Are you a lover of warm and fuzzy or soft and snuggly? Get close to your animal brethren on Prince Edward Island (PEI), an awesome place for creature experiences of all kinds. And with the small size of the island, you could easily try them all over several days!
Here are a few of my favourite ways to connect with island animals and a few I’ve yet to try, like owning a racehorse for an evening.
It’s also worth noting that the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown hosts a free open house every year in September that includes things like: live animal demonstrations, a parade of dog breeds, farm animals, a teddy bear clinic, and much more.
At the Anne of Green Gables Museum in Kensington, climb aboard Matthew’s carriage for a ride. (But don’t confuse this with Green Gable Heritage Place in Cavendish, a national historic site and not to be missed.) Rides are for eight minutes, a half hour, or a full hour through the picturesque countryside. Carriages accommodate up to 5 people. Or you may chance upon a carriage in the capital city of Charlottetown for a clip clop about town.
Green Gables Alpaca Farm
How adorable are alpacas! I could just squish their frizzy foreheads. When I visited the Green Gables Alpaca Farm in Tyne Valley I was treated to a tour of the paddocks and introduced to the animals by name. Oh, that 7 day-old baby in the “nursery area” with her mom was the definition of cuteness.
Visit the animals, AND do some shopping for super soft alpaca products in the sweet Fiber House Boutique. I bought two pairs of fingerless gloves.
Horseback Trail Rides
This is a classic PEI activity for you horse lovers. Last year one of my daughters and I enjoyed a gentle ride through the woods and along red sandy beaches at Brudenell Riding Stables.
Another option is Circle T Trail Rides and here’s a cute clip of Kelly Ripa from television’s Regis and Kelly days back in 2010.
Wee ones might prefer a pony ride at Avonlea Village in Cavendish. It’s also a great place for dining and shopping.
The Great Canadian Soap Company
Go for the goats but stay for the goat milk products. At this popular attraction in Brackley Beach, it’s so much fun to watch the little white goats cavort in their outdoor pen. But don’t miss the gift shop where they’ve got a wide variety of soaps and other lovely products. I’m glad that I stocked up for tub time! Here’s more info at www.greatcanadiansoap.com.
In the national parks, provincial parks, on wildlife trails, the Confederation Trail, and all over the island you’ll have plenty of opportunities for bird watching. For more information on the species you’ll want to check off of your life list visit www.gov.pe.ca/birds/.
Red Fox sightings
Last year in Cavendish, my daughter and I chanced upon about six foxes at the side of the road. We weren’t the only ones pulling over for the photo opportunity. Apparently, it’s a common sighting. For more information on the island’s red fox population visit www.princeedwardisland.ca.
Island Hill Farm
Island Hill Farm in Hampshire, is a working goat dairy farm and popular PEI tourist attraction for animal enthusiasts. If you want to get right in with the animals it can get messy underfoot, if you know what I mean, but there’s an array of boots in all sizes for guests to borrow as desired. Or, just tread carefully. Along with the goats, I saw bunnies, hens, kittens, and a mule. The best part was standing out in the field in the glorious PEI sunshine alongside goats and alpacas. Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IslandHillFarm/.
Own a racehorse for an evening
I just heard about this one last year and it’s on my bucket list now. Harness racing has been around for 150 years on the island, and it sounds like quite an experience to enjoy the action as a temporary horse owner! Find out more at www.experiencepei.ca/owner-for-an-evening.
And finally, I don’t know how we missed this one but on my next visit I’m definitely going to check it out. Buffalo Land?! Apparently there is a growing herd of buffalo (as well as white tail deer) in this provincial park.
For all the information that you’ll need to plan a visit to Prince Edward Island, be sure to visit www.tourismpei.com
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