With countless kilometres of sandy shores surrounding our island, PEI is an ideal place to unwind and reconnect with a more chilled out version of yourself. And due to its central location, Charlottetown makes the perfect home base to launch your seaside escape.
We’ve rounded up a handful of our favourites from north shore to south, along with stunning photos from both locals and visitors, that offer a little something for every taste and preference. One thing is for sure, the views are impeccable and the sea breeze will soothe your soul. Let’s go!
1) *BLOOMING POINT
Considered a local fav by nearly everyone (and their dog), it’s well worth finding this gem (~20 mins from Charlottetown) by venturing along winding clay roads and past farmers’ fields. With towering white dunes protecting this unsupervised beach, you’ll have plenty of choices for sandy spots to spend the day in peace and quiet. Just be sure to stay off the dunes and be respectful of the area’s wildlife.
2) *BASIN HEAD & RED POINT
Located just past the charming port town of Souris along the Points East Coastal Drive, Basin Head is a happenin’ spot to spend a day on the beach. Famous for its singing white sand and warm south shore waters, you’ll delight in watching kids — and big kids, too — jump off the wharf and skimboard along the tidal pools. It also has public restrooms, supervised swimming, and an ice cream shop so you might find it hard to leave! Nearby Red Point is a quintessential south shore beach and quieter than popular Basin Head, so it’s the perfect place to recharge and soak up the beauty of the shore.
3) *THUNDER COVE
We might get into trouble with locals for sharing this one, but Thunder Cove, just north of Kensington along the north shore, is the epitome of a “best-kept secret.” It’s not unlike popular Cavendish, with soft white sand and those red clay cliffs that PEI is so famous for, but much quieter. It’s the best of both worlds and features the famous “tea cup rock” – you just need to be slightly adventurous to find it!
4) ROSS LANE & STANHOPE BEACH
Approximately 25 minutes north of Charlottetown within the Prince Edward Island National Park, Ross Lane & Stanhope Beach are both like the lesser-known (and maybe even cuter?) little sister to well-known Brackley Beach. Same great views, white sand, and supervised swimming—except with half the crowd, twice the space to spread out, and considered favourites among the area’s locals.
5) GREENWICH BEACH
Located within the Prince Edward Island National Park, Greenwich Beach is famous for its towering parabolic dune system, extensive trail system, and pristine white sand beaches. After making your way along the wooden boardwalk, you’ll discover a secluded expanse of soft sand that’s perfect for settling in with your favourite book. The comfortable picnic areas, public restrooms, and supervised swimming also make it ideal for the whole family.
6) *CANOE COVE & ARGYLE SHORE
Typical of the quieter, more understated beaches of the south shore, Canoe Cove and Argyle Shore are ideal spots to wander along the tidal flats at low tide, explore the coves within its bright red cliffs, and float upon the warm waves of the Northumberland Strait. The south shore waters also tend to be warmer, so it’s usually the first place you’re able to comfortably swim in the early summer season.
7) *LAKESIDE BEACH
You’ll find this treasure of a beach about 30 minutes from Charlottetown, just east of Greenwich Beach outside of the National Park. Considered a local fav for its vast stretches of unspoiled sandy beach that make it ideal for long walks and dips in the ocean under the afternoon sun.
8) *KINLOCK BEACH & TEA HILL PROVINCIAL PARK
When you’re craving a trip to the beach in the midst of the summer heat, Kinlock Beach or Tea Hill offer the perfect solution. Located just 10+ minutes from downtown Charlottetown (not far off the Hillsborough Bridge), they both attract city-goers in search of a quick dose of bliss. Whether it’s a romp on the beach with your furry friend or digging for clams at low tide, it’s always worth a visit.
9) BRACKLEY BEACH
Perhaps one of the better-known beaches just 20 minutes from Charlottetown, a trip to Brackley Beach is what beach bum dreams are made of. Located within the PEI National Park, it’s complete with those stunning white sand dunes PEI is so well known for, as well as public restrooms, a canteen, and supervised swimming areas so you can comfortably spend hours playing in the sand and surf.
10) *CEDAR DUNES PROVINCIAL PARK (West Point)
Located at the most western tip of PEI, it’s well worth the hour-long drive from Charlottetown to catch a sunset at (what feels like) the edge of the world. There’s also a nearby campground and inn within the lighthouse, so after a day of soaking up the sun you can spend the night drifting away to the crashing ocean waves. Is there anything better?
And that’s just a handful of the many beaches waiting for you here on Prince Edward Island! Whether you’re a seasoned PEI beach bum or dipping your toes in the Northumberland Strait for the first time, we can’t wait to welcome you.
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