One of our days on Prince Edward Island was spent exploring Charlottetown. This was the only day of our visit that the weather was kinda iffy. There was a light drizzle for a bit in the afternoon but the rest of the day remained clear and we enjoyed our time there.
When we are exploring a new-to-us city, we most enjoy simply walking it. We like to walk the streets, meander through parks, pop into shops and get the best feel for the place and the locals that we possible can. Here are a few of the things we did/saw while we were visiting. We didn’t really have a plan in mind; we just rambled along and explored.
1. We started out by touring St. Dunstan’s Basilica which was opened to the public. What an amazing treat this was! Although it was the first thing we saw in Charlottetown, it was easily our favorite. The architecture is just stunning.
As amazing as the outside of the building was, our breath was stolen away when we went inside. This church is truly magnificent and awe-inspiring. We probably spent a good half hour walking slowly around the room, looking at the stained glass windows and just standing still inside the sanctuary. It’s truly glorious!
2. Just a little over 2 blocks away from St. Dunstan’s is St. Paul’s Church which was also opened to the public. We hoped in there and were not disappointed either. St. Dunstan’s is stunning – there is no denying that! However, I am of the personal opinion that the stained glass windows inside of St. Paul’s were more lovely if I do say so.
If any church is open for public viewing in Charlottetown, we highly recommend that you pop in to admire the architecture if nothing else.
3. We popped into quite a few shops while in the area. Of course there was the Anne of Green Gables store which includes a lot of things not-related to the book. If you are looking for a good “tourist t-shirt” then make a point to stop in here. Not only are their t-shirts reasonably priced, but they are of a very high quality. Luna Eclectic Emporium and Northern Waters Knitware (more than just knits!) were fun as well. Northern Waters is located on Victoria Row, a charming, cobblestone street that you must at least take a few minutes to stroll along just to enjoy the beauty of it.
4. There are plenty of places to dine and we had a hard time choosing where to stop and eat. We eventually settled on Terre Rouge Bistro Marche because they had a placard out front advertising a specialty Island sandwich with Island grown meat and veggies. (We’ve since forgotten the name of this entree.) By the time we were seated and had our drinks delivered (that took awhile, as the waitress had both forgotten about us and apologized for doing so!) we discovered that they were out of this particular sandwich for the day. Truthfully, this was not our best restaurant experience on the Island. The service was bad and the food was totally forgettable which was really unfortunate as we were hoping for a good lunch of hearty Island fare.
5. We were not disappointed by our stop at Cow’s Ice Cream, but then again, who is? Check out this advertisement which can be found hanging in their window:
Even if you are not a fan of ice cream (are you even human?) their shop is still worth popping into just to browse the shop and check out their rather hilarious t-shirt collection. They also sell chocolate covered potato chips if that’s more your thing. You can see them pictured clearly below in the blurry photo of our ice cream cones.
6. After we had walked around for a bit, it looked a little like rain. We made our way back down to the harbour where we road The Harbour Hippo which we wrote about previously.
7. Of course, when in Charlottetown one must explore the waterfront and we did that as well. It was a rather calm, peaceful evening and we enjoyed the stroll.
8. We wrapped up our time in Charlottetown by stopping at The Chip Shack down by the docks where we had ourselves some apple fries chips. Totally worth the stop! Highly recommended!
We’re not really “big city” folk but Charlottetown is a manageable town, with a “mere” 40,000 or so residents. We didn’t feel overcrowded and we enjoyed our time there. We think it would be a missed opportunity not to have visited Charlottetown when on PEI and so we’re glad to have made the stop. We’re sure everyone’s visit to this city varies greatly. This was our experience and we’re happy with it.