By: Katy DeHaven
The last city we are going to take a look at in our Canada and New England cruise port series is Charlottetown, located on Prince Edward Island in the province of New Brunswick.
A vibrant seaside city, full of historic charm, artisan shops and world-class restaurants. It is the birthplace of Confederation, where the idea of Canada began in the 1860’s. It is a very pedestrian friendly city with lots to see and do. As you walk around Charlottetown keep an eye out for costumed guides, who lead walking tours and take you back to a way of life in the 1860’s.
Built in 1913, after the original cathedral burnt down, St. Dunstan’s Basilica was added to the list of National Historic Sites in 1990. Visitors marvel at the marble floors, stained glass windows and the atmosphere of calm and contemplation. The basilica attracts both worshippers and those interested in the history and architecture of the town. For a look at the cathedral:
Just across the street is the Confederation Centre of the Arts an arts and culture center with a whole block of theaters, galleries, and exhibitions. The Centre has its own YouTube channel, where you can learn more about the offerings of the Centre including a series of Art Classes from home.
Victoria Row is a traffic-free street full of shops and restaurants. The facades of the buildings on this street show some of the fine details of stone carving and brickwork in the window frames, cornices, pilasters and doorways. Here you will also find the Anne of Green Gables Shop, a popular shop with tourists. Locals and visitors enjoy playing chess and checkers at the picnic tables along one side of the street or sitting at one of the many sidewalk cafes. Check out this peak at the area.
Province House, a national historic site, is where the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has met since 1847. It is the second-oldest seat of government in Canada and it is considered the birthplace of the Confederation. To learn more of the history of the founding of Canada, click here.
Built in 1877 is one of Charlottetown’s most elegant homes, Beaconsfield Historic House in Queens Square. Visitors can peek inside the more than 25 rooms of this mansion to see how the families of prominent citizens once lived. To learn more:
Peakes Wharf and the adjacent Confederation Landing offers shopping, waterfront lunches, boat tours, and a waterside park with an inline skate park. There is live music during the day and in the evenings during the summer.
Saturday mornings year-round and Wednesday mornings in the summer local farmers, craftspeople and food producers gather at the Charlottetown Farmers Market. This is a great spot to find local souvenirs as well as all kinds of food from fresh made waffles and donuts, to ready to eat sushi, and fresh pies.
Confederation Trail is a unique hiking and biking experience going from end-to-end across Prince Edward Island on the bed of a railway. The trail passes through woodlands, farms, over bridges and along rivers. To learn more check out this video:
Travel outside of Charlottetown to Cavendish and visit Green Gables Heritage Place. This home is the setting for the book, Anne of Green Gables, written by LM Montgomery. The book was based on the author’s experience growing up in Prince Edward Island. The farmhouse has been made into a heritage center, with the rooms restored to look as if Anne and her adoptive parents are still living there. The center offers tours and activities. To learn more, click here. Visitors who wish to extend their experience should check out the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Park Corner nearby.
We hope you have enjoyed your virtual visit to Charlottetown and visiting many of the ports of call found on Canada and New England cruise itineraries!