Once you arrive on the Island, you will be greeted with a panorama of beautiful red cliffs, secluded sandy beaches with breathtaking crystal blue water, lighthouses dotting the ragged coastline, and farmland stretching far and wide. There is warmth that surrounds you here, embodied by the colour red: the red sand beaches that await your footprints and castles, the red jutting cliffs that will both impress and humble you and the red clay roads that disappear over hills and beckon you to follow.
Below are some quick PEI Facts:
- Cities - Charlottetown and Summerside
- Soil - red, due to iron oxide which rusts on exposure to aire
- Land area - 280 kim (175 miles) tip to tip / Total land area 5,656 sq km (2,184 sq mi)
- Provincial bird - Blue Jay / Provincial flower - Lady's Slipper / Provincial tree - Red Oak
- Major industries - fisheries, agriculture, tourism
- Lighthouses - There are more than 50 lighthouses dotting PEI's 1,760 kilometres of ragged coastline. Seven are open to the public: five along the Points East Coastal Drive alone. More than 40 still function as navigational aids. The Cape Bear Lighthouse was where the first distress signals from the Titanic were heard.
- Coastal drives - Because of its irregular shape and many bays and inlets, PEI has a long coastline. It has communities with unique flavour and secret treasures tucked away and quitetly awaiting discovery. One wonderful option for exploring the jagged coastline and charming communities is the follow the three coastal drives: North Cape Coastal Drive, Central Coastal Drive, and Points East Coastal Drive. The three coastal drives will lead you to spectacular scenes from the east to the west. Sunshine Beach House is located in the Points East Coastal Drive.
- Golf - PEI had recently been rated by the readers of Score Magazine as "Canada's Best Golf Destination". Here are a few courses to consider: The Links at Crowbush Cove - is challenging, scenic, and near the top of everyone's list; Mill River Golf Course - the setting for the Golf Channel's reality show 'The Big Break'; Belfast Highland Greens - a fun nine-hole course with impressive cliff views. You can even book your tee time online at www.golfpei.com.
- Beaches - Sea air, warm sun, and that wonderful rhythm of the tide that gives your mind a chance to catch up with the rest of you. The beach is a place for picnics, walks or better still, just closing your eyes and doing nothing at all. Swimming at PEI beaches is comfortable due to the presence of the gulf stream and the very shallow shelf, which allows the water to heat up quite nicely. Water temperatures can reach 20 degrees C (70 degrees F) in July and August. The beaches on the Island are great for exploring. There are white-sand beaches on the north shore, red sand on the south shore, and even singing sand in the east shore. A visit to an Island beach will be your chance to rediscover the feeling that you're exactly where you're supposed to be.
- Confederation Trail - PEI was the first province to complete its section of the TransCanada Trail. The full tip-to-tip distance on the Trail (Tignish to Elmira) is 274 kilometres. An excursion on the Confederation Trail is a must do for your vacation, whether you walk a small section in one of the cities or cycle the whole tip-to-tip distance.
- Seasons - While most visitors choose summer for an Island visit, some people have learned the charm of a fall cycle tour on the Confederation Trail, or the fun of a visit during spring lobster season. The provincial flower, the elusive Lady's Slipper, makes its appearance in the first part of June. And red foxes are seen all year round. Whatever your season, PEI has lots to offer you.