Have you ever explored the Maritimes of Canada? I got to explore the place where this whole country came together back in 1867, Prince Edward Island (PEI). With red soil chock-full of delicious potatoes, coastlines full of beaches and the dark waters kept alight by beautiful lighthouses, Prince Edward Island is a gorgeous island full of adventure and friendly islanders.
First up on my list was Charlottetown, the capital city of PEI and the birthplace of confederation (where our country came together to become one).
I didn’t think that I had any expectations going into this trip, but whatever ones I did have were exceeded by the beauty and culture in Charlottetown. I was greeted with grey, gloomy skies to make me feel right at home (coming from Vancouver), which was a complete abnormality in their seasons. Someone said it was the coldest temperatures that they’ve had in July for 60 years, but that didn’t stop ✨ PEI’s shine ✨.
I’m in Prince Edward Island right now getting schooled as a Canadian about the history of this country I’ve lived in for over 20 years. Interesting story of how it all came together, even though it’s definitely not the first time I’ve heard it! 😂 Loving all of the culture and community in Charlottetown and feeling at home with these off-season rainy days making me think I haven’t even left Vancouver. More to come @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
Like I said, Prince Edward Island and specifically Charlottetown is where the country of Canada was formed. I’m sure that I learned this at some point in school, tucking it wayyyy back in my memory space, but it was a whole other experience to be there.
The amount of history and stories present in the city and throughout the island was truly amazing and helped me feel more connected to the land and this beautiful country we live in. This is where it all began.
PEI National Park – Greenwich
On my next day, I took a trip up northeast into the National Parks of Prince Edward Island to explore the floating boardwalks and dancing sand dunes of Greenwich. But first, I took a quick stopover at the Farmer’s Market to grab lunch to-go, and I’m grateful for the African-inspired food that was all vegan and gluten-free. 🎉 I took my food with me for a little National park picnic.
Heading out on the trails today was a great decision 👍🏼 PEI’s National Parks are filled with sand dunes and those sands dunes are filled with… Foxes! 🐺 It wasn’t until the highway back ‘home’ that I saw one of those majestic beings, but the rest of the day was full of stunning landscapes, wide vistas and a lighthouse to guide me to “the end of the world” …at least until Europe or Africa. All of that and an abandoned house adventure! Getting out on the road and outside my comfort zone. @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
A photo posted by Bryce Evans (@artofbryce) on
Here’s my best attempt of trying to properly portray the views you get from this beautiful park. I went through all three trails and wasn’t disappointed. The signs told me that the dunes dance in the coastal winds and continuously take on new forms. 😍
The day ended at the Trailside Cafe in Mount Stewart, for dinner and a performance by grammy award-winning artist Gordie Sampson. His opening act, The Mae Trio, came all the way from Australia for their first time in Canada. I’m glad they made the trip, their performance was so beautiful.
Victoria By The Sea
In the morning, I took a trip down to Victoria to check out the fishing village that’s been taken over by artisans and a flurry of creativity. I was greeted by bright colours, another lighthouse (can’t get enough), and many kind souls.
The character flows through the whole village.
Eric Gilbert is a chocolatier at Island Chocolates, growing up working at the factory run by his family. He spoke with me about the history of their company, the village and the whole process of the chocolates that they make. He regularly makes trips around the world to source cacao beans for their chocolate to ensure the quality and ethics behind their products.
I was told that their 70% Ecuador dark chocolate was the best he’s ever had in his life, I have to agree. 💛🍫
Follow the light ✨ PEI is full of lighthouses and my quick-stop in Victoria today showed me this beautiful gem decked out in red and white 🍁 There’s so much history all over this place it’s truly incredible and I’ve felt so welcome by everyone I’ve crossed paths with. Lots of stories to come! Grateful to be guided by the flashing lights along the island throughout this adventure. @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
The rainiest part of my journey was in Summerside, but that didn’t phase this great little city from showing off. I was taken on a Segway tour throughout the city to discover the roots of their history and how today’s planning was building a bright future for the second biggest city in PEI.
I had to show off my new skills. 💪🏼 [press play below]
Guys, you see these skills? I’m a Summerside Segway Superstar now! ✨🎉🙆🏻 Just finished a rainy tour of the Summerside coastline trails via my speedy wheels and loving all of the colours in this maritime city. Honestly, it’s kind of fun to ride too. Even though it’s usually sunny ☀️ PEI must have known it’s better with the clouds and fog anyway – that’s when the colours POP 😍 @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
A video posted by Bryce Evans (@artofbryce) on
I made my way to North Cape the next morning, after getting lost and falling into a highway wormhole that brought me back to the exact same gas station I’d stopped at before 😂
North Cape is known for its natural rock reef, red dirt cliffs, and is home to more foxes!!! I headed out onto the hiking trails to find my fox friends and discover the views this place had to offer. I’m glad I did. 🐺
My adventures came to an end at West Point, where I stayed the night in Canada’s first inn in an active lighthouse. Luckily, the whole sky cleared just before I arrived and I was greeted with blue skies and a spectacular sunset viewed from the top of the lighthouse tower.
Definitely a highlight of the whole trip. ✨🙌🏼✨
The sun came out ✨☀️✨ and guess what? I’m sleeping in this lighthouse tonight! After 3 full days of clouds and gray, I was stoked to see the sky clear up and turn bright blue for my last night here. Perfect timing for a sunset! Only in PEI can you sleep in a lighthouse and capture the sunset from the top. Visit the link in my profile to watch a video of the sunset from that view 👀 @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
A photo posted by Bryce Evans (@artofbryce) on
Want to see a video with the full view? ✨👉🏼 Link in bio. Back to back in honor of this unreal experience of capturing my first PEI sunset from the top of a lighthouse. Today was all about getting lost, finding foxes, and soaking up the relaxing atmosphere for one last day before heading home. This scene was the perfect comma to end my time here, for now 🙂 @tourismpei #ExplorePEI
Want to see the full view? Watch the video!
Insights Gained From The Experience
- Recognize the creative self doubts are a reflection of something great. As I continue to do more paid work revolving around my photography and art, I find that the voice inside my head becomes ever more critical. Don’t listen to it, but take it as a reminder that you’re being even more open and creative in a bigger arena.
- Beauty isn’t restricted to one season (or type of weather). Although it didn’t bother me initially, I did find it challenging to create great work with the muted, grey days that I was presented with during most of my time in PEI (very unusual for them at this time of year). I pushed through and once I was out of that ‘stuck’ mindset, I found the work was what I hoped for in the end.
- Just ask. This is something I’ve been learning more and more the last 5 years, a door will never open if you don’t knock. While at the West Point Lighthouse, the innkeeper was hesistant to let me up to the top of the lighthouse on the outside as he recently decided he wouldn’t do them so often anymore. After asking and explaining my situation, I was able to spend almost an hour up top with one of the best views on PEI.
Thank you to Tourism PEI for hosting and working with me on this campaign. Also, to Rodd Charlottetown and Mill River for the great accomodations. I loved the island and will definitely be back soon for more adventures and relaxation!