Visiting Prince Edward Island has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I fell in love with this island as a young girl watching shows such as Anne of Green Gables, and Avonlea (a series done by the Disney Channel). The beauty of the island captured my attend. I knew someday I had to make the pilgrimage here.
Last summer I finally got my chance. Our family had planned to take our tent and camp for a couple weeks. We didn’t have a clear plan as to where, but we knew one key thing – we wanted beach! The ocean has fascinated me since I first laid eyes on it at 13. Long story short – we landed on finally making the trek to PEI.
Arriving on Prince Edward Island
PEI can be reached 3 ways; air, ferry or bridge. For air, you would want to fly into the Charlottetown airport. The ferry can be caught in Nova Scotia and is $69CAN per vehicle. On land you can cross the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick and drive to the island. At the time we visited the cost of the bridge crossing was $43CAN. You pay as you exit the island, so if you wanting to do both ferry and the bridge, ride over on the ferry then return on the bridge.
When you exit the Confederation Bridge immediately to your right is a spot that you can pull off for a welcome center. PEI has done an amazing job at having information available right when you arrive and it is in this lovely visitor center pictured above. This building is across from the Anne statue pictured above, where she waves and welcomes everyone to her island.
One point we loved about this spot was the playground and picnic space. We were able to stop, have lunch here, and of course let the kids run around while I popped inside and picked up the info we needed.
I’ve heard many people wish to make this pilgrimage, mostly due to their love for the story of Anne and other Lucy Maud Montgomery classics. But often the issue of cost comes in to play. PEI can be pricey, but it can also be affordable with a little planning.
We chose to camp during out stay on PEI and that cut the cost majorly. For this waterfront site at we paid about $240CAN for 10 nights of camping. We had full hook-ups (not that we needed that), but we were waterfront! And seriously the view is all I wanted!
We ate breakfast at the campsite each morning while enjoying the wonderful view. For heading out to explore we packed lunches and took snacks. Then by late evening we would head back to the site and cook dinner over the camp fire.
Jeremy was the campfire king! He cooked all sorts of yummy delights for us over this fire. Some local favorites are clams (which you can collect yourself right out in this bay) and potatoes grown on the island. Potatoes and firewood could be purchased alongside the road from numerous places.
Really nothing could beat this spot. This campsite had a pool, laundry, and a playground. So for us it was pretty much perfect. The view of course was what I loved best!
Just a note on clothing: even in the summer PEI can be warm in the daytime and drop to 40s or 50s at night. I recommend having layers and warm blankets if you are sleeping in a tent like us.
You can see a storm rolling in. It can rain hard on this island. So be prepared with your gear.
The view as I sat and watched dinner cooking on the fire. This campsite was so peaceful.
Campsite Info: We stayed at Crystal Beach Campground. The thing I most loved about it, besides being waterfront, was that it was really centrally located. We were close to Summerside, and not too far from Charlottetown or Cavendish. In this location we could pop in to town for extra supplies, as well get to most key sights quickly. http://www.crystalbeachcampground.net/
Prince Edward Island on Budget
I’ve already mentioned several ways to save when you travel to PEI, but below is a list of ideas.
- camp instead of getting a hotel
- if you can’t camp, get a self-catering cabin where you can cook some meals yourself
- visit Walmart in Summerside or Charlottetown for food (and if your coming from the states grab some stuff there first)
- skip expensive tours, you can find everything easily on your own
- only pay entrance to sites you really want to see (those will be worth it)
- take snacks or packed lunch out with you each day
- skip expensive souvenirs and have a photo book made after you return home
In Part 2 and 3 of the PEI series I will share about beaches, lighthouses, and Anne places! Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post!