Cavendish

Overview

Introduction

On the north shore, 25 mi/40 km northwest of Charlottetown, Cavendish is one of the tourism hubs of Prince Edward Island. Some of its allure comes from the white-sand beaches of Prince Edward Island National Park. But there's another reason people visit: This is Green Gables country.

Many of the area's most popular attractions are related to author Lucy Maud Montgomery and her well-known novel Anne of Green Gables. One highlight is Green Gables, the setting for the book. If you grew up a fan of the childhood odyssey, you'll be enchanted by how true the house and gardens are to Montgomery's account. But you won't be aloneā€”busloads of people arrive daily during summer, so go there as early as you can. Be sure to leave time to walk the trails around the house.

The site of Montgomery's childhood home has been restored by her cousin John MacNeill and his wife Jennie. The house was torn down in 1919, but the cellar and the path the author used to go to school still survive. The MacNeills have a small museum and gift shop on-site, and quotes from the book have been placed along the paths. At the corner of Routes 6 and 13 is the location of Montgomery's final resting place in historic Cavendish Cemetery.

Montgomery was born in nearby New London, where her birthplace has been turned into a small museum that includes her wedding ensemble and personal scrapbooks. A few miles/kilometers away, in Park Corner, is the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush. It's a house once owned by Montgomery's uncle that was one of the author's favorite places. It was here she married Ewan MacDonald. Now a draw for other couples from around the world, it has been fully restored and furnished as it would have been in Anne's day. The Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum, the home of the author's paternal grandfather, lies across the road.

Beyond the Anne of Green Gables sights, Cavendish is similar to many other resort and beach areas. In fact, it's one of the most heavily developed parts of Prince Edward Island. The beach at Cavendish is lovely, but it's one of the most crowded stretches of sand on the island. There are also a number of amusement parks in the area: Sandspit (amusement park and rides) and Avonlea Village (actors perform skits and scenes).

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum has a range of wacky exhibits including life-size wax figures, plus a fun minigolf course. West of Cavendish on Route 6 is the Marine Aquarium and Manor of Birds in Stanley Bridge. It features native fish, mounted birds, displays on the Malpeque oyster, a seal pool, a large collection of mounted butterflies and an on-site restaurant. The owner of the aquarium, Phyllis Carr, is an accomplished oyster shucker, and you may get the chance to see her in action.

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