Discover historic Charlottetown, a popular port of call for many cruise ships on the Canada-New England route. The cruise ship season runs from early May into October. Due to COVID-19 the Canada-New England cruise season is delayed until 2021.

One day in historic Charlottetown, PEI

There are many one day tour options to choose from when you visit historic Charlottetown, the “birthplace of Canada“.

  • Walk a short distance to explore historic Charlottetown on your own or take a guided walking tour. More than a full day can be spent here discovering all the historic sites and museums.
  • Shop along the historic Peake’s Wharf on the waterfront where the Fathers of Confederation landed in 1864.
  • Find out more about the top things to do in historic Charlottetown.

Top things to do in Charlottetown - Charlottetown’s Sydney Street has historic buildings with shops and restaurants. This area is found between Great George and Queen Streets on Sydney. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Charlottetown’s Sydney Street has historic buildings with shops and restaurants. This area is found between Great George and Queen Streets on Sydney. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Great George Street National Historic Site in Charlottetown is one of the most important streets in all of Canada. In 1864 The Fathers of Confederation (23 elected officials) walked the street to Province House to attend the Charlottetown Conference which set in motion plans for the Confederation of Canada. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Great George Street National Historic Site in Charlottetown is one of the most important streets in all of Canada. In 1864 The Fathers of Confederation (23 elected officials) walked the street to Province House to attend the Charlottetown Conference which set in motion plans for the Confederation of Canada. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Take a “best of the island” tour

Rent a car and take a “best of the island” tour, if you like to explore on your own. Make sure to book your rental before leaving your home city. Ask the rental agency about shuttle service to and from port.

Be mindful of the time, so you return to the ship before it leaves port.

We rented a car and spent a full day touring, combining Red Sands Shore Drive and Green Gables. When we arrived back in Charlottetown, we quickly did a drive along the main streets, parked when we wanted a quick photo, then returned to the rental car agency. The agency provided a return shuttle to the port.

Things to do and see in the beautiful PEI countryside. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Things to do and see in the beautiful PEI countryside. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Take a driving tour of Prince Edward Island from historic Charlottetown.

Prince Edward Island’s scenic Red Sands Shore drive takes you on red clay roads winding through the countryside of farmlands, rolling hills and woodlands and then onto impressive red sandstone cliffs and red sand beaches. Irish Moss can be found here.

The lighthouse at North Rustico has helped many ships and fisherman since 1876. It still continues to give off light but it has been deemed surplus by the Canadian Coast Guard and the community is trying to preserve it for tourists, educational purposes and historic significance. The lighthouse is one of only a few left on PEI with living space. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

The lighthouse at North Rustico has helped many ships and fisherman since 1876. It still continues to give off light but it has been deemed surplus by the Canadian Coast Guard and the community is trying to preserve it for tourists, educational purposes and historic significance. The lighthouse is one of only a few left on PEI with living space.

The scenic PEI Green Gable Shore drive gives you access to stunninåg Cavendish seascape views of red sandstone cliffs and pristine white sandy beaches. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

The scenic PEI Green Gable Shore drive gives you access to stunninåg Cavendish seascape views of red sandstone cliffs and pristine white sandy beaches. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

There are two types of Cormorant birds on Prince Edward Island, the Great Cormorant and the Double-crested Cormorant. Here they are nesting on the coastline of Prince Edward National Park near Rustico. There are 368 species of birds recorded on PEI. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

There are two types of Cormorant birds on Prince Edward Island, the Great Cormorant and the Double-crested Cormorant. Here they are nesting on the coastline of Prince Edward National Park near Rustico. There are 368 species of birds recorded on PEI. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Green Gables stunning countryside setting is located in Prince Edward Island National Park in Cavendish. Cavendish and the 19th century farm, Haunted Woods and Lover’s Lane were made famous by author Lucy Maud Montgomery with her stories about “Anne of Green Gables”. Don’t miss this popular tourist destination on the scenic drive known as Green Gable Shore. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Green Gables stunning countryside setting is located in Prince Edward Island National Park in Cavendish. Cavendish and the 19th century farm, Haunted Woods and Lover’s Lane were made famous by author Lucy Maud Montgomery with her stories about “Anne of Green Gables”. Don’t miss this popular tourist destination on the scenic drive known as Green Gable Shore. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Prince Edward Island's scenic Red Sands Shore drive takes you on red clay roads winding through the countryside of farmlands, rolling hills and woodlands and then onto impressive red sandstone cliffs and red sand beaches. Irish Moss can be found here. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Prince Edward Island’s scenic Red Sands Shore drive takes you on red clay roads winding through the countryside of farmlands, rolling hills and woodlands and then onto impressive red sandstone cliffs and red sand beaches. Irish Moss can be found here. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Take a tour to see Confederation Bridge

Take a tour to see Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered waters. The bridge opened in 1997, connecting New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. It is 8 miles/12.9 km long and remains Canada’s greatest engineering feat.

See Confederation Bridge on a driving tour from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

See Confederation Bridge on a driving tour from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Go deep-sea fishing

Go deep-sea fishing at North Rustico for cod or mackerel in the summer months. Rustico is famous for its lobster.

The charming seaside town of North Rustico, near Cavendish, Anne of Green Gables and it is on the scenic PEI Green Gables Shore driving route.

The charming seaside town of North Rustico, near Cavendish, Anne of Green Gables and it is on the scenic PEI Green Gables Shore driving route.

Best place to find lobster - North Rustico Prince Edward Island

Famous for lobster the charming seaside town of North Rustico, near Cavendish, Anne of Green Gables and it is on the scenic PEI Green Gables Shore driving route. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Quick Facts

  • Lobster season is May and June
  • Prince Edward Island is the smallest Canadian Province.
  • Charlottetown is the capital city of PEI.
  • The city is considered the birthplace of Confederation.
  • PEI is the only province without land borders.

Best time to visit

The fall colours are spectacular in late September and October, but you can’t always time it right, as nature does not necessarily cooperate with your schedule.

The fall can offer some windier days, fog and rain, as tropical storms might work their way north from the Caribbean.

If fairer weather appeals to you, the summer months are warmer and with more days of sunshine.  Remember lobster season is May and June.

Be prepared in any season by dressing in layers, wearing windproof and rainproof clothing as well as comfortable walking shoes.

Explore the top things to do in Charlottetown.

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