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Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Webster
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Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

We will be spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island; we have rented a cottage in Miminegash. This will be our first trip to the island; we would welcome any suggestions regarding what we should be sure to see and do in this limited amount of time. We would also like to take the ferry to Nova Scotia if time allows. Please share any of your thoughts with us; we love nature and plan to do some hiking; are not huge fans of "crowded tourist areas". We would also appreciate suggestions for the best places to buy and eat lobster! Thanks

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Are you driving or flying into Pei?

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

i loved greenwich pei national park. it's a flat walk into a beach with a lot of sand dunes. if it's hot, bring lots of water. a decent length of a walk with no shade. on the other side of the island from where you are staying. are you taking the ferry to nova scotia just for a day trip to get on the water? the little town of pictou on the ns side is nice. nice beach between the ferry terminal and pictou - caribou munroes provincial park. or is there something you want to see on ns.

Webster
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3. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Yes we are; we live in Webster, NY and will plan two days to get there, stopping in Bangor, Maine the first night.

Webster
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4. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Yes we are; we live in Webster, NY and will plan two days to arrive on PEI. We plan to stop in Bangor, Maine the first night.

Webster
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5. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

We have never been to the area, so did not have any specifics in mind for NS; where do you get the ferry? Is it car, passenger or both? Do we need the car once we are in NS for the day, or are there things to see that are walking distance from the ferry? Thanks so much for the information!

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

For people who are combining a visit to PEI also with Nova Scotia, it's possibly to vary the driving routes to and from the island, ideally by visiting NS first and then heading to the island on the ferry ( passengers and vehicles - ferries.ca/northumberland-ferries-schedule-a… ) and then leaving by the bridge. (http://www.confederationbridge.com/ ) You actually only pay once, for either ... when you are leaving the island, and it is slightly cheaper to do so by leaving via the bridge. However, in your case, Nova Scotia is not directly on your route, and using the ferry to arrive adds distance to your drive. Have a look at these two maps, the first is the most direct route to Miminegash, and the second is to the ferry - http://goo.gl/maps/HFqYA http://goo.gl/maps/FfKOT (there doesn't seem to be a way to make the map plot the rest of the route to Miminegash by using the ferry but that distance is 121 miles, or approx. 2 hrs and 33 min., according to another google map http://goo.gl/maps/7BOQF )

As to what to see on the island, North Cape and the wind farm is not too far from you and is a pleasant drive. Miminegash is not centrally located, so visiting the usual tourist attractions in the Charlottetown and Cavendish areas is going to require a bit of driving, however, driving on PEI is scenic (although sections of highway 2 north from Summerside are pretty dull). It is 68 miles from Miminegash to Cavendish, or about 1 1/2 hour, according to google maps.

There are sections of Confederation Trail near you - the trail begins/ends in Tignish and runs on the old rail bed, so if you have bicycles or want to walk some of it, that is an option.

If you haven't already found it, here is the official tourism site for PEI: http://www.tourismpei.com/pei-things-to-do If you request one, they will mail you a booklet/guide, and there is tons of info on the site too.

Webster
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7. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Thank you, your information is very helpful. Since we have the rental on PEI, we will go there first. If we take the ferry to NS as passengers and do not bring our car (for a daytrip), are there things to see close by the ferry drop off, or should we bring our car? What are the must see things in that area?

We plan to travel around the island and are actually looking forward to the scenic driving; what areas/tourist places should we be sure to include in our visit?

Again, thanks you; you have been very helpful.

Jasper, Canada
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8. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

It has been a really long time since I took the ferry to NS, so I don't have a clear memory of what's there, but if you have a look at it with google maps (zoom in with satellite view, and also use street view), you'll see that the ferry terminal is basically in a rural location about five or six miles from the town of Pictou, NS. I really don't see anything to be gained by going over as passengers on the ferry, unless you are on a scenic drive past Wood Islands, and want to take the ferry across and back for the novelty of it (but at $34 per person, return).

I drove past the Wood Islands terminal on PEI a couple of years ago; it's also basically in the middle of nowhere but there is a park there where you can stroll, have a picnic, watch the ferries come and go etc. We stopped by on one of our scenic drives - that one included the small town of Murray Harbour, and a visit to the Cape Bear lighthouse.

If you wanted to take a driving tour using the ferry and then returning to PEI via the bridge, it would be a very long day, with about 300 miles or about 5 1/2 hours of driving time, plus the ferry fare. This is a map of the drive back from the ferry: http://goo.gl/maps/6bbuf Personally, that wouldn't appeal to me ... if you want to spend a whole day in the car, I would suggest just driving on PEI, perhaps to East Point, and taking the slower, but more scenic secondary roads. In my various trips there, we've done various scenic drives all over the island ... I just love the scenery there! There is a section on the PEI tourism website about scenic drives - they've divided the island up into zones, and there are recommendations for which routes to take; they are all named and signed.

I don't know what the beaches are like near Miminegash, but I have once visited Jacques Cartier Provincial Park and walked the beach there... it was a great beach for walking. (It was October when I was there, so too cold for swimming. In June, the water won't be very warm either.) There are wonderful beaches all over the island, although I have to admit I have been to very few of them.... we have a family cottage on a wonderful huge beach, so I am rather spoiled and usually get all my beach time there.

Are you interested in history? Check out Province House in Charlottetown, a national historic site, the "cradle of confederation". pc.gc.ca/eng/…index.aspx Last summer when I was on the island, I visited Port-la-Joye/Fort Amherst as part of a scenic drive. There's not much left there, but some interpretive panels explain the site, and there are lovely views and some walking trails. www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/pe/amherst/index.aspx I was there on a rather blustery and chilly day in early September and we didn't walk the trails because we hadn't brought warm enough jackets. I would imagine the weather could be similar in June (or it could be hot and sunny beach weather), so do be prepared.

Are you an Anne of Green Gables fan? If so, there are various "Anne" and Lucy Maud Montgomery sites on the island, including Green Gables National Historic Site: pc.gc.ca/eng/…index.aspx

If you are interested in lighthouses, there are lots of them to visit. Through the years, I have seen most of them. The one at West Point is not too far from Miminegash. One of the advantages of coming in your own vehicle is that you won't have any restrictions about non-paved roads, as is quite common with rental cars. (Many lighthouses are at the end of a red dirt road.) If the weather has been dry, you might want to drive some of the designated historic roads (but do not attempt any of these if it has been rainy!)

I believe there is a potato museum in O'Leary, although I have never visited. Skinner's Pond is Stompin' Tom country, although perhaps as an American, you may not be familiar with this Canadian musical icon. I am not sure if there is a museum or anything that commemorates him in that area. The Elephant Rock (sea stack) used to be a big attraction "up west" (as Islanders call that area), but the winter ice had its way with it and due to erosion, it apparently no longer looks like an elephant. I don't know if people still visit it.

The "touristy" part of the island is the north shore of the central section, around Cavendish and PEI National Park. The drive along that shore (New London (where the LMM birthplace museum is), North Rustico etc.) is really scenic.

If you are a geocacher, the island has thousands of caches to find.

If you are music lovers, check out the Indian River festival to see if there are any performances during your stay: http://www.indianriverfestival.com/ There are also various ceilidhs held at community halls all over the island, but I am not sure whether these will have started yet when you are there in June. Check the "events" section on the PEI tourism website link I gave you earlier. The AoGG musical at Confederation Centre is always enjoyable, if that's of appeal to you (and if it is already in production when you are there).

There are also beautiful churches on the island (the Indian River festival is held in a beautiful old church with absolutely amazing acoustics!) On one of my recent visits, we stopped in at the church at Mt Carmel. That area has a fascinating Acadian history.

I really don't think you'll have any trouble filling a week.

Webster
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9. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate you taking the time to share all of this with me. We do want to spend most of our time on the island relaxing at the cottage (which is on the ocean), hiking, walking, scenic drives and lighthouses. I would like to visit some of the larger towns as well. Any suggestions for buying seafood as well as restaurants (like the lobster pounds in New England) we should try? You have been so helpful; again, thank you!

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: Spending a week in late June on Prince Edward Island

You're very welcome! Writing all the above has brought up lots of happy PEI memories, but really made me miss PEI, and I don't think I'll be visiting this summer. :(

I have seen lobster tanks in the grocery stores in Summerside and Charlottetown, but we don't usually buy any and cook them ourselves. My Dad really enjoys the lobster supper at St. Ann's - http://www.lobstersuppers.com/ - and it's become a tradition to go there once for dinner, every time we visit. There is also another lobster supper at New Glasgow - http://peilobstersuppers.com/ , and I have once eaten at the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant one which had a HUGE buffet with PEI mussels and salads to go with the lobster, but we didn't care for the atmosphere.... it was big and really noisy; a place where all the tour buses stop in.

I've had a lobster roll at a "Dairy Bar" (ice cream and take-out place) in Miscouche (sorry, can't recall the name) .. if it is still there, you'll probably drive by it a number of times because it's on, or visible from, the highway. Even McDonald's has "McLobster" sometimes! (if you're desperate LOL) BTW, in case you didn't know, a lobster roll is a sandwich, with a steamed hot dog bun filled with cold lobster and mayonnaise.

But usually, other than our lobster dinner out, we never eat out at restaurants, so I can't really give much advice there. We did have a wonderful meal at the Doctor's Inn in Tyne Valley last summer (strange, I thought I had written a review, but I don't see one there), but they are not a regular restaurant. You have to pre-arrange dinner, I don't know if they have minimum numbers of guests required. http://www.peisland.com/doctorsinn/

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