While there’s plenty of things to do in Charlottetown, the capital and largest city in PEI, 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.
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Day Trips from Charlottetown
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.
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.
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
For fans of the Anne of Green Gables series, a visit to Green Gables Heritage Place is a must.
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
If you’re looking for a less crowded beach, head to Brackley Beach, which is about 45 minutes from Charlottetown.
This beach is quieter and more relaxed than Cavendish, but it’s still beautiful, with its own sand dunes and lovely views.
Brackley is also part of Prince Edward Island National Park, so you’ll need a day pass to visit.
4. North Rustico
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.
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.
Victoria-by-the-Sea is a historic town located on the south coast of PEI, about 30 minutes from Charlottetown.
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.
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.
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
West Point Lighthouse is a little further away, at 1.5 hours drive from Charlottetown.
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!
For those interested in unique accommodations on PEI, West Point Lighthouse has 13 rooms that all boast water views.
8. Greenwich Beach
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.
The park also has several hiking trails, one of which is a floating boardwalk that leads through the dune system to the beach.
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
Argyle Shore Provincial Park is located on the southwest coast of PEI, about 20 minutes from Charlottetown.
The park is known for its red sandstone cliffs and red sand beach.
There’s also picnic areas and a play area for kids.
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.
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
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.
With gorgeous white sand stretching along a causeway to 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
Another great day trip just under an hour from Charlottetown, Kings Castle Provincial Park is located on the east coast of PEI and is a great park to visit with young kids.
Take a walk through the short, wooded trail and find the storybook characters hiding in the woods.
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
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.
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!
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, 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 ships 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 it’s unique squeaky sand.
It’s definitely one of the most unique day trips from Charlottetown!
15. North Cape Coastal Drive
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 PEI, 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.
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.
There are plenty of great day trips to take from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
With so much to see and do on the island, you’ll never be bored. Whether you’re looking for a beach day, want to explore a charming small town, or learn about PEI’s history, there’s something for everyone.
What are your favourite day trips from Charlottetown? Let us know in the comments below!