After all, it’s Canada’s smallest province and only takes about three hours to drive from tip to tip.
Don’t be deceived.
This is a destination that will leave you begging for more long after you’ve said goodbye to its rocky red shores.
Thanks to its relaxed maritime vibe backed by a long list of natural and historical attractions, PEI has been luring visitors for decades.
Much of the credit for its international tourism success lies with one fictional character alone — Anne of Green Gables.
Whether or not you’ve read the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic, which is set on Prince Edward Island and has been translated into about 20 languages since being published in 1908, it’s impossible to escape that feisty redhead’s hold over the island.
Her name or likeness is plastered on everything from bottles of “raspberry cordial” soda to golf courses.
Expect interest in Anne to intensify now that the story is being revisited in a new series, “Anne with an E,” which comes out on Netflix May 12.
But much like Anne, the island has evolved in recent years, offering a new wave of cultural and culinary experiences.
One thing to consider before you grab a bosom buddy and book that plane ticket — PEI is a seasonal destination, which means most attractions are open from June to September.
All things Anne
Its restored farmhouse brings to life the house as fans of the book might envision it, while an on-site museum highlights how islanders lived in the late 1800s. Visitors can sign up for walking tours and activities, including a weekly Sunday picnic.
The white heritage house where author Montgomery was born in 1874 sits just outside of Cavendish in the town of New London and is open for tours.
Need more Anne? Capital city Charlottetown has two top musicals devoted to the redhead.
The north coast: Cavendish Beach and beyond
PEI’s top tourist magnet, Cavendish was once a quiet rural community populated by a few Scottish immigrants.
In addition to that famous aforementioned green and white house, this section of PEI’s north shore is stuffed full with dune-filled beaches, campgrounds, cottages and terrifically tacky tourist traps.
It’s just one stop along the scenic Gulf Shore Parkway, which also whisks you past the Covehead Harbour, with its lovely red and white lighthouse and fishing wharf.
Looking for something more serene? About an hour’s drive east from capital Charlottetown are the stunning beaches and dunes of Greenwich — also national park land.
For a close-up look at the island’s wild coastal rock formations you’ll want to head for Darnley’s incredible Thunder Cove, about an hour’s drive northwest from Charlottetown.
Red Sands Shore, home to Canada’s longest bridge
Canada’s longest bridge, this 8-mile-long icon opened in 1997 to connect PEI to the New Brunswick mainland.
Nearby Gateway Village is an open-air shopping/dining complex designed to look like an 1860 farming community.
This seaside community of about 100 people founded in 1819 features the Victoria Playhouse, which hosts regular cultural events.
The village is filled with pretty heritage homes, a chocolatier, some excellent seafood restaurants and a harbor — historic lighthouse included.
Exploring PEI’s capital, Charlottetown
The best way to explore PEI’s tiny capital is on foot as many of the highlights are in the historic downtown core.
Sadly the latter is now undergoing repair work and won’t re-open till 2020 but visitors can still take in its neoclassical exterior.
In addition to live performances, the Confederation Center of the Arts hosts permanent and rotating exhibitions showcasing the island.
PEI’s best eats
Upscale restaurants have multiplied on PEI in the last 10 years, particularly in Charlottetown.
Away from the capital are dozens of excellent culinary experiences as well.
And finally, there’s nothing quite like an old fashioned lobster supper.
Traditionally held in a cavernous community hall, if done right these beautifully messy feasts end with a table full of empty shells and butter-coated fingers.
Both offer all-you-can-eat seafood chowder and mussels with any lobster order.
If you’d rather hunt or forage for your own dinner, there are plenty of companies offering excursions like lobster trapping, oyster harvesting, clam digging and deep-sea fishing.
Where to stay
Given the island’s size, you could easily base yourself in Charlottetown and take day trips to the island’s various attractions.