When you think of a Prince Edward Island summer, what comes to mind? Is it the magical sunsets, the singing sands, the sounds of the ocean waves crashing and birds chirping? Maybe it’s the salty fresh air and the freedom of the vast sandy shore. Whatever it is that pops up in your head, we can all agree that an Island summer is about as dreamy as it gets.
As we begin to reopen to Atlantic Canada and soon, to the rest of of the country (and fingers crossed for beyond!), let your beach-bucket lists begin with some of our favourite beaches all across the island. You’ll never go wrong with a PEI beach day, and the only problem you’ll have is choosing between the North and South shore!
The singing sand at Basin Head is music to our ears! This famous spot along the southern Points East Coastal Drive shores was named the top beach in Canada by Vacay.com for good reason. Jump into the water, ride the current inland, catch a glimpse of the Ferry going by, and maybe add in a little beach volleyball. Before you know it, you’ll be tuckered out, ready for a nap, and excited for the next Basin Head beach day.
A visit to the North Cape Coastal Drive is one worth making time and time again, and those who live in Western PEI know that their neck of the woods holds beauty beyond compare. As you venture to the most Northwestern tip of the Island to North Cape, you’ll be stunned at the views that await. The majestic red cliffs, small inlets for fishing communities, and North Cape’s stunning windmill farm. But it’s not just the views that will amaze you! This is the land of historical legends, pirate ships and buried gems! Discover, adventure, and be amazed.
Many Islanders call Blooming Point “their” beach, and we don’t blame them one little bit for wanting it all to themselves. This dune-hedged, white sand beauty along the North Shore has become a popular beach blanket locale for many, all the while remaining blissfully private and serene. Take the sandy path up and over the dune and stop to take in the view of the crashing waves, shimmering sands as far east and west as you can see, and that glorious ocean breeze coming off the water. A day at Blooming Point feels like coming home!
There are some real icons here on the island, but one of the most famous has got to be the legendary Teacup Rock at Thunder Cove. This North Shore beach, hugged by red cliffs and cozy coves is found off the beaten path in Darnley and is one of the Island’s most unique shorelines. It’s easy to get caught up in the beauty as you roam. You’ll be forgiven for utterly losing track of time while discovering all sorts of sandstone formations, like the aforementioned Teacup Rock, which is viewed best in the early hours of the morning light or as the sun sets behind it in the evening. Be careful not to climb it though, as sandstone is fragile and quite delicate!
The quiet shore of Stanhope Beach is one of PEI National Park’s finest beaches. Home to piping plovers, impeccable dunes, and handy to more incredible locales such as Dalvay by the Sea, Covehead, and Brackley Beach, Stanhope is a delight for those wishing to escape to a calm, restful, peaceful shore. Stanhope is also one of Prince Edward Island’s most accessible beaches, with mobility mats and floating chairs allowing users to wade right into the water with ease.
The heart belongs to the Heart of PEI, so Cavendish Beach will forever and always be a staple! This North Shore beauty is PEI’s most well-known beach, with miles of white-gold sand stretched out on either side, and located perfectly in PEI’s National Park making it an easy yes for families vacationing nearby. Explore the walking trails, boardwalks, wildlife, and make the very accessible saunter down to the ocean-front for a swim and of course, catching a glorious sunset!
As much as we’d like to keep it on the down low, the secret is out: Greenwich Beach is an absolute wonder. From the floating boardwalks that seem to hover magically over the marshes and grass, to the largest sand dunes on the Island that overlook the glorious sea, a day spent wandering through this park and resting on the sandy shores is like a page out of a story book. Part of PEI’s National Parks, Greenwich’s parabolic dunes and white sand beach are protected, and you can learn all of its history and coastal importance as you stroll through the interpretive centre. Greenwich is known for being a quiet, peaceful, and undisturbed beach so it’s a perfect spot to find some calm in the great outdoors!
The south shores of PEI are exquisite, but there’s something about Canoe Cove that really takes the cake. The patterns of the sand as the tide goes out are like a piece of art set against the bright red cliffs and a setting sun along the Northumberland Strait. This is the perfect beach for families, with a canteen, facilities, warm shallow tidal pools and sea life. And no need to fight the breeze with your beach umbrella, the protected bay will shield you from the wind. Take a paddle out to sea for a glimpse of the coast from a new angle and you’ll be enamoured all summer long!
The westernmost tip of the Island is iconic for more than one reason. West Point Beach’s miles and miles of red sandy shore is the ideal location to watch a breathtaking sunset, its warm shallow waters are perfect for a good seaglass hunt, and its white and black striped lighthouse is both iconic and unique. Not only is it gorgeous and totally photographable, this lighthouse is actually a museum and an inn that you can stay the night in! Imagine waking up to this kind of blissful serenity… totally dreamy!
A PEI summer is what dreams are made of, there’s no two ways about it. The glisten of the Atlantic, the ripple of the waves, the sand between your toes… it makes you smile just thinking about it. A summer spent at the beach is a summer very, very well spent and we can’t wait to share these sandy shores with all of you as soon as possible. Cheers to many beach days ahead!