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7 September 2022

A Landsby Spotlight on Charlottetown

Charlottetown. Photo by Tourism PEI / Alan Deveau

Situated on a broad harbour opening up into the Northumberland Strait, Prince Edward Island’s capital is a beautiful seaside city with a welcoming vibe. Visitors who come to Charlottetown fall in love with the gorgeous scenery, the friendly residents and the close proximity to beaches and attractions.

It has a walkable downtown core, a scenic harbourfront and plenty of space for cycling. From quiet moments in nature to vibrant nightlife, you’ll find it all in Charlottetown.

As the capital of Canada’s smallest province, Charlottetown is a great place from which to explore the rest of the province.

Related: Try one of the three amazing coastal drives around PEI.

Photo by Tourism PEI / Emily O’Brien

Things to do in Charlottetown

Wander the Waterfront

Our favourite activity in Charlottetown on a warm summer day is exploring the waterfront. The harbour is picture-perfect, the oceanside eateries sell the most delicious lobster rolls and there are plenty of green spaces to sit down and enjoy the scenery. Oh, and of course, don’t forget to grab an ice cream cone from Cows!

If time allows, book a cruise out on the harbour (especially magical at sunset) or opt for a lobster-fishing experience. There are also many outfitters that can help you enjoy the water, whether you’re looking to paddle or waterski.

In the colder months, the waterfront becomes a winter wonderland and is a perfect spot to stroll with a warm beverage in hand.

Photo by Tourism PEI / Emily O’Brien

Take a Walk on Victoria Row

A pedestrian-only walkway in downtown Charlottetown, Victoria Row is a great place to stroll, shop and eat. You’ll love the atmosphere and the variety. In the summer, grab a table on the patio of one of the eateries and people-watch.

Related: There is no lack of delicious places to eat in all over Charlottetown. Read our list of great restaurants to try in Charlottetown.

Photo by Tourism PEI / Tiffany Baric

Take in Art & Culture

Charlottetown is known as the ‘Birthplace of Confederation’ because it was the site of the 1864 conference that create what we now know as Canada. You’ll find references of that history throughout the city (and you can take a city tour), although Charlottetown is starting to take steps to remove reminders of colonization and include more Indigenous representation.

The Mi’kmaq have called Epekwitk (the Mi’kmaq name for PEI) home for more than 12,000 years and no visit to the island is complete without learning about their vibrant culture. Visit Indigenous Tourism PEI to learn about ways to experience Mi’kmaq culture while visiting Charlottetown.

The centrally located Confederation Centre of the Arts has evolving art exhibits and theatre productions, as well as annual festivals.

Photo by Tourism PEI / Paul Baglole

How to get to Charlottetown PEI

Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s Maritime provinces, located on the Atlantic coast. There are three ways to arrive in PEI. The fastest way is to fly into Charlottetown and there are multiple daily flights available from major Canadian cities. Or you can drive in along the Confederation Bridge that links PEI with New Brunswick. This curved 12.9-km long bridge is the longest bridge in the world that crosses over ice-covered water and is pretty incredible to experience.

The final way to reach this island is by ferry. Northumberland Ferries runs a service from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands, PEI (approximately 45 min from Charlottetown) between May and mid-December; from early April to November, you can also hop on a ferry run by CTMA from Quebec’s Îles-de-la-Madeleine to Souris, PEI.

Photo by Tourism PEI / Brian McInnis

Our weekly 2022 Summer Spotlight series has short introductions to Canada’s 14 capital cities (10 provincial, 3 territorial and 1 national) and was created to inspire us Canadians to explore more of our own country. For more details on each province or territory, visit our Experiences page or search our Journal by location. Better yet, reach out to us! We’d love to tell you more about these great places and create travel itineraries for you to explore them.