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Cruisin’ Around Town: 10 Must-Visit Areas of Charlottetown

HERE FOR A GOOD TIME, not a long time? The coastal city of Charlottetown is full of stunning landscapes, welcoming people, and a strong sense of place. Quaint streets lined with colourful houses lead you to harbourside boardwalks, while entertainment districts and waterfront hot spots are the places to be when the sun goes down.

Each distinct area of town with its own special vibe, and features unique shops, tasty restaurants, and places to kick back and relax. And since it’s all concentrated in a relatively small area and is very walkable by nature, it’s easy to get from one place to the next.

So whether you’re in Charlottetown for a half day, a full day, or multiple days, we have broken down our must-visit area of town to make sure you don’t miss a beat!

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1) VICTORIA ROW

Victoria Row, commonly referred to as simply “The Row”, is the most famous pedestrian street in Charlottetown. Stop and listen to live music, enjoy a drink on a rooftop patio, or pop into one of the colourful shops along this buzzy strip.

WHERE TO SHOP:
Kuriosities and Crow’s Nest – Whimsical open jewellery studio and gift boutique featuring local and Canadian makers.
Northern Watters Knitwear & Tartan Shop – The largest craft store & Tartan shop supporting 250+ Canadian artisans and specializing in 100% British wool sweaters made in-house.
Green Eye Designs – A funky, eclectic mix of local artists & vendors, as well as curated vintage clothing & housewares.
Details Fine Art Gallery – Home to a tastefully curated selection works by local and national artists.

WHERE TO EAT:
Vicinato Ristorante – Sip your favourite Italian-inspired cocktail on their hip rooftop overlooking the city or enjoy an epic Italian meal while people watching and listening to live music.
The Cork & Cast – Looking for a fish taco to make all your dreams come true? Look no further than The Cork & Cast’s haddock taco.
John Brown Richmond Street Grille – Choose a locally crafted ale from their extensive beer list over tasty apps and mains.
Receiver Café & Bistro – Cool down with an iced coffee and all-day breakfast at this locally-owned coffee shop.
Sea Rocket Oyster House – Craving some freshly shucked oysters? Saddle up at Sea Rocket’s swanky oyster bar and treat yourself to a dozen (or two!) PEI’s famous oysters.

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2) Confederation Centre of the Arts

Found in the heart of historic Charlottetown (with entrances off of Victoria Row, Queen Street and Grafton Street), Confederation Centre of the Arts is a must-visit destination for lovers of art, theatre, and culture. Visit the Centre and experience a myriad of cultures, identities, and stories that shape the Canada of yesterday and today through world-class art exhibitions, original theatrical performances, music, dance, education, heritage programming, and more.

WHAT TO SEE:

Anne of Green Gables–The Musical – See Prince Edward Island’s iconic redhead on stage in the summer of 2024! This Canadian classic is a humorous, touching, and dynamic musical that will inspire your imagination, tickle your funny bone, and mesmerize you with its graceful and exhilarating singing and dancing. This year, the beloved musical coincides with 150th birthday celebrations for author Lucy Maud Montgomery. (June 19 – August 31, Sobey Family Theatre)

Jersey Boys – They were just four guys from New Jersey – until they sang their very first note. Catch the rags-to-riches story of the 1960s rock and roll group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, featuring hit songs like “Sherry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”, and more! (June 25 – September 21, Sobey Family Theatre)

Becoming Dolly – Step inside the life of country music legend Dolly Parton. This heartfelt cabaret show pays tribute to one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time and features iconic songs like “9 to 5”, “Coat of Many Colours”, “Jolene”, and more. (July 4 – August 24, The Mack)

The Centre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre – This open air stage presents interactive shows for the whole family, with admission by donation. This summer, the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors perform a piece that shares the history of the Mi’kmaq people through stories, songs, and beautiful traditional dance (July 4 – 26). Also at the amphitheatre is Island Steps, a high-energy dance show that explores the fusion of Caribbean dance and traditional island step (August 1 – 30).

The Heritage Players – Partake in a historic walking tour of downtown to learn about the defining moments in both Prince Edward Island and Charlottetown’s pre-Confederation history. From Mi’kmaq histories to French and English colonization to the union of Canada, discover how this city came to be. | confederationcentre.com

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3) Great George Street

Arguably one of the most historic and beautiful streets in Charlottetown, Great George Street is definitely one to add to your itinerary. Featuring colourful historic homes, the city’s largest and most intricate cathedral, and beautiful water views as you head south down the cobblestone sidewalks, it’s perfectly photo-worthy.

WHAT TO SEE:
ST. DUNSTAN’S BASILICA – St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada is a large, stone church in the centre of Charlottetown. It’s an excellent example of the High Victorian Gothic style in Canadian architecture. Erected between 1897 and 1907, it creates an imposing presence that can be seen from many vantage points in Charlottetown. It’s open daily from 9am – 4pm | 65 Great George St

THE GREAT GEORGE HOTEL – The Great George is an award-winning, historic, boutique property unlike any other in downtown Charlottetown. Featuring colourful heritage homes as part of the property, even if you’re not staying here we highly suggest a photo op on the backside of the property with the Basilica steeples in the background.

WHERE TO EAT:
The Gallery Coffee House & Bistro – Serving fresh and thoughtful cuisine, the Gallery is the place to go for everyday breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a large selection of coffee options and housemade pastries and sweets.
Leonhard’s Café – A local fav, this well-loved café takes pride in making their food daily from scratch and the eggs benny is a must-try!
Farmacy & Fermentary – This little gem is owned by the wonderful farmers behind Heart Beet Organics, and is the best place for hot (or cold!) vegan cuisine, housemade kombucha, local produce, farm-fresh eggs, and more.
Timothy’s World Coffee – Cozy up in Timothy’s World Coffee and be sure to try their famous breakfast bagel.
Brits Fish & Chips – Classic fish & chips spot meets local Island hospitality.
Fifth Wave Espresso & Tea Bar – Best place for ethical & sustainable beans

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4) WATER STREET

Running parallel to the harbour, Water Street is a colourful area lined with cute shops, restaurants and historic brick buildings. Garnish Jewellery, in particular, is owned by local creator and metalsmith, Stacey Leunes. She has crafted a beautiful and unique style that you will love forever. She does amazing things mixing metals, stones, and textures, and can even create custom pieces by melting down older pieces of jewellery. For a variety of original PEI-made products, be sure to drop into Moonsnail Soapworks and PEI Crafts Council Retail Gallery.

WHERE TO EAT:
Linda’s Coffee Shop – The best place for a quick breaky on a budget.
Merchantman Fresh Seafood & Oyster Bar
Authentic, PEI seafood in a warm & welcoming atmosphere.
Water Street Fish & Chips –
Look no further for your classic fish & chips fix!
Water Prince Corner Shop –
This place is an institution. Serving up fresh seafood in an eclectic environment, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
Brass Shop by Receiver CoffeeServing their own freshly roasted coffee, in-house baked goods, all-day breakfast and incredible lunch options, Receiver is a local fav for a reason.
Lobster on the Wharf
Craving a classic lobster dinner experience? Lobster on the Wharf has got you covered! Check out their brand new deck that extends out over the water.

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Prince Edward Island Crafts Council Retail Gallery
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5) FOUNDERS’ FOOD HALL & MARKET

This historic train station along the waterfront was converted into a hip urban market in 2019 and today sits as a well-loved destination for all things local, beautiful, and delicious. With nearly 20 vendors (and counting!), you can find everything you want and need under one roof at Founders’ Food Hall & Market.

WHERE TO EAT: With a growing selection of food vendors from all around the world, a variety of cuisines compete for your tastebuds. Hungry shoppers can look forward to Mexican street food, Caribbean bokits, German-inspired pretzels, Japanese sushi burritos, Turkish Kumpir, French pastries, Italian-style paninis, gourmet pizza, and much more.

WHERE TO SHOP: The retail trail celebrates local makers, artisans, and crafters from across Prince Edward Island. Looking for a unique gift to bring home with you? Grab a drink and browse the selection of offerings, such as handmade jewellery, potato fudge, natural health & beauty products, premium wine, pottery, PEI dirt shirts, pup-friendly apparel, and more.

Don’t miss Sounds of the Waterfront, a free live music series that takes place here every day from 12-2pm and 6-8pm.

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6) CHARLOTTETOWN WATERFRONT & PEAKE’S WHARF

During the summer months, head to Peake’s Wharf along the Charlottetown waterfront where you’ll find a cluster of distinctive, colourful shops and a peaceful boardwalk that wraps its way along the waterfront. Featuring everything from beachwear and funky jewellery to visual art and locally-designed apparel, there’s plenty to browse through in this waterside hub.

WHERE TO EAT:
Grotto – A unique hidden gem on our tiny island, with a focus on fresh and local seafood, beef, and produce while floating on PEI’s historic downtown waterfront.
The Floating Docks – Such a unique and fun spot on a summer evening. My must-trys include the garlic fingers from Nimrods’, the fresh cut fries from The Chip Shack, margaritas and tacos from JC’s Tiki Bar, and freshly shucked oysters from The Shell Shack. Be sure to check out Nimrod’s event schedule for their super fun trivia nights.
Peake’s Quay Restaurant – With an expansive deck overlooking the harbour, great tunes, and a rockin’ appetizer & dinner menu, it’s a great spot to enjoy Happy Hour, weekend brunch, and a meal just about any time of the day.
Dave’s Lobster – Incredible lobster rolls, anyone? Look no further than Dave’s Lobster.
Brakish! – This seasonal restaurant along the water’s edge is the ideal place to enjoy drinks and snacks while enjoying live music and lawn games under the afternoon sun.

Don’t miss Sounds of the Waterfront, a free live music series that takes place here every day from 2-4pm and 5-7pm.

 

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7) CHARLOTTETOWN YACHT CLUB, WEST STREET & VICTORIA PARK

This calming area of town is best explored when you have some time to stop and linger awhile. Much of the city’s waterfront is linked by a series of boardwalks that provide the best views of the harbour and stunning cityscapes no matter the season. Start off at the Charlottetown Yacht Club and have a bite to eat at Salt & Sol overlooking the water. Then make your way to West Street where you’ll find stately Victorian homes in an array of bright colours. Even if you don’t have time for a tour, it’s worth popping into Beaconsfield Historic House and admiring the view of the water from their wrap-around porch. Next, you’ll want to make your way along the Victoria Park boardwalk before landing at the Brighton Beach Range Lighthouse for a photo op. On the way back, make a special stop at Kiwanis Dairy Bar for ice cream to enjoy on the nearby floating dock.

WHAT TO SEE:
BEACONSFIELD HISTORIC HOUSE – Designed and built by W.C. Harris in 1877 for James and Edith Peake, Beaconsfield was one of Charlottetown’s most elegant homes. Today, Beaconsfield Historic House stands as a beautiful example of Victorian architecture with many original features and has a fascinating story to tell! It’s open year-round for tours. | 2 Kent St

WHERE TO EAT:
Salt & Sol Restaurant & Bar – Overlooking the Charlottetown Yacht Club, Salt & Sol features primo views of the harbour, a boho-chic interior, and delicious drinks & eats.
Kiwanis Dairy Bar – Hot eats, cool treats. It’s the perfect way to cool off and refuel during your Victoria Park adventures.

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8) FITZROY STREET

Although primarily a residential area, this street has some lush tree-lined streets, intricate churches, and beautiful historic homes, including an array of stately heritage properties that make up Fairholm Boutique Inns. Be sure to stop in at Slaymaker & Nichols on your travels and enjoy a tasty cocktail in their chic interior or on their cozy streetside patio.

WHERE TO EAT:
Slaymaker & Nichols – Best place for a classy and stylish feel. Don’t miss their daily Happy Hour specials – $3 off cocktails and half price apps from 2-5pm!

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9) KENT STREET

This is Charlottetown’s entertainment district that continues to grow in popularity as the fun vibes heat up. Featuring the Trailside Music Hall, PonyBoat Social Club, and the Charlottetown Beer Garden, it’s your go-to place for good times all year long. Towards the end of this strip, you’ll find the Mighty Market, home to an ever-growing selection of goodies, from take-home gifts by local artisans to eco-friendly essentials to the charcuterie box of your dreams.

The Trailside Music Hall offers a classic ‘dinner & a show’ evening in their intimate venue. The musical talent on PEI is unmatched, and Trailside provides a warm setting for these artists to share their stories. Indulge in delicious food served right to your table as you take in some raw talent.

Kent Street is also home to Street Feast, Discover Charlottetown’s fall block party (Oct 11 & 12, 2024), and features live music, dance, street food, live art, party games, and more!

WHERE TO EAT:
Azteca Mexican CuisineThe place to go for tasty authentic Mexican food.
Hojo’s Japanese Cuisine Want to experience the best ramen of your life? Made in-house, Hojo’s is famous for the wide selection of ramen and incredible sushi.
Taste of India – Craving curry? Look no further than Taste of India!
Ada Culinary Studio – One of Charlottetown’s newest kids on the block, Ada is THE place to grab a mouth-watering sandwich, salads, and baked goods!
Kent Street Market – Look no further than this airy downtown space for a great selection of fresh veggies, locally-sourced meat, homemade breads, gourmet cheeses & cured meats, hot food items, and to-go sandwiches.
Craft Beer Corner Head to Craft Beer Corner for a tasty selection of Upstreet craft beer, refreshing cocktails and non-alcholic drinks.
Abbiocco Modern Italian If gourmet Italian food is up your alley, be sure to check out Abbiocco Ristorante. They also have an incredible brunch menu on the weekends!
HopYardThe best and biggest selection of local craft beer, original takes on bar fare (think tapas style), and spinning vinyl from open to close.
Salvador Dali CafeA Salvador Dali themed café featuring delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
PonyBoat Social ClubWith 6,000 square feet of games, activities, casual food, and local beer & cocktail, PonyBoat cues up all kinds of funrain or shine!
Hunter’s Ale House Steak, seafood, and pub fare with two large outdoor patios and the biggest beers in town.
The Factory DowntownServes up handmade pizza and traditional pub food.
The Charlottetown Beer Garden Downtown’s biggest patio party and daily live music, local seafood, pub food, and the most PEI craft beer on tap.
Cured Creations
Inside the (small but) Mighty Market, a unique shop with local charcuterie and specialty grocery items. They also offer t0-go lunches and catering.

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10) QUEEN STREET

As one of the main streets in historic downtown Charlottetown, Queen Street is always abuzz with activity. It’s also home to an array of restaurants, independent shops, and the Charlottetown Library Learning Centre.

WHERE TO SHOP:
Back Alley Music Swenn The Cook’s Edge Courtside Sneakers Town City Skate Shop The BookmarkCool as a Moose Luna Eclectic EmporiumIndigenous PEIKC Clothing Anne of Green Gables Chocolates Luxury Market Consignment Boutique JEMS Boutique Anne of Green Gables StoreEastwood Ave. Menswear Lady Slipper The Root Cellar

+ Literary lovers will appreciate the variety of new and used book stores clustered on Queen Street, including The Bookmark, The Bookman, and the Book Emporium.

WHERE TO EAT:
The Pilot House Harvest Clean Eats Redwater Rustic Grille COWS Casa Mia Downtown Amelia’s by Truckin’ Roll Ta Ke SushiSim’s Corner Steakhouse & Oyster Bar Churchill Arms Gaia’s Urban Eatery Piatto Pizzeria

Queen Street is also home to the popular annual festivals Farm Day in the City (Oct 6, 2024) and the Victorian Christmas Market (Nov 22 – 24, 2024).


Need to stock up on essentials or do a little shopping under one roof? The Confederation Court Mall is a downtown staple that’s filled with men’s & women’s clothing (don’t miss Dow’s Mens & Ladieswear or Isla Clothing Boutique!), home decor, luxury footwear, and more. You can also find wonderful edible items like olive oil from Liquid Gold Tasting Bar and just about every local product under the sun at Kent Street Market, a local specialty store.

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