Discover the best day trips from Charlottetown, so you can explore more of Prince Edward Island.

Charlottetown is the largest and capital city of Prince Edward Island, with plenty of things to see and do. But it’s also a great place to use as a base if you want to explore a bit more of the island.

Whether you want to visit the beautiful beaches, explore some charming small towns, or enjoy some exciting tourist attractions, there are plenty of great family day trips from Charlottetown that will let you experience more of PEI. 

Best Day Trips from Charlottetown

Prince Edward Island is a small province, and most of these day trips from Charlottetown are within an hour’s drive from the city. The map below highlights each of the day trips so you can maximize your time and plan your route accordingly.

1. Cavendish 

Distance: 37 km | 37 minutes

Cavendish is one of the most popular tourist destinations in PEI, and it’s only 35 minutes from Charlottetown, making it an easy day trip from the capital. 

Cavendish is best known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, and there are plenty of Anne attractions, such as Green Gables Heritage Place (see below), Anne of Green Gables Museum and Avonlea Village.

There’s also a boardwalk with local shops and restaurants, as well as an amusement park and a water park. 

waves receding on a white sand beach on Prince Edward Island with dunes and green grass in the distance

Cavendish also boasts a fantastic beach, which is known for its white sand and gorgeous dunes.

It’s a great place to spend a day swimming, sunbathing, or just exploring the beach.

Cavendish Beach is part of Prince Edward Island National Park, and a day pass to the park is required. 

2. Green Gables Heritage Place

Distance from Charlottetown: 37 km | 37 minutes

For fans of the Anne of Green Gables series, a visit to Green Gables Heritage Place is a must.

White House with green gables - the setting of Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables

The historic farmhouse is located in Cavendish and it was the inspiration for L.M. Montgomery’s classic novels, “Anne of Green Gables”.

You can explore the farmhouse and the grounds, and learn more about the history of the property and its connection to Anne of Green Gables. 

3. Brackley Beach

Distance from Charlottetown: 20 km | 22 minutes

If you’re looking for a less crowded beach, head to Brackley Beach, which is about 45 minutes from Charlottetown.

white sand beach stretching as far as you can see, with sand dunes to the left and the ocean to the right - Brackley Beach on Prince Edward Island

This beach is quieter and more relaxed than Cavendish, but it’s still beautiful, with its own sand dunes and lovely views.

Brackley Beach is part of Prince Edward Island National Park, so you’ll need a day pass to visit. 

4. North Rustico

Distance from Charlottetown: 33 km | 33 minutes

North Rustico is a small fishing village located on the north shore of PEI.

It’s just under 30 minutes from Charlottetown and it’s a great place to spend a day if you’re looking to get away from the city.

small canoe filled with flowers with a building and water in the distance

The charming village is a great place to try some deep sea fishing, stroll along the boardwalk or cross the road and walk along the sandy beach which is part of PEI National Park. 

And stop in at the Blue Mussel Cafe for some of the best seafood you’ll have in PEI.

5. Victoria-by-the-Sea

Distance from Charlottetown: 34 km | 35 minutes

Victoria-by-the-Sea is a historic town located on the south coast of PEI, about 30 minutes from Charlottetown.

white lighthouse with red frames around door and windows and red top with a white maple. a wood path leads between bushes to the front of the lighthouse in Victoria-by-the sea, Prince Edward Island

This postcard-worthy town is a great place to stroll around, browse the charming shops or watch the fishing boats come and go from the small harbour.

Grab a bite to eat at Richard’s Fresh Seafood or the Lobster Barn, or pick up some chocolates at Island Chocolates.

6. Summerside

Distance from Charlottetown: 60 km | 55 minutes

Summerside is PEI’s second largest city and is just under an hour from Charlottetown.

Stroll along the waterfront boardwalk or walk along the beach at low tide and look for shells and sea glass.

two boys walking out on the beach at low tide in Summerside PE

Then visit Spinnaker’s Landing, where you’ll find unique shops and live entertainment in the summer.

For a cool treat, stop in at Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour or Kool Breeze Ice Cream Barn

7. West Point Lighthouse

Distance from Charlottetown: 132 km | 1 hour 46 minutes

West Point Lighthouse is a little further away from Charlottetown, but it’s worth the drive.

It’s one of the Island’s few active lighthouses and the only black and white lighthouse on the Island.

Climb to the top for stunning views of the Northumberland Strait or browse through the museum below.

Spend the afternoon at the beach, or stay to watch the sunset!

black and white lighthouse on the shore as the sun sets over the red sand beach

For those interested in unique accommodations on PEI, West Point Lighthouse has 13 rooms that all boast water views. 

8. Greenwich Beach

Distance from Charlottetown: 63 km | 53 minutes

Greenwich is just under an hour from Charlottetown and well worth the drive!

Part of Prince Edward Island National Park, Greenwich is known for its gorgeous sand dunes, which are the largest on the Island.

floating boardwalk through the water at Greenwich, Prince Edward Island National Park

The park also has several hiking trails, one of which is a floating boardwalk that leads through the dune system to the beach. The dunes are incredible to see and are one of my favourite places in PEI.

The white sand beach is beautiful and stretches along to another beach, which is popular for swimming and relaxing on the shore. 

9. Argyle Shore Provincial Park

Distance from Charlottetown: 30 km | 31 minutes

Argyle Shore Provincial Park is located on the southwest coast of PEI, about 20 minutes from Charlottetown.

With its red sandstone cliffs and red sand beach, it’s a stunning sight to see. There’s also picnic areas and a play area for kids. 

10. Montague 

Distance from Charlottetown: 46 km | 39 minutes

Montague is located on the Points East Coastal Drive and it’s about 40 minutes from Charlottetown.

As the third largest town in the province, there are plenty of things to do in Montague.

fishing boats at the marina in Montague pei, it's a great day trip from charlottetown

Visit the Garden of the Gulf Museum, walk along the scenic riverfront, which has a cafe and a kids train-themed playground, or do some shopping at the Artisans Waterfront Market.

Nearby, visit the Roma Historic Centre or head outdoors and explore Harvey Moore Wildlife Sanctuary and stop to see the bison at Buffaloland Provincial Park

11. Panmure Island 

Distance from Charlottetown: 65 km | 55 minutes

One of the best beaches in PEI for families, Panmure Island Beach is located on the eastern end of the Island, on the Points East Coastal Drive.

white sand stretching off into the distance, calm water on one side and green gras on the sand dunes on the other side

With gorgeous white sand stretching along a causeway that leads to Panmure Island, there’s plenty of room to find a spot and enjoy a beach day. 

Visit the lighthouse, relax on the beach, or stop  in the nearby town of Montague for shops and restaurants. 

12. Kings Castle Provincial Park

Distance from Charlottetown: 69 km | 51 minutes

Another great day trip from Charlottetown, Kings Castle Provincial Park is located on the east coast of PEI and is just under an hour’s drive. It’s a great park to visit, and one of our top suggestions for things to do in PEI with young kids.

There’s a short, wooded trail where you’ll find some well-known storybook characters hiding in the woods. My kids love the story of the Three Little Pigs, and were so excited to find the pigs running from the wolf. There’s also characters from the Wizard of Oz, Mother Goose and many more.

statues of the three little pigs running through the forest with the big bad wolf chasing them

There’s also a large wooden play area for kids, as well as a riverfront beach, which is a great spot to spend the afternoon at. 

Nearby is the Cape Bear Lighthouse, which received the first Titanic distress call, and the quaint fishing villages of Murray River & Murray Harbour.

13. Point Prim Lighthouse

Distance from Charlottetown: 53 km | 46 minutes

Point Prim Lighthouse is located just outside of Charlottetown on the southeast coast of PEI, about a 40 minute drive.

It’s the oldest lighthouse on PEI and the only circular brick lighthouse in Canada.

round white lighthouse with red top is the oldest lighthouse in PEI, it's a great day trip from Charlottetown

Be sure to stop at Point Prim Chowder House, with incredible seafood and fantastic water views. 

Also nearby is Hannah’s Bottle Village, a miniature village made of bottles and definitely worth a visit!

14. Souris 

Distance from Charlottetown: 78 km | 60 minutes

Souris is located on the east coast of PEI, about an hour from Charlottetown.

The town is home to a number of restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as a beautiful boardwalk that stretches along the waterfront.

Stop at one of the many seafood shacks for lunch, including the excellent Poke Shack, or enjoy a walk along the beach.

The Souris Lighthouse is worth a visit, with unique collections to admire including a sea glass display and kids can turn the big ship wheel. 

Just outside of Souris is Basin Head Beach, also known as Singing Sands, which is one of the most popular beaches on the island for its unique squeaky sand.

The first time we visited Basin Head Beach, it was pretty windy and we had a hard time hearing the squeak, but the second time it was calmer and much easier to hear.

It’s definitely one of the most unique day trips from Charlottetown!

15. North Cape Coastal Drive 

Distance from Charlottetown: 155 km | 2 hours

The North Cape Coastal Drive is one of the longer day trips from Charlottetown, but it’s well worth the drive.  

The drive stretches all the way to the north tip of the island, where you’ll find incredible views at North Cape lookout.

Stop in at the North Cape Wind Energy Interpretative Centre where you’ll learn all about wind energy on PEI and see the giant windmills up close.

Visit the Stompin’ Tom Center, then end your day with a visit to the Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary, PE. Take a photo with the giant potato or pick up a snack inside, where you’ll find different kinds of baked potatoes, poutine and of course, fresh French fries.

large potato statue outside the Canadian potato museum in O'Leary PE

Guided Tour Day Trips from Charlottetown

If you’re short on time, or just prefer not to plan and organize everything yourself, these tours are excellent and will let you see some of the highlisghts of PEI. 

The Green Gables Shore Tour is a half-day tour from Charlottetown that lets you experience the picturesque region of Green Gables Shore, the area that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel “Anne of Green Gables” .  

The Best of PEI tour visits sites like Anne of Green Gables Welcome Center, Cavendish cliffs, the Confederation Bridge, as well as highlighting attractions in Charlottetown. 

Final Thoughts: Best Day Trips from Charlottetown

While there are plenty of things to do in Charlottetown, there’s also so much to see and do on the rest of the island that you’ll never be bored.

Whether you’re looking to explore charming small towns, relax and have a beach day or learn about PEI’s history, there’s something for everyone’s travel style.

These day trips from Charlottetown will let you experience the best that Prince Edward Island has to offer, and I guarantee, no matter which option you choose, that you’ll have a fantastic time in Canada’s smallest province.

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For more ideas and inspiration on family travel in PEI, be sure to check out these posts:

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