Bringing the world of Anne of Green Gables into your own
Visit Anne's PEI
If you are planning a trip to Anne's beautiful Prince Edward Island, here are some tips:
Order (or download) a freeVisitors' Guide from PEI Tourism (www.tourismpei.com or 1-800-463-4PEI). This will have all kinds of information on where to stay, where to eat, and what to see on PEI. It also includes a great road map which you will need if you plan to drive while on the Island. (Of course, there are bus tours available as well, but public transportation outside of Charlottetown is minimal.)
Watch for brochures (at PEI Travel Bureaus across the Island, in stores, restaurants, museums) for places of interest that may not be listed in the Visitors' Guide.
If you are travelling from the United States or other country, you will need a passport!
How do I get to PEI? Charlottetown, PEI, is the main airport. Air Canada, Jazz, Northwest/Delta are some of the carriers that fly into Charlottetown. Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport along with visitor information. And even though PEI is an island, you can drive there very easily, thanks to the Confederation Bridge that links PEI to New Brunswick. There is a feefor the bridge (or the ferry that takes cars and passengers over from Pictou, Nova Scotia, to Woods Island, PEI) -- it amounts to about $40 US. You don't pay to come onto the Island but you pay when you leave. Credit cards are accepted. Note: Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, is about 35 miles from Cavendish and Green Gables.
How do I get toGreen Gables? From Charlottetown, take Highway 2 west to Hunter River; turn right at the main intersection onto Highway 13. Drive north about 8 miles to Cavendish. Turn left at the traffic light -- the entrance to Green Gables is about 1/2 block on your left. From the ConfederationBridge, take Highway 1A towards Summerside but continue on 1A to Highway 2 to Kensington. At the "five points" traffic light in Kensington, go straight on Highway 6 about 13 miles to Cavendish. Green Gables will be on your right just before the traffic light.
Also be sure to visit "The Site of L. M. Montgomery's Cavendish Home," just across the road from Green Gables. Still owned by Montgomery's cousins, this lovely site is where Anne of Green Gables and several other novels were written.
["Silver Bush" (The Anne of Green Gables Museum), The Lake of Shining Waters, and the L. M. Montgomery Birthplace are not far from Cavendish, so be sure to allow time for these, too! You can take Highway 101 from Kensington to Route 20 (Park Corner) if you want to visit these first and then go on to Cavendish. The LMM Birthplace is at the corner of Route 20 and Highway 6 in New London.]
Another lovely museum with a connection to L. M. Montgomery is The Bideford Parsonage Museum in Bideford (west of Summerside). Montgomery boarded here when she taught school in Bideford. Nearby is the Green Park Shipbuilding Museum and Yeo House.
Many stores, restaurants, and other commercial establishments accept American cash (they will usually charge a small fee for this and give any change in Canadian currency). Banks, however, will give the best exchange rate. Instead of $1 bills, Canadians have $1 coins (gold-coloured) nicknamed "loonies" because of the loon pictured on one side; they also have $2 coins called "toonies" because of the two-dollar value as well as the two-toned colours -- silver rim around a gold centre. Other Canadian coins are similar to US coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters). Paper currency is colour-coded according to denomination. [See pictures of Canadian coins and bills below]
American and Canadian electrical appliances use the same kind of plugs.
Canada is on the metric system. Distances (and speed limits) are given in kilometres (1 km = about .6 mile), gasoline is sold by the litre, temperatures are given in Celsius (an easy way to convert to Fahrenheit: double the Celsius temperature and add 30).
Prince Edward Island is on Atlantic Time (one hour ahead of Eastern Time) and observes Daylight Saving Time in summer.
Taxes on most goods and services involve a Provincial Tax (10% in PEI) and GST (Goods and Services Tax) (5%). These taxes are added to the stated costs of goods, meals, accomodations, etc.
For a specially-designed Anne tour, see the last chapter -- "Following in Anne's Footsteps" -- of The Anne of Green Gables Treasury - Special CommemorativeEdition.[see Contact/Orderpage.] Information, directions, photographs and significance of all of the sites on PEI related to the Anne books, movies, and the author, L. M. Montgomery are detailed. Some of these are not included in the official Visitors' Guide. In addition to Green Gables itself, you will want to see Mrs. Rachel Lynde's house, Bright River station, Ingleside, the White Sands Hotel, L. M. Montgomery's Birthplace, her Cavendish Home, and many more sites. Allow about two hours at Green Gables if you want to take the walks in Lover's Lane and the Haunted Wood; other sites can be covered in about a half-hour or so.
When is thebest timeto visit PEI? July and August are the "high season" months when all sites are sure to be open; May and June, September and October are considered the "shoulder season" when major sites are likely to be open but may have reduced hours; some sites open around Memorial Day and close shortly after Labour Day. Hotels and other accommodations usually have reduced rates in the shoulder season. Spring flowers, including the fabulous displays of wild lupines, are usually blooming in mid- to late-June. Asters and goldenrod begin to bloom in August.
What kind ofclothing should I bring? PEI is very "laid back" and casual. Even in summer, a sweater or light jacket will usually be welcome after sunset (around 9:30 pm in summer); rain gear could come in handy, too -- remember, you are on an island with frequent weather changes! Summer temperatures are usually very comfortable -- the thermometer rarely goes above 90F/30C during the day and drops quickly after sundown. In spring and fall, you may need a warm jacket.
How muchtimeshould I allow to see PEI? Based on comments from visitors that I talk with each summer, three days would be a minimum for most people. A week or two would be ideal so that you can explore at your leisure. There is more to see and do than you would expect on this small island and most people wish they had stayed longer.
Have plenty of capacity in your camera because there are spectacular views around every bend.
Other PEI experiences you may want to take part in: Tim Horton's coffee shops, Dollarama stores, lobster suppers, seal-watching, deep-sea fishing, community festivals of all sorts, lighthouses, beaches, Acadian museums, golf, plays and musicals, Gateway Village at the foot of Confederation Bridge connecting PEI to New Brunswick, country churches, scenic rural and "heritage" roads
Don't miss any of the 'Anne' and L. M. Montgomery sights on your visit to PEI! Green Gables, of course (allow about 2 hours to see everything there); the Site of L. M. Montgomery's Cavendish Home; 'Bright River' Station; L. M. Montgomery's Birthplace; 'Silver Bush' - the Anne of Green Gables Museum; Dalvay-by-the-Sea; the Bideford Parsonage Museum, etc. For more information, consult the Special Commemorative Edition of The Anne of Green Gables Treasury.