Named after an Anglo Saxon saint from Glastonbury, England, St. Dunstan's Basilica is a beautifully constructed stone basilica. An elaborate example of French-Gothic architecture, it claims to be the only Roman Catholic cathedral in the region. The site's original structure was completed in 1907 though the landmark that stands today was constructed in 1916 after a fire destroyed the first site. Later that same century, the nicely rebuilt St. Dunstan's Basilica was designated a National Historic Site, skyrocketing it to the top of the list of great attractions in Charlottetown.
Beaconsfield Historic House reminds visitors of the Victorian charm of the 19th century. The exquisite mansion was built in 1877 in a great location by Victoria Park, overlooking the Charlottetown Harbour. Its 25 rooms and eight fireplaces not only provide insight into the fashions of The Gilded Age but also make the former residence a true historical treasure. Beyond the banana-yellow facade, you can't miss the carriage house, which hosts a children's festival in the summer. Tours are offered year round, and the on-site bookstore sells an assortment of material on the history and the architecture of the island.
An offshoot of the Gahan House Brewery, the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company in Charlottetown is an impressive microbrewery. It spans 25,000 square feet (2322.58 square meters) and is located in a renovated former cabinet factory, which now gives off a certain charm. Featuring a huge brew house, an event space with a stage used for concerts and other major events, a retail store, and a bar, the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company is open to the public for tours daily. Guests under 19 years can have an alcohol free tour. There is also a cold beer store on site. For those that appreciate craft ales, a visit to this brewery is a must while in town.
Local hangout, gastropub, microbrewery: there's nothing The Gahan House can't do. Brewing seven ales on the premises, this downtown joint is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite or beer though the menu also offers options for a heavier meal. The casual cuisine celebrates local flavors, particularly those from the sea. Try the Prince Edward Island mussels or Atlantic seafood chowder. If you're feeling thirsty and don't want something on tap, you can also opt for cocktails, wine, or even sangria. Either way, be sure to book a brewery tour after your meal to get an inside look at how the house specialities are made.
Also known as Fanningbank, this Government House is the official residence of the Prince Edward Island lieutenant governor. It takes its nickname from Edmund Fanning, the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island who decided the site's location in 1789. Construction on the residence was finished in 1834, and its traditional Georgian architecture has been admired ever since. Beyond hosting several royal meetings and events each year, the Government House welcomes visitors to tour the grounds and read up on its history in the carriage house.
Nestled in the center of downtown Charlottetown, City Hall is an important structure local structure, housing offices of various departments related to the city of Charlottetown. The building is a beautiful Romanesque Revival structure that was established in 1888. It was designed by Charles Benjamin Chappell and John Lemuel Phillips who also designed the city's fire hall in 1916. This government building was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984.
Located on the premises of St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown Charlottetown, All Souls' Chapel was established as a dedication to Father George Hodgson, the cathedral's first priest. Established in 1888, the chapel features High Victorian Gothic architecture, and it was constructed in locally sourced sandstone. The chapel was designed by William Critchlow Harris, a renowned ecclesiastical architect, and Harris' brother Robert painted the murals that grace the chapel's inner walls. Visit this National Historic Site and regional Heritage Place then get a breath of fresh air at Rochford Square, which is situated just beyond All Souls' Chapel.
As with most island cities, activity in Charlottetown largely revolves around the waterfront. Not only is Peake's Wharf a hub of commercial activity in the city, but it also has historic beginnings as the site where the Fathers of Confederation landed in 1864. Today, visitors can make modern history by attending one of the open concert series held over the summer or get to know the Charlottetown ethos by perusing local boutiques, restaurants, and venues. More than 20 shops can be found at Peake's Wharf, covering any practical or fun needs you might have. Best of all, no matter what you do when visiting the wharf, you're guaranteed great views of the water!