The small but mighty city of Charlottetown is vibrant, charming, and punches far above its weight class in terms of arts, culture and a hot culinary scene. This bustling hub on the south shore of Prince Edward Island is the province’s capital city and the Birthplace of Confederation. Grand buildings and historic homes line streets that buzz with city vibes fun just waiting to be had.
If you’re planning a trip to Charlottetown, here are a few hot tips to help you pack in all the must see, must taste, must experience places!
1. Indulge in the Arts
The heart of Charlottetown packs a punch when it comes to things to see, and experiences to remember! With running shows like Mamma Mia and the beloved Anne of Green Gables, the Confederation Centre of the Arts certainly has musical entertainment down pat. But oh, there’s so much more! There’s a four-level Art Gallery, a fabulous outdoor terrace to dine at Mavor’s Restaurant, a beautiful gift-shop, and daily free performances by Young Company in the outdoor amphitheatre. Not only that, but the Centre is a focal point for Art in the Open, an annual summer event that highlights the vibrant art culture and talent in Downtown Charlottetown. Clearly, The Confederation Centre is a full city-block of art, talent, and fun that’s perfect for the whole family.
2. A One Stop Wonderful Shop
When you can eat, relax by the ocean, shop local, and listen to live music all in one stop… we say you’ve hit the jackpot! The Peake’s Wharf Historic Waterfront is vibrant source of entertainment for your time in Charlottetown. As local artists play, you can walk along the boardwalk with a scoop of COWS’ in hand, pick up a few treats at shops like My Little Stash and Coastal Culture, and visit PEI’s only floating restaurant at Cork & Cast! And did we mention this is all in Downtown Charlottetown? Peake’s Wharf is always a win in our books.
3. All the Buzz Along the Row
The hustle and bustle and twinkling lights along the cobblestone streets of Victoria Row is always the benchmark to the summer season in Charlottetown! This beautiful street is pedestrian-only all summer long to make room for live music, patio eating at its finest, and a lovely walkway as you wander in and out of the shops, galleries, and Confederation Centre gardens along the way. But what are the can’t-miss stops? Make sure to grab a tasty treat at the ever-popular Receiver Coffee, and head up to Fishies on the Roof for dinner with a pretty stellar view. Victoria Row does not disappoint!
4. Top Notch Eats
When it comes to food, Charlottetown is the place to beat. There are incredible eats absolutely everywhere you look! Skilled chefs and artisan producers transform fresh, local ingredients into delicious creations. There’s a place to suit every taste from cozy pubs to buzzing cafes; fine dining restaurants to food trucks and farmers’ markets. The city hosts plenty of food festivals and culinary competitions putting Island ingredients in the spotlight. Check out the PEI Fall Flavours Festival, Farm Day in the City, and Veg it Up!
5. Off to the Races
If you want to get your heart racing, head to Red Shores Racetrack and Casino, the Island’s premier destination for live harness racing, which runs April through to January. For a truly unique experience, make reservations for the Race Night Buffet at Top of the Park where you’ll enjoy Island-inspired dishes while you place your bets on who will cross the finish line first!
6. Spend Time by the Sea
Take advantage of summertime and the city’s close proximity to extraordinary beaches. Just a 15-minute drive will take you to one of the best coastlines on the Island, Brackley Beach! Imagine miles of soft warm sand and tumbling white-crested waves… it doesn’t get dreamier than that. Even the sea views from in the city are amazing. Sit and watch the boats sail in and out at the Charlottetown Marina, and get a front row seat to a beautiful sailboat scene at Victoria Park.
7. An Evening of Toe-Tappin’ and Laughter
Take your love for arts, culture, and Anne one step further and check out The Guild! As a not-for-profit arts and culture hub in the city, The Guild is home many things, including art galleries, a musical theatre school, and a performance centre. As a follow of to Anne of Green Gables, Anne & Gilbert will sweep you up in a love story that’ll have you laughing, crying, and tapping your toes. And it’s not often you’ll find a ceilidh in the heart of the city, but every Tuesday night The Ross Family Ceilidh takes the stage for a show so lively and entertaining you won’t be able to sit still or wipe the smile off of your face!
8. SunDaze to Remember
9. Walk Through History
Gain a whole new appreciation for the history within the Charlottetown. Not only is it a stunning city filled with beautiful historic homes and buildings, but as the birthplace of confederation, the stories of Charlottetown’s remarkable past really do flood the streets! Hear the legends and folklore of the city on a Secrets of Charlottetown Walking Tour, or watch history come alive with the Confederation Players’ Tours and Historical Reenactment. And for an ongoing tour, let the whole family join the scavenger hunt for Eckhart in the City. Nine little bronze mice stationed in their hiding places around the city, each one with their own little piece history. Can you find them all?
10. A Day on the Fairways
With more than 400 fairways on this tiny island, it’s no surprise it is a golfer’s paradise. And you don’t need to venture far from the city to play some truly exceptional courses – Fox Meadows, Belvedere, Clyde River, Glen Afton and Countryview are all less than 20 minutes by car from the city centre!
From morning to night, Charlottetown is alive with that unmistakeable feeling of summertime in the city. It’s a guaranteed good time and sure-fire way to add some fabulous food, fun and inspiration to your next PEI vacation.