This is our third year in a row spending two weeks in PEI and we’re already planning our 2016 trip.  When people hear about our annual trip they most often ask ‘what do you do when you’re there?’ to which we answer

‘Spend time at the beach’.

What typically follows is this:

‘But what else’

‘We explore the island’

‘No but what do you actually do

‘Hang out at the beach.  And explore.  Oooh and eat delicious food!’

‘But what about your kids?  Don’t they fight?  Aren’t they bored’


Oh yes they fight.  And oh yes they’re bored.  Once the initial honeymoon period of being away from home is over (typically 24 hours) the fighting and complaining begins.  But once we push through the ugliness we reach that magical place where they entertain themselves and (gasp) play with each other.

PEI is like a giant reset button for our entire family.  I do my best to simplify our schedule all year long but to be honest I think for the last 2 years that’s been like trying to stuff tooth paste back into the tube.   I love running my business but the size and scope of what its become in the past five years continues to surprise and, at times, overwhelm me.  Not only does PEI give me uninterrupted time with my family it also lets my husband and I talk about what’s working for our family and what we want to change.   He jokes that PEI is ‘our retreat to move forward’.

When we’re on the island spend at least 4-5 hours everyday at the beach. We’ve explored several beaches around the island and we have our favourites but we also visit new spots every year.  We take our time getting up in the morning.  They play LEGO.  They indulge in watching Teletoon Retro (we don’t have cable at home).  We stay in cottages with kitchens so we can prepare our own meals and aren’t dragging them in and out of restaurants when they’re tired (most of our favourite spots for delicious food offer take out).  Then we head to the beach with a full cooler of snacks and drinks and picnic lunch.


They surf on the waves.  They build sand castles.  They hit each other. They run up and down the beach.  They collect shells and driftwood. They catch minnows and crabs.  They throw sand at each other.  They bury each other in the sand.  They make new friends.  They build rivers and breakwaters.  They steal toys from each other.

Here’s some of our favourite things to do when we’re on the Island:

Souris1. Basin Head Provincial Park

White singing sand, gorgeous aquamarine water, and big waves, make this one of our favourite beaches to visit: it’s the closest I’ve seen to a Caribbean beach in Canada.  There’s change rooms, washrooms, and no admittance fee and although it may be crowded around the pier, a 5-10 minute walk down the beach and you can find your own private spot away from the hustle and bustle.  My boys love running through the waves and digging in the beautiful sand.    If you drive back through St. Peter’s Bay, stop and grab lunch or dinner at Rick’s Fish & Chips.







NorthCape22.  North Cape

Most visitors seem to stay in Central PEI but we’ve made the drive up to North Cape twice.  The coastal drive is beautiful and the boys love seeing the huge wind turbines and fishing boats.  If you visit during low tide you can walk out along the reef and visit the rocky ‘island’ where the seabirds rest.  Water shoes or shoes you can wear in the water are great because it’s a rocky adventure! The boys love seeing the Inukshuks people have built along the coast and adding their own creations.







Tidepool3. Exploring Tide Pools

We love searching for shells, sea glass, rocks, and hidden creatures along the shoreline as the tide goes out.  It’s a great activity for a cool day or to break up a drive as you explore the island.















Preserve4.  PEI Preserve Company

One of our favourite places to eat!  I love following their Instagram account (their photos always make me excited about our trip) and we bring home their delicious preserves and tea as gifts for family and friends.  My boys love to watch them jarring the preserves in the on-site kitchen.  Just down the road from the restaurant is their beautiful Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens.  My boys love getting to see all the different kinds of butterflies and enticing them to land on orange slices.








Thunder Cove5.  Thunder Cove Beach

We love the wide sandy beach, the streams from inland ponds, and the red rocky cliffs and caves created by the waves and changing tides.  My boys happily spend hours racing their boats down the streams and diverting the water with dams.  This is a great beach for high and low tide.















July8th-166.  Chelton Beach Provincial Park

We love heading over to this beach at low tide so the boys can play in the warm red tidal pools.  This is a great beach for finding hermit crabs and we’ve also had a lot of luck finding sea glass.











Stanhope7.  Stanhope Cape Beach

We fell in love with the nearby Brackley Beach the first year we visited PEI but much prefer Stanhope Cape Beach, which is just five minutes down the road from Brackley.  There is a fee to visit both beaches because they are part of the Provincial Park System.  Stanhope Cape has both change rooms and a washroom but is much quieter than Brackley.  It’s a great beach for both high and low tide; when the tide is low several sand bars emerge creating warmer streams of water to play in.  It’s also worth waiting in line at Richard’s Seafood, which is halfway between Brackley beach and Stanhope Cape.