Categories: Accommodations, Arts & Culture, Beyond Charlottetown, Culinary, Festivals/Events, Free, History, Kid-Friendly, Nightlife, Outdoor Activities, Shopping, Sightseeing, See & Do
19 Reasons to Visit Charlottetown in 2019
You want reasons to visit Charlottetown this year? We've got 'em! Truth be told, we've got an endless list of reasons, but we whittled it down to 19 so you can get some other things done today You're welcome.
1. Shakespeare Reimagined, a Greek Romance, and PEI’s Favourite Redhead
Big, bold, and brilliant musicals take centre stage at the Confederation Centre in 2019, with the line-up featuring Kronborg - The Hamlet Rock Musical, Mamma Mia!, and Anne of Green Gables - The Musical!
Photo Credit: Confederation Centre of the Arts
2. “The Row”
Victoria Row (affectionately referred to as ‘the Row’ by locals), offers the perfect patioing experience, with restaurants serving up fresh seafood, local brews, and people-watching perches all along the charming, pedestrian street. In search of a bird’s eye view? Make your way to Fishies on The Roof, Charlottetown’s only rooftop patio.
3. Art in the Open (Aug 24)
Magical, intriguing, interactive, inspiring - Art in the Open is all these things and so much more. For one extraordinary day in late summer, the historic downtown is transformed into a fanciful open-air art gallery. Exploration and engagement are encouraged. FREE and family-friendly!
4. Shopping Made Easy
Against downtown Charlottetown’s stunning backdrop of red brick and waterscapes, you’ll discover an assortment of independent shops that make shopping a pleasurable pursuit. Friendly shopkeepers, food purveyors, and artisans abound and are happy to help you find the perfect keepsake, gift or edible treat.
5. Victorian Christmas Weekend (Nov 29 - Dec 1)
Step back in time at this magical three-day festival featuring an open-air market, horse & wagon rides, Santa visits, a Christmas parade, petting zoo, caroling, ice sculpting demos, and more. It’s the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit!
6. Farm Day in The City (Oct 6)
A much beloved and eagerly-anticipated event, Farm Day in the City features over 150 farmers, food producers, artisans, crafters and exhibitors in the largest open-air market of the year. Live music, a beer garden, kids’ activities, a petting zoo, and some good ol’ fashioned competitions round out this joyous celebration of all things local.
7. After Dark Entertainment
Charlottetown is the hub of nighttime entertainment on PEI throughout the year. Musicals, plays, comedy acts, and headlining bands grace the city’s many stages, while DJs and local bands create party vibes and bumping dance floors at venues including Peake’s Quay Restaurant & Bar, The Factory and Hunter’s Ale House. An added bonus - it’s an easy walk between any of your chosen destinations!
8. Tara MacLean’s Atlantic Blue at The Mack (Jul 10 - Sep 8)
Island native and award-winning musician, Tara MacLean, will take you on a journey through Atlantic Canada’s deeply-rooted music scene in Atlantic Blue. Through storytelling and her renditions of songs from East Coast legends such as Gene MacLellan, Stan Rogers, and Rita MacNeil, Tara weaves a compelling story of the music and musicians that have shaped the region.
Photo Credit: Confederation Centre of the Arts
9. Snowshoes in the City
Get out of your comfort zone and embrace winter with Snowshoes in the City! Stay with one of +10 participating Charlottetown accommodation providers and you can enjoy complimentary (loaner) snowshoes for all the snowy adventuring your heart desires.
Photo Credit: Stephanie McQuaid (@theredheadroamer via IG)
10. DiverseCity Multicultural Street Festival (June 23)
Free to the public, this ever-growing festival celebrates the sights, tastes, sounds, and impressive talents of the many cultures and ethnicities that make up the fabric of the city and Island. And yes, there are always plenty of food vendors at this festival!
11. Serious Culinary Chops
As the capital of Canada’s Food Island, Charlottetown’s food scene is ever-evolving. An impressive selection of locally-focused restaurants, farmers’ markets, and artisan food shops, along with a never-ending roster of food festivals and events make the city an epic foodie destination.
Photo Credit: Canada's Food Island
12. Harbour Feast (Oct 5)
Join the biggest patio party of the year and experience city vibes, Island-style on Charlottetown’s picturesque harbourfront at this Signature Event of the PEI Fall Flavours Festival. Hosted by celebrity Chef Chuck Hughes, this casual-yet-upscale fete will feature an epic Island feast and high-energy tunes from one of PEI’s favourite bands.
13. For the Love of Music
No matter when you’re visiting, music is always in the air. Festivals including the Festival of Small Halls (June 9 - 23), PEI Jazz & Blues Festival (June 28 - 30), and Music PEI Week (late January) are musts for music lovers. Of course, you find always local, live music on tap at the city’s bars and pubs, including The Old Triangle, Fishbones, Olde Dublin Pub, PEI Brewing Co., Water’s Edge, Baba’s Lounge, Hunter’s Ale House, and John Brown Grille.
14. Anne with an ‘E’
Yes, she’s 111 years old, but PEI’s famous, feisty redhead remains as popular as ever. Anne takes centre stage at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Anne of Green Gables - The Musical and at The Guild, where Anne & Gilbert - The Musical plays from the end of April to October. Be sure to visit the Anne of Green Gables Store and get some of Anne’s Chocolates for memorable (and edible!) gifts to take home too!
15. History Comes Alive
Known as the Birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown pays tribute to its storied past through engaging storytelling, monuments, and art. Take a historic walking tour with the Confederation Players or catch one of their free daily vignettes. Be sure you also visit the upper foyer of the Confederation Centre to discover the Story of Confederation.
16. Old Home Week (Aug 9 - 17)
Champion harness racing, agricultural exhibitions, carnival rides, a massive parade, and more! Old Home Week is deeply rooted in the Island way of life and has something to entertain everyone in the family - young and old. Don’t miss the final horse race on August 17, where the Gold Cup & Saucer winner is crowned!
17. Craft Beer Is King
Just a few years ago, you might have had to work a bit to find local craft beer in Charlottetown, but now the city’s bursting with options for the craft beer lover. With 3 breweries in the city and just as many within a 40-minute drive, you’ll find plenty of IPAs, lagers, stouts, and reds on tap at bars, restos, and the breweries’ taprooms. Check out our Brewin' it Up blog for more about the city's beer and coffee scene!
Photo Credit: Alex Orasuk (@alexorasuk via IG)
18. PEI International Shellfish Festival (Sep 19 -22)
Don’t miss the Island’s biggest kitchen party and an unforgettable celebration of the shellfish that have made PEI world famous, including lobster, oysters, mussels, and clams! From an epic night of feasting and frolicking to intense chef competition to culinary demos to late night revelry with some of Atlantic Canada’s favourite party bands, you’ll need to pace yourself for this unforgettable weekend of shellfish indulgence.
Photo Credit: Al Douglas (@alexgdouglas via IG)
19. Beach Days
A day at the beach (or three) is a quintessential part of Island life. With plenty of white sand and red cliff beaches within a twenty-minute drive, Charlottetown is the perfect home base from which to set out on your beach day adventures.