Let the Locals Lead

We asked local, Islanders what their favourite things to do were, favourite places to eat and spots to enjoy on PEI were and here’s what they suggested! Plan your Island itinerary by taking suggestions from the people that know it best!


Al Douglas:
 (Resident Hipster & Foodie)
a. What makes Charlottetown different? 
Charlottetown has so many things going for it. For a city of ~45,000, the arts, music, culture and restaurant scene is incredible. You can find all you want from a big city but within a small town vibe. 
b. What’s your favourite Charlottetown restaurant?
This is a tough one because I rarely eat at home. So many great choices – I’m going to have to pick two. Hopyard is great for their ever-changing menu (every two weeks their chef has a new list of tasty items) and their rotating beer list. 
c. What’s your favourite PEI, summertime activity? 
Easy. The beach. If you’re in downtown Charlottetown, you’re about 15 minutes away from world-class beaches with clean, white sand and warm water. I try to at least dip my toes in the ocean once a day between June-October. 
d. What’s your favourite local store or artisan? 
The Charlottetown Farmers Market. Open on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Summer, it’s a local hub of all things fresh. Art, pottery, local books, veggies, coffee, tea, lunch, snacks, etc. All you need. 
e. What’s your favourite PEI outdoor activity? 
Big fan of heading out to the woods and spending the day enjoying the fresh air. So many great trails within an hour drive of Charlottetown.


Ryan Merry & Emily Coffin:
(Locals Musicians and Cool Cats)
a. What makes Charlottetown different?
There’s nowhere quite like Charlottetown, and without a doubt, it’s the people that give it that uniqueness. It’s always full of friendly faces, all of whom are genuinely happy to see you. We also really love the sense of community and the support we all have for one another. Whether it’s beer, food, art, or just about anything else, the overwhelming amount of support among locals makes PEI such a warm and inviting place to be. 
b. What’s your favourite Charlottetown restaurant?
This one is probably best answered individually.
Emily: Oh, that’s a tough one! The food here is really good! Even as a vegan, there are tons of options. I think I’d have to say HopYard or Upstreet Craft Brewing are my favourites. I love that the menu at HopYard changes every two weeks, so you can always be trying something new, and I love the vibe (and the beer) at Upstreet.
Ryan: Charlottetown may not be very big, but the variety of food that’s available is unbelievable. I’d agree with Emily about HopYard and Upstreet, but I’d add Brickhouse for their constant creativity, Receiver Coffee for the best coffee around, and Hunter’s because they make you feel like family.
c. What’s your favourite PEI, summertime activity?
Definitely the abundance of sunny patios and live music all over the city! You can walk into just about any bar or restaurant and find someone playing live music, us included! (Look us up!)
d. What’s your favourite local store or artisan?
We’re always on the hunt for treasures and experiences that you can’t find at chains or big box stores. My Little Stash, located on the waterfront, is perfect for finding unique clothes and jewelry, selling pieces from so many talented local artisans. Also, you won’t find a better record store than Back Alley Music, keeping vinyl (and more) alive and well in Charlottetown. Finally, we spend time at Kinetic Fitness almost every single day, sweating it out with an incredible crew. There is no shortage of locally-owned shops, artisans, and businesses in Charlottetown. Pick a street and you’ll likely find something you’ve never seen before.
e. What’s your favourite PEI outdoor activity?
The easy answer is obviously the beach, especially Basin Head and those off the beaten path like Lakeside and Tracadie. We also do a lot of hiking. There are a number of really beautiful trails across the Island, and it’s a great way to escape the daily grind.

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Fran & Rupert Bruce 

(Retirees & Amazing People)

a. What makes Charlottetown different?

Fran says: I think it’s Charlottetown’s size, beauty and it’s history. Located on a beautiful harbour, it isn’t a big city but still a great spot to find wonderful restaurants, and entertainment. Confederation Center puts on high quality shows all year but even larger productions during the summer. Rupert and I have never missed a summer show there!  I also think tourists, whether it is a cruise ship visitor or a family coming over for a weekend, enjoy Charlottetown’s uniqueness and hospitality! Rupert and I love living so close to Charlottetown!
Rupert says: Charlottetown is different because of its small town charm.

b.What is your favourite Charlottetown restaurant?
Fran says: There are so many great restaurants like Merchant Man and Sims but my favourite is the Dundee because of its charming atmosphere.(It’s like eating in your own dining room) Good food and prices as well.
Rupert says: It is the Brickhouse for me. Great food!
c. What is your favourite PEI summer activity?
Fran says: This is an easy one for me. I love spending time at my cottage in Red Point and walking the beautiful beaches there. The Country Music Festival in Cavendish and camping used to be big favourites for me as well.
Rupert says: Golf
d.What is your favourite local store or artisan?
Fran says: Tough one because I love to shop and have many favourites but I do love Winners and Home Sense.  I also like the Riverview Country Market store on Riverside Drive where you can find Island beef and Island made foods. The Saturday Farmer’s Market on Belevedere is also a great spot to buy local!
Rupert says: Canadian Tire
e.What is your favourite PEI outdoor activity?
Fran says: In the summer I head for the beaches. In winter In winter I love to get outdoors and walk the Boardwalk.
Rupert says: Golf

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Stephanie & Matt MacMillan 

(Downtown Fans & Adventurers)

a. What makes Charlottetown different?

The intimacy of the city. Not to be cliché, but everybody knows everybody and as a result, there is common respect and friendliness amongst everyone!! We love Charlottetown not only for the people but its dynamics and the ability to hop off a boat cruise in the local harbour, walk to a patio for dinner and a drink of local craft beer, then head out to the beach that evening. It doesn’t get much better than that!

b. What’s your favourite Charlottetown restaurant?

The Merchantman, hands down. The food is amazing and offers something for everyone but my faves are the fresh oysters, BBQ ribs and the chicken curry. Matt likes everything! The Merch’s atmosphere is fun and upbeat. It’s got a pub, a dining area, an awesome patio and a new outdoor space for beanbag toss and giant Jenga! The drinks are also fresh and tasty! The HopYard is also a dandy spot to go!

c. What’s your favourite PEI, summertime activity?

Heading out to any beach on the North Shore with friends and family – any time of day. This summer we have been spending a lot of time at Dalvay Beach. We love that we can go for a walk up the beach and practically feel like we have the whole beach and the ocean to ourselves!! That beauty never gets old!! It’s wild that we can hop in our car, leave Charlottetown, and be sitting in the sand on one of the nicest beaches in the world in 20 minutes.

d. What’s your favourite local store or artisan?

Ohhh this is tough so I’ll have to mention a few of my favourite local stores. Moonsnail on Water Street sells incredible handmade soaps with quality ingredients. Green Eye Designs on Victoria Row is adorable and has all kinds of locally made jewellery and clothing – you can’t leave without picking up a little something for yourself! Finally, My Little Stash on the waterfront – they have great clothing that they don’t have anywhere else in PEI and it’s also a great place to buy gifts!

e. What’s your favourite PEI outdoor activity?

Easy, taking our 10-speed bikes for a tour around the many patios of Charlottetown on a sunny day, while taking in some local music on Vic Row….then taking a loop of Victoria Park and stopping in at Kiwanis Dairy Bar for a double scoop of ice cream! Watch out for my new bell on my bike and Matt’s new horn!