This is the year to plan ahead and look forward to reconnecting with Charlottetown and creating fresh memories. And with lots of options for direct flights to Charlottetown with Swoop, West Jet, Flair, Porter, and Air Canada, getting to Charlottetown has never been more convenient—or more affordable!
Although there are countless reasons to visit Charlottetown, it never hurts to have some added motivation. Whether you’re excited about the return of your favourite festival or looking to discover something brand new, here are just a handful of ideas to get your imagination rolling:
1) INVIGORATING SPRING FESTIVALS
In springtime, apple blossoms are popping, tulips paint street corners every colour of the rainbow, and there’s a palpable sense of renewal as nature comes to life after a long winter. Plus, with an expanding roster of spring festivals on the books for 2023, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.
PEI Setting Day Culinary Festival | May 12 – 14
Celebrate the freshest lobster of the season. Featuring various culinary events and talented performers, it’s an unforgettable weekend in the city.
PEI Mutual Festival Of Small Halls | June 9 – 18
This award-winning event brings music, dance, and storytelling into 40+ rural community halls across the Island.
Island Tides Yoga & Wellness Festival | June 22 – 25
Drawing on the rejuvenating characteristics inherent to PEI, Island Tides brings people together in a celebration that blends health, movement, and a little bit of whimsy in Charlottetown.
DiverseCity Festival | June 25, 2023 (Charlottetown)
DiverseCity is a free family-friendly event that celebrates Canadian multiculturalism and features music, dance, demonstrations, arts, crafts, and cuisine.
2) RENEWING HISTORY
Knowing the history of a city helps you understand and appreciate the place you’re visiting—for better and for worse. And although modern-day Charlottetown on the surface is filled with a colourful mix of restored heritage buildings and refreshing harbour views, our history hasn’t always been so bright and charming. In fact, there has been a lot of (un)learning and unpacking of our collective history over the last several years. During your visit to Charlottetown, take time to explore the various perspectives, including the injustices at play and those who were notably absent from deliberations in 1864, including the Mi’kmaq people. Charlottetown offers many ways to honour & embrace the Mi’kmaq culture through landmarks, performances, and more.
3) WARM HOSPITALITY
Being kind and courteous (and maybe a little bit nosey) is in our blood. Our hosts enjoy getting to know you and will no doubt make you feel at ease right away. In Charlottetown, there are plenty of unique and stylish places to stay that will meet all your expectations – many located right in the heart of the city and within walking or biking distance of all the beauty Charlottetown and beyond has to offer.
4) PRIDE FESTIVAL | July 21 – 30, 2023
As a hotspot for arts & culture, Charlottetown draws many 2SLGBTQIA+ travellers in search of friendly nightlife, luxurious accommodations, and those coveted “Island vibes.” Pride Festival is a celebration of the Island’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community, so it’s the perfect time to come and let your true self shine! Whether you want to join the Pride Parade alongside members of the community and their allies or celebrate from the sidelines, you’re guaranteed to feel the energy & love that washes over the city.
5) INSPIRING PUBLIC ART
Street corners, lamp posts, and sides of buildings are brought to life with impressive artistic creations. Keep an eye out for Gerald Beaulieu’s lifesize “Bluefin Bullet” on Richmond Street, as well as sculptor Ahmon Katz’s Great Blue Heron on the corner of Queen & Water Street. “The Three Leaves” sculpture stands prominently at the entrance to the city by the Charlottetown Event Grounds, while the Love Locks at the bottom of Queen Street and a lobster mural on the side of Timothy’s Coffee both provide great “Instagrammable” moments. A new Erika Rutherford mural on the side of The Old Triangle is also worth a visit. In 2022, three new lively and colourful murals by world-renowned artists were added to downtown Charlottetown building façades. Throughout the year, festivals bring out artistic creations like Art in the Open (Aug 26), Charlottetown Scarecrow Festival (Sept 29 – Oct 22), a Whoville-inspired Christmas Town (Nov – Dec), and illuminated wooden caribou and other installations during Ice City (Feb – Mar).
6) ECO COMES EASY
There are endless ways to enjoy our little city with a conscious and appreciative mindset that will have Mother Earth appreciating you back! Charlottetown’s relatively flat terrain makes it easy to opt for sustainable travel. Throughout the city, you can find second-hand books, vintage goodies, low-waste essentials, and lots of local love.
Plenty of our hotels are committed to doing their part for our environment and offer various ways for guests to follow suit. From offering programs that allow you to forgo your housekeeping to being full-blown energy-efficient properties, it’s easy to make eco-friendly choices. Many also offer bicycle parking/storage to guests so be sure to ask!
7) UNIQUE DINING EXPERIENCES
Discover the most unique restaurants & culinary experiences in the Charlottetown food scene. Whether you’re in the mood for handmade Italian pasta, the world’s tastiest seafood, cocktails that’ll blow your mind or authentic Korean BBQ, it’s always a good time to get out and explore Charlottetown’s vibrant flavours. In the summer, meet a friend for Happy Hour and fresh oysters while overlooking the downtown core. During the winter months, reserve an outdoor snow pod on one of the city’s year-round decks.
8) PERFORMANCE ARTS GALORE
The sound of music can often be heard wafting from many of the city’s bars and pubs. During the summer months, Victoria Row and Sydney Street are both abuzz with live music, while locations along the waterfront feature open-air entertainment at any given time. Theatre lovers can enjoy jaw-dropping performances of all kinds at a selection of top-tier venues, including free open-air entertainment during the warmer season.
9) A DREAMY FAMILY DESTINATION
Charlottetown’s small size makes it easy to get from point A to point B, all while remaining open to the wonder that can happen during all those moments in between. Your children will love the variety of kid-friendly offerings available throughout the city. Whether it’s hitting the pool, searching for hidden treasures, or creating an art piece that’s as unique as they are, there is so much family-friendly fun in Charlottetown just waiting to be discovered. Let the adventure begin!
10) CITY LIFE, COASTAL VIBES
Charlottetown has the best of both worlds. As a coastal city with a vibe that just won’t quit, you’re rarely more than a short walk, bike ride or drive from the water’s edge. Quaint streets lined with colourful houses lead you to harbourside boardwalks, while scenic drives through rolling farmland take you to the Island’s world-renowned beaches. Whether it’s the sound of lapping water, the taste of fresh seafood, or the smell of the salty breeze, there are so many ways to soak up the peaceful Island vibes during your visit.
11) LOCAL LOVERS
Showing support for local businesses and creators is a must-do in our books. Luckily, Charlottetown makes it super easy to spread the love. With an abundance of fresh food products, locally owned restaurants & cafes, hand-crafted items, Island-based musicians, and much more, every street and corner of the city holds a little something for everyone.
12) A WALKER’S PARADISE
In the downtown core, you’ll often find yourself admiring thoughtfully preserved heritage buildings, gazing at boutique window displays, and taking in the contrasting sights of modern architecture, historic red brick buildings, and colourful seaside homes. Not to mention the impressively landscaped green spaces, and gorgeous Georgian and Victorian-inspired abodes of all sizes and colours. There is also a pleasant bustle of friendly citizens living in the core, adding to the character and energy of the city.
The Island Walk is basically PEI’s version of the Camino Trail. Featuring 32 sections across 700 km, The Island Walk has the perfect landscape, both in terrain and scenery, for those who are looking for a long-distance walking adventure. Complete the entire route with places to stay along the way or tackle it in sections during your vacation.
13) LATE-NIGHT GEMS
After busy days spent adventuring in the city and beyond, Charlottetown’s seaside nightlife awaits. From classy cocktails to tall beers to a friendly round of pool, our locally loved late-night gems never fail to elevate the vibe with good tunes, good people, and good drinks. To the dance floor!
14) ELEMENT EMBRACERS
While we typically enjoy lots of sunshine here in Charlottetown, being an Island we do, in fact, get a variety of weather. But rest assured, the romance and beauty of our landscapes are striking in all seasons and weather. Provided you’ve dressed appropriately and ready to embrace whatever comes your way, there are so many ways to appreciate the moodier weather of our Island. After all, nobody does cozy quite like us.
15) A BEACH’S BEST FRIEND
With countless kilometres of sandy shores surrounding our island, PEI is THE ideal place to unwind and embrace the art of doing less. And due to its central location, Charlottetown makes the perfect home base to launch your coastal escape. Don’t forget to stop for some seaside picnic goodies before heading off!
16) THE COFFEE & CRAFT BEER SCENE
There are so many independent roasters and local brewers within the historic district of our city. Take your sips from organic beans by dawn to hoppy brews by dusk. Whatever suits your fancy, you’re sure to find a top-tier stop just minutes away during your travels.
17) OUTDOOR FALL BLOCK PARTIES & FESTIVALS
Who doesn’t love a good street party? From the Street Feast Block Party (Oct 6 & 7) to everyone’s favourite tradition, Farm Day in the City (Oct 1) to the whimsical Charlottetown Scarecrow Festival (Sept 29 – Oct 22), Charlottetown knows how to embrace outdoor living and throw an epic celebration. Fall Flavours Festival is a celebration of the Island’s incredible food scene and world-class chefs. It features unique culinary events in communities across the Island on select dates during the month of October.
18) A ROAD-TRIPPERS DREAM
Charlottetown is the perfect starting point to explore the rest of our special little Island. Stretching from east to west and every point in between, you’ll find endless beaches and golf courses, unique culinary experiences, picturesque fishing villages, and some of the most genuine locals in PEI. No matter where you choose to go, you’re never far from a good meal, a smiling face, and a coastal view.
19) SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
In Prince Edward Island, the beauty of the landscapes, the warmth of the people, and the sense of place is infused into everything that gets made here. Whether that’s an enduring piece of pottery inspired by the coastal scenes, visual art produced by a local artisan or custom jewellery reimagined just for you, we have plenty of vibrant shops, boutiques and galleries throughout the city just brimming with great finds.
20) BEST OF BRUNCH
Breakfast/brunch is arguably the most important (and tastiest) meal of the day. Luckily, Charlottetown offers plenty of places to get a bite, guaranteed to meet all of your wildest cravings and start your day off right.
21) MOMENTS OF CALM
Charlottetown is the perfect place to slow down and breathe in that fresh island air while you escape the hustle of everyday life. In the heart of the city, you’ll find a variety of yoga studios and wellness spas. Of course, you’re never far from the water and a stroll along the Victoria Park Boardwalk, just steps from the city centre. Or explore the region beyond the downtown core and visit one of the Island’s many beaches or wooded trails for a little nature therapy.
22) WINTER, REINVENTED
Stay with one of our participating Charlottetown accommodation providers and borrow complimentary snowshoes for a winter adventure. Flow in the Snow, a free outdoor movement series, is a huge hit with fitness enthusiasts and outdoor rinks are the perfect place to drum up some endorphins. Jack Frost Winterfest Presents the Ice City Festival (Feb – Mar) features Sugar Shacks, horse and wagon rides, outdoor fitness classes, outdoor DJs, and more. A short drive will take you to The Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park where you can ski, fat bike, tube, and so much more!
23) CHARLOTTETOWN CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL | Nov 17 – Jan 2
Charlottetown knows how to celebrate the holidays in style. What was once a weekend event has blossomed into over a month’s worth of festive programming. Take in the great shopping and festivities during Deck the Hall at Founders’ Food Hall & Market, hit up the award-winning open-air Victorian Christmas Market (Nov 24 – 26), or enjoy a cozy horse & wagon ride through the city’s historic streets.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many more memories to be made in our little city this year. Whether you’re a fresh face to Charlottetown or simply picking up where you left off, what’s ours is yours.
Follow along on social @discovercharlottetown and tag us during your stay to help share the Charlottetown love!