It’s the heart of winter on Prince Edward Island—the time of year when we start dreaming of springtime sunshine, the sweet aroma of blossoms and the promise of shedding our winter attire for sandals and sundresses. Spring is still quite a ways off but with Valentine’s Day just two weeks away, love is in the air. It’s the perfect time to start planning a mid-winter romantic getaway to Charlottetown! Below are 10 fun ways to enjoy your Valentine’s Day in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island:
1. An unforgettable stay at one of Charlottetown’s best hotels. Charlottetown has many beautiful hotels, B&B’s and inns for your stay. If you are looking for a return to a quieter time, make a reservation at one of our many historic properties. If modern architecture and amenities is what you are looking for, be sure to browse our list of hotels. All of them are within a short distance of our wide diversity of ethnic and Canadian restaurants, pubs and live performance venues. For a list of hotels with special Valentine’s Day packages, click here.
2. Dinner out. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, and what better way to kick off your weekend getaway than a romantic meal with your love? One of the advantages of having an internationally renowned culinary institute in Charlottetown, and access to local farms and coastal fisheries is that no matter what are looking for, Charlottetown has you covered. If you want to try out our famous shellfish, make a reservation at the Claddagh House or The Merchantman. Sims Steakhouse will win the heart of any beef lover, and if you are looking for fusion cuisine, be sure to check out Terre Rouge Bistro Marche, The Lucy Maud Dining Room, Mavor’s and Water’s Edge Bar and Grill. If you want the authentic pub experience then The Gahan House, Hunters Ale House and The Old Triangle would be a great fit. Buono Mangia has you covered if you’re looking for Italian, and Cedars is a great spot for some authentic Lebanese fare. If you feel like combining dinner with some fun at Red Shores Casino, make a reservation at Top of the Park, overlooking the historic Charlottetown racetrack and Hillsborough River. Don’t see what you’re looking for? For a full list of all of our restaurants, visit our website. Whatever you settle on, don’t forget to pair your meal with a bottle of local wine or a chilled mug of PEI’s local ale!
3. Ice skating under a starry sky. The weather in Charlottetown has been a bit of a rollercoaster so far this winter, but the long-range forecast looks good for the City of Charlottetown to have enough time to get our outdoor rinks back up and running in time for Valentine’s Day. There are few things more fun than an evening skate under a crisp starry sky. For updates on the status of our city’s outdoor rinks, visit Their website.
4. Skiing/snowshoeing. Charlottetown has a number of shorter cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails that are perfect if you feel like getting outside for a few hours of fresh air and exercise, followed by hot drinks and dessert at one of our local cafes. You have three choices in town: the trails at Victoria Park, which are perfect if you feel like a shorter route that meanders in and out of a beautiful stand of snow-covered trees. If you do opt for Victoria Park, go in the evening and enjoy a spectacular show from thousands of crows that migrate into the park’s treetops at dusk. End your trip by taking in the sunset from the boardwalk across the street. The Belvedere Ski trail is a nice and easy 4km loop that circles around the Belvedere Golf Course, passing through a few stands of trees. (Images: http://www.trailpeak.com/trail-Belvedere-Golf-course-XC-ski-near-Charlottetown-PE-6620). Your third option in town is Beach Grove Trails.
If you feel like spending the whole day exploring some of our island’s longer cross-country trails or enjoying some downhill skiing, Brookvale Winter Activity Park is just a 30-minute drive from Charlottetown. For more information on PEI’s rural ski trails visit http://trailpeak.com/.
5. An afternoon on the town. Charlottetown has a great selection of shops selling locally made and one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find anywhere else. Pick up some aromatic, hand-made soap at Emmett & Ellie’s; check out the vintage clothing at the Green Man; browse some of Atlantic Canada’s finest records at Back Alley Music, or pick out a unique piece of jewelry at Moonsnail Soapworks, Nessya’s Gems & Jewels or Cordelia’s Artisan Boutique. Along the way be sure to stop in at Timothy’s for a hot drink; taste some hand-made artisan chocolates or chocolate-dipped potato chips at Anne of Green Gables Chocolates; sample olive oils and vinegars at Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive, and enjoy one of PEI’s famous COWS ice cream cones. Wrap up your day with dinner at one of our city’s many local restaurants!
6. Indulge in art. The Confederation Centre of the Arts is located in the heart of downtown Charlottetown, and houses Atlantic Canada’s largest Art Gallery. The gallery showcases the best of Canadian visual arts talent year-round. There are two ongoing exhibits showing at the Confederation Centre of the Arts Gallery, two more opening February 1st, and a fifth opening February 15th. The two ongoing shows are Early Drawings by Marcel Dzama: A series of drawings from the formative stage of Dzama’s career, demonstrating the development of his distinctive visual idiom; and Cold Pop: a selection of works that demonstrate how Canadian artists have responded to American pop culture, and the phenomenon of Pop Art. On February 1 two shows open: Chronicler of the North—illustrations and paintings by Arthur Heming, whose work depicting the Canadian North played a key role in defining the image of Canada; and In Transit: Artists on Locations—a 50th anniversary exhibition that features travel images in the Confederation Centre of the Art Gallery’s collection. If you’re in town for the weekend, join curator Pan Wendt on February 15th at 7pm for the official opening of Somewheres: A survey of the work of emerging contemporary artists living in the Maritimes and their engagement with the question of region.
7. Body bliss. Whether you are single or a pair, there is no better way to enjoy Valentine’s Day than to indulge in a full day of self-pampering. Sign up for a yoga class at Dynamic Fitness; book yourself a full body massage at one of our local spas, or treat yourself and go for a full body makeover so you look and feel your absolute best!
8. Don your chef’s hat. Join local chef Ilona Daniel for a Valentine’s Day cooking class on Thursday, February 13th from 6.30-8.30pm. For her Dinner of Love, Ilona will be demonstrating how to prepare maple and thyme roasted pear salad with organic arugula and goat’s cheese, with a maple balsamic vinaigrette; pan-seared pork tenderloin medallions with Parisian mushroom sauce, creamy asparagus and parmesan orzo pasta; and melting middle white chocolate cake with lime spiked berries to wrap things up on a sweet note! The class is just $18, and you get to sample everything prepared! Sign up here.
9. Music all the way. Prince Edward Island is known for its lively music scene. The challenge is not whether there is anything going on, but how many shows you can take in while you’re in town. If you’re in the mood for a full-on Valentine’s Day fiesta, get tickets to the Valentines Cabaret at The Mack for a night of music, fusion and romance. If you feel like sampling a number of different shows around town, the Buzz has an updated list of shows with local musicians and visiting bands.
10. Movie buffs. For the dinner and a movie fans, Charlottetown has two options: City Cinema is within easy walking distance of the downtown core, and caters to the more alternative, artistic film crowd. Cineplex Charlottetown is the larger cinema in town, and is just a five-minute drive from downtown. It features a handful of Hollywood blockbusters. Both theatres have copious amounts of buttery popcorn to enjoy while you snuggle with your date!
Blog cover photo by Jeff Cooke.