The best beaches on Prince Edward Island’s north shore

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Brackley Beach

Boasting over eleven hundred kilometres of coastline, one never finds themselves too far away from a beach at any given time while exploring Prince Edward Island. As PEI also happens to be Canada’s tiniest province, it’s easy to get from spot to spot until you find the perfect stretch of sand—especially as the most popular ones are scattered around Prince Edward Island National Park in the northern part of the province. For those in the mood for some beach hopping, here are some of the best beaches on PEI’s north shore.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes

The beach in the Greenwich section of the national park takes a bit of work to get to—but boy will you ever be glad you made the effort once you arrive. The park is home to rare, crescent-shaped dunes that are always changing due to the wind, and the result is a spectacular stretch of sand that seems to go on for miles. Better yet, you’ll likely have the whole place to yourself, especially if you visit late in the day which is aptly called the “golden hour.”

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes Trail

To access the beach, visitors walk along the 2.5 kilometre Greenwich Dunes Trail which passes through a forest of red maple and white birch trees, before arriving at a picturesque floating boardwalk over Bowley Pond.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes Trail

Greenwich Dunes Trail

Greenwich Dunes Trail

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes Trail

From there it’s a quick scramble between dunes, and you’ll soon find yourself looking down at the sprawling beach below, as the Gulf of St. Lawrence laps at the sparkling golden shore.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes Trail

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes

If you can resist the lure of the beach for a couple more minutes, be sure to head to the left once you get down the staircase. There, you’ll find another trail heading back into the dunes that leads to a viewing platform, complete with interpretive signs and a couple of Parks Canada chairs that are perfect for soaking in the unforgettable view.

READ MORE: 10 quintessential experiences to enjoy in Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Greenwich Dunes

Cavendish Beach

Arguably the most popular beach in PEI due to its proximity to tourist hot spot Green Gables Heritage Place (any Anne of Green Gables fans out there?!), Cavendish Beach is unique in that it has all the best features that beaches in the province are known for. Soft white sand? Check. Dunes? Check. Great views of those famous red sandstone cliffs? Yup, it has that too.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Cavendish Beach

Cavendish Beach is particularly popular during the summer months when all of its facilities are up and running, but it never feels too crowded as the beach is so expansive. Lifeguards monitor a roped-in area near the shore making it ideal for families, but wander just a little farther away from the boardwalk and you’ll quickly feel like you’ve got the whole place to yourself.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Cavendish Beach

Brackley Beach

Being only a 20 minute drive from Charlottetown, it’s no wonder Brackley Beach is a favourite with the locals. Boasting sparkling golden sand framed by dunes dotted with green vegetation, it’s a wonderful spot to relax for the day—especially if you walk a few minutes past the entrance where fellow beach-goers all but disappear.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

The boardwalk leading to Brackley Beach

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Brackley Beach

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Brackley Beach

Brackley Beach is also the gateway to a wonderful stretch of the island known as Brackley-Dalvay, which ends at the Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site’s beautiful heritage hotel. Those looking to mix some activity into their beach day can cycle or jog along the paved 12.5 kilometre Gulf Shore Way, which links the two spots and has great coastal views.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Dalvay-by-the-Sea

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site

Insider tip: Don’t miss the Covehead Lighthouse between Brackley-Dalvay. Not only is the white lighthouse adorable, but there’s also a small cove around it which is the perfect place to enjoy a stretch of sand all to yourself.

Prince Edward Island PEI best beaches north shore

Covehead Lighthouse

IF YOU GO:

Park entrance fees: All visitors to Canada’s national parks require a pass to get through the gates, the cost of which helps staff and maintain the parks. If you plan to visit a number of sites over different days, you might be better off purchasing a seven day, Season or Discovery Pass. Not only could it save you money, but you’ll also get to breeze past the lineups.

Note: To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, entry to parks across the country will be free for all visitors in 2017.

Facilities: Both Cavendish Beach and Brackley Beach have excellent facilities, such as washrooms, showers, a canteen and even lifeguards depending on the season.

Accessibility: Parks Canada has a wonderful program in place to ensure everyone can enjoy PEI’s beaches, by providing beach wheelchairs at Cavendish Campground Beach and Brackley Beach Complex.

Serenity found: Anyone who’s ever tried to hit the beach in a place like Mexico or Spain knows it can be tough to actually get some peace and quiet what with all the people around. Fortunately that’s not the case in PEI, where a small population combined with an insane number of beaches means you’ll never fall victim to overcrowding—even on the hottest day of the year.

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The best beaches in northern Prince Edward Island, Canada
Globe Guide explored Prince Edward Island in collaboration with Tourism PEI. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles

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8 Responses

  1. Ruthanne Williams says:

    What about Basin Head? I grew up in PEI and had never been until after I moved away, it’s spectacular! Has that awesome bridge to jump from and hello …..singing sand? It’s like the best kept secret that Islanders don’t want to share.

  2. Sabina says:

    So you left out some of the best beaches on the northside – McAskill River, Goose River, Skunkhouse, North Lake, Naufrage, St. Margarets, Bear River, Campbells Cove, etc, all in the east

  1. July 25, 2016

    […] Is tidal bore rafting safe? Absolutely! River Runners has been operating safely for over two decades, and since the guide does all the work you only have to worry about holding on to the boat and enjoying yourself. YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: The best beaches on Prince Edward Island’s north shore […]

  2. August 29, 2016

    […] YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: The best beaches on Prince Edward Island’s north shore […]

  3. February 1, 2017

    […] Parks Canada has also set up viewing platforms which are perfect for taking in the scene from above, complete with interpretive signs explaining more about the area. Visitors can relax in the soft sand, go for a swim in the ocean or simply lounge in one of the iconic red chairs. See the Full story at Best Beaches PEI North Shores […]

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