Prince Edward Island is the home of Anne of Green Gables, the beloved novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery about a red-haired girl with a predilection for trouble.
The Anne of Green Gables House in Cavendish on Prince Edward Island is where Lucy Maud Montgomery once lived with her aunt and uncle and became inspired to create the story of Anne Shirley and the Road to Avonlea. That first book, written in 1908, spawned another 21 novels reprinted in 17 languages and a television series in the 1980s. Each year, more than 1.2 million visitors a year travel to Prince Edward Island to immerse themselves in the Anne of Green Gables series.
Anne of Green Gables Musical
The Anne of Green Gables Musical, performed at Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts, has been a summer favorite on Prince Edward Island since 1965. It is the longest running musical in Canada with sold-out performances twice a day from June through September. Tickets for the Anne of Green Gables Musical should be ordered before making any other plans for a Prince Edward Island family vacation.
The Anne of Green Gables House at Cavendish
When visiting the Anne of Green Gables House, located in Cavendish, plan on arriving early in the day to avoid crowds and the long lines waiting to tour the home. The white farmhouse has been immaculately restored and details added that reflect the life lived by the fictitious Anne Shirley and her guardians, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. The grounds include a haunted forest that Anne Shirley feared, but should not be considered scary by most children. There’s a lively barnyard, horse-and-wagon and pony rides, and cow milking. Ice cream and other treats are sold at the Butter Churn Café, located in a barn on the property. There are also a number of musical performances throughout the day, with particularly entertaining programs for children under the age of about ten.
Children will also enjoy a visit to Anne’s Perfectly Scrumptious Wild-Rose Tea Party, an activity at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum. Children may create their own flower-bedecked hat like Anne’s while learning more about the Anne books and the woman who created her. Afternoon teas are a must, and require a reservation.
For older fans of the Anne of Green Gables saga, a visit to the Bideford Parsonage Museum is a delight. This is where Lucy Maud Montgomery lived and on Wednesday evenings throughout July and August, lively discussions and readings of her work take place in the parlor. The museum also hosts a strawberry social on July 24, featuring those lusciously sweet PEI berries found at numerous roadside stands throughout the summer.
Family Vacation on Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island has evolved as a perfect family vacation destination because of the beautiful beaches at Cavendish National Park, the relaxed atmosphere and the myth of Anne. One of Canada’s maritime provinces located on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island is 140-miles long and criss-crossed by miles of bicycle paths, dotted by dozens of vacation rental houses and surrounded by beaches, parks and idyllic villages filled restaurants, shopping and quirky museums.
History of Prince Edward Island
It was in Charlottetown in September 1864 that Canada negotiated its independence from Great Britain, not with cannon and guns, but with 1,000 bottles of champagne. Not a shot was fired, not a life lost, yet a nation was born.
This ritual of Canadian independence is relived not only on the first of July, but every summer day on the streets of Charlottetown, the capital city. Costumed characters walk the streets discussing pros and cons of confederation, leading the way from the harbor along Great George Street to Confederation Hall where reenactors bring the history of Canada to life before a gathering crowd. Walking tours of the capitol city are offered twice a day by actors in period costume
Walking tours begin at Founders Hall on the waterfront, a place where that requires at least an hour to explore Canadian history through the interactive museum. Nearby, harbor cruises showcase other tidbits of history about Prince Edward Island as well as gray seals and other marine life.