9 Reasons Winter is the Best Time to Visit PEI, Canada’s Food Island

Winter on Prince Edward Island is where it’s at!  

Forget any notions you may have had that PEI is only a summertime destination, the season of snow transforms our little island into a magical ice paradise.

Whether you want to embrace hygge with your loved one, get outside and get active with the kids, or try something truly new and unusual, PEI has got you covered. 

And, of course, no matter what kind of winter getaway you fancy, you can count on an incredible culinary experience while visiting Canada’s Food Island

Here are 9 top reasons winter is the best time to visit!

1. Oysters Are at Their Most Exquisite


The rumours are true! While PEI oysters are incredible any month of the year, they are at their very best in the colder months of the year. This is because oysters spawn during the summer months, which can result in slightly less flavourful and softer meat. Now that’s a dozen great reasons to visit Canada’s Food Island right there – happy shucking!

2. Horse & Sleigh Rides + Hot Chocolate = Bliss

There’s truly nothing that harkens back to the beauty and magic of simpler times like a horse & sleigh ride. You’ll find a number of outfits across the Island that offer this quintessential experience once the snow has fallen.  

Most of them end the ride with a cuppa hot chocolate or coffee, or you can head to one of the Island’s many cafes where hot chocolate is a staple. Heck, we love hot chocolate so much, there’s now a Hot Chocolate Trail across Central PEI that takes place in November and December!

3. You Can Do a Progressive Dinner

For a unique evening out with your travel party or friends, do a progressive dinner. The concept of a progressive dinner is simple – enjoy 3 courses, each at a different restaurant – but can sometimes be a challenge to orchestrate when restaurants are filled to the brim.

Happily, during the winter, you’ll find restaurants are a little quieter. Plan your progressive dinner for a weeknight and keep your party to a max of 4 and you can probably get away without even making resos.

4. Islanders Know How to Celebrate the Season…and You’re Invited!

OK, we don’t want to brag, but at the same time we don’t want you to miss out… 

See, the thing is, PEI knows how to host epic events and there’s a whole whack of them taking place this winter! All we need to make them even more ah-maz-ing is YOU and your favourite peeps.  

So put on your warmest mittens, grab your galoshes, pack your appetite and come join us for all sorts of winter-y and delicious fun, including: 

5. Snowshoeing Makes Everything More Magical

Photo Credit: Caley Joy Photography/Explore Summerside

Skeptical about walking on giant shoes over fields of snow? We get it, but we promise that if you give it a chance, you’ll fall in love with snowshoeing. And hey, once you’ve done it, you can tell your friends you’ve walked on water! They don’t need to know it was frozen 😉

There are lots of great snowshoeing trails already broken for you across PEI. Here are a few resources that will help you find your perfect trail:

Snowshoes in the City. – Discover Charlottetown

Trail Maps -Cavendish Beach

PEI Trail Reports

Brookvale Activity Park

6. You Can Burn Energy Fat Biking, Then Treat Yourself to Dinner

Photo Credit: Caley Joy Photography/Explore Summerside

The fat biking phenomenon has definitely taken PEI by storm (snowstorm, that is!).

Give this heart-pumping winter-friendly activity a go and enjoy the great outdoors in a brand new way! Here are a few locations and events that will help you get started on your fat biking adventures:

Brookvale Ski Park – rentals and trails

Cavendish Winter Actiivty Hub – rentals and trails

Ride It! In Explore Summerside – Fat biking events for every skill level (multiple dates) as part of the Winter Warmth Festival 

7. You Can Go On a Winter Trek with Goats

You’ve probably ‘herd’ of the goats + yoga phenomenon, but how about goats + snowshoes or x-country skis? Well, it’s a thing here on PEI! Connect with our friends at Island Hill Farm to find out how you can go trekking across the rolling fields of central PEI accompanied by goats!

Pro tip: Make sure you visit their on-farm bakery after your trek to enjoy a hot beverage and the most delightful pastries including, arguably, some of the best butter tarts you’ll ever have!

8. Oyster Tonging on Ice-Covered Waters Is SO Cool

Our oyster fishers are so dedicated to their work, that they don’t let a little (or a lot) of ice get in the way of harvesting! 

And thanks to Tranquility Cove Adventures, you can now get in on the action yourself! Fisherman Perry Gottell will take you out on the ice and show you the ins and outs of tonging for oysters in the traditional way.

It’s loads of fun and at the end, you’ll get to enjoy the freshest oysters ever! Just make sure you pack warm weather gear for this unique adventure, you’re going to need it, we promise.

Pssst – check out this video for a sneak peek at what you can expect!

9. The Canada Games are Coming – Join the Fun Feb 18th to Mar 5th

Photo Credit: 2023 Canada Games

Last, but certainly not least, the Canada Games are coming to PEI from Feb 18th to March 15th.

This is the first time our little province has hosted the games since 1992 and you can bet your bottom dollar we are going ALL OUT with celebrations and all sorts of activities in the lead-up to and during the games. And then there are the actual sporting events themselves, which represent the pinnacle of national achievement amongst Canadian athletes.

It’s shaping up to one of the most incredible events PEI has ever hosted and we sure hope you can join and cheer on our nation’s top athletes!


There you have it, just 9 of the MANY reasons winter is the best time to visit PEI, Canada’s Food Island. So don’t delay, get your trip booked, pack your snow pants, and come enjoy this magical season of snowflakes and skating rinks!

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