Tuesday, 12 July 2016

My 5 Favourite Places to Visit on PEI

I just found this post in draft form and had completely forgotten about it. It caught my eye, because it's about Prince Edward Island. Sure, PEI may not seem like a glamorous place, but I love it. I know summer has arrived when my mind starts having visions of red sand, tiny villages, farm land, and lobster. I  always seem to find myself there each summer, even when I don't plan to. I thought it would be a good time to post. Last summer, I shared my new finds for PEI, but these are my favourite places to go back to every year.

1.  Village Pottery:
I love Village Pottery. Seriously. I posted the second picture on Instagram with the hashtag #icouldspendmypaycheckhere, and this is not an exaggeration. I really could. Since we had declared this trip a non-shopping vacation, I had to be good, but couldn't leave PEI without getting a little something from Village Pottery. (I went with a little sugar bowl and creamer and 3 small bowls.) It's definitely my favourite place to shop on the Island. As a bonus, if your significant other doesn't enjoy shopping, there is always a nice chair out front, in the shade. They can relax in the shade, while you give your wallet a workout!

My new favourites!

2.  Island Hill Farm
We first visited Island Hill Farm last year, and it was such a surprise. They have become a highly rated attraction on Trip Advisor, and if you visit, you'll soon see why. You start your visit in the barn, but it's not your average barn. There are murals on the walls and a chandelier in the chicken coop! Like I said, not your average barn. For just $5, you can spend as much time as you want with a donkey, alpacas, ducks, pigs, kittens, bunnies, and lots of goats! The donkey can get a little nippy (which they warn you about!), but all the other animals are very friendly, especially the goats! Sometimes you get an extra special treat, and one of the animals might have recently had babies. A day or two before our visit, the rabbit had bunnies! We couldn't see much, because they were still hiding in their bunny fur fuzz ball, but it was still exciting. 
Little C had fallen asleep on the drive there, and wasn't too awake when we arrived, so I carried him in for the first few minutes. As soon as he saw the goats, he was ready to roll! He had the best time with the animals, running through the fields, in and out of the barn, and even in the chicken coop! I think the animals enjoy the kids just as much as the kids love them! A great spot for visitors of all ages!

3.  Toy Factory:
I didn't take any pictures at the Toy Factory this year, but let me tell you, this is a kid's paradise! Inside? A small building jam-packed with toys! There is something for everyone - babies, toddlers, "big" kids, and kids-at-heart. I love the wooden toys, especially the cars - they roll smoothly on our floors, so they're great for car races. Also, if you ask, they'll personalize the car for your little one. In addition to their handmade toys, they carry lots of different lines of toys. They have entire sections devoted to puzzles, toy houses, castles, stuffed animals, and toys for young ones. There is a lot packed into a small space.

It's not just about the inside though. This is what makes the Toy Factory so special - they have created a child's paradise outside! There is a (real) bunny on the deck, a (fake) elephant in the yard, knight and princess cutouts, and a horse and carriage. Let's just say, there is lots to see, if you takd the time to look around. It's a bonus for when you want to buy a present or two for that special little boy or girl in your life, and need them to keep busy for a few minutes - one adult can go out, and one can stay inside and do some secret shopping.

It's also within walking distance of the PEI Preserve Company, Gardens of Hope, and Butterfly House. We didn't go there this year, but have been in the past. All three are worth the time to visit!

4.  Kings Castle Provincial Park:
If you have little ones, and are headed to the Points East Coastal Drive, this is a must-stop. It's a bit of a drive, if you're staying in Cavendish or Charlottetown, but if you love to see an ear to ear smile on your child's face, it's worth every minute of driving! Type the address into your GPS and enjoy the ride. (1887 Gladstone Rd, Murray Harbour, PE C0A 1V0) There is a beach, picnic tables spread throughout, washrooms, and lots of playground equipment! Some of the equipment is vintage - like the old woman who lived in a shoe slide, which my son had to go down about a million times. They've made many upgrades in the past few years - including new playground equipment, but I like the older stuff - wooden structures to climb and metal slides. It's a real trip back in time to my own childhood playground fun! You can sit back and watch your kids have a little old-fashioned fun!

5.  Site of L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish Home:
This one may not be as expected. I don't know what it is about this place, but I love it. The cottages that we usually rent are close by, and every year I walk there, usually by myself. That could be part of it's appeal. A little time to myself.  This year was a little better though, because I had my little buddy with me! The view on the way is beautiful - ocean on one side, and a nice field of wheat on the other.

Once you leave the main route, you take a short walk down a red road.  At the entrance to the site, there is a cute little building. You pay your admission fee here, and can also listen to a talk about the site. On your way out, you can pop in again to visit the gift shop. (We picked up a couple of postcards for the album, and a Stompin' Tom Connors "Hockey Song" board book!) It's a pretty simple spot. You can take a walk through the property. There are boards along the pathways, with L.M. Montgomery quotes and descriptions of what it would have looked like when she stayed there. As an added bonus, you can make your visit even longer by using connecting paths to visit the Green Gables post office and even continue on further to arrive at Green Gables.

Those are my top 5! I love new finds, but I love a good "return trip." Feels like home! ;)

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