Three attractions in Charlottetown, PEI

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The Gainsford House by 1833

Three attractions in Charlottetown

Prince Edward Island's capital, Charlottetown, is not large. No wonder, since the province of which it is the seat of government is the smallest in Canada. Nevertheless, it played an important role in the history of the country: today's Canada was founded here. Therefore, the city offers some sights that you should not miss when visiting. We visited three of them and present them here in more detail. Our three must-see attractions in Charlottetown that you shouldn't miss are:

Peakes Wharf and the waterfront streets

As in many port cities, the region around the port is one of the most attractive in the city. Charlottetown is mainly in the autumn months Destination of many cruise ships, whose passengers like to cavort in these parts of the city. Here you will find restaurants, gift and craft shops selling island produce: the usual Anne of Green Gables memorabilia as well as local and regional produce. We discovered a shop that sells vodka distilled on the island. Spicy sauces made from wild blueberries, mustard made from maple syrup or maple syrup with lemongrass and chipotle or with lavender and chai are just as much a part of regional souvenirs as kitschy plastic lobsters or original lobster cages for the living room at home. However, we ignore most of these shops and prefer to stroll through the side streets instead. There are still houses there that can definitely be described as historical. Even according to the European understanding of history.


The Bonded Warehouse in Charlottetown
The Bonded Warehouse in Charlottetown - one of our top three attractions in Charlottetown

The bonded warehouse

For example, there is the Bonded Warehouse, a warehouse from the Prohibition era. In 1901, Prince Edward Island became the first Canadian province to legislate against the possession, manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. City officials were under strict orders to keep the population dry, so they confiscated all the alcohol they could get their hands on. Then, every Monday morning, to the dismay of onlookers, the liquor was poured into pits in front of the warehouse. Despite the ban, alcohol was welcome in the city for re-export, and so much alcohol was waiting in this warehouse to be transported onward that it could have intoxicated the entire island population.

While most houses in this region are built of wood and come in all sorts of colors to brighten up even the rainiest day, down a side street is Gainsford House, built in 1833 and listed as the town's oldest brick building. Unplastered, but with green plant decorations, it stands out from the row of blue, red, gray or yellow wooden houses with its red brick facade. For history buffs, the city's historic homes are among the top three attractions in Charlottetown.


Petar gets on well with Sir John A. MacDonald
Petar gets on well with Sir John A. MacDonald, former Prime Minister of Canada


The pedestrian area in Victoria Row and the Province House

Victoria Row is the traffic-free street in the center of the city. When the sun is shining, street cafés invite you to take a coffee break or have lunch. And the shops along Victoria Row offer everything from art to kitsch. We are alerted by the seated figure of Sir John A. MacDonald, one of Canada's first Prime Ministers, that we are approaching Province House. There he decided, together with the representatives of the other British colonies in North America, to found Canada.


Quirky souvenirs
Quirky souvenirs
In Victoria Row in Charlottetown
In Victoria Row in Charlottetown


For this reason alone, the Province House is worth a visit. But even so, the building, which still serves as the seat of government for Prince Edward Island's parliament, is worth seeing. On the first floor are the representative rooms, which are more reminiscent of a somewhat oversized mansion than of a parliament building. Pictures of big balls hang on the walls, where the ladies shine in their most beautiful robes. Types of ships are depicted on other paintings. And others show Canada's founding fathers gathering. Today's parliamentarians sit in front of thick, heavy velvet curtains. In the capital, Parliament is of course one of the top three attractions in Charlottetown.


The Province House in Charlottetown
Charlottetown's Province House is one of three attractions in Charlottetown
St. Dunstan's Basilica, National Historic Site
St. Dunstan's Basilica is one of three attractions in Charlottetown


St. Dunstan's Basilica - one of the attractions in Charlottetown

Because of the rain, we took refuge in our walking tour of Charlottetown at St. Dunstan's Basilica, the city's cathedral, a Canada National Monument for its neo-Gothic architecture. St. Dunstan's is the province's only Catholic cathedral. It is the fourth church to be built on this site. The cross vault, the sanctuary with the crown-like chandeliers, and the almost filigree-looking high altar make the church a total work of art in architecture. The basilica is named after St. Dunstan, a saint from Glastonbury, England. As we see it today, it has only been in this position since 1916. It was rebuilt after a fire.


The interior of St. Dunstan's Basilica
The interior of St. Dunstan's Basilica
The organ in St. Dunstan's Basilica
The organ in St. Dunstan's Basilica


We took half a day to walk through Charlottetown. You should bring at least this time with you if you want to get a brief overview of the city, because shops and cafés on the way lure you to take a break from exploring the city. St. Dunstan's Basilica is one of the top three attractions in Charlottetown because of its architecture.

Questions and answers about attractions in Charlottetown Canada

What is special about Charlottetown Canada?

Charlottetown is the capital of the province of Prince Edward Island and is known for its buildings, parks and beaches. It is also the birthplace of Canada, having hosted the constitutional talks that led to the founding of the country in 1864.

How do I get to Charlottetown?

Charlottetown Canada has its own airport that serves Canadian cities. Alternatively, you can also travel by car or bus, for example from Halifax or Moncton.

What are Charlottetown Sights and Things to Do?

There are many buildings and museums to visit, such as the Confederation Center of the Arts or the Province House National Historic Site. A visit to Victoria Park or beaches such as Brackley Beach are also worthwhile.

What are the top things to do in Charlottetown?

Kayaking, hiking and golfing opportunities abound in Charlottetown Canada. A trip across the Confederation Bridge, which connects Prince Edward Island to the mainland, is also impressive.

What's the food like in Charlottetown?

Charlottetown is known for its clams, oysters and lobsters. There are many good restaurants offering local specialties as well as international cuisine such as Italian or Asian.

Where can I stay in Charlottetown?

There are many hotels and bed and breakfasts in Charlottetown to suit every taste and budget. A good location is, for example, near the center or the port.

When is the best time to visit Charlottetown Canada?

The best time to visit Charlottetown is June through September, when the weather is mild and pleasant. In summer there are also festivals and events such as the Charlottetown Festival or the PEI International Shellfish Festival.


Charlottetown landmarks
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Source: own research on site. In any case, we would like to thank Tourism PEI for inviting us to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Three attractions in Charlottetown, PEI

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn