Home » 2004 Maritime Provinces Road Trip

Cavendish, PEI

Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 8:15am by Lolo
175 miles and 3.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Although the boys do enjoy natural beauty and outdoor activities, they do have the occasional need for a commercial fix, and Cavendish, PEI was just the ticket. While most of PEI is rolling farmland and quiet red sand beaches, Route 6 in Cavendish is lined with t-shirt shops, mini golf, a wax museum, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, and even two amusement parks. Thank goodness. We had been promising Tommy that we would take him to an amusement park for his birthday (which was now 2 days ago), but there was absolutely nothing of the sort to be found in Newfoundland—which is perhaps what Herb and I liked so much about the island.

Herb and Lolo on Homestead TrailHerb and Lolo on Homestead TrailThe reason that Cavendish is so built up and developed seemed kind of strange to me. It became the tourist center of the island because it is the home of the fictional character Anne of Anne of Green Gable, who is so popular that thousands of tourists come here each year to see the places written about in the book and to walk where Anne walked—fictionally at least. There is an Anne of Green Gables Museum, a playhouse performing the Anne of Green Gables musical, the National Park run Green Gables House, and so on and so on. That might have been the basis for Cavendish’s popularity, but gradually more and more non-Anne related attractions kept getting added to the area to satisfy the entertainment needs of the Anne fans. Now even non-Anne fans, such as us, could enjoy the many non-natural wonders of Cavendish.

The boys were ready. However, the first order of business was finding a place to stay for the night. We were a little concerned when we found out that the National Park Campground was full, but we were able to get a site at Sunset Campground, a very large commercial campground right on Route 6 in the heart of the action. The campground was quite nice and had lots of recreational facilities. After some mini golf and ping pong, we hopped on our bikes and headed out to Route 6 to see the sights.

Lolo and Boys on Homestead TrailLolo and Boys on Homestead TrailOur first stop was the Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum where we saw some very unusual and downright strange exhibits—some of them quite amazing and definitely hard to believe. Our personal favorite was the mirror that you looked into to see if you could curl your tongue. That was nothing. The real exhibit was around the corner where you got to watch the fools that came along after you, contorting their faces into what was actually a 2-way mirror. It was quite entertaining.

After the museum, we stopped at the Sandpit, a small amusement park where the kids’ highlight was definitely the “Indy” go cart racing. Then back near the campground, we had pizza and ice cream and did some browsing in the shops along the Sunset Boardwalk.

The next morning, before leaving Cavendish, we drove into the National Park which was right across Route 6 from our campground. Actually, the whole shoreline of Cavendish is part of Prince Edward Island National Park, which has a large 300-site campground as well as a very popular supervised swimming beach. The reason we were in the park, however, was to mountain bike the Homestead Trail, which I had read about in my Mountain Biking Atlantic Canada book. It was as good, if not better, than described. The 6 ½ mile trail had a little bit of everything—sweeping views of sand dunes and red stone cliffs along New London Bay, salt marshes, woods, and farmland. There was amazing variety for such a short distance. We stopped to take some interesting photos of the rolls of hay in a farmer’s field. Except for the bugs, of which there was many, it was a near perfect ride.


Cavendish is located along Route 6 on the northern coast of central PEI. It is best known as the home of the fictional character Anne of Anne of Green Gable, whose enduring popularity has attracted thousands of tourists to the area to tread the grounds that Anne walked. As a result, Cavendish is the most tourist-oriented part of the entire island and this once bucolic area is now full of motels, numerous commercial campgrounds, a wax museum, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum, amusement parks, mini golf, etc. Fortunately, most of the tourist attractions are confined to a small stretch of Route 6, and you only have to travel a few miles in either direction to get back to rolling farmland and quiet beaches.

Lolo and Boys on Homestead TrailLolo and Boys on Homestead TrailThe shoreline of Cavendish, on the northern side of Route 6, is actually part of PEI National Park. Here there is a large and very popular, supervised beach, a large National Park campground with over 300 sites, and numerous hiking trails. There is also a great family bike ride—the Homestead Trail. This 6 ½ mile, well maintained trail meanders past red stone cliffs and sand dunes along the shore of New London Bay, and then inland through salt marshes, woods, and farmlands.

The National Park also has a small section on the southern side of Route 6 that includes the Green Gables House, interpretive exhibits related to the book, hiking trails, and an award-winning video presentation on the life of L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

The north shore of PEI is also home to the famous lobster suppers, which originated many years ago as potluck suppers in church basements. Today, these suppers are big business. The Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers in north Rustico can accommodate 500 diners at a time and has a 60-foot salad bar to complement its lobster.

Cavendish location map in "high definition"

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