Let the soothing sounds of the waves wash over you as you stroll along the sandy shores of Eastern Prince Edward Island. Did you know that Points East Coastal Drive is home to 50 breathtaking and accessible beaches? Each beach is a little piece of paradise waiting to be discovered. Feel the soft sand between your toes and breathe in the crisp, salty air that the ocean provides. Wander down the winding, wooden boardwalks that cut through the tall grass and pause to collect sea glass polished smooth by the tide like an artist at work in nature.
The beaches of PEI are what our little island is best known for, there is something about them that makes it feel as though you’re stepping into the pages of a romance novel. The white sands stretch as far as the eye can see, turquoise waves crash gently against the rust-colored cliffs lining the beaches shores.
As I walk along the shore, the gentle waves lap at my feet, transporting me back to carefree childhood days playing on Bothwell Beach. Fond memories wash over me of lazy afternoons spent combing these same shores with my family. Our faithful golden retriever running ahead, eager to discover what surprises the tide had brought in overnight.
As an adult, I still find peace at these beaches right outside my door. My son’s delighted shrieks still echo in my mind from when he stumbled upon a message in a bottle that washed upon the sandbar a few years back, proof that magic touches these shores. You never know what you’re going to find when visiting the island’s beaches.
There are so many incredible beaches awaiting locals and tourists, each offering a unique experience. I have categorized some of our 50 Beaches to help you decide which ones to visit based on what you’re drawn to.
Beaches for Sea Glass Hunting
Sea glass in shades of emerald, sapphire, and amber glitter like hidden treasure among the grains of sand on many of our beautiful Eastern beaches. At low tide an adventure to Goose River Beach and Cow River Beach will fill your heart and your pockets. There is something about the way your heart races every time you spot that vibrant coloured glass laying amongst the rocks that never gets old.
Souris Beach is also an incredible beach where the gentle waves lap the sandy shore. Though the glittering treasures of sea glass scattered across the beach may catch your eye, be mindful where you step – remnants of past industry lay among the stones and shells and can be sharp. While swimming and pets are best enjoyed elsewhere, Souris Beach remains a serene spot to explore and daydream, discovering each fragment and wondering about it’s story.
Beaches with Boardwalks
The beach can be a place of serenity for the soul, yet sand between the toes isn’t for everyone. For those seeking the peaceful allure of the seaside without the mess of sandy shoes, there are many beautiful beaches with boardwalks along Points East Coastal Drive that allow you to stroll along while taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean. Georgetown’s West Street Beach, Souris Beach and Greenwich offer you winding and inviting boardwalks that carry you on your coastal adventures.
The Singing Sands
At the Eastern tip of the island the sands sing a soothing melody and hold a sense of wonder. The pure white sands contain high levels of silica that create a gentle and magical squeaking sound when the sand is hot and dry. This tranquil phenomenon has fittingly earned the beaches the nickname “The Singing Sands.” You can experience these harmonious sounds at Basin Head Beach, Bothwell Beach, and Little Harbour Beach as you stroll along the peaceful shorelines. The singing sands draw you in and serenade you with nature’s gentle song as you explore.
Poverty Beach and Greenwich offer excellent hiking opportunities along the beach for adventurous souls. These scenic hikes allow you to raise or lower your heart rate as desired. Lace up your sneakers and get ready to discover the beauty and adventure they provide.
At East Lake Beach and MacFarlane Road Beach you’ll find the solitude your soul craves. No crowds, just you and the endless blue horizon. Walk barefoot in the sand, breathe in the salty air, and open your heart without fear of others hearing what you have to say. Here, you can reflect in peace, chat with nature, and reconnect with your innermost self.
Beaches to Watch Boats
There is something about watching the fishing boats coming into the harbour as the sun begins to set that captures the essence of this coastal region. Along the sandy shores, one can sit and watch with a hot cup of coffee or tea in hand as fishermen in their uniquely named vessels return from a long day at sea.
The incoming boats feel like a free show playing out across the water as waves roll in. During tuna season, you may get lucky and see one come to shore, offering a chance to snap a photo and congratulate the members on board. Prime spots to take in the charm of the fishing boats and harbours include Savage Harbour, North Lake, Naufrage, Wood Islands and Beach Point Beach.
The 50 beaches along Points East Coastal Drive offer a tranquil escape all year long. In the Spring, the gentle breeze carries the sweet scent of blooming wildflowers as bird’s sing a song that fills the air. Summer brings warm rays of sunshine glimmering on the waves, beckoning you to sink your toes into the soft sand and enjoy a cool dip in the ocean with family and friends. When Autumn arrives, the crashing waves and salt-kissed cold air create a soothing scene for long walks along the shore. Even Winter’s chilly winds can’t diminish the peaceful vibes of our 50 beaches, where you can bundle up and watch the clouds drift by as you sip out of your favourite thermos as you collect sea glass to add to your collection. Each season gifts its own special serenity to be savoured on your adventures, let’s get out and explore.
Ashley MacDonald is a Nova Scotian born freelance writer who began using her love for writing and photography as a form of therapy during her son’s cancer treatment. She continued to write after he passed away in October 2019 as a way to help keep his story alive, heal her heart and share her experience with grief and sorrow with others who may be struggling. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science Recreation in 2014 and moved to Prince Edward Island in 2020 in search of comfort and simplicity.