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Just off the coast of Nova Scotia lies the port city of Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. This part of eastern Canadian coast makes for a beautifully peaceful cruise destination – surrounded by natural beauty, beaches of red sand and stone, and charming cultural attractions.
Visitors to Charlottetown will find that the sightseeing is dominated by Green Gables farm, the setting and inspiration for the novel Anne of Green Gables. Thanks to this tourist draw there's also some beautiful national parkland to enjoy, as well as small local fishing communities to visit during your time in this scenic, serene part of the world.
Green Gables National Historic Site
Visitors to Prince Edward Island have the chance to tour the Green Gables farmhouse, the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables. In the story, a middle-aged couple intend to adopt an orphan boy to help them on their farm, but are mistakenly sent a girl instead. Nevertheless, Anne ingratiates herself with her foster parents and makes a home for herself in the fictional town of Bolingbroke, based on New London. Visitors to Green Gables will be able to see the house and barn, and walk around the farmland that inspired this much-loved classic.
Prince Edward Island National Park
A direct result of the tourism boom enjoyed by Green Gables farm, this national park runs along a stretch of the island's northern shore and is home to rare avian species like the piping plover. The parkland includes Green Gables Farm within its borders, and was made protected land in the 1930s in order to curb the impact of tourism on the untouched red-sand beaches and their native wildlife.
Sharing the same striking red beaches and cliff faces is the picturesque harbour of North Rustico, home to a population in the mere hundreds – which explodes into the thousands during the small town's renowned Canada Day parades on the first of July. Here you'll have the chance to see the Farmers' Bank of Rustico, Canada's first community-based bank and now a National Historic Site. Alternatively, wander around the town's busy harbour for a look at the fishing trade in the region – or simply relax with a stroll along the beach.
The historic streets of Charlottetown are a tourist attraction in their own right, and make for a thoroughly enjoyable setting for a shopping trip. The city has a proud tradition for arts and crafts, and among the seemingly ubiquitous Anne of Green Gables themed-stores you'll also find a wealth of studios, galleries and boutiques selling pottery, blown glass, paintings and designer jewellery.
There are plenty of options for fine dining during your time in Charlottetown, and with rich sea life in its waters and vast acres of farmland in the surrounding countryside, the chefs of Charlottetown have plenty of high-quality ingredients to use in their dishes. Be sure to try the locally caught lobster and shellfish, or opt for steak or a good local cheese – or relax with a drink in a local pub.
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