two people beside a lake with a tent, playing guitar
Where to Stay

Where to stay in PEI Part 2 — Campgrounds

Click here to see Part 1 — Cottages

Even given PEI’s high level of tourism you might still be surprised at the range of camping options you can find here. Camping options run the full length of the luxury-roughing it spectrum. On the luxury end there is glamping (that’s “glamourous camping”) and RV campgrounds. And the options continue through well-serviced sites with plenty of amenities all the way to the other the end of the spectrum. At the other end are “barebones all-the-way-back-to-nature” locations where tents are set up where ever the ground is flat enough. Here, the hot water only happens if you boil it. So, let’s start on the more luxurious end of camping options in Prince Edward Island.

The Non-Tent Options

Just how glamorous can it be? One PEI glamping location near the eastern tip of the Island describes its yurt rentals as providing guests with  “all the comfortable basics to enjoy their vacation including shower, tub, washer, range/oven and cozy Jotul woodstove. Firewood is provided. There is a small kitchen area with several appliances, including a coffee press, and a sink for clean-up. The yurt has a queen-size bed and bedside tables, with a small DVD player in front and a sofa to the side. Glampers have access to Wi-Fi at a nearby cell tower which offers a good hotspot.”

To be honest, I had to look up what a Jotul woodstove. Clearly, I’m not much of a camper or a  glamper. I did know what a yurt was, I’m not totally unread you know! But I have to admit the idea of camping that involves sleeping quarters that include bedside tables sounds much better than any camping I ever did. I will have to say that some yurts seem tent-like and others, well, they’re pretty much soft-sided cottages. To find out more you can check out the options at www.glampinghub.com.

Photo Credit:
Tourism PEI – Stclair Macaulay

For people who like transportation and accomodations rolled into one there are RV parks. All the benefits and conveniences of a cottage with the flexibility to move it pretty much anywhere you can drive. PEI has no shortage of places with serviced sites for RV. In fact the website www.gorving.ca lists more than two dozen sites to choose from. The Island has also played host to RV rallies, most recently in August, 2018 when the Explorer RV Club held its national rally in New Annan, PEI.

Tenting Options

But by far, the most common way to camp in Prince Edward Island is in a tent. And there are many places to pitch your tent. The National Park has 300 sites and the eight Provincial campgrounds total more than 500 sites. Add to that the close to 20 private campgrounds with hundreds more sites. Now you see the choice you’ll have no matter where on the island you’re planning to stay. If you are planning to camp in the National Park in peak season, you’ll want to book your site early. You can do so online anytime now as booking for the 2019 season opened in January.

It has to be mentioned – CBMF.

July and August are considered peak season for all types of accommodations in Prince Edward Island. However, “extra peak season” includes the weekend of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival (CBMF). This year CBMF runs Friday July 5th, to Sunday July 7th. People wanting to book campsites near the festival grounds for CBMF weekend do so early in the year. However, Tourism PEI helps CBMF concert goers find accommodations by type and date at https://www.tourismpei.com/lodging-cavendish-concert.

For those people who aren’t looking to be anywhere near the Cavendish region during CBMF, there are plenty of camping options as well. One such location can be found on the western end of the island, on the south shore that faces the warm, shallow waters of the Northumberland strait. Here you’ll find Cedar Dunes Provincial Park in O’Leary. This lovely park is also home to West Point lighthouse. West Point is the only inn in Canada to also be home to a working lighthouse.

West Point Lighthouse O'Leary PEI
Photo Credit – Tourism PEI: Heather Ogg

Also in O’Leary, near the park is the Canadian Potato Museum. On the far opposite end of the island, near the eastern tip, you’ll can pitch your tent at All Points East Campground. With a sundeck/pool and two beaches within walking distance, you may not move your car from the time you arrive until the time you leave. Or, for those arriving on bicycles, this location means you don’t have to take your bike to the beach! What if you’re traveling with campers but you don’t like the idea of a tent? All Points East has a 6 person solar-powered bunkhouse as well!

Away from the tourist-y places

For those who like to be a little closer to the city, even when they are camping, Cornwall/Charlottetown KOA may be just the ticket. Only 9 km from Charlottetown, it’s located on a scenic river and it’s central location makes it a great base from which to do daytrips.

Campers who are taking the ferry to Nova Scotia and want stay close to Wood Islands should consider Northumberland Provincial Park. It’s a great place to stay if you’re catching an early morning ferry. And, you’ll be handy to a winery, the Marconi National Historic Site, and several lighthouses which contain museums or interpretive centers.

Photo Credit: Tourism PEI – John Sylvester

So now you know there is a PEI campground for pretty much every taste, level of roughing it (or not) and desired location. It probably a good thing the island is small or it would take you that much longer to camp it all!

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