Prince Edward Island

  • 186 km travelled
  • 18 giant clams dug up
  • 01 lighthouse climbed

I had been away on business far too much last year, and promised Julie and the kids a proper family vacation this summer. We’d heard a lot about the charming Maritimes of Canada, and decided to try our luck on Prince Edward Island. In comparison to summer back home, the space we had to explore was mind-blowing. Massive beaches and rolling hills, welcoming villages and cozy cottages — PEI was just what we needed to unwind and reconnect. The kids loved digging up sea critters in the bay, and Julie and I enjoyed watching them. We also enjoyed when they went to bed and we went down to the wine bar — but they don’t need to know that.

Day 1
The beachcombers
We arrived to a sunny Charlottetown on the first day of our Canadian vacation with a hunger for adventure and ice cream. Ice cream won out for starters. After our first taste of Canadiana, we decided to pick up the adventure in a spot we could cool off: Argyle Shore. We found all sorts of things: crabs, waterfalls and the fact that I was absolutely hopeless at skipping rocks. We rinsed off and headed to see the expanse of the Confederation Bridge, which took us a bit longer than expected. We got sidetracked checking out a collection of old tractors and fishing gear, and a lobster dinner special that simply had to be investigated.
Day 2
About town
The family took it easy on the morning of day two, beginning with pancakes, bacon and eggs. We strolled down the colourful streets of Charlottetown a bit before hunger called once more in the form of Poffertjes, a delicious Dutch treat we hadn’t had in years. After a round of croquet and touring some local architecture, we decided to keep up with the day’s theme: gluttony. We got the inside track on one of the best lobster joints and dug in. I thought I looked quite good in a bib. We wrapped up the day with a trip to a local song and dance night called a Ceilidh — much more fun to experience than it is to pronounce.
Day 3
Ocean to plate
Walking out on a windy point, the old lighthouse looked exactly as it would have to sailors way back when: like a beacon of warmth and safety. We climbed up to the top to watch the waves crashing into the high shore before heading down and over to the docks for a chance meeting with some local crab fishermen. We asked where to grab lunch, and they unanimously said “Chowder House.” And they were right; this little shack had the best chowder any of us had ever tried. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Prim point, then got spiffed up for dinner at the incredible Lot 30 — a tiny fine dining haunt worthy of more Michelin Stars than anywhere back home.
Day 4
Life’s a beach
Sunshine! After breakfast, we hopped on our squad of rental bikes and took off through meadows, over bridges and all around St. Peter’s Bay. No wonder this place inspired Anne of Green Gables. We parked the bikes and decided to walk the raised boardwalk down to the beach where I took Hayden for a surprise swim. We tried our hands at a little two-on-two volleyball before realizing that the nearby bridge was begging to become our diving board. The sun eased off a bit and we decided to kick back a little and watch the world go by from our new favourite spot — right on the edge of the new world.
Day 5
Putting green gables
Today, I got to golf at Glasgow Hills. The sky was blue, the grass was perfectly cut, and my game was … well, it doesn’t matter — the conditions were great. After I’d had my treat, we headed over to the Green Gables house for a tour back in time, and a good laugh at Caitlin in an Anne of Green Gables wig. A proper lunch at the Jam factory fueled us up for running about on Cavendish Beach — at least until we passed the Cow's Creamery for cheese and ice cream. Yum. We ended the day back at the cabin — what I now believe is the coziest place on earth.
Day 6
On our last day here, we took to the seas in search of its bounty. But, before we set off, fresh baked pastries were a must. The skies were clear as we were given our tools (reminded me of garden hoes) and we listened as the captain told us how to spot the giant bar clams we were after. Samantha got the biggest haul, and thought it was hilarious when I picked up a crab the wrong way and got pinched. We cooked up some clams on the beach while eagles circled, then headed back on the boat. On the way, we pulled up some lobster traps and a few fish. This was the scene for our final meal together: fresh, local, friendly, and undeniably Canadian.