The Best Things to Do in Summerside, PEI
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If big cities aren’t your thing, basing yourself in Summerside during your Prince Edward Island vacation would be a smart thing to do. This small city of just under 15,000 located just 28km from the Confederation Bridge is PEI’s second largest – big enough to have all the amenities you’d want but small enough to not feel overwhelming. Summerside is a perfect rustic blend of historic brick buildings, heritage homes, and seaside strolls.
Take a look through this hand-picked guide and let me know which things make it to your Summerside bucket list.
Walk the Baywalk
The Baywalk Boardwalk and Cycling Trail is a 6.5 km trail that extends along the Summerside’s waterfront. Enjoy scenic shoreline views during a picnic, and cycle through a rich Acadian forest and Natural Duck Pond Conservation Area. You can even find an outdoor gym circuit for a little fresh air workout.
Visit a craft brewery
Summerside isn’t missing out on the craft beer revolution. Evermore Brewing Company is located in the old train station and serves up tasty food, trivia, and live music along with their brews.
Visit the College of Piping
If the sound of bagpipes stirs your soul, you’ll want to be sure to drop in to the College of Piping for aspiring musicians and local talent. They’re a local Celtic education and performing arts centre that’s a perfect fit with the island since 70% of Islanders have direct lineage with Scotland and Ireland.
Learn to ride a Segway
Segways are adorkable fun and here you can choose either a one-hour experience with PEI Segway which will get you comfortable on the machine or a two-hour tour along the waterfront. Why walk when you can roll?
See a show at the Harbourfront Theatre
Catch the latest touring show or local production at Summerside’s premier 520 seat performing arts theatre, which has been hosting top-notch shows in 1996.
Go for a Paddle
Whether you want to SUP or kayak solo or as part of a tour The Paddle Shack can get you on the water. Tour options include a trip to Holmans Island or a visit to Summerside’s most historic lighthouse.
Wyatt Historic House Museum
Tour through this family residence built in 1867 for the Wyatt Family. The personal and interactive guided tours (choose between oddity and historic) give a close up view of the intriguing artifacts collected over a century by the prominent Wyatt family, while revealing the stories of the times.
Cycle the Confederation Trail
The Confederation Trail is a province wide graded trail on the old railway bed, perfect for walking or cycling. Connecting in Summerside, you could cycle all the way to Elmira on this protected trail.
Summerside’s waterfront marketplace is a must-visit every summer for tourists and locals alike! Spinnakers’ Landing was designed on a fishing village theme and offers something special for every visitor – unique shops, artisanal studios, tasty food, cold drinks, and live entertainment.
Mural Scavenger Hunt
The heritage murals of Summerside are a collection of 10 murals around town created between 1997 and 2001 that explore the town’s heritage and celebrate their achievements. Can you collect all 10?
Feed Your Sandwich Cravings
Swing by South Central Kitchen and Provisions for a mouth-watering sandwich like pulled pork grilled cheese or their veggie Bravacado. We love this laid-back, approachable and affordable take-out and hang-out.
Air Force Heritage Park
If you’re an avgeek you’ll want to stop by Air Force Heritage Park and take a look at the three aircraft they have on permanent display. While there you can learn about the RCAF/CF Base Summerside and the people who served there.
Treat Yourself to Ice Cream
Every good summer vacation requires ice cream and the Kool Breeze Ice Cream Barn serves up some of the best. Even if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, they’ve got you covered. Iceburgs, soft and hard ice cream, parfaits, hurricanes, ice cream sandwiches, banana splits and soft serve floats – they have something for every ice cream loving heart.
Sample Local Wares
Open every Saturday from 9am-1pm, the Summerside Farmers’ Market showcase some of the best in local producers and artisans. Whether it’s produce, baked goods, meat, fish, prepared food, cheese, artisans or more, you’ll find something interesting at the market.
Shop for Local Souvenirs
If you want to bring home a little piece of the island, stop by Island Stoneware for hand-crafted stoneware pottery. Each piece is inspired by the land and sea and made right in Summerside.
Experience the Thrill of Harness Racing
Feel the thundering of hooves, the roar of the crowd, and an unforgettable experience. Harness racing has been a major part of island heritage and visitors from around the world come to PEI to experience this island tradition at the historic Summerside Raceway.
Summerside is such a lovely place to visit, and you will be sure to have a great time using this guide.