Prince Edward Island
If you were to go back and read our 2004 trip page to Prince Edward Island, you'd see that we came to the conclusion that we should come back to Charlottetown but didn't need to spend more time in Cavendish. So here, eight years later is a whole page on the Cavendish area. Oh well.
This is a picture of the cute and scenic harbor at Malpeque. If you've heard of Malpeque it's probably due to the oysters of the same name that originate hereabouts. Malpeque is about 20 miles west of Cavendish and it's a world apart. There are few hotels around, no golf courses, some of the roads are not even paved. On the other hand there's not a lot to do here except have scenic views of Malpeque Bay and eat oysters. There's an oyster barn here at the harbor but it was closed when we visited.
On our last visit to Cavendish we missed the natural beauty of the nearby coast and really this is the highlight of the region. Prince Edward Island National Park has several discontinuous units stretched along the coast. Most all of them feature long stretches of dunes and uncrowded beach (at least in September).
This is the dunelands trail and the Lake of Shining Waters. The lake used as an inspiration by L.M. Montgomery stretches back towards Cavendish but you can't reach it from there thanks to an intervening golf course. The dune trail runs on the inland side of the dunes and is a very pleasant walk.
Iconic features of the PEI beaches in the National Park are the red rocks along the coast. They are dotted with small coves and tide pools and also make for a good place to explore. From the parking area at Dunelands there is a boardwalk down to the beach. There are also changing rooms and even a restaurant (not open in September). We saw several red foxes along the forest edges of the beach on our visit. They're easy to spot because they're usually surrounded by people with video cameras.
The lobster supper is an important part of PEI culture that we missed out on during our last visit. We probably won't ever make that mistake again. There are several places that do this throughout the summer and into the fringe seasons (this is New Glasgow). The basic concept is that you buy a lobster of whatever size you desire. Everything else is all-you-can-eat and comes with it. At New Glasgow that includes mussels, salad, soup, bread, potato and desserts. It's pretty easy to focus on the lobster here and maybe the mussels as well but we have to give a shout out to the potato as well. Those of us from non-potato regions can be easily impressed by local fresh potatoes. If you do happen to have a toddler they are free (unless maybe they eat a whole lot more than ours does). All the food is simply prepared and there is nothing really fancy here but it's a great atmosphere and a great experience. There's also a nice view of the Hunter River from the restaurant.