And some (myself included) would argue that the lesser-known beaches are even better than the more commonly visited central tourist spots.
Below are a few of our family’s favourites:
St Pete’s Lighthouse Beach
A short bike ride from our place will take the reader to a little dirt road called “Lighthouse Road” and leading to – you guessed it – the lighthouse!
Thanks to shifting sands over the years, the lighthouse is now located on the land side of a beautiful, grassy dune. Cross the dune, and you find yourself at the ocean, and a georgeous, sandy, white beach. This has invariably become the beach we visit on the first night of our arrival in PEI each summer, and it is one of our favourites throughout the season as well.
The beagle and I have often walked back along the water to “our beach” from the St Pete’s lighthouse beach.
A short distance further west along the north shore is “Clarence’s Beach”, thus nick-named for Clarence McKewan, the grandfather of our next-door-neighbour, and the farmer who owns (owned) much of the land in the St Pete’s Harbour area.
Clarence’s Beach is defined by an incredibly huge sand dune, and an increasingly large smattering of cars jammed up along the sides of the red dirt path that leads off the main road to the dune/beach.
This beach, too, connects to "our" beach, though the walk is a little longer, just over an hour at a moderate pace with doggie in tow.
Nature lovers may enjoy a 15-minute drive, just around the Bay, to the Greenwich dune which we see from our house.
Greenwich actually consists of two beaches, both excellent, plus an interpretive centre, also worth checking out. I would recommend at least two days devoted to Greenwich, as it is not possible to properly inhale all that this beautiful site has to offer in just one visit.
We often start at the interpretive centre, which offers information, education and entertainment free of charge for visitors of all ages, and then head over to the beach, which is just across a short boardwalk and past a tall outlook tower. A covered picnic house also exists for those who want to make a day of it, and share a meal together, with shelter.
The other day is spent at the Boardwalk, which is actually a longer trail, through a field, then a forest, and finally across a floating boardwalk across the dunes and marshes. This trail also ends up at a beach, where we spent several hours this past week swimming in the salty ocean waves. The trail itself is lined with raspberries, and we enjoyed a refreshing, self-picked snack on the way back to the car from the beach!
The photos above were all taken at Greenwich.
Basin Head/Singing Sands
About 20 minutes east of Souris is Basin Head Beach, which offers two particularly interesting attractions. The first is the bridge, on which is posted a large sign that reads, “Current is dangerous. NO jumping from the bridge!”, and from which children and adults alike jump like lemurs into the current that carries them out into the sand-bank-studded ocean. The second attraction at Basin Head is a large depository of “singing sands”, on the higher and drier part of the beach, which – when crunched along in bare feet -- make a unique squeaking (or “singing”) sound.
If ocean is what you’re after, you really can’t go wrong with PEI. From the red beaches of the south shore to the white sands and dunes along the north and all the combinations in between, the Island is a treasure trove for the beach-lover. So, grab your bathing suit, and head out to the ocean, quick, before it gets too cold!!