Prince Edward Island’s Scenic Drives – rambling through Eden

Prince Edward Island is an idyllic jewel of North America, the land of Anne of Green Gables, rolling farmlands, waves crashing below lighthouses, and lobster suppers.

The Confederation Bridge linked PEI to New Brunswick in 1997, while Nova Scotia is still served by ferries. Flights to Charlottetown Airport (YYG) are primarily from Toronto, with a few other Canadian cities. The only flight from the US is a seasonal summer Delta flight from New York JFK, this year ending September 29. The Delta flight is $500+ roundtrip but, surprisingly, there is occasionally some low award availability (25,000 miles). The regional jet does not have first class and flying time is only about 90 minutes (JFK time, on the other hand, can be nearly infinite).

PEI is primarily a summer destination, much shuts down at the end of September, though hardy locals golf much later.

We had three goals for the quick weekend:

  1. Take scenic drives.
  2. Enjoy a B&B, and we had a gem: Knox’s Dam Bed and Breakfast.
  3. Eat seafood.

Those who know me and wife will surmise who did the goalsetting!

PEI has three formal scenic drives, each with helpful signposts for the route and interesting stops. Given that the rest of the signage on the island is not the best, these are a great traveler’s aid.

One warning: the locals generally drive very, very slowly, well under the already low speed limits. They make even the docile Nova Soctia tourists seem like road terrors. Most roads are two-lane. Plan accordingly.

The scenic drives are:

  1. North Cape Coastal Drive – 300 km in the least touristed section of the island.
  2. Central Coastal Drive – 253 km in the tourist heartland, Anne of Green Gables country.
  3. Points East Coastal Drive – 470 km along the east coast.
We drove the north sections of Central Coastal and Points East. Both are heavy on farmland with occasional peeks at the coast. The best views require taking the marked diversions to scenic spots. Central Coast has the better farm views but also tourist bric-a-bric. Points East has long stretches of near solitude.
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Points East Coastal Drive, signposted by starfish

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Tranquil farm scenery

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East Point Lighthouse

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Towering wind turbines

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Seafood platter at Clamdiggers Beach House in Georgetown

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Basin Head Beach and its 'singing sands'

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Children and children at heart diving off the bridge

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"Jumping or diving is prohibited from the bridge or sides of wharf"

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Central Coastal drive marked by farmhouses

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Resting by the bend of the river

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Breathtaking vistas when the water is in view

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Smiling in Eden

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  • Sounds like a nice trip. Did you see the hopewell rocks? Bet that water was cold.

  • Nice! I thought your camera battery was out and you could only take one picture? 😀 We were actually planning to fly into YHZ and drive to Cape Brenton in July 2013 (an BusinessExtrAA promo last year got us a free ticket each after flying a short trip from LAS to LAX), but AA cut its route from JFK to YHZ and does not allow awards on Westjet yet… Maybe we will have to reply on UA or DL miles.

  • I camped in PEI in late May 1993 and it was rather cold. There were miles and miles of empty beaches.

    That was a few years before the bridge from New Brunswick connected the island to the mainland.

  • MV

    Beautiful place to visit, very friendly people. The seafood is fresh, delicious and not expensive either!

  • I love PEI. Your pics are great and bring back good memories!

  • @Jimmy – I had my phone, not as good, but did a decent understudy performance.

    I have a YHZ weekend with DL for mid-Sept, looks a great place to visit, but business travel may interfere.

    @Ric Garrido – I take it that the locals have mixed feelings about the bridge, adds convenience but bring in an influx from the mainland, hardly barbarian hoards bashing down the gate, but the people on PEI guard their lifestyle.

  • aptraveler

    Nice trip report with the necessary landscape and FOOD shots. Good job Stephan!

  • Pingback: Delta Summer NYC Flights to Martha’s Vineyand, Nantucket and Prince Edward Island - Rapid Travel Chai()

  • Stephan, thank you for your awesome blog. I had the opportunity to see you at the Chicago Seminars. Now I’m hooked on your travel style. I just booked RT 25K each on Delta for the wife and I to PEI for Labor Day Weekend.

    Next step is searching for good DL MR 24-48 hr weekends in TLV, DXB, or KEF for 2014.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  • @Charles – great to hear, TLV and KEF are on my list, too. Also consider Iceland Air packages, they can be really cheap, with our without a stopover to Europe, if DL doesn’t work.