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If you're a fan of Anne of Green Gables or just want a serene, relaxing vacation, check out Prince Edward Island. I share my vacation highlights so you can make the most out of your trip to Canada and PEI, the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the inspiration for Anne of Green Gables.
Prince Edward Island (PEI or P.E.I.; French: Île-du-Prince-Édouard) is a province of Canada consisting of the island of the same name, and several much smaller islands. Prince Edward Island is one of the three Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population. It is part of the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq, and became a British colony in the 1700s and was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. Its capital is Charlottetown. According to the 2016 census, the province of Prince Edward Island has 142,907 residents.
The backbone of the economy is farming; it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes. The island has several informal names: "Garden of the Gulf," referring to the pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands throughout the province; and "Birthplace of Confederation" or "Cradle of Confederation", referring to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, although PEI did not join Confederation until 1873, when it became the seventh Canadian province. Historically, PEI is one of Canada's older settlements and demographically still reflects older immigration to the country, with Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and French surnames being dominant to this day.
PEI is located about 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Halifax, Nova Scotia and 600
Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, west of Cape Breton Island, north of the Nova Scotia peninsula, and east of New Brunswick. Its southern shore bounds the Northumberland Strait. The island has two urban areas. The largest surrounds Charlottetown Harbour, situated centrally on the island's southern shore, and consists of the capital city Charlottetown, and suburban towns Cornwall and Stratford and a developing urban fringe. A much smaller urban area surrounds Summerside Harbour, situated on the southern shore 40 km (25 mi) west of Charlottetown Harbour, and consists primarily of the city of Summerside. As with all natural harbours on the island, Charlottetown and Summerside harbours are created by rias.
The island's landscape is pastoral. Rolling hills, woods, reddish white sand beaches, ocean coves and the famous red soil have given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty. The provincial government has enacted laws to preserve the landscape through regulation, although there is a lack of consistent enforcement, and an absence of province-wide zoning and land-use planning. Under the Planning Act of the province, municipalities have the option to assume responsibility for land-use planning through the development and adoption of official plans and land use bylaws. Thirty-one municipalities have taken responsibility for planning. In areas where municipalities have not assumed responsibility for planning, the Province remains responsible for development control.