When you live in Maine, sampling the Canadian provinces are low hanging fruit.
Handy, so sweet of a connection to our families and traditional vacations is our Canadian neighbor because we are related on both sides of the International border. Tourism works best when promotion of what is around your burg is incorporated into the vacation message right? More to offer when you join forces with what is around you for attractions for new to the area visitors. Vacations built around more than one stop like a cruise ship hop to three or more islands, a travel buffet never fail to excite in my opinion.
So when you are vacationing, off the clock and heading up into Maine. To Houlton to connect from the Interstate 95 to the Trans Canada travel corridor or boarding a ferry to cross the Atlantic from a Maine seaport harbor, Prince Edward Island could be the province of choice. And be sure to hit the duty free stores near the border entries to save on taxes. There are lots of taxes on top of taxes layered and attached to whatever you purchase for goods or services in Prince Edward Island, in all of Canada.
Prince Edward Island, originally named St John’s Island divvied up into 67 sections by the Crown of England.
More on the tug of war for Prince Edward Island and where the heavy duty fighting happened. When the English took the island from the French and Acadians were driven from their home. Surrounded by sapphire blue water, a level to rolling landscape of lush emerald green vegetation, the trademark fertile red ruby soil, Anne of Green Gables helped open the tourism door wide on Prince Edward Island. Writer Lucy Maud Montgomery had five publisher rejections before literary success. Her heart was broken when she left her home of Prince Edward Island and went to interior Canada.
So Prince Edward Island Canada, what about a crash course to consider, what to expect with a vacation visit to the surrounded-by water Atlantic Canadian Province.
So here goes, the simple history, the highlights of what to expect if you hop from Maine across New Brunswick. To travel across the Confederation Bridge, that’s eight miles long, spans Norththumberland Strait, was completed in May of 1997.
Prince Edward Island has several smaller islands. Is one of a trio of three Maritime Provinces. The smallest in land acreage or hectares and when a head count is taken. An acre is about 0.4047 hectare and a single hectare contains about 2.47 acres. More coastline for building castles, reading a book or napping. For shoreline walks, a setting of red dunes, soft sand as far as you can see. Being a big island, with all this water, talk about beaches in PEI.
PEI has lots of nicknames, “Garden of the Gulf,” “Birthplace of Confederation” or “Cradle of Confederation”, the latter label referring to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, although PEI did not join the Confederation until 1873.Which happened because the United States was crowding PEI to come on board in Uncle Sam’s Imperialism efforts. In 1872 PEI became the seventh Canadian province. Taking on railroad debt, paying off absentee landlord expenses both helped push PEI into the Canadian provincial collection.
Lobsters and mussels in the deep around Prince Edward Island are pretty tasty. You have to have the waitress slide the plate order of heaping fresh caught fish and chips in front of you during your visit. The black and white cows create stellar dairy products. PEI tales the Holstein cows pretty serious. The green pastures with cows grazing next door to cottage settings overlooking dark blue water. It creates the perfect surf and turf setting. Plenty of corn fields, strawberry patches too. With the latter providing the options of boxes filled to the brim or you pick the succulent fruit yourself.
There are roughly 231 islands around Prince Edward Island. Deep sea fishing is big when you are surrounded by water water water everywhere and lighthouses. The fresh sea air and visiting new places on your vacation to Prince Edward Island improves the appetite. The fiddle music helps your mood because I was brought up with half of the few TV channels available off air were beamed in from Canada. Everything from Stompin’ Tom, Don Messer, Time For Juniors and all the new toe tapping musical talent. Time it right and you get to hit a music festival in Prince Edward Island featuring local artists. More on PEI music and the link to see traveler photos. Which always makes the presentation authentic and so much more genuine. Maine has it’s own version of fiddle music.
After you take in a show, enjoy a sit down or take out meal, even buying a pack of gum or wire cart full of groceries. The local service providers everywhere in Prince Edward Island are extremely friendly. They often say “enjoy your stay”. You do get the feeling they are glad you came to their Atlantic Canadian Island. That they enjoy, love it so much and sincerely hope you will too.
How do you get here questions, what should I do tomorrow suggestions are always provided as if you know the person. With the connection maybe because as a local Mainer, spending lots of time in Canada with two hockey playing boys, it feels like old home week. Familiar, maybe because our relatives did the same decades before and the traditional visit to Canada continue just as our red maple leaf neighbors come over to Maine through out the year.
The places to stay are many in PEI. The days of just camp grounds, tents before the abundance of cottages rental options are over. The cute cabins in a row down a hill with ocean view or near amusement parks like the Sandspit are many.
The view at dusk driving down Route 6 in the town of Cavendish and the feeling of being on top of the world, with a panoramic water enclosure around you is one you don’t forget.
Some places you travel in the World have amazing water views on a vacation down along the limited, over marketed beach sections. But it’s not like in PEI, should come as a surprise. When you consider it is endless beaches being one big farming island here is in PEI. The views never let you forget, constantly remind you where you are. On the ocean front any angle you slowly pivot. Views not limited in PEI because of the center elevation. Added together with all the open level to rolling working cleared farm ground. Not just wooded land, endless forestry trees that can hide the water views if an area is lucky enough to have them to brag up.
The big new Confederation Bridge was a kick in the pants to crank up the economy several notches. The bridge removed the standing around kink in the travel hose. The wait your turn on the ferry to get to the land of trademark red dirt. You see wind generators standing tall and straight just like in Maine but in Prince Edward Island, most of the power juice comes in from a submarine cable plugged in securely back in New Brunswick.
After seeing and touring the inspiration for all the Anne of Green Gables literary contributions, you can’t help but wonder if Lucy Maude Montgomery would have lived longer than 67 years if she had never left Prince Edward Island.
I think her heart was broken after writing about the place she loved so much, described so well.
Stroll through the haunted woods, silver lakes, study the black and white family images along with the farmstead setting that sticks in your head. Along with her original typewriter under glass as you meet the freckled character of Anne herself with her strawberry red hair in braids under her trademark hat pushed back on her head.
I asked her trolling the barnyard before going into the media room of the cedar shingled barn to watch the video of her creator’s life how her day was going. In character she quickly retorted “I imagine as well as anyone’s day, I suppose”. And then adding a zing question of her own. Firing back about how my day was going as if to say how do you like being interviewed by an eleven year old. Turning the tables. While on vacation on a hot summer day near the end of the calendar month of July.
The Anne Of Green Gables books set in 1908 were considered a children’s novel series but are loved by all ages around the World long after the death of Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1942. And marketing of everything from golf courses to raspberry cordial around the Anne of Green Gable theme.
More on Basin Head Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island. I was told at the lighthouse in Souris the town’s name is French, meaning mouse. The town had a heck of a rodent problem when first settled and the name stuck that described it best at the time. The kitchen crew and gift shop staff at both lighthouses were very informative and friendly. The locals share their home very graciously, in a low key no pressure way.
The head of government of PEI has its HQ set up in Charlottetown.
During our time vacationing in Prince Edward Island we stayed in Rusticoville, PEI. The location on the water in Prince Edward Island which was really New Glascow, PEI. Like small towns in Maine, many are packaged under the umbrella of one size fits all zip coding. Lower population small rural town areas rattle and hum like that.
Deep sea fishing, taking in local musical and theatre productions. All the national / provincial parks with hiking, biking, kayaking. Plenty of these red sand beaches protected by dunes with sea grass holding the terrain together.
Something for everyone and it’s your vacation to let go and rewind right? To unplug and recharge from the work work work.
Prince Edward Island, in the Atlantic Canadian Province surrounded by water, in the Gulf Stream, the St Lawrence. One extended stop to add to your travel channel if you dial up the Atlantic Ocean. When you make Maine a two for one nation vacation. Ask any Mainer if there have Canadian blood in their lineage and don’t be surprised test positive eh? And no, it is not dangerous being this close to Canada living in Maine.
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