Charlottetown

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Looking north on University Avenue from Province House

Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island, one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.

Understand[edit]

Charlottetown is a great place to spend a few days. It's a quaint and pretty town, small enough to be able to walk around, and has lots of good restaurants and bars. It's also within easy reach of the PEI National Park.

Climate[edit]

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) -3 -3 1 7 14 19 23 23 18 12 6 0
Nightly lows (°C) -12 -11 -7 -1 5 10 15 14 10 5 0 -8
Precipitation (mm) 102 85 86 89 99 86 84 95 94 114 117 121

See the Charlottetown 7 day forecast at Environment Canada






Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The Charlottetown Airport (IATA: YYG), 250 Maple Hills Ave, [1] has nonstop flights to Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, and New York (JFK). Prices are usually expensive between 500 to 1400CAD depending your origin.

Charlottetown Airport is one of the most user-friendly airports. Clearly, some of this is due to infrequent flights and small aircraft. Check-ins usually take five minutes or less. The airport is small, accessible, and friendly -- just like the city itself!

By bus[edit]

Maritimebus is the only company for the area.

  • from Moncton (NB), 2/d 33.75CAD +3h05
  • from Bathurst (NB), 1/d 68.5CAD +8h35
  • from Halifax (NS), 2/d(7.05pm,12pm) 58.25CAD(+tax 15% + bridge 2.4 + fuel ~70) +5h20 w switching at Amherst

A few shuttle service are also available for similar prices. Depending on how full the bus is, you will usually switch to smaller bus from Amherst.

By car[edit]

Drive through confederation bridge or ferries, ~11h through Trans-Canada Hwy from Montreal (Rivière-du-loup, Edmundston, Fredericton, Moncton) or 3h30 from Halifax.

Get around[edit]

Taxis are cheap. $10 gets you from the Airport to downtown. 6-10$ will get you anywhere around town. All taxis are flat rate by zone. None has any specific licensing information in them; not to worry though, taxi drivers are typically friendly, enjoy meeting tourists, and are honest above all else. Charlottetown is a small highly accessible city, you can walk almost anywhere downtown.

Most of downtown is also easy to walk through, a bit less in winter.

If you need bus, check T3 services http://triustransit.ca/

See[edit]

  • St. Dunstan's Basilica45 Great George St +1 902 894-3486. Tourists welcomed between services.
  •    Province House165 Richmond Street, PE C1A 1J1. 9AM-5PM. This National Historic Site and has functioned as the provincial legislature since 1847. $ 3.40.
  • Founders’ Hall – Canada’s Birthplace Pavilion. 9AM-4PM. Get familiar with the City and the important role it played in the Confederation. $9.50.
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts15 Richmond Street. The Confederation Centre is open year-round and showcases the best in the Canadian visual and performing arts. It houses several theaters, an art gallery, Mavor's Bistro and a gift shop.
  • Beaconsfield Historic House2 Kent Street, PEI CIA 7M4. 10AM-5PM. The Beaconsfield Historic House Museum is open year round for tours. One of the Island's finest residences, built in 1877, the site offers a program of house tours and lectures, and special events in the Carriage House. 4.50.
  • ArdgowanMt Edward Road, PEI CIA 7M4 (near bus station). 10AM-5PM. Only outside can be visited. 4.50.

Do[edit]

  • At the harbour front you can get on a seal-watching tour boat.
  • Go on an air tour which depart from the airport's skyplex.
  • . Walk around Victoria Park one of Charlottetown’s most beautiful and popular parks. The park has walking trails, a harbor-front boardwalk, three play structures and an outdoor pool and splash park.
  • . Book a Peake’s Wharf Harbor and Seal Watching Cruise and relax while cruising Charlottetown’s scenic and historic harbor.
  • . Visit Cows Ice Cream. Cows Ice Cream is voted the best in Canada year after year. You can also buy many types of “cow-themed” merchandise like apparel, mugs and calendars.
  • . Peake’s Quay is a wonderful shopping and dining area located right on the marina and is just a short walk from downtown. There are many souvenir shops, activities, and restaurants right to choose from.
  • . Walk down picturesque Victoria Row for great shopping, drinks and dining. Both Victoria Row and Queens Street have excellent art galleries.
  • PEI Confederation trail. from the city, you can go to south ending on Grafton st, north out of city and 470km on all PEI.
  • . Anne of Green Gables the musical runs seasonally from the end of June to the end of August. The musical is based on the novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Tickets start at twenty dollars. There are both matinee and evening showings.

Buy[edit]

Charlottetown contains two major shopping centres: the Confederation Court Mall (right downtown, across from Province House), and the Charlottetown Mall, which is just out of town in West Royalty, on University Avenue. They contain the usual anchor stores (Zellers, SportsChek, etc), as well as many smaller stores. West Royalty also has many stand-alone big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Future Shop, etc.

If you get off the beaten path, though, you'll find lots of great specialty shops just waiting for your business. Walks along Queen St. and University Ave. (among others) will yield wonderful surprises in terms of shopping selection.

Groceries are readily available from many major supermarkets within Charlottetown. Typical closing time is 10:00PM. Since 2011, the government has allowed Sunday shopping year round, which will be in place until further notice. Sunday store hours are generally noon to 5:00PM.

  • Best of PEI Store (Authentic Island Excellence), 156 Richmond St (on Historic Victoria Row),  +1 902 368-8835, e-mail: . Daily, 9AM-9PM. Carries works by more than 250 of PEI's finest artisans. Continues to seek out talented island artists, musicians, craftspeople, and specialty chefs who offer authentic island excellence in their work.

Eat[edit]

  • Cedar's Eatery81 University Ave +1 902 892-7377. Great Lebanese food and reasonable prices. They have won many awards and have a great atmosphere. Shish Taouk, Falafel and other traditional dishes are prepared much more thoughtfully and are far tastier than the normal hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean joints in most cities.
  • Brickhouse125 Sydney St +1 902 566-4620. Romantic meal, sophisticated atmosphere, and there is a well stocked bar upstairs called Marc's Studio.
  • Gahan House126 Sydney St +1 902 626-2337. Home of Gahan Micro Brewery, with great fresh-brewed beer! A favorite is Iron Horse, but the others are all great. The Nachos are a favorite with locals and the best value on the menu. Tourist dished such as the Fish and Chips can be paltry and overpriced.
  • Piece a Cake119 Grafton St +1 902 894-4585. Offers one of the freshest and tastiest menus in town. Well-liked by residents, though its prices are considered somewhat high.
  • Urban EateryConfederation Court Mall +1 902 566-4848. The food court in the Confederation Court Mall. They serve the best lunches possible: Simple sandwiches, soups and pizza all run by an in-house chef. This is a great place to feed a family.
  • Formosa Tea Room186 Prince St +1 902 566-4991. Provides shockingly inexpensive vegetarian meals. Serving a selection of fine Asian teas, dim sum treats like dumplings, and large bowls of noodles, vegetables and vegetarian "ham", you won't go hungry. The menu is small but every item on it is delicious and very reasonably priced.
  • The Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound141 Water St (corner of Water and Prince St),  +1 902 368-3212. Offers simple but well prepared seafood meals at exceptional prices. Start with an order of fresh Malpeque oysters, and then have a lobster roll, some lightly battered fish and chips, or even a 2 lb. steamed lobster.
  • The Noodle House31 Summer St (behind Dairy Queen off University Ave.),  +1 902 628-6633. Serves authentic Chinese cuisine; well-known for their Kung Pao Gar Ding, Hot & Sour soup, and friendly service.
  • Town & Country219 Queen St (next to Charlottetown City Hall at the Kent/Queen Sts. intersection),  +1 902 892-2282. "Asian Fusion" cuisine. Formerly a Lebanese restaurant, their menu now contains Lebanese, Indonesian, and Canadian items. Impressively tasty food for a good price. Great Indonesian curries.
  • Churchill Arms75 Queen St (right near the Delta Hotel),  +1 902 367-3450. A cozy British pub and restaurant. Well known for their curries, everything is tasty and affordable. Portions can be quite large.
  • Brits Fish and Chips41 University Ave +1 902 892-3474. Famous for their fish and chips as well as their casual and friendly atmosphere.
  • Chez Cora123 Queen St +1 902 569-5681. Casual restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. Extensive breakfast menu.
  • Cows Ice Cream150 Queen St +1 902 892-6969. Canada's most popular spot for ice cream! A trip to Cows is unlike any other ice cream experience. The smell of fresh made waffle cones will lure you in through the door, but you will stay for the apparel! Cows not only offers a bounty of creatively named (and delicious) ice cream flavors like “Gooey Mooey” or “Wowie Cowie”, but the store sells t-shirts for women, men, and children that are humorous parodies of pop culture, such as “Cowy Potter and the Udder of the Phoenix.”
  • Peake's Quay Restaurant11 Great George St +1 902 368-1330. Peake's Quay Restaurant is located just a few feet from the Charlottetown Waterfront with a full lunch and dinner menu to satisfy anyone’s appetite.
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery Dining Room4 Sydney St +1 902 894-6868. At the Culinary Institute of Canada, a well respected school for chefs. The students prepare and serve meals under the tutelage of their instructors. The food is classically and competently prepared. The dining room has an excellent view over Charlottetown Harbour, though the institute's building itself is hopelessly municipal in appearance. Begins service at 6PM, reservations requested.
  • Thai Food & Dimsum Place198 Kent St +1 902 367-9094. Pretty authentic Thai food. Hot! But they ask you how hot you want it. Very tasty, made fresh, affordable. The interior of the place is very simple (your date will NOT be impressed) but the food is perfect.
  • Maid Marians Place7 Ellis Rd, PE C1A 7X1 (East of university),  +1 902-566-4641. Really the local place to eat. Cheap, old american cantina stile but good food.

Drink[edit]

  • Fishbones136 Richmond St. (Victoria Row),  +1 902 628-6569. A seasonal bar and restaurant, located on Charlottetown's historic Victoria Row. Great atmosphere and more than reasonable prices.
  • Baba's Lounge81 University Ave. +1 902 892-7377. A spot that many young locals go year round. Generally the most reliable but is quite small.
  • Olde Dublin Pub131 Sydney St. +1 902 892-6992. An authentic Irish pub.
  • Peake's Quay11 Great George Street +1 902 -368-1330. Outdoor patio that looks over the marina, very popular with young locals during the summer months. Great food and drinks.

Sleep[edit]

There is no reason to stay at a chain hotel or motel in Charlottetown. The city is dotted with some of the cutest, and most comfortable, Inns and B&Bs you can imagine. All offer fantastic service and most have locations that allow you to walk downtown. They will often be cheaper and offer much more comfortable accommodations than a hotel. These places live and die by their reputation, so most innkeepers are incredibly helpful. In winter, many places are closing for the season.

  •    Charlottetown Backpackers Inn (HI-Charlottetown), 60 Hillsborough St +1 902 367-5749. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Only hostel in Charlottetown. Single-sex dorms, co-ed dorms, and private rooms available. Free wifi and internet terminals. Open April to October. $28 dorms, $71.10 private rooms.
  • Elmwood Heritage Inn. Was the first 5-Star Bed&Breakfast in Charlottetown and is still one of the best. InnKeepers Jay and Carol are known to be some of the most helpful.
  • The Great George. Charlottetown's Historic Boutique Hotel. Probably the best location in all of Charlottetown. It is getting pricier over time, but it is probably still one of the best overall values in town. It is right in the middle of it all.
  • Fitzroy Hall is another well located Bed& Breakfast and is typically well maintained. The Shipwright Inn is right next door and is highly rated, and The Dundee Arms is right across the street and is an Inn with an attached motel. The Dundee has a nice pub frequented by locals.
  • Fairholm National Historic Inn230 Prince Street, toll-free: +1-888-573-5022. Fairholm National Historic Inn is a designated National Historic Site and boasts large rooms with superb architectural detail, walking distance to theatre, restaurants, shopping and waterfront.
  •    Heritage Harbour House9 Grafton St., toll-free: +1-800-405-0066. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. This Hotel is in the most perfect spot in Charlottetown. Two blocks away from the city centre, and filled with staff members who are familiar with the city. It's rated #1 on Tripadvisor. 99-219.
  • The Sonata Inn3 Grafton St., toll-free: +1-800-370-0066. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Great location, close to the city centre. Highly rated, and updated with new furniture. This spot is perfect for families, as it has many rooms with multiple beds. Ask for the Standard Rooms with 2 Double beds and a sofa bed for families of 5. Great breakfast too! 119-149.

Go next[edit]

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
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