island salt scrubs, the smell of cinnamon and all things fox and feather), maple syrup from P.E.I. Maple and More, the Mike & Leo shindig every day at 2 pm, pony rides for the kids, and a fascinating ambiance of Avonlea style heritage buildings – both real and recreated. It feels a bit like you’ve walked onto a Hollywood movie set, and out of the corner of my eye, I could swear that I see a horse and carriage.
Avonlea Village celebrates PEI Artists
The Artisan Market was the biggest hit for me. Even Islanders are desperate for local art—pottery, paintings and handicrafts, especially during the height of wedding season. This is the first year that Islander Tammy MacKinnon’s signs have hit the market, and she says her business, Sticks and Stones, couldn’t be doing better.
“I love what I do, and getting to talk to islanders and tourists all day is a total bonus!”
Margo from PEI Maple and More sells not only her line of maples, but pottery from Michael Stanley, The Joshua Tree Studio Soap and stained glass by Nicole. MacKinnon shares her spot with Cindy McKenna who operates her jewelry business, Cindy’s Whims.
PEI is well known for its authenticity, but walking up to the Avonlea Gallery and seeing artist Susan Christenson doing live art made my day! Christenson has an intimate connection to Avonlela Village: her daughter played Anne of Green Gables here in years and vignettes gone by, and plans to be married in the church here next summer. It was fun to see Christenson work on her painting while chatting away in the meantime — something she said she would be doing every Tuesday in August.
Christenson also said that although there is a new direction this summer, it was time for Avonlea Village to evolve. Although it’s an adjustment, it seems that this is a more sustainable economic option for Cavendish, and will still bring in a lot of visitors with its—you got it, PEI charm.
Come for the Anne-spiration
If it’s Anne of Green Gables you’ve come for, you won’t be disappointed. The Anne of Green Gables Store greets visitors at the entrance to Avonlea Village where you will find your Anne costumes, cordials, hats, jams & jellies, and above all else—that delicious Montgomery literature!
There’s no staying away from our local heroine in this village, especially with our very own Anne of Green Gable Chocolates displayed prominently here, with chocolate sweeties, Marilla’s truffles and Anne’s chocolate caramels readily available.
Stay for the oysters
Avonlea Village is also a mouthwatering place for lunch: starting with Cavendish’s own Raspberry Point Oysters, a classic PEI Lobster Roll, Samuel’s Coffee, and the newly opened Piatto Pizzeria, where you can enjoy a truly unique Neopolitan experience. For kids and families, Moo Moo Grilled Cheese is also a family hit. Don’t forget your COWS ice cream on the way out!
Avonlea Village is open daily, with live music at 2pm, on route 6 in cavendish.