Summerside has much to offer the cruise ship industry as a port of call.
Summerside is a city of about 15,000 situated on a peninsula – the narrowest part of the Island. It is on the south side, the “summer side” of PEI on beautiful Bedeque Bay. From some points in Summerside one can see Malpeque Bay on the north side of PEI.
Indian Head Lighthouse
As a ship enters the harbour it passes Indian Head Lighthouse, one of the Island’s most unique lighthouses, set out a kilometer from MacCallum’s Point on a concrete foundation in the bay. A breakwater shelters ships as they enter the harbour. Within the harbour an excellent marina shares a venue with the curling club, the only one of its kind anywhere. Also evident at a glance is Spinnakers’ Landing, a colourful summertime shopping village, designed like a fishing village, which beckons tourists to Summerside.
For the history lover
Eptek Art and Culture Centre, which provides displays ranging from arts and crafts to history and science; the gift shop features only Island-made items such as painting, books and magazines. On one of the walls one can see pictures of some stately homes built during the ship-building era as well as the “fox houses” of the early 20th Century. In the same building is a Visitors Information Centre and the Harbourfront Theatre which seats over 500.
Art is Alive and Well in Summerside
The Arts and Heritage Culture of Summerside is displayed in a number of buildings. These include the Wyatt Historic House Museum, the Lefurgey Cultural Centre, the MacNaught History Centre and Archives where you can check if your ancestors lived on PEI. Two more stops of interest nearby include the Bishop Machine Shop Museum, and the International Fox Museum which also houses Gallery 33 where local artists exhibit their work. A walking tour of the downtown area exposes the walker to beautiful historic homes. A book is available for a self-guided tour of this area.
For the adventurer
Summerside boasts a seven kilometer boardwalk, called The Baywalk, which forms an arc around the downtown business area, a beach, and a cleared wooded area. The boardwalk is enhanced by interpretive panels, exercise equipment, and a grand view of the Indian Head Lighthouse and the Confederation Bridge.
Summerside also boasts the Island’s only Segway Tour of the harbour.
You can rent bikes to tour the city and trails, kayaks and paddle boards to tour the harbour and Holman’s Island. Or, take a walk in Rotary Friendship Park, a lovely wooded park located on the north side of the city.
The Confederation Trail running from “tip to tip” across the Island also beckons the cyclist, jogger and walker.
For the music lover
The world famous College of Piping offers three mini-concerts daily (Monday-Friday) at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30, as well as a major concert “Highland Storm” on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings – a must for those who love Celtic (especially Scottish) music.
A must for the photographer is the Irish Moss gathering, which occurs along the North Cape Coast Drive, especially after a storm.