It’s possible to drive around PEI in one day, but only if you don’t stop anywhere for too long, and that would be a real shame since there is so much to see. There are many artisan shops and galleries scattered across the island, as well as quaint little towns and beautiful beaches.
The Dunes Gallery and Cafe (Rural Route #9 in Brackley Beach)
This is an interesting place to visit because as its name suggests, there’s a cafe nestled within galleries of artisan goods (some local, some not). Unexpected is the Buddhism-inspired collection of statues and heads that are displayed out in the gardens of the Dunes Gallery and Cafe. The architecture of this building is interesting all on its own, and if you climb to the very top of the building, you’ll see a beautiful wooden staircase and a great view of the surrounding area. For lunch, the crab cakes caught my eye and I really enjoyed the Asian pickled vegetables that accompanied them (pickled carrots and daikon). Another intriguing and unexpected menu item was the seafood pho, likely one of the few – if not the only – place on PEI offering this vietnamese-inspired bowl of soup.
Great Canadian Soap Company (4224 Portage Road in Brackley Beach; Rural Route #6)
You’ll see some goats hanging out in an outdoor pen just outside the shop at the Great Canadian Soap Company. The family and their farm hands milk the goats and use the milk to make soap, which they sell in their shop. You can watch a short video inside the shop that explains how they came to run a soap shop on PEI; it’s surprisingly well-done and worth the 10 or so minutes. I’m huge on using pure soaps for washing, instead of the beauty bars that commonly line the shelves at most stores these days. Less chemicals, less perfume-y scents.
Prince Edward Island Preserve Company (2841 New Glasgow Road in New Glasgow)
If you like jams, chutneys, or tea, drive over to the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company. You can sample the many jams and chutneys that they produce and sell, or try their featured tea of the day. They also have a great variety of tea pots and cups for sale. If you’re hungry, they also have a cafeteria next door but I didn’t try anything there.
This quaint little town is located on the south shore of PEI and is quite a picturesque place. There’s a chocolatier, Island Chocolates, some artisan shops, a play house, some tourist-y shops on the little wharf, and what is apparently PEI’s largest tree. There’s also a lighthouse that houses the Seaport Museum (which I didn’t see). It’s a village that really makes you feel like you’re in PEI.