Canada 150 – Celebrate with Anne of Green Gables in PEI
It is no secret that Canada is celebrating a birthday this year. I have shared some useful information on Toronto, gastronomic gems in Prince Edward County, celebratory festivals out west over Lake Louise, etc. Now it’s time to head east to the under-marketed, yet breathtaking Maritime Province of Prince Edward Island.
A Little About PEI:
- Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest province in Canada
- Capital City is Charlottetown
- Is famous for many things, but one recognizable trait is the red sand and soil
- Has been growing and cultivating potatoes since the 1700’s
- It is the only jurisdiction in North America other than the Caribbean islands to have no land boundaries
- Population is the smallest in Canada with just under 143,000 citizens
- It is ranked the 23rd largest island in Canada and 104th largest island in the world
- There are 13 wells in Charlottetown to disperse drinking water to PEI citizens
- Moose, brown bear, caribou and wolf used to inhabit the island. Sadly due to hunting and climate change they are no longer living in PEI. There are native species that continue to live here however and include the brown bat, bobolinks, red fox, coyote, blue jays, and robins
- Explorer Jacques Cartier was the first European to set foot on and see the island
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, literary genius who wrote Anne of Green Gables, was born here
- PEI is proud of their music and hold yearly festivals throughout the province
Things to See:
First and foremost for all those nostalgia nerds out there, you must stop at Anne of Green Gable’s house. Mixed reviews for this historic site will confront you as you plan your PEI trip, but you will seriously have regret if you don’t set foot into this little farmhouse.
Located in Cavendish, the area has designated quite a few homes and landmarks as historic sights significant to Montgomery’s world renowned novels.
The entire trail is full of culture and scenery, shaping Cavendish into a traveller’s dream for photographs and history. As well as the Anne of Green Gables home the other landmarks that make up this beautiful area include Montgomery’s prime residence, Balsam Hollow Trail, Haunted Wood Trail, and Lover’s Lane.
This famed house of the little pig-tailed classic character loved so much by the world receives thousands of guests yearly to learn more about how she was created and the inspiration to Montgomery’s books. The story was published in 1908 and has been gaining fans for over 100 years. Tributes and shows take place across the province as well as a musical adaptation of the story.
The museum features a 110-acre area filled with gardens, farmland, and trails. It is no wonder Montgomery was inspired here!
Begin your visit by touring the various rooms and seeing furniture, linens and other artifacts from early turn of the century. As you exit the house, stop into the gift shop for an official Anne of Green Gables magnet, ceramic memento or other souvenir that strikes your fancy. Next, why not take a leisurely walk to the Lake of Shining Waters for gorgeous panoramic views of the beautiful PEI coast before hopping on a vintage horse and carriage ride.
Did you know?
Mark Twain, the classic author of such classic tales as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn described PEI’s beautiful redheaded orphan as: “The Dearest most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”
More Quirky ‘Anne’ Facts:
- When Anne of Green Gables first came to the market in 1908, it sold over 19,000 copies! (Do you have a first edition?)
- As of the 21st century, more than 50 million copies have been sold of this charming tale and it has been translated into more than 50 languages
- Anne of Green Gables became a Broadway production in 1965 and set a Guinness World Record for the longest running musical. 17 Canadian actors have played Anne in the cast over the years.
- Road to Avonlea, a drama series based on Montgomery’s stories was the top Canadian drama and attracted millions of viewers in 1989.
- Japan readers love “Anne” and have deemed her story their favourite book on numerous occasions
Head to the Beach!
There are loads of fun things to do on the red beaches of the island! Whether you enjoy leisurely strolls, basking in the sun, or building the best sandcastle in the world, PEI’s 1100-km shoreline is the place for you. Grab a paddle board, have a nap, dig for clams, or simply people-watch as the red sand sits between your toes.
PEI Exclusive Experiences
Do you enjoy lobster? Well, how about fishing for your own meal, cooking it, and enjoying it with all your favourite fixings? This is a great experience for those shellfish lovers out there! Head to the Lobster Boil on the Beach for this authentic PEI experience!
Make Your Own Piece of Folk Art
Let the inner artist flourish with this one-of-a-kind experience! Take a forge and anvil and create your own unique piece of folk art out of recycled metal and black iron! Contact Malpeque Fine Iron Products for availability!
Paint PEI’s Incredible Landscape!
Grab a canvas and some paints and head to one of PEI’s most scenic landscapes. Paint what you see and become the 8th member of the Group of Seven. Once completed, take pride in your masterpiece! Contact June Ellis for details!
PEI is world famous for its incredible spuds. All thing potato are celebrated here as locals have been making them a way of life since the 1700’s! And yes, this includes Potato Fudge! Learn how to make it with professional confectioners! Start with picking your own from the designated garden and learn all the steps to a perfect batch of fudge. Contact The Canadian Potato Museum for details!
As with all the provinces, PEI is putting on some fun and special events for Canada’s 150th birthday. There will be festivals, food fairs, fireworks, and much more. Take this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Canada’s special province that brought a serious affinity to potatoes and unforgettable literary sweethearts to the world.
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