The National Parks of Canada on a Budget
About: Only 139,818 people call Prince Edward Island home. There is so much beauty to this little place that it is almost beyond description. Beyond its endless green hills, old-fashioned churches, and mussel farms are the clean, sandy beaches, rust-red cliffs, and giant shifting sand dunes of Prince Edward Island National Park. Spread over only 25 miles of the north shore, it may be one of Canada’s smallest parks but it is also one of its busiest.
When to go: Late June to late August. Like a beer, this is best enjoyed in the sun.
Photo op: At the west end, the dunes are simply so big and so stunning that if you get the right location for your photo, it could be a classic.
Don’t miss: There are all sorts of great interactive exhibits and hiking trails at the newly refurbished Greenwich Interpretation Centre. Close to the Centre, archaeological digs have discovered that there are traces of habitation from almost 10,000-years ago. Also visit the Green Gables House, the setting for the famous L.M. Montgomery novel Anne of Green Gables.
Where to stay: This is one of the cheaper options and you can find cottages for as little as $50. Check Canadian Rockies for more options.
Fact to tell your friends: The moss that washes up on the beach is used as a thickener in toothpaste. It is Canada’s 23rd largest island the 104th biggest in the world.
Warning: The sand dunes are weak from excessive fox dens. They are very liable to collapse if you wander into the wrong place. Stick with the boardwalks.