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Posts tagged ‘things to do in Charlottetown’

Celebrate Canada Day in Charlottetown, Where it all Began

The coming long weekend promises to be filled with lots of red, white, maple leafs and national pride, as we celebrate the birth of Canada on July 1st. As the Birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown is the perfect place to get your fill of fireworks, patio drinks, BBQs, live music and other celebratory indulgences.   Here are just a few colourful and Canadian-inspired ways to fill up your weekend:

Take in The Young Company’s Free Musical

Canada Day marks the debut of  The Young Company’s 2016 showThe Voices of Canada, a 50-minute exploration of Canada’s rich cultural mosaic and heritage. Head to the Confederation Centre of the Arts open-air amphitheatre for this free musical and prepare to be mesmerized as some of the brightest emerging performers from across Canada present this high-energy celebration, weaving song, dance and legend into a stunning kaleidoscope of movement and colour. Show starts at noon and runs daily from Monday through Saturday (July 1st to August 20th, 2016)

 

Young Company

 

Check Out the Canada Day Activities at Victoria Park

Victoria Park will be buzzing all day and well into the evening on July 1st, as the City of Charlottetown hosts a slew of free and family-friendly Canada Day activities starting at 11.30am and ending with the always much-anticipated fireworks display at 10pm. A 10-hour concert starting at noon will keep audiences of all ages entertained, while face painting, horse & wagon rides, a petting zoo and plenty more are will ensure the kids are kept busy! Food vendors will also be on-site, so bring your appetite.

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Canada Day

Join the Brakish! Canada Day Keg Party

For many Canadians, celebrating the nation’s birth goes hand-in-hand with enjoying a nice, cold beer or two.  This year, the waterfront eatery Brakish will be hosting a Canada Day Keg Party, complete with live music, BBQ food and the chance to sample 14 craft beers. Best of all, you’ll be able to enjoy your bevies while lounging in their new Brak’Yard, an outdoor grassy area alongside their patio – perfect for wiling away the hours people-watching and spending time with good friends.

Brakish!

Immerse Yourself in The Story of Confederation

The Story of Confederation offers visitors the opportunity to experience Province House in Prince Edward Island National Historic Site and the Charlottetown Conference while Province House is closed for conservation work. The Upper Foyer of the Confederation Centre of the Arts has been transformed into a stunning replica of the historic Confederation Chamber where the Fathers of Confederation met during the Charlottetown Conference. Check out the film ‘Building a Destiny’ and learn more about the role Charlottetown played in Confederation.

Free Admission. Open Mon – Sat (9am to 5pm) and Sundays (12pm to 5pm)

 Confederation Centre of the Arts

Have a Canada Day Picnic

If you’re looking to get away from it all for a couple of hours, why not pack a picnic basket full of goodies and head to one of the City squares or to a nearby beach.  Pick up delicious lunch fare at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market, Leonhard’s Cafe Riverview Market, Receiver Coffee Co. or another food purveyor. And don’t forget to bring along a sweet treat – Cows Chips are a favourite amongst locals, though they melt quickly so you may need to eat them before the rest of your lunch!

Picnic

Take a Walking Tour 

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie or simply want to learn a bit more about Charlottetown by traveling on foot, there’s a walking tour  just for you.  Join up with the Confederation Players, a troupe of bilingual costumed Canadians trained as the Fathers and Ladies of Confederation, for an entertaining and informative stroll through historic downtown Charlottetown. If you’re a foodie at heart, you may want to treat your tastebuds to a culinary walking tour of Charlottetown with Experience PEI  - you’ll get a taste of history amidst the seafood, beer and other samples too!

Confed Players

And no matter how you spend the upcoming Canada Day long weekend, be sure you take time to visit Sir John A. MacDonald’s statue on the corner of Queen St and Richmond and bid him a good day. After all, he’s the most famous Father of Confederation and Canada’s first Prime Minister.

Sir John A

Happy Canada Day!

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Top 10 Things to Do in Charlottetown on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we’ve put together a list of 10 great ways to celebrate the mom(s) in your life in Charlottetown!

1.     Spa It Up!

Make your mom feel like a million dollars with a visit to Grand Senses Spa, where she can try an aquatherapy bed, get a new hairstyle or make an appointment for the ultimate luxury, a fusion stone massage.

2.     Brunch on the Waterfront

Brunch is a quintessential part of any Mother’s Day celebration and Water’s Edge Resto Bar & Grill will be pulling out all the stops to make it an unforgettable meal for mom.  With a massive buffet offering that will feature everything from Belgian waffles to roast turkey to PEI mussels, there’ll be no worries about menu selection or waiting for your meal to arrive (translation: more time to eat!).

 3.     Show Your Love with Chocolate Treats

Chocolate is the best friend of moms everywhere! Sweeten her day with a gorgeous gift basket from Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, filled with irresistible delights including Cows chips (chocolate-covered potato chips!) and Chocolate Sweeties (brown sugar fudge covered in milk chocolate).

Moms

4.     Experience Historic Elegance on the North Shore

Take a leisurely drive out to picturesque Dalvay-By-The-Sea, just 15 minutes from town, and indulge in a delightful Mother’s Day brunch while soaking up the North Shore’s stunning vista. Their menu offers a wide selection of options including brunch classics like Eggs Benedict, sea-inspired dishes such as an Atlantic Lobster BLT, and twists on breakfast fare such as Banana Battered French Toast.

5.     Enjoy an Impromptu Photo Shoot at the Harbour

A morning walk along Charlottetown’s colourful waterfront is a must if your mom loves the outdoors. Bring a camera (or your phone!) to snap sweet and goofy pics of the family as meander your way from Founder’s Hall to the Delta and beyond.

Family on the Waterfront

6.    Celebrate the Arrival of Lobster Season

Here on PEI, no Mother’s Day is truly complete until a lobster dinner has been devoured. For a traditional lobster dinner and brilliant water views, make a reservation at Lobster on the Wharf - the children’s menu and expansive deck make it the perfect place for family dining . For more elaborate lobster dishes (think lobster poutine, lobster lollipops and lobster gnocchi to name a few) and fare from the land, the Row House Steak & Lobster Co. on Victoria Row is a must.

 7.     Give Her the Gift of Music & Live Theatre

If musicals are your mom’s thing, surprise her with tickets to see Mamma Mia!at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in June – tuck them in a bouquet of fresh spring flowers and, if the kids are game, channel your inner-ABBA and delight her with a preview show!

 8.     There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Brunch!

Eating is definitely a big part of Mother’s Day in Charlottetown, so it’s no surprise the restaurateurs have created amazing offerings for this special Sunday. One brunch-alicious option in downtown Charlottetown you’ll want to check out is The Brickhouse Kitchen & Bar. With a love for local, they’ll be serving up an all-day brunch bursting with options for the whole family. Importantly, there’s also a selection of brunch-friendly cocktails to keep Mom hydrated – mmmmm is for mimosas!

9.     Discover Your Artistic Talents Together

Fancy taking your mom to one of Charlottetown’s coolest new events? Piatto Pizzeria,well-known for their scrumptious Neopolitan-style pizza, will be hosting a special Mother’s Day edition of Art After Dark.  No need for any background in painting, as a seasoned artist will guide everyone in creating a gorgeous image while sipping drinks and having a grand time. Typically an evening affair, this Mother’s Day edition will start at 1PM.

 10.     Sit Back and Enjoy Mighty Fine Brews

Beer after brunch – perhaps it’s time to start a new tradition? If Mom appreciates a good craft brew, pop into Upstreet Craft Brewing or PEI Brewing Co. for a leisurely afternoon beverage. For moms that love sipping wine rather than beer, tickets to the upcoming Festival of Wines at the Eastlink Centre are sure to be a hit.

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5 Ways to Get Active in Charlottetown This Winter

Charlottetown Parks and Rec team lays down their top tips for staying energized all season long

By Christopher Drummond

Despite what the weather dramatics out there have been reporting lately,  Charlottetown is indeed alive and well—even after the copious amounts of snow that has been dumped on us this winter. But the silver lining of all of this snow (once it’s been cleaned up and managed, of course), is that it opens the doors to a wide variety of winter activities in the capital city, many of which are the secret to maximizing your time in Charlottetown once the temperatures start to drop.

1. TAKE A WINTERY ROMP

Jack-Frost-2014The Charlottetown Parks and Recreation Department maintains a number of walking trails within the city during the winter. Two very popular trails are the Confederation Trail and Victoria Park boardwalk. But remember: winter can be unpredictable, and although we try our best to clear the snow and ice on the trails, we encourage folks to use caution and take their time when being physically active in the winter. The last thing we would want is someone to fall and get hurt!

2. SHARPEN THOSE BLADES

Outdoor Hockey In CharlottetownAnother popular activity in Charlottetown is ice skating. In ideal winter conditions (i.e., consistent temperatures of -10°C or below), the Parks and Recreation Department constructs and maintains about seven outdoor rinks each winter in a variety of locations throughout the city. Their sizes can vary and so can the number of users. For example, East Royalty offers an outdoor rink for hockey with boards, nets and a light for evening play. And if you drop by on Sunday afternoons, they have a designated free family skate time from 2-4pm. Meanwhile In the downtown core, Founder’s Hall outdoor rink at the bottom of Pownal Street appeals to all kinds of users—whether it’s a game of pick-up hockey or just a relaxing skate, everyone can enjoy this rink. But be sure to bundle up down there  because it gets a little chilly that close to the water. Other popular rinks include: J. Bomber Callaghan Park in Hillsborough (also good for pick-up hockey or recreational skating), Orlebar and Centennial rinks (recreational skating).

Current Outdoor Rink Conditions  |  Indoor Rinks Schedules

3. CATCH A GAME

Charlottetown is also home to many great sporting events and activities in the winter. The University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College are great places to catch sporting events. The Charlottetown Islanders Quebec Major Junior team and the Island Storm of the National Basketball League draw huge crowds at the EastLink Centre as well. Of course, there are lots of other free sports to watch in our local arenas and gymnasiums in Charlottetown.

4. WORK IT OUT

Yoga in Charlottetown PEIFor those more inclined to sweat things out at the gym, Charlottetown is full of many fitness classes and gyms that you could sign up with. And whether it’s a deep yoga stretch you’re looking for or a high intensity interval workout, there are many businesses that offer drop-in classes and discounted packages for new members. So throw those excuses to the curb and watch the difference regular physical activity can do for your overall energy levels.

5. WHEN IN DOUBT, PLAY

Charlottetown-SnowshoeingAnd finally, just getting outside into the great outdoors will do wonders to fend off that cabin fever. Try reliving your childhood days by building a snow fort or challenge your neighbours to a snowball fight—that is when you’re done shovelling one another out, anyway. Snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing are also great options. Whatever you choose to do, just be sure to dress for the elements and bring a hot drink to stay warm for longer lengths of time.

Most importantly, have fun!

For more information on City of Charlottetown activities, feel free to contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 902-368-1025 or check out our Program Brochure that lists all sorts of other activities for all ages.

Additional Links:  Brookvale Provincial Ski Park Cross Country Skiing Maps  |  Cross Country Ski Trail Conditions

 

Christopher Drummond is a graduate of the Recreation and Leisure Studies program at UNB and for the past ten years has worked as the Assistant Program Coordinator with the Charlottetown Parks and Recreation Department. As a parent with a young family (three children ages 1,3 & 6) Christopher has quite a bit of experience in “playing outside”.

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An Insider’s Guide to Winter in Charlottetown

The best food, shopping, sightseeing, arts & culture, and activities in PEI’s quaint capital

By Ellen Egan

Sure, we all know island summer has been ranked as Mother Nature’s favourite season for the last 1,000 years running, but I’ve come to believe that winter on Prince Edward Island has been severely underrated for far too long—especially if you happen to be staying in our downtown core.

I’ll admit, however, that it took a couple of years living abroad to realize this and truly appreciate the quaint city I’m lucky enough to call home. But after spending the past two winters living in the heart of downtown Charlottetown, I’ve grown to appreciate how the peace and quiet of winter (spontaneous snow day, anyone?) balances off with the town’s arts, food and entertainment scene—keeping locals and visitors alike buzzing from morning ‘til night.

Now, to help you sort through all the action, I’ve compiled a handy-dandy guide to making the most out of your next visit to our beloved capital city.

EATING & DRINKING

1. Indulge in local fare

Dining in CharlottetownAs home to some of the finest natural bounty in the world and the celebrated Culinary Institute of Canada, Charlottetown is a foodie haven—no matter what time of the year it happens to be. In fact, many top notch restaurants stay open for lunch and dinner during the winter months. And not to worry, the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market is still the place to be on a Saturday morning.

Since I tend to stay within waddling distance of home when going out to eat, a few personal favourites within the downtown core are Terre Rouge Bistro Marche for its use of fresh, local products and savoury combinations, Sims Corner Steakhouse for its fabulous Island beef program, and Sirenella’s Ristorante definitely takes the cake for some seriously drool-inducing Italian fare. And before we know it, April will soon be here and you know what that means: Burger Love! Oh yes, the month-long campaign that promotes island beef and sees our many chefs competing for the role of reigning champion is just around the corner. My waistband feels tighter already.

2. Discover your favourite watering hole

Charlottetown-local-pubsLike a warm hug, you’ll inevitably want to tuck into the inviting atmosphere of many of our local pubs at various points during your stay. The authentically British pub, Churchill Arms, offers a variety of delicious curries and is where many locals can be found hollering trivia answers over pints of lager on Saturday afternoons. And for those who like a side of live music with their cold brew, you’ll find local musicians playing evening acoustic sets at popular spots like the Gahan House, Marc’s Studio (above The Brickhouse), The Old Triangle and Next Door (beside Merchantman).

3. Bring on the java

I’m especially fond of this next one, particularly on chilly days when I want a cozy place to meet friends, Charlottetown Caferead a book, or get some work done. The newest kid on the café scene happens to be my absolute favourite—Receiver Coffee Company (in the former Cafe Diem location on Victoria Row)—which, in my opinion, is doing a swell job of roasting Third Wave coffee and serving the most tempting breakfast and lunch options in town. For an extra dose of charm, I like to head to Leonard’s Café on University Ave. for a healthy and delicious lunch. Their baked goods are also to die for—just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

4. Learn the art of beer making (and drinking)

PEI-Brewing-Company-in-CharlottetownIf you’re looking to find out where a lot of the tasty craft beer comes from that’s served at many of our restaurants, look no further than the PEI Brewing Company at 96 Kensington Road. Here, you can actually tour the facility for yourself and find out how the raw ingredients eventually end up as the refreshing pint you’ll be dying to try after the tour. The brewery is also home to a large event space, which sees many events roll through, like Art Battle, a live, competitive painting competition taking place monthly and drawing huge crowds.

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

5. Embrace the great outdoors

Charlottetown-Outdoor-RinkWe’re really lucky that island winters still stay bright and sunny, seeing approximately 22 days of sunshine during the colder months, even in January and February. So outdoor activities are totally doable, and a simple walk does wonder for the mind and body. Just beyond the quaint streets of Charlottetown are two popular walking trails: the Confederation Trail and Victoria Park boardwalk. And for a little ice skating action, head south towards the harbour at lower Prince Street where you’ll find the Founder’s Hall rink—a favourite ice skating spot for locals and visitors alike. For those with the kiddies in tow, the annual Jack Frost Festival takes place February 27th to March 1st, and offers a selection of both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family.

6. Walk back in time

John A Walk back in timeLiving just a couple of blocks from Great George Street, I find it’s easy to take the many historic sites (and sights) for granted. But one structure that continues to amaze me is Saint Dunstan’s Basilica—from steeples to steps, the 100+ year old building just reeks of history and old world glory. Closer to Victoria Park and overlooking Rochford Square is All Soul’s Chapel on All Soul’s Lane. Built in 1888 of Prince Edward Island sandstone in the High Victorian Gothic style of architecture, it was design by architect William Critchlow Harris and its interior walls feature paintings by his brother, Robert Harris. Not far from there on the corner of Kent and West street is Beaconsfield Historic House, which brings back plenty of nostalgia from my days spent visiting it as a child. It’s a fine example of Victorian architecture open year-round with many original features intact and a fascinating story to tell.

7. Get your sweat on!

Yoga in Charlottetown PEIFor those planning an extended trip, you may be interested in a bit of exercise at some point during your stay—especially after all of that eating and drinking you’ll have been doing, right? To cure what ails you, drop into a hot yoga class at Moksha Yoga near Founder’s Hall or hop on a spin bike at Dynamic Fitness on Queen Street. If exercise isn’t quite what you had in mind, you can get your sweat on via the dance floor at any one of our live music venues. I’m particularly fond of Hunter’s Ale House on Kent and Baba’s Lounge on University for their steady stream of talented East Coast musicians.

ARTS & CULTURE

8. Release your inner art enthusiast

Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown PEIBy the time you’ve finished hiking our trails and sampling our local fare, you might be ready to admire the handiwork of some of Canada’s prolific artists. I suggest checking out some of our art galleries in the downtown core. Home to the largest Robert Harris Collection in the world, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery proudly displays the work of Canadian historical, modern and contemporary artists. I especially look forward to PEI painter Heather Millar’s solo exhibition, Heather Millar: Second Chances, which opens on February 7th. And just across the street on the corner of Queen and Richmond, it’s worth popping into the Gallery at The Guild (lower level), which displays self-curated exhibitions by many talented artists from all disciplines.

9. When in doubt, catch a show

Confederation Centre of the Arts Charlottetown PEIAnother great option for when the weather is truly miserable is catching a flick at either one of our two theatre options. Appealing to your artistic side, City Cinema is right in the heart of downtown and offers a variety of independent films that don’t always hit the big screen. Cineplex Charlottetown is the larger cinema in town, just a five-minute drive from downtown, and features a handful of Hollywood blockbusters. For live entertainment, Confederation Centre of the Arts’ winter programming, Live at the Centre, offers live music, theatre, and comedy on PEI’s finest stages from October until May. The Guild, on the other hand, offers a more intimate experience and remains a hub of activity for various styles of performances.

SHOPPING

10. Find that special token

Charlottetown's Green Eye DesignThere’s nothing I love more than finding a unique treasure from a new place to keep the memories fresh when I return back home. Added bonuses go to those with killer back stories—like an artisan I met in Santorini, Greece, who custom-made a beautiful bracelet for me in less than 20 minutes. Those are the sorts of memories that really stick with you. And Charlottetown happens to be full of charming boutiques—yes, even in the winter—that have the best characters waiting to welcome you and swap stories. A few shops I can’t resist include: Moonsnail (the best soaps and treasures), Cordelia’s Artisan Boutique (such beautiful pottery), Overman Jewellery & Art (crazy unique pieces…now moved to a new location at 54 University Avenue), and ColourBlind (Cutest. Dresses. Ever).

And if all else direction fails, don’t be shy to ask a local for assistance. Trust me, they’ll be more than willing to help. You never know, it could even be yours truly you run in to…

Have fun!

 

Ellen Egan is a freelance writer, editor and curator who was born and raised in Charlottetown, PEI, and is happy to have returned just in time to see it blossom and thrive before her very eyes. You can see more samples of her work at www.ellenegan.com.

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10 Best Places in Charlottetown to Photograph on Your Next Visit

 

 

 

 

This city has so much character it’s inspiring. I remember walking around Charlottetown on my lunch hours when I first moved here and being so thrilled at the realization that I never had to leave. It’s an absolutely beautiful place with so much style and character, and it’s filled with awesome photo ops. Here are my top 10 best places in Charlottetown to photograph on your next visit:

10. Victoria Park Boardwalk

On summer evenings when the sun is setting and the light is beautiful and warm you can see the cruise ships sailing back to sea. It’s absolutely breathtaking and will stop you in your tracks. The boardwalk is lined with huge, red Island stones and is a favourite for picture taking. Take a walk along the water, stop at the cannons, and then head down to the lighthouse. It’s a great spot, relax on the benches and watch the world go by.

Victoria Park

9. Great George Street

Gorgeous Great George Street begins at the Historic Charlottetown Waterfront and ends at Province House and offers many photo ops in between. Saint Dunstan’s Basilica is a must. From steeples to steps, no matter where the sun is, it is fabulous to photograph. There are also 100+ year old buildings with so much character, and horse drawn carriages. It’s a very beautiful area that will almost take you back in time, it’s just beautiful.

St.DunstainsBasillica

8. Peake’s Quay

Peake’s Quay is another must on your list. In the summer, there’s always so much going on. You can see cruise ships from the Historic Charlottetown Seaport, visit Confederation Landing, check out the sailboats, take a fun photo next to the COWS statue, and more. There’s always something fun to photograph.

Peakes Quay

7. Confederation Centre of the Arts

There’s a whole lot of talent going on! The Confederation Centre of the Arts has great outdoor lunch time shows all summer, our awesome Island musicians fill the air with beautiful music, and you might even catch Anne.

Confederation Centre

6. Victoria Row

The Sir John A. Macdonald bench at the entrance to Victoria Row is a huge favourite for taking pictures. EVERYONE takes a photo of that bench. So have a seat and have some fun with it. Victoria Row is gorgeous, filled with terraces and beautiful old architecture. The street is closed to traffic in the summer so it’s a great spot to photograph. There’s live music and a street fountain, which makes for really great shots as well.

Sir John A

5. Queen Street

Queen Street is filled with storefronts, restaurants, signage, and street art that make fantastic photographs. One of my favourites is the fish outside the Dominion Building next to The Guild.

Queen St

4. Hillsborough Bridge Cormorants

I still remember my very first visit to Prince Edward Island. As we drove from the Charlottetown Airport to Stratford over the Hillsborough Bridge I remember seeing these crazy-funky birds basking in the sun on the old bridge posts. I thought those cormorants were so cool and I remember it so vividly. I still think their cool and love photographing them.

Charlottetown Harbour

3. Province House

Province House is a piece of history that can’t be missed. Both the front and back of the building are fabulous for photographing, there’s a fountain and our beautiful Cenotaph.

Charlottetown Province House

2. Red Shores Racetrack

Want to get some really great photos? The Red Shores Racetrack is a must. One of my absolute favourite places to photograph, harness racing is a huge part of Island culture. You can go during the day when they’re out jogging the horses. The drivers are so nice they will look at you with a friendly nod as they go by. Friendliness is also a huge part of Island culture. I think that’s a big part of why people love coming here.

Charlottetown Driving Park

1. The Little Things

My favourite way to photograph this beautiful city? Well honestly, it’s to put down the big camera and heavy gear, grab my iPhone and just go for a walk on my lunch hour. It’s the little things that I love most and this town is filled with them. It’s part of what makes this city so beautiful. I love this place. I hope you get out there and enjoy our beautiful city too. Rain or shine take a walk outside, enjoy the beauty and Discover Charlottetown.

Charlottetown Pictures


 

Heather Ogg is a commercial photographer specializing in food photography, portraiture, tourism and lifestyle photography.

Visit heatheroggphotography.com.

Heather Ogg

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Chef Ilona’s Foodie Tour of Charlottetown

Charlottetown is a foodie destination with a lively story. Spend a weekend savouring our historic capital and our from-the-heart hospitality!

To begin your weekend foodie getaway, make your way to the Culinary Institute of Canada, to participate in a Culinary Boot Camp. Learn the tricks of the trade with internationally renowned chefs, in state-of-the-art kitchens. Local oysters, honey, potatoes, beef, pork, beer, wine, and even moonshine are just some of the many premium Island ingredients you can expect to work with during your Culinary Boot Camp hands-on, or demo class experiences.

Holland College Culinary Bootcamps

Holland College Culinary Bootcamps

Make some room for a little snack by walking over to the Historic Charlottetown Waterfront; there you’ll find Steamers Boathouse. They offer simply prepared steamed mussels, and clams. It’s hard to beat the freshness of the shellfish, and combined with the al fresco seating overlooking the Hillsborough river makes for an authentic Maritime experience.

For your evening’s selection, check out one of Charlottetown’s newest dining hot spots, Piatto. Piatto specializes in traditional, and ultra-authentic Neopolitan pizza. The woodburning oven is maintained at a constant 900 degrees, and cooking a pizza from start to finish happens in a mindblowing 90 seconds. The décor is playful and makes some interesting decorative focal points using repurposed industrial pieces. The ambiance is relaxed, friendly, and casual, making a wonderful way to leisurely enjoy an evening.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Sunday is an optimal opportunity to experience a myriad of local eats all within the core of historic downtown Charlottetown. The open air Downtown Farmer’s Market kicks off at 11:00 am, and there are several food vendors offering an array of cultural eats for you to nosh on. You’ll also find local farmers, and artisans with their products available for purchase along with great stories and smiles all around.

Afterwards, make your way to the warmly contemporary Claddagh Oyster House on Sydney Street. The staff is well-versed on all things oyster and are happy to share their knowledge in pairing wines with our world famous oysters.

Any foodie adventure to Charlottetown would not be complete without a PEI Lobster Roll. Stroll down to Founder’s Hall, and tucked within its walls, you’ll find Dave’s Lobster. Dave’s is a come as you are, lobster shack decorated with punches of red and white, and additionally serves Prince Edward Island Brewing Company Beer on tap. A generously stuffed lobster roll, with a sudsy pint of local brew, and a relaxed patio is a spectacular way to enjoy the afternoon.

Sims Corner

Sims Corner

Round out your day, by finishing with a meal at the luxuriously appointed Sims Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. The lively, upscale casual atmosphere typifies the steakhouse experience, and to make certain you get the most variety of their offerings, allow your server to recommend the best dishes to share. The PEI Beef Steak Bread is not to be missed.

Charlottetown is picturesque, and pedestrian friendly; eat, stroll, and savour our city again, and again!

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Chef Ilona Daniel, Executive Chef Holland College Culinary Boot Camps, Freelance Food Writer, Founder, Tribe Fresh Catering & Consulting, Foodie Writer G! Magazine Twitter: @chef_ilona Instagram:@poachedheaven

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The Art of Patioing

By Katie Smith

When I was asked to write a piece about “patioing”, I immediately thought I had to write about how to build a deck. I was a little hesitant, as deck building isn’t on my list of specialized skills. Upon further explanation, however, I learned that patioing has a whole different meaning and is a trend that continues to grow around Charlottetown each summer.

The art of patioing is socializing with friends and loved ones on the patio of a restaurant or pub. Yet it can be so much more. No matter where you walk in downtown Charlottetown, it seems there’s a patio filled with Islanders and visitors. And if you are right downtown, you will enter a live, upbeat sphere of music, conversation and great food and drinks called Victoria Row.

Located on Richmond Street, “the Row,” as it’s known to Islanders, is home to a variety of shops, restaurants with indoor/outdoor dining and most importantly, atmosphere. In the warm summer months, the street is bumping. Whether it’s live music you crave, delicious Island fare to taste or if you are simply looking for somewhere nice to sit outside and have a few pops with friends, look no further than Victoria Row.

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse

If you are looking for a pub to have a few pints but still want to enjoy the sunshine, The Old Triangle Irish Ale House has a large deck that fills up fairly quickly during the sunny weekend afternoons where you’re sure to have a laugh and take in some live traditional Irish tunes. Enjoy a thunder mug of beer on the patios at Hunter’s Ale House. This venue, both day and night, is filled with happy people having a great time. Often when I’ll walk by Hunter’s someone will yell my name and invite me in for a beer and conversation. Naturally, I oblige. I wouldn’t want to be rude, after all!

Perhaps what you’re looking for is somewhere to take a date, somewhere a little more fine dining, Sim’s Steakhouse has a nice patio and ambiance with comfortable seating and a top-of-the-line menu.

Sims Patio Queen Street Charlottetown PEISims Patio Queen Street Charlottetown PEI

Sim’s Steakhouse

One of the newest patios is Brakish! (it’s what water is called when fresh water meets ocean water-I looked it up). Brakish! is tucked away behind the Delta at Peake’s Wharf and offers yet another great place to take a breather and taste some local brew.

Brakish!

Brakish!

With more and more patios going up around Charlottetown, the art of “patioing” has become an increasingly popular way to socialize in the summer. Perhaps this is because we get through the cold winter months by looking forward to a warm breeze and sunny day. So once the snow melts and the patios are out in full swing, you will see many happy faces laughing and enjoying life.

Give patioing a try; it might just become your new favourite summer activity. I know it’s mine. Cheers!

 

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Katie Smith was born and raised in Charlottetown where she currently lives doing media sales and writing part-time. She loves driving around and taking all the beautiful sights and sounds. Facebook: Katie Smith

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A Weekend Stay-cation in Charlottetown, PEI

Summer on Prince Edward Island is definitely the most relaxing time of year for my husband and I. Don’t get me wrong – there are benefits to skiing, tobogganing and other outdoor activities throughout the winter months but winter is often just, so, very, long! So when the weather begins to warm up and we decide we want a break from work and school, a weekend stay-cation in Charlottetown is the perfect way to unwind.

Weekend accommodation is best spent at The Great George Hotel. Situated comfortably on a quiet street downtown, the hotel is a peaceful retreat appropriate for couples looking for a luxurious get-away. Its convenient location also places you close to Charlottetown’s historical sites, the beautiful waterfront, cafés, pubs, and many restaurants.

Receiver Coffee Co

Receiver Coffee Co

For a delicious cappuccino or espresso, you should check out Receiver Coffee on Victoria Row. The service is excellent and is one of the newest cafes in Charlottetown.

Another benefit is that the café is located a stone’s throw away from the Art Gallery at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Historical and contemporary exhibits by Canadian artists are always pleasing at the Art Gallery. You can take in many different mediums including painting, sculptures, photography and more. In particular, be sure to check out the work of the iconic Islander Robert Harris.

In addition to admiring some of Charlottetown’s art collection, a stroll by the waterfront is a favourite activity for my husband and I. Peake’s Wharf is an exciting place to be on weekends. Often the area is buzzing with tourists, and there are a number of shops to explore. On really busy days you will find 1, 2, or even 3 large cruise ships docked nearby! You can grab an ice cream from the infamous COWS, check out some cool finds at the How Bazaar store, and then take in live music playing in the main square. Indeed there is a lot to see and do at Peake’s Wharf.

Peake's Wharf

Peake’s Wharf

Finally as your day is coming to an end, a quiet dinner at Sim’s Corner Steakhouse and Oysterbar is a must. Serving the best steak in Charlottetown with the most delicious red wine, you will not be disappointed by the restaurant’s signature menu and charming ambience. For larger groups there is even the option of booking out a private dining room for your enjoyment. In fact, last year my husband and I used Sims’ private dining room and bar area to tie-the-knot in front of a large group of family and friends.

Our Wedding at Sims

Our Wedding at Sims

Without a doubt Charlottetown has a lot to offer couples of any age, type, and background. This friendly city is guaranteed to make you feel welcome and accepted as you spend your time exploring. My husband and I invite you to come and see how wonderful our city is!
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Bobby Cameron is a policy analyst in Charlottetown. Him and his husband Lucas enjoy taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. Twitter: @btrcameron Blog: htp://bobbycameron.net

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Exploring Charlottetown by foot

Two days ago myself and a friend took an evening walk down Queen street, admiring shop windows and the golden evening light that falls in shafts down streets and alleys, and tumbles down through the now full, vibrantly green leafy branches of lindens, oaks, and ash trees that line Charlottetown’s streets. Most shops have hanging flower baskets above their entrances that are overflowing with brightly coloured blossoms. We passed a busker who enthusiastically shared his guitar tunes on the street corner, and watched tourists from all over the world wander leisurely along as if in a euphoric daze, licking melting ice-cream cones from Cows. On Victoria Row the cafes and restaurants were filled with the laughter of diners speaking every language imaginable while enjoying fresh seafood and local steak, live music and the cool breeze that blows off the water in the evenings. Wandering down to Peakes Quay a long line of boats bobbed rhythmically in the marina, a couple just heading out for an evening sail. Diners on the deck above were enjoying the view of the harbour, and many children were entertaining themselves by climbing on top of the giant COWS ice cream mascot that stands in the square. A musician set up his equipment and started performing while we made our way down to the waterfront and got ice cream cones of our own. We stopped and watched the children dance on the grass while their parents rested at one of the many picnic tables and enjoyed the live music and harbour views.

What struck us was the breathtaking beauty and vibrancy of Charlottetown at this time of year. For a small laid back town it really does have the feel of a much larger city, and there is so much to enjoy outdoors that it really is hard to do everything that our city offers in just a few days. Those of us who live here have plenty of time to fit it all in, but if you are visiting we thought you might like some tips on outdoor experiences that you definitely do not want to miss while in Charlottetown. Our list was a little too long to cover in one blog post, so I thought I would break them down and share our top three below:

1. Victoria Row

Victoria Row transforms from a pretty ordinary one way street open to traffic in the winter time into a happening pedestrian-only thoroughfare that features two art galleries, a handful of restaurants, a café, dance school, coffee shop, a leather store, hand made arts and crafts stores, a sweater store, and of course, the Anne of Green Gables gift store! Live musicians perform in the afternoons and evenings, and the street has hosts the Victoria Row Concert Series, which has featured well known performers such as Joel Plaskett and Matt Mays! Though not technically located on Victoria Row, if you are in the area be sure to nip across the street to the Confederation Centre of the Arts Amphitheatre for the noon performance by Les Feux Follets: the story of PEI’s creation and subsequent settlement. Because of its prime location across the street from the Confederation Centre of the Arts and around the corner from the Arts Guild, Victoria Row is the perfect spot to hang out for some down time in-between musicals!

Photo © Ariana Salvo, 2013

Photo © Ariana Salvo, 2013

Photo © Ariana Salvo

Photo © Ariana Salvo

Photo © Ariana Salvo

Photo © Ariana Salvo

2. Peake’s Quay 

Peake’s Quay is the place to wander for lunch overlooking the harbour, or to enjoy some shopping for local culinary products, bags, art, jewelry or a PEI dirt shirt (dyed with our Island’s iconic red dirt!), a Cows Ice Cream cone, or a leisurely walk along the waterfront boardwalk. If you head down between 2.30 and 4 or 6.30 and 8.30pm you can also enjoy the live music performed daily throughout the summer. Peake’s Quay has picnic benches if you feel like picking up a sandwich on your way down, and a grassy area if it’s time for a nap. It is the perfect destination if everyone in your family is in a different mood. The kids can play on the grass while you browse the shops for gifts to take back home, enjoy a snack or take in the concert series.

photo © Ariana Salvo

photo © Ariana Salvo

Photo © Ariana Salvo

Photo © Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

© Ariana Salvo

3. Victoria Park 

Victoria Park is one of Charlottetown’s outdoor gems, boasting 27 acres of wooded area with mature trees, quiet places, and serene walking trails. Located along the mouth of the harbour and bordering lovely residential areas, the park also has tennis courts and baseball fields, a playground, skate park, renovated swimming pool, large open areas for picnics or games, and a boardwalk that is great for a peaceful morning run or a leisurely post-supper stroll. In the evenings thousands of crows take up residence in the tops of the trees, and you can hear them calling out to each other in waves from anywhere in the park.  Children will enjoy running or walking along the boardwalk (FYI: there is the popular Kiwanis Dairy Bar half way down the boardwalk, across the street, so consider yourselves warned!) and you can even take your dog with you as long as you keep it on a leash. Be sure to check out the adjacent Lieutenant Governor’s property (where Prince William and Princess Kate stayed!), and the nearby Beaconsfield Historic House.

Victoria Park Charlottetown

In the next Discover Charlottetown blog post look out for some great suggestions for unique Charlottetown day trips to help you plan out your itinerary while you are here!

By: Ariana Salvo on behalf of Discover Charlottetown

 

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Celebrate Old Home Week in Charlottetown & Win a Family Trip to Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown’s first Old Home Week was held in 1888 and lasted just two days. This year’s Old Home Week (August 8-17) is a full ten days dedicated to celebrating Prince Edward Island’s deep agricultural roots. Featuring livestock shows and competitions, educational agricultural exhibits, live music performances, the Gold and Saucer Parade, harness racing, local food and handicraft vendors, and the Midway amusement park, the 2013 Old Home Week has fully earned its bragging rights to the ‘so much to see and do’ tagline.

PEI Old Home Week 26

Prince Edward Island’s strong agricultural sector is reflected in the focus placed on featuring local product in many of our city’s restaurants, the vibrant community culture and support that has grown around our farmer’s markets, the presence of the highly regarded Culinary Institute of Canada, and the number of celebrity-chef studded events that PEI hosts. It is not every day that our city celebrates the people who grow our crops and raise our livestock, and the farming expertise that they have developed gradually over generations of living on and working the land. Old Home Week is a chance for all of us—farmers and those of us who enjoy the tremendous fruit of their labour—to celebrate the bounty of Prince Edward Island’s agriculture sector.

PEI Old Home Week 3

If you have never attended Old Home Week, the family-oriented celebration has four main highlights: harness racing and the Gold Cup and Saucer Parade, livestock shows and competitions, live entertainment and Campbell’s Midway amusement park with its landmark Ferris Wheel—a family favourite. Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park hosts daily horse races, all of them building up to the grand finale: the Gold Cup and Saucer Race, which features some of the fastest horses and best drivers in Eastern Canada. The Gold Cup and Saucer Parade the day before the final race is a fun community event with a colourful array of floats, marching bands, vintage cars and children’s performers. If you are an animal lover you will never tire of the many farm animal exhibits and competitions, and if your kids need to release some energy head over to Sounds of the Island to enjoy lively music and dancing.

PEI Old Home Week 33

Old Home Week is one of those festivals that allows us to step back in time and celebrate what we love about the “good old days”: family, community and connection to place. It’s also one heck of a good time! To learn more about Old Home Week and get tickets, visit www.oldhomeweekpei.com. If you need to find accommodations in Charlottetown, visit us at www.discovercharlottetown.com.

PEI Old Home Week 2

To help you get in the spirit of Old Home Week, we are doing a fun family giveaway! One lucky family will win:        

2 nights at Rodd Royalty 

Family Pass for Old Home Week (10 day admission)

$50 Gift Certificate to the Confederation Court Mall

Confederation Bridge Pass

4 Cows Ice Cream Cones

Family Pass to Cows Creamery Tour

Family tickets to see Anne & Gilbert the Musical

To enter your family to win this fun-filled prize share this blog post on your Facebook page, Tweet it, share it on Google+ or pin it to one of your Pinterest boards AND leave a comment* below telling us why your family would like to be at this year’s Old Home Week. Contest closes August 1. Family getaway prize package is based on 4 people. Good luck! See you at Old Home Week!

*Comments may take up to 24 hours to post, so if you don’t see your comment below immediately don’t worry.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO JENNIFER BURNS ON WINNING A FAMILY TRIP TO PEI FOR OLD HOME WEEK. Look out for an email in your inbox Jennifer! And many thanks to everyone who took the time to enter this giveaway! We really enjoyed receiving and reading your stories!

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