Prince Edward Island, known as the “Garden of the Gulf” by many, is Canada’s smallest and greenest province. Its lush, swaying landscapes with vibrant colours fuse magically together with its rich culture, pristine island beauty and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
The island also prides itself with many seasonal community festivals, concerts and famous productions such as ‘Anne of Green Gables’ which continues to entertain visitors and guests from all over the world. Prince Edward Island is truly one of Canada’s secret treasures.
Prince Edward Island Real Estate, Accommodation and Lodging
Prince Edward Island is popular with tourists and real estate investors – as a result, you’ll find plenty of lodging choices. The standard hotels and motels are available and you can also choose something charming like a bed and breakfast inn or perhaps one of the island’s quaint cottages so you can get a home-away-from-home feeling during your stay. The island also includes a number of campgrounds if you want to “rough it” or stay in your RV.
Of course, many visitors return to Prince Edward Island and enjoy their experiences so much, they seek to call it home. The good news is that the Prince Edward Island real estate market has plenty to choose from. While you can find very affordable real estate for under $200,000, you’ll find that most of the homes cost around $400,000 to $550,000.
Whether you want to visit or come to live, Prince Edward Island provides plenty to see, do and fall in love with. It’s definitely one of Canada’s hidden gems.
Prince Edward Island Access and Transportation
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are multiple ways to arrive on Prince Edward Island. A popular way is to cross the Confederation Bridge which connects the island to New Brunswick on the mainland.
The bridge is 9 miles in length and crosses part of the Northumberland Strait. Crossing the bridge can be expensive – a round trip costs between $32 to $36 USD. If you prefer not to drive yourself, a shuttle will drive you from Halifax to Charlottetown for between $72 and $76 USD round-trip.
If you want to reach Prince Edward Island from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, then you can take a ferry for about $44 USD. The ferries have the convenient option of carrying both cars and passengers which is not the case with all island ferries.
You also have the option of flying into the island via Charlottetown Airport from Halifax, Toronto, or Montreal. If you’re coming from major cities in the United States, this may be the best route because you can connect in these large Canadian cities and fly the rest of the way to the island.
Once you’re on the island, you’ll probably want to keep your transportation. Getting around and seeing everything the island has to offer is a lot easier if you have your own vehicle.
Prince Edward Island Climate and Location
Prince Edward Island has a very comfortable climate year round – and this fact is not lost on visitors and prospective real estate buyers. From December to March, the high temperatures hover just below the freezing mark and you can expect plenty of snow. More than 20 inches of snow falls on the island every month from December through February. Both March and April see large snow amounts, too – 11 and 19 inches, respectively.
Between June and September, however, the temperatures are warmer and less precipitation falls on the island. High temperatures during this time stay in the 60′s and 70′s, and monthly precipitation averages are around three inches.
Prince Edward Island is located north of Nova Scotia and northeast of New Brunswick. To the island’s north is the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland island. About 1,000 miles separate the island’s capital from Toronto and it’s about 650 miles from Montreal.
The province’s capital and largest city is Charlottetown, which is located on a harbor on the Northumberland Strait. The city has just over 32,000 residents.
Prince Edward Island Activities and Sights
Prince Edward Island’s natural beauty and location make it the perfect place for enjoying the outdoors, particularly in the summer months. You’ll find dozens of ways to spend your days, including playing golf, kayaking or swimming in the sea, exploring its many beautiful red clay beaches, biking along numerous trails or hiking within the island’s National Park.
Windsurfing, deep sea fishing, and hunting are also more enjoyable options offered by Prince Edward Island.
You can also try your hand at geocaching if you have a GPS (Global Positioning device). Visitors leave behind log books and trinkets at more than 200 locations around the island, and then post the coordinates online. Using your GPS, you can track down these sites, take the charms they’ve left, and leave something memorable of your own.
In addition, you’ll also be able to find plenty of fun for younger visitors, too – including taking a ride on a mini-train, climbing to the top of a lighthouse, participating in the various summer camps or even motorcycling for different, exciting ways of touring the island.
Prince Edward Island is also known for its fun festive celebrations and events that can be enjoyed year round. With art workshops, theatrical productions such as the famous ‘Anne of Green Gables’, concerts and parades you will never run out of things to do and explore on this diligent and inviting island.
Prince Edward Island Services and Shopping
Prince Edward Island has plenty of shopping opportunities. It is home to more than a half dozen shopping malls, including one in its capital city.
You’ll also find plenty of quaint shops and boutiques where you buy crafts, arts, and even tapestries which reflect the laid-back feel of the island.
If you love fresh seafood, then you’ll find Prince Edward Island to be heavenly. Most of the island’s restaurants serve fresh-caught seafood on their menus daily.
Prince Edward Island Culture, History and Population
Prince Edward Island is a separate province and is the 23rd biggest in Canada in terms of area. The island also boasts a larger population than Canada’s three territories with its 138,000 residents.
Prince Edward Island’s was home first to the Mi’kmaq people who referred to it as Abegweit, or “Land Cradled in the Waves.” To them, the area had spiritual significance.
Later the island became part of Acadia, a French colony established in Canada. Nearly 1,000 Acadians lived on the island which they called Ile Saint-Jean. Unfortunately, the British demanded that all Acadians leave the area beginning in the mid-18th century and the island was captured for England.
After Britain claimed the island as one of their colonies and renamed it St. John’s Island, it took on the role as a tourist retreat for wealthy Victorians during the latter half of the 1700′s. Before the end of the 18th century, the island’s name would be changed again – this time to Prince Edward Island in honor of King George III’s fourth son and to prevent confusion between the island and other St. John’s in the Atlantic Ocean.
During the discussion of Canadian confederation, Prince Edward Island hosted what was known as the Charlottetown Conference where Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia decided to unite in 1867. However, Prince Edward Island decided to keep its options open and remained a British colony until 1873. At the time, the island was in negotiations to join the United States, but Canada’s prime minister was able to change their mind. The island joined the confederation later that year.