Canada’s smallest province, lighthouse-dotted Prince Edward Island, is nestled in the North Atlantic between the Northumberland Strait and St. Lawrence Seaway. These warm waters influence the maritime destination’s climate, which in turn creates one of the longest autumn foliage periods in the continent’s northeastern region.
The island’s naturally red-hued oxidized soil, sand and fields are gorgeous against the colored leaves. Also in fall are two food festivals: PEI International Shellfish Festival and Fall Flavors Festival, with oyster tonguing and potato picking.
To the north, Prince Edward Island National Park has its own style of rural, earthy beauty, with lofty sandstone cliffs and dunes, evergreen forests, white-sand beaches and sleepy fishing and agricultural communities with clusters of cozy farmhouses. The Cavendish section of the park is the home of Green Gables House museum, the farm immortalized in the 1908 book “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Nearby, interactive Avonlea Village is where period-costumed re-enactors bring the book’s characters to life.
Ecotourism options abound, including deep-sea fishing for tuna, cycling on the 170-mile-long converted railroad tracks of the interior Confederation Trail, clam digging, kayaking among seals and porpoises and birdwatching for eagles and osprey.
For something different, pop into the Potato Museum, a tearoom in quaint Victoria by the Sea or the three Bottle Houses, made of 25,000 multicolored glass bottles.