Charlottetown, PEI: Plenty of Mussel!


Canada’s Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and produces 19,000 tons of mussels annually. If you live in the U.S. chances are you’ve enjoyed some PEI shellfish at your favorite restaurant.  However, I found the real strength of this island to be the options it provides for walks that are both beautiful and historic.

Charlottetown dates back to 1720 and is considered the birthplace of Canada. Downtown is situated along the harbor which provides for picturesque walks along the harbor and neighboring shops. The village is pedestrian-friendly with well-maintained sidewalks shaded by trees and a friendly citizenry always eager to offer directions or advice on shops and dining. Guess what’s on the menu?

If lobster is more to your liking, there’s tons of that too. In fact, the fishing village of North Rustico, about half an hour from Charlottetown is one of the many spots where they haul em in. Lobster boats and traps are everywhere.  If you are lucky, you might catch a tale from the Bearded Skipper who happened to be dockside when I was there. His picture alone is worth a thousand words! The tide changes every six hours so if you park your car near the water, keep an eye on the time.

If you are looking for a beach experience, head over to Greenwich Park which features a beautiful  beach and trails. Take your shoes off – I am told the water here is a comfortable 72 degrees, some of the warmest water on the seaboard, because it is so close to the gulfstream.

Apparently, the best time to visit PEI is from June until the end of September, before the cold sets in. My experience was a pleasant 65 degrees under beautiful blue skies, but I did experience rain the day before, farther south in chilly Peggy’s Cove near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Let’s just say Mother Nature was in full force, spewing rain, wind and fog in a furious way.

Still a nice respite from the hot temps in the U.S., I say!



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