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Known as PEI for short, Prince Edward Island brings the old fashioned country charm captured in the bestseller Anne of Green Gables to life. The 140-mile long Atlantic Provinces island is Canada’s smallest yet most populous province. Joined to the mainland by a lengthy bridge, it is easy to reach by car, including the provincial capital of Charlottetown and the nearby coastal tourist areas within Prince Edward Island National Park.
The best place to obtain car hire in Prince Edward Island is in Charlottetown or the island’s second largest community, Summerside. Here, visitors will find branches of international chains such as Avis, Budget and Enterprise, with the best deals on vehicles found when you compare car hire.
Buses and shuttles serve the provincial capital from neighbouring provinces. Alternatively, visitors can fly into Charlottetown, which host the only airport on PEI. Both US and domestic flights are available. Car ferries link the province with Nova Scotia. Intra-island public transport is limited to a few shuttle services between major locations, making car rental in Prince Edward Island highly recommended.
Winter snow here rarely leads to the closure of major roadways but blizzards between December and April can make driving difficult. Winter tires may be necessary. The island offers many scenic drives which follow the coast. Police carry out random breath tests.
Outside of Charlottetown lies the island’s main tourist draw, Prince Edward Island National Park, where the sand dunes at Greenwich and the popular beach at Cavendish are must-visits. The Anne of Green Gables house at Cavendish is where the Montgomery story was set. The North Cape, the Central and the Points East coastal drives take visitors through charming communities and past diverse landscapes, with stops at lobster supper joints, dairy bars and red clay beaches along the way practically obligatory.
Avoid mid-September to mid-June when many shops and accommodations close. July and August are the most popular months, but early September and early June offer fewer crowds but just as pleasant weather. Summer temperatures often hover above 20°C. Winters are snowy, with snow cover often lasting until May, and cold, with below freezing temperatures and blizzards common.