If you decide to start your adventure in Charlottetown with a guided walking tour, “The Fathers and Ladies of Confederation” will be happy to oblige. Dressed in full period costume, the Fathers and Ladies will show you what makes this capital city such a historic gem. You’ll see why it’s also a vibrant urban centre that dances to a beat all its own. Canada was born (or perhaps more accurately, was conceived) here when the Fathers of Confederation met at Province House National Historic Site in 1864 to plot out the creation of Canada.
Besides joining one of the entertaining guided tours, visitors can get caught up on Canadian history at Founders’ Hall, found at the foot of the Great George Street Historic District. Just steps away from Province House National Historic Site is Victoria Row. This narrow street is closed to car traffic in summer and its charming red brick buildings house an eclectic array of shops and restaurants. It seems like everyone has patio seating and it is the perfect place to people watch, grab a bite and a drink and enjoy the sounds of local musicians.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts occupies the other side of Victoria Row. It’s here that Anne of Green Gables– The Musical™ has been delighting audiences for an incredible 48 years. The Centre is a cultural hub and attracts performers from all over the world. An impressive art gallery displays the work of diverse Canadian artists and a gift shop has hand-crafted items from across the country. The Centre also cultivates new talent through its Young Company program and each summer a group of gifted young Canadians attend classes and present free performances.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder The Confederation Centre won the 2008 Air Canada Business of the Year Award from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada!
For a sailor’s view of the city, a boat cruise will take you out onto the waters of Hillsborough Bay. From this vantage point, you can watch the activities along the shoreline and marvel at the copper spires of St. Dunstan’s Basilica that climb heaven-bound above the city. Every Wednesday and Saturday, the country comes to the city at the Farmer’s Market, located just a few minutes drive from downtown. This is where traditional Island fare like fresh vegetables, meats and pies can be found alongside ethnic cuisine from the four corners of the world. As day turns into night, Charlottetown seems to turn into one big concert stage.
Celtic bands kick up their heels and local singers belt out folksy tunes in the city’s pubs and lounges. Music is also a big part of the many summer festivals, so if you see a tent on the waterfront, chances are you’re about to be treated to some great musical talent.
Charlottetown’s beauty is that, even in the heart of the city, you’re never far away from a round of golf or a day at the beach. The 18-hole Fox Meadow Golf and Country Club is just seven minutes away, in Stratford. Keep driving a little further and you’ll discover the red sands of Tea Hill Beach, a great place for shell collecting and a dip in the warm water.