For many, what comes to mind when thinking of Prince Edward Island, is Anne of Green Gables. A visit to the island will confirm that the internationally popular tale of a spunky red-haired girl is alive and well. An Anne themed tour of PEI will be a memorable experience for your entire family.
Most travellers arriving on the island whether at the Charlottetown airport or after crossing the spectacular Confederation Bridge or disembarking from the ferry at Wood-Islands immediately make their way to the Cavendish to visit the House of Green Gables. This site, inspired the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery‘s series of books on the loveable, independent-minded Anne. Here one can tour the house, watch a presentation on the history of the National Historic Site and learn about the writing career of L.M. Montgomery and the environment of late 19th century PEI that plays a large role in her stories. L.M. Montgomery did not live in Green Gables. It was owned by her cousins the Macneill’s. Her fictional creation of Anne’s life in the house is celebrated by the guides who are dressed in period costume. They show the house as if it indeed was the home of Anne. It is as if fiction has become fact.
On the grounds of the Green Gables farm you can stroll in what L.M. Montgomery called in the novels the Haunted Woods, Lovers Lane and Balsam Hollow. A short walk through the woods leads to the site where once stood the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery. It was here that she wrote her instantly popular Anne of Green Gables published in 1908. Although L.M. Montgomery moved to Ontario she continued to recreate a romantic PEI setting for the adventures of Anne in the sequels to the first story.
Not far from the House of Green Gables is the recreated historic village of Avonlea. Here one can step back in time and experience the atmosphere in which Anne grew up. Roving characters from the Anne tales engage the visitors as do the musical kitchen parties, story-telling and many activities for children including a farmer’s pig race.
Be sure to save some time for shopping in the Anne of Green Gables Store where you will find an endless selection of everything connected with Anne and L.M. Montgomery. Also visit Anne of Green Gables Chocolates at the Cavendish Boardwalk nearby for a virtually unlimited selection of tempting treats. Try the chocolate dipped PEI potato chips. If while you are in Cavendish you miss picking up some of Anne’s chocolates, or a bottle her favourite raspberry cordial or the ever popular Anne straw hat with attached carrot coloured braids, you can visit Anne of Green Gables Chocolates and the Anne of Green Gables stores in central Charlottetown. They are located across the street from the next stop on your Anne experience at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
No trip to PEI is complete without taking in a performance of Anne of Green Gables — The Musical. This show runs throughout the summer at the Confederation Centre. Adapted from L. M. Montgomery’s novel the musical has been staged every year since 1965. The fact that it is Canada’s longest running musical is proof of its enduring appeal to audiences of all ages. The story, the staging and the skill of the singers and dancers provide for a truly memorable experience. It is a perfect conclusion to an Anne of Green Gables themed trip to Prince Edward Island.