Planning to spend a weekend on Prince Edward Island? We got you covered. I spend more than a week in one of the smallest provinces in Canada, and can’t wait to show you around. Read our perfect 2 days in PEI itinerary to make the most of your visit.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is one of the most charming places in Canada. Known as the Birthplace of the Canadian Confederation, PEI welcomes you to stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and a seafood heaven that you won’t find anywhere else!
Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway or a family vacation full of fun activities, this friendly and beautiful province located in the Atlantic Ocean has it all!
Perfect 2 days in PEI Itinerary | Prince Edward Island Canada
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Here is a glance at what the weekend on PEI will look like,
- Day 1 of the PEI Itinerary 2 days: Breakfast at Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant, Walking tour of Charlottetown, Victoria Row brunch/lunch, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Founder’s Food Hall, Wander the Charlottetown PEI Waterfront, Dinner at The Gahan House
- Day 2 of the PEI Itinerary 2 days: Breakfast at The Gallery, Green Gables day tour, Lobster Trap tour, Dinner at Sims Corner
We have included additional sightseeing ideas such as the Confederation Trail and drives which you can use to swap or extend this PEI itinerary.
Planning a trip to Charlottetown Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island. PEI is Canada‘s smallest province, with lots of history, beaches, and beautiful European/Georgian vibes!
Getting to Prince Edward Island (PEI):
Prince Edward Island is accessible by air, land, and sea. During my trip, I traveled to Charlottetown by flight and arrived at the Charlottetown Airport (YYG). I based myself in the capital city for the entire duration of the itinerary.
You can travel to PEI when road-tripping in the Maritimes or hop on a ferry from Nova Scotia and/or Quebec.
Very quickly, here are the ways to get to Charlottetown, PEI
- By Air: The Charlottetown Airport (YYG) is the perfect point of entry by flight. YYG has regular trips from many Canadian and US destinations all year round.
- By Sea: Northumberland Ferries Limited offers services between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia year-round. CTMA Traversier has a 5-hour ferry ride connecting Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
- By Land: If you wish to drive to PEI, consider doing so from New Brunswick and then crossing over the 12.9 km (9 miles) Confederation Bridge to get to Charlottetown.
When in Charlottetown for 2 days, you do not need a car to explore the province. On this PEI 2-day itinerary, you will spend one full day in Charlottetown, and then the second day will be on a lobster trap cruise and a half-day Green Gables tour.
Of course, if you have access to a vehicle you can make stops along the way and continue your Canada itinerary after PEI.
If you need public transportation – there are buses, ferries, and taxis available, that you can use to get around the city and beyond. You can 100% walk to almost all the important landmarks of Charlottetown.
Where to stay in Charlottetown PEI for 2 days:
For a short trip to PEI, we recommend staying in the historic downtown of Charlottetown. I stayed at the 3 star ARTS Hotel. They had clean rooms, and friendly staff, and everything was within walking distance.
The hotel didn’t offer free breakfast, but there is a bar and cafe located at the lobby where you can hang out, and order food.
Called the Dali Cafe, it was a great spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing in and around PEI. Check availability for the ARTS Hotel here
Other hotels in Charlottetown,
- The Holman Grand Hotel: The Holman Grand Hotel is a beautiful 4 star accommodation, located in the heart of Charlottetown. It is within walking distance of the Province House building, many seafood restaurants, and other sightseeing attractions. The hotel has a spa, pool, and a hot tub onsite. Check availability here
- The Harbour House: Another downtown favorite, The Harbour House offers free parking and breakfast for its guests. Book your stay here
Now, let’s kick off this 2-day itinerary for Prince Edward Island
Day 1 of the PEI Itinerary 2 days: Explore Charlottetown
Kickstart your PEI 2 day itinerary by exploring Charlottetown, the capital city of Prince Edward Island. From experiencing its vibrant culture and history to taking in all of the charming shops and restaurants in downtown, there’s plenty to do and see here.
Breakfast at Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Leonhard’s Cafe. This is one of the most popular places to have breakfast in Charlottetown, so ensure you arrive as soon as the cafe opens.
Order a bagel and coffee, or a full Bavarian breakfast – an omelet filled with roasted potatoes, bacon, and onions – yummmm!
- Address: 142 Great George St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4K6
Join a walking tour of historic Charlottetown (2 hours)
Spend 2 hours with a local expert on a small group walking tour, and learn all about Charlottetown, its various attractions, and the history of the Canadian Confederation.
I was super excited to join this guided tour and check off all the cool spots about Canada’s history (everything I learned about when studying for my Canadian citizenship exam!)
Here are the sites covered on this 2 hour tour.
Confederation Landing Site
The 2-hour walking tour takes off at Peake’s Quay and near the Confederation Landing site.
Charlottetown is known as the “Cradle of Canadian Confederation” due to its role in the formation of Canada.
It was here in 1864 that the Fathers of Confederation met and discussed the union of British colonies in what would become Canada.
On the site, you will find a gazebo with informational exhibits, and of course, you have the guide to answer any questions you have.
- Address: 2 Great George St, Charlottetown, PE
Great George St | St Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral
One of the highlights of the trip to Charlottetown is St Dunstan’s Basilica. The cathedral is located on Great George St. which is known for colorful Georgian architecture.
Take the time to admire all the houses and the gorgeous St Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral, a symbol of Gothic Revival architecture in PEI.
As part of the walking tour, you will have time to enter the Cathedral.
St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in Charlottetown. It was completed in 1907 and boasts of beautiful interiors. Plus entry is free.
The Basilica is a designated National Historic Site of Canada.
- Address: 65 Great George St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4K1
Province House National Historic Site – Government House
Up next is the Province House, or the Government House. This is Canada’s second-oldest seat of government.
- Address: 1 Terry Fox Dr, Charlottetown, PE C1A 8T6
Beaconsfield Historic House
The tour briefly stops at the Beaconsfield Historic House. This grand and historic mansion was built in 1877 by W.C. Harris for James and Edith Peake. I liked the complex so much that I had to return for a thorough visit and a walk later.
So this historic house is a living museum today, and you have to pay to enter the complex and learn all about Canada’s founding.
The building stands tall as an example of fine Victorian architecture with many of its features still in original form.
Entry fees are $6 CAD per person. Note that entry to the house is closed on the weekends and Mondays; we recommend checking the website prior to visiting.
If the house is closed for the day, you can access the gardens and spend time strolling on the grounds!
- Address: 2 Kent St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1M6
The walking tour concludes at Victoria Row. And this is where you can stop for lunch!
Stop for lunch and shop at Victoria Row
Victoria Row is a pedestrian-friendly lane full of cool boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.
There are picnic benches and live entertainment, making the place very warm and inviting, while the vibe of the district creates a sense of nostalgia.
I frequented this area a lot during my stay, and stopped for breakfast, coffee, and lunch! Fishbone was one of the coolest places I visited, and I ordered some fish and chips.
There are lots of great restaurants to choose from at Victoria Row.
If interested you can also shop or window shop here. The area is surrounded by art galleries, and antique and book shops – so a perfect place to buy souvenirs from your visit to this quaint shopping district.
- Address: 146 Richmond St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1J1
Catch a show or an exhibition at the Confederation Centre of the Arts
A visit to the Confederation Centre of the Arts is a must in Charlottetown. The centre is located in the heart of the capital city and showcases Canada’s historical events.
There are exhibits indoors as well as outside.
Occasionally you will find volunteers in period costumes, and street/stage performances. This magnificent cultural institution celebrates the history and heritage of Canada’s birthplace through its many festivals, performances, and exhibitions.
The center is also home to an Art Gallery. You can explore artworks from various Canadian artists from across the country. There are educational programs such as art classes, lectures, and workshops that you can sign up for here.
During my visit, I attended a free exhibition on the history of the Confederation, and the role of PEI in Canada’s political scene, then and now.
- Address: 145 Richmond St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1J1
Hang out at the Founder’s Food Hall
Make your way to the Founder’s Food Hall and Market from Confederation centre.
The Founder’s Hall has a lot of amazing food stalls, souvenir shops, a tourism office, and many cool excursions that you can book and hang out!
If you are not hungry you can still relax outside the Founder’s Hall – they have red chairs and picnic benches where you can rest your legs.
- Address: 6 Prince St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P5
Wander the Charlottetown PEI Waterfront
From the Founder’s Food Hall, head over to Charlottetown’s waterfront. There are lots of amazing things to check out in this area too, and it is always bustling with tourists and activities.
Take the time to enjoy your walk, photograph, check out colorful food stalls, buy ice cream, and soak in the views! (Cows ice cream is a must!)
The waterfront area is home to restaurants, souvenir shops, unique art installations, floating houses (accommodation), cruise tours, and the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre (adjoining Delta Prince Edward).
During my trip, the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre hosted the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition, and this is where I spent a few hours in the late afternoon!
Be sure to check out the current events calendar of the PEI Convention Centre if interested.
- Address: 11 Great George Street
Dinner and drinks at the Gahan House
After all the sightseeing, enjoy locally brewed craft beer and comfort food at the Gahan House.
Their beer was great, and so were the fish tacos. The interiors were so cozy and inviting! Plus the staff were very friendly.
- Address: 126 Sydney St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1G5
Prefer to try some seafood? Here are a few suggestions,
- The Merchantman
- Claddagh Oyster House
- Sims Corner Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
- Lobster on the Wharf
Day 2 of the PEI Itinerary 2 days: Day trip to Green Gables, Lobster Trap tour, Dinner in Charlottetown
Day 2 of the PEI itinerary is all about exploring beyond the capital city. Other than breakfast and dinner in Charlottetown, you will be heading on a half-day tour to explore the famous Green Gables Historic Site and in the late afternoon embark on a sightseeing/lobster trap cruise.
But breakfast first!
Breakfast at The Gallery – Coffee House & Bistro
Wake up and smell the delicious coffee at The Gallery. The cafe opens bright and early morning at 07:30 am and welcomes you to a warm and spacious interior.
The cafe is located on Great George Street near St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral – I utilized this time to capture crowd-free shots of the landmark structure and also enjoyed a morning walk – it was so beautiful!
The Gallery offers a variety of organic coffees, teas, breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, and more. I ordered a latte and a delicious omelet with toast.
You can enjoy your breakfast indoors or outside. The cafe has a generous outdoor seating space; and is pet friendly.
- Address: 82 Great George St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4K4
Go on a day tour of Green Gables Heritage Place
After breakfast, enjoy a 4+ hour (half day) tour to explore the Green Gables Heritage Site. Included in this excursion is round-trip transportation, with a local guide and entry tickets to the site.
And…along the way, you will stop by beaches, check out lighthouses, and enjoy a lovely island coastal drive soaking in the views of red sandstone cliffs.
Green Gables Historic Site is an iconic landmark located in the village of Cavendish in Prince Edward Island. It is the home that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery to write her beloved classic novel Anne of Green Gables.
Today, it is a popular tourist attraction celebrating the life and work of Montgomery and her most famous character.
The Green Gables site offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The grounds are open year-round and feature an interpretive centre, walking trails, and many outdoor activities.
Inside the historic home, you can take a tour of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s bedroom, her study, and the famous Haunted Wood.
The gift shop sells books and souvenirs, while the café offers a selection of snacks, drinks, and desserts.
The site also hosts special events throughout the year such as musical concerts, theatre productions, workshops, and seasonal festivals.
Green Gables Historic Site is a must-see for any fan of Anne of Green Gables or anyone interested in the life and work of Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Peake’s Quay Marina
Head to the waterfront area of Charlottetown after arriving back in town. You will be leaving for your next sightseeing activity near Peake’s Quay. So this is perfect to enjoy some lunch, buy souvenirs, etc.
You will find a big list of merchants at the Peake’s Wharf Historic Waterfront area.
I hang out at the Peakes Quay Restaurant & Bar and enjoyed live music too!
Tip: Another lunch option is to visit Charlottetown Yacht Club’s Salt and Sol Restaurant. You can find similar vibes and views from the restaurant (their Sol Bowl was delicious)
Peake’s Wharf Boat Tours
After lunch, make your way to the pier and get ready for a sightseeing cruise. At Peake’s Wharf, you can choose many different types of boat tours from seal watching, and lobster trapping to romantic sunset cruises.
They all depart from the Charlottetown waterfront area and last 2-3 hours. You can book tickets online, or at the wharf office.
I joined a 3 hour seal watching and lobster trap tour in the late afternoon – it was perfect because, by the time we were back, we also got to soak in the sunset hues.
The boat ride was amazing – we were offered binoculars and we learned about lobster trapping and more. On-board you can order drinks and light snacks.
Dinner at Sims Corner Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Relish some seafood before signing off from PEI.
At the Sims Corner, you will find classic Maritime dishes, unique seafood creations, and steak. On the menu are oysters of all kinds, mussels, chowder, chicken, and more!
Plus their cocktail menu is fantastic!
- Address: 86 Queen St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4A7
Alternate Ideas for PEI Road Trip
On day 2 of the PEI itinerary, you can modify the sightseeing plans if you decide to embark on a road trip.
We suggest hitting Green Gables shore and North Rustico, and later visiting the Prince Edward Island National Park and enjoying some hikes.
North Rustico is about 30 minute drive from Charlottetown. And from here you can get to the Green Gables site in 5 to 6 minutes.
North Rustico is a hub for lobster fishing in the season, and if you are visiting from May to October, you must stop by the Blue Mussel Cafe and try out some of the best seafood in North America!
When in North Rustico, don’t forget to snap a photo of the cute lighthouse.
PEI National Park
Located on the southern part of the PEI National Park is Red Sands Shore. This is a popular natural site and is home to beautiful red sand beaches.
You will find extensive walking and hiking trails as well as the biggest sand dunes on the island.
Greenwich isn’t frequented by a lot of tourists, unlike other parts of the National Park. At the Greenwich Interpretation Centre, you will learn about this unique landscape, and enjoy the beach, and hikes on the Greenwich Dunes Trail.
There are various trails in Greenwich to choose from, from secluded wooded areas to abandoned agricultural fields and beyond. Each of the trails depicts the unique geography and ecosystem of the region through interpretive signs.
Additional Ideas for PEI Itinerary Days 3, 4, 5 | Central Coastal Drive
Cedar Dunes Provincial Park & North Cape Coastal Drive
If you have more time on your hands, you can embark on the North Cape Coastal Drive, and head all the way to Cedar Dunes Provincial Park. Here the iconic 5-story West Point Lighthouse is located.
Built in 1875, this charming lighthouse has a museum on-site, including guest rooms, and offers panoramic views.
Before driving back to Charlottetown, stop at the Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum in O’Leary – which is home to the largest potato sculpture in the world!
Along this route, you can also pop by Summerside, the second-largest city in PEI.
PEI National Park to Cedar Dunes Provincial Park is about a 2 hour drive. It is the same driving distance from Charlottetown.
Points East Coastal Drive
Another option is to set aside a day for enjoying Points East Coastal Drive. This route is all of 475 km (300 miles), and it will take you 4+ hours to complete the journey without stops. You will find lots of wonderful beaches, hikes, and cultural attractions.
The iconic Confederation Trail also deserves a spot on your PEI itinerary if you are visiting for a few more days. You can hike or bike on this route which includes Charlottetown and various other waterside communities.
This extensive trail came to fruition when PEI’s railway lines were abandoned in 1989. The route was then converted into a shared-use trail (hiking, cycling, and snowmobiling in the winter).
It will take a few days (estimated 60+ hours) to complete the route from end to end. But you can add a short 13.7 km or 8.5-mile point-to-point trail to your itinerary. The Port Borden to Kinkora trail near Borden-Carleton will take 3+ hours to complete.
You can easily spend 2 more days on Prince Edwards Island and explore all the sites listed above without being rushed.
After exploring PEI you can extend your itinerary by adding New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to your sightseeing agenda.
How many days in Prince Edward Island is enough?
At a minimum, you will need 2 days in PEI to explore the capital city and a few natural and cultural attractions nearby. For complete sightseeing, 4-5 days is ideal. This way you can spend one day in Charlottetown, keep it as a base (so that you can return to enjoy amazing dinners) and take a day trip to the Green Gables site and PEI National Park, visit charming lighthouses, and enjoy hikes (on day 2).
Followed by days 3 and 4 at the Cedar Dunes Provincial Park, and a scenic Points East Coastal Drive. A bit of the Confederation Trail can be squeezed into these days, or you can set aside day 5 for that!
So there you have it! This is how you can make the most of your PEI 2-day itinerary. Have a safe trip!
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