Many Canadian vacationers know Prince Edward Island as an old-fashioned, laid-back paradise with red sand beaches, delicious fresh seafood, and plenty to do for kids. The epicentre of family adventure is Cavendish, with Shining Waters Family Fun Park, Sandspit Amusement Park, the Cavendish Boardwalk, and of course, Cavendish Beach.
But what about those days when you need a break from the hustle and bustle?
If you’re on PEI this summer, and you’re searching for a chilled out day away from the action, consider spending the afternoon in the village of New Glasgow. Located just 10 minutes’ drive from Cavendish along the Central Coastal Drive, this small community (not to be confused with the larger town of New Glasgow in Nova Scotia!) has some truly delightful treasures for the day-tripper. Here are five of the best:
1. Prince Edward Island Preserve Company
The PEI Preserve Company is more than a tea shop, with a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, a gift store full of Dunoon pottery, and beautiful gardens with plenty of places to relax – or even have an afternoon nap. One thing that not every visitor realizes is that at the end of The Garden of Hope stands Respite Cottage, a “place of rest, hope and renewed spirit.” The converted chapel, which sleeps 6-7 people, is available free of charge, year-round, for those who have a life-threatening illness, or for caregivers suffering from compassion fatigue. As if tea, cakes, goodwill and beautiful gardens weren’t enough, another testament to the beauty of nature can be found in the onsite Butterfly House, open to visitors seasonally .
2. The Toy Factory
The Toy Factory has been going for over 45 years, selling a selection of high quality manufactured and hand-made toys. Stroll through the quaint fairy gardens, or visit the workshop where, if you are lucky, you might be able to craft a personalized wooden toy of your own. If you’re thinking this is just another toy store, check the Trip Advisor reviews. Most visitors can’t say enough about this place!
3. Glasgow Glen Farm Pizza
There’s a reason that Prince Edward Island is called “Canada’s Food Island”, and there’s no better example than Glasgow Glen Farm, a pizza restaurant and cheese factory run by Jeff McCourt, a chef, cookbook author, and former instructor at the esteemed Culinary Institute of Canada, a top chef school located in the capital, Charlottetown.
McCourt is totally passionate about his wood-fired oven and the delicacies that come out of it, including his own delicious recipe: Sweeza: sweet pizza with flavours such as coconut and roast pineapple, caramelized banana and hot fudge, or apple crisp and caramel. Nothing served here is ordinary or run-of-the-mill. Everything is delicious.
4. Glasgow Hills Golf Club
If golf is your thing, then New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island is a great place to be. Glasgow Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course that has earned a 4-star rating from Golf Digest, and is considered one of the 70 top golf courses in Canada, according to the Globe and Mail. Said to be a challenging course, it has beautiful views of both the River Clyde and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The club’s restaurant, Piper’s, serves a variety of pub-style fare.
5. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
You can’t leave PEI without feasting on a traditional lobster supper, so why not visit what some say was the first (and some say is still the very best) on the island? New Glasgow Lobster Suppers has been serving delicious lobster meals since 1958. To start, enjoy fresh PEI mussels or chunky homemade seafood chowder. For dessert, try the “mile high” lemon meringue pie. Kids 3 and under eat free!
The author is a regular visitor to beautiful Prince Edward Island, and on this occasion was a guest of Tourism PEI, which did not review or approve this article.