Family travel on Prince Edward Island: Part 2

A few days after our return from Prince Edward Island, I called my parents to catch up. Both of them remarked how relaxed I sounded and I suppose they were right. I really unwound over the eight days we were traveling, soaking in the laid-back energy of my surroundings.

We didn’t bring back any shells, driftwood or even a t-shirt from the Island, but I did return with a resolution to not get overwhelmed with the day-to-day demands of being a work-a-home mother. Easier said than done, I know, but taking things one day at a time helps, as does knowing how to de-stress.

Danny and I are are the same in that we both draw tremendous peace from nature. It could be field or forest, sea or sky, but enjoying a belle vista is one of the best ways we release our cares and let the breeze blow them away. Below are some of our favourite views from P.E.I. (and after that, a story about digging for our dinner!).

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

Everywhere, just everywhere, are emerald green fields that slope towards the brilliant sea. When the sun sets, everything turns golden – farmhouses, cemeteries, barns – and it’s impossible not to pull over and snap a photo. The one above was taken along one of the scenic heritage roads of the Red Sands Shore near Argyle.

Don’t you want to wander down that lane and see where it takes you? It’s like stepping into a Lucy Maud Montgomery book; there’s a story behind this graveyard on the sea, that is for certain.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

This private beach was just down the way from Basin Head Provincial Park and was simply magnificent. It featured the famous ‘Singing Sands‘, gentle waves and a delicious breeze. We spent our last day on the Island here with friends and it was a rejuvenating finish to the trip.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

A short hike along the sun-dappled trails of the Macphail Homestead was another favourite spot to stretch our legs on our way to Point Prim. Plan to stay for tea in the tea room if you go.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

Victoria-by-the-sea had some of the best views of the trip, as well as chocolates and antiques. The beach wasn’t our favourite, but dinner on the patio at Landmark Cafe more than made up for any shortcomings on the shore.

We based ourselves out of Charlottetown for these excursions; staying at the oh-so-accomodating Hotel on Pownal. The place impressed us on our first evening with its complementary happy hour; a nice way to unwind after a day of chasing around three kids! Each evening, when I would head to the lobby with my laptop to work a little, there would be fresh baked cookies (no joke!) and a coffee bar for my enjoyment. And enjoy I did.

Terre Rouge restaurant in Charlottetown | Simple Bites

Charlottetown was delicious – I mean, delightful. From ice cream on the harbour to good eats at the best farm-to-table restaurant in town: Terre Rouge, we thoroughly enjoyed the local fare.

We picked up a picnic at the weekend farmer’s market one day, which is a fun change from restaurants. Local produce was in its prime and the market was an excellent way to see what the Island artisans and farmers had to offer.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

A glimpse of the Charlottetown harbour at dusk, on our way to the P.E.I. Celebration Zone. A must, if you are in the area this summer.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

Happy Clammers for an experience to remember

If the name is Gilbert Gillis isn’t enough to convince you (you have to be familiar with the Anne of Green Gables books), maybe the Island upbringing of our host is enough to persuade you to go clamming with Experience PEI. Named the #1 authentic experience in P.E.I by TripAdvisor, Happy Clammers is a culinary experience of a lifetime.

Gilbert has been fishing and clamming since he was a wee lad, and that is just the beginning of his accomplishments. On the sea-facing deck of his home, he regaled us with tales of  tending the Point Prim lighthouse with his grandfather, the longest running keeper of the lamp.

But first, we went clamming.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

The setting, weather and company couldn’t have been better. After a quick explanation from Gilbert, we were soon discovering longneck clams at low tide. Digging for your dinner may sound like a drag, but it actually went much faster than I thought it would. The kids were really getting into it just when it was time to go.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

Back at the house, Gilbert’s wife Goldie was waiting for us with a pot for steaming the longneck clams. Aside from being a kindred spirit and a stellar home cook, Goldie knows a lot about clams. In her comfortable living room, she gave us a crash course on varieties and best ways to prepare them before we were seated for dinner.

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

It was a clam feast, simply steamed and served with butter and warm rolls. Clam chowder followed after, as the sun slowly started to dip down into the fields of oats. We finished with strawberry shortcake and coffee brewed with freshly ground beans (it’s the little things).

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family
Happy Clammers was indeed an authentic taste of Prince Edward Island. At dinner, my boys tried one clam each, then moved on to big bowls of chowder and rolls. I think they won’t soon forget our clam digging adventure; I know I never will. Thank you, Gilbert and Goldie!

Family travel on Prince Edward Island | Simple Bites #travel #family

We are already planning our return trip to the Island. There is still so much more to explore.

**Missed Part 1? Find it HERE.**

Disclosure: P.E.I. Tourism partially sponsored our trip on the Island. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

What is your favourite vista: field or forest, sea or sky ?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. There is something about PEI that is magical. We thoroughly enjoyed our getaway there, even though it was only a weekend it felt like a vacation. Every place we’ve been is just stunning and were lucky it’s so close to home!

  2. Your photos are just magical Aimee! Love seeing your cute family!

  3. I absolutely love clamming! I can’t get over how gorgeous the pictures of that beautiful island are- just amazing!

  4. This family vacation looks wonderfully relaxing, delicious & absolutely beautiful!

  5. I’m storing Happy Clammers away for the next time we go, what an experience!! Jared and I also both love to get out into the beautiful nature, it recharges like nothing else. So glad you guys were able to go to the Island!

    • Breanne, I could totally see you loving Happy Clammers. I thought it might be difficult to have Clara, but, um, no. She got right into it and never once turned and ran for the ocean. 🙂 And you would love the hosts!

  6. I so enjoyed following your trip on Instagram, and am glad to hear you got some much-deserved rest and refocus. I’m feeling refreshed just scrolling through these photos!

  7. Perfection!

  8. So much I love about this post! We feel the same way about nature rejuvenating like nothing else. I always feel refreshed and thankful for any time I get to be outdoors. My husband is a fly fisherman and being outside, typically in the middle of a river, is such an important stress relief for him that whenever I notice the tension building, I boot him out to get refreshed and clear his head. Which is good for the whole family 😉

    I LOVE the idea of digging for clams and then sharing dinner with a couple of kind new friends. I am certain that my boys would really get into it as well. And since I have now decided that PEI is a dream trip, I will add this to the itinerary!

  9. The pictures are beautiful! Ever since reading the Anne of Green Gables series, visiting P.E.I. has been on my bucket list!

  10. Charlene Belsher says

    Your article is beautifully written and makes me very happy that you enjoyed your visits to my home. But you missed a lovely part of the Island. The south east corner is truly an undiscovered gem. We boast vistas of fertile farmland rolling down to the water along the shoreline with big rolling hills of woods and farmland in the interior. Our area boasts 2 wineries, lots of prize winning eateries, amazing artisan studios and hand craft shops, one being mine – The Old General Store. The kids can burn off energy at one of the best play parks on the Island, Kings Castle Provincial Park or an afternoon on a beach. Have I talked you into trip #3 yet?

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