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Charlottetown, Canada’s Birthplace
Delight in the city’s historic charm at one of their seasonal celebrations. Take in one of the many historic sites on a guided walking tour, or enjoy a show presented by a world-class theatre group. Indulge in the seaside city’s selection of locally-sourced shellfish at one of the area’s exceptional restaurants. Stay at a cosy bed and breakfast, or choose among the city’s other unique accommodations.
A Walk into the Past
Situated on Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is the province’s capital and is known for its rich history which is still celebrated today. Members of the French military settled in the area in 1720, and it has been growing in prominence as a symbol of Canadian heritage ever since. In fact, the birth of the nation originated in the city, as the 1864 Charlottetown Conference was the first of many conferences that led to the establishment of Canada. Thus, it is still known today as the “Birthplace of the Confederation.” If you’d like to discover more of the nation’s history first-hand, one point of interest where you can start is the Government House, a colonial mansion that has housed lieutenant governors since the early 1800s. You can enjoy a tour through the sprawling building during July and August. Or, stroll by Beaconsfield Historic House, a Victorian mansion with stunning elegance. To fully immerse yourself in the city’s past, embark on the guided walking tour led by The Fathers and Ladies of Confederation, who dress in period costume and will take you past the Province House National Historic Site.
An Array of Accommodations
If you’re seeking accommodations that have as magnificent a history as the city itself, consider booking a room at Charlotte’s Rose Inn, which dates back to 1884, or the Dawson House Bed and Breakfast, which was constructed in 1852. Of course, there are also plenty of modern hotels in Charlottetown which will still put you in close proximity of the city’s best historic sites and attractions. Outside the downtown area, you’ll also find quaint cottages and cabins, where you can enjoy a tranquil stay in the quieter outskirts of town.
Arts & Attractions
The Confederation Centre of the Arts is the city’s premier location for visual and performing arts. There, you can enjoy a show or musical performed by Canada’s leading theatre talent, or browse through the breath-taking pieces of artwork on display at the gallery. Anne of Green Gables – The Musical is one of the centre’s most popular shows, and has been capturing audiences for nearly half a century. If the arts in Charlottetown are your number-one priority, be sure to stay at hotel that’s central to the arts centre. Once you’ve had your fill of the arts, you can make your way to Point Prim Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1845. Or, picnic at Victoria Park, a waterfront greenery that’s perfect for taking a relaxing moment to enjoy the city’s splendour.
Charlottetown is known for its ample array of festivals, including the Charlottetown Festival, a yearly theatre event that takes place in the summer months, from June through September. Throughout the winter months, the city comes to life with its Christmas celebrations. During the Victorian Christmas Weekend, you can stop by the market where crafters and vendors sell their finest handmade gifts, carollers fill the air with the sounds of the season, and free horse and wagon rides are offered to visitors. If you’re lucky, you could even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas himself! Many of the city’s hotels and motels offer discounts during the event, but be sure to book in advance to reserve your accommodations. If you can’t visit for Victorian Christmas Weekend, the Wintertide Holiday Festival is another unmissable celebration which runs from mid-November until early January.
Seafood & More
With its seafront location, Charlottetown restaurants have prime access to fresh seafood, including oysters, mussels, lobster, and more. Thus, seafood lovers will delight in the town’s vast selection of restaurants serving fresh-caught specialities. For guests preferring land fare, there are also well-rated international restaurants, including German and Italian eateries, which you can be enjoyed in the area. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to stop in Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, where the store’s famous chocolate-covered potato chips are made fresh before your eyes.
Sports for All Seasons
Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind as you surround yourself in nature along the Confederation Trail. Spanning 400 kilometres, these trails are perfect for cycling and walking and will put you among Prince Edward Island’s most exquisite natural scenery. Charlottetown is also home to a number of golf courses, including Belvedere Golf Club, Fox Meadow Golf & Country Club, and Golf Prince Edward Island. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the area’s ample selection of winter sports, including snowshoeing and snowmobiling. However, if you prefer to maintain your fitness in the warmth throughout the harsh winter months, there are many hotels with their own indoor fitness centres nearby.