Sustainable and fun things to do in Charlottetown

With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday, 2017 is the perfect time to visit Charlottetown. This historical city is where the Confederation document was signed by the country’s founding fathers. It’s also the capital of Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, and has a happening arts scene, an impressive number of immaculately preserved Victorian buildings, and the gorgeous seascape of the Northumberland Strait.

Just as striking is the city’s commitment to a sustainable community and planet.

Charlottetown is bike-friendly, so to keep your footprint small, first make your way to McQueen’s Bike Shop where one of the enthusiastic staff will set you up with a rental. The city is small with a population of 45,000, and easy to get around. Jump on a bike and get ready to ethically eat and drink your way around.

Here are some sustainable suggestions of things to do in Charlottetown.

Charlottetown #Canada may be a small city but it's one worth visiting. Here's why! #travel Click To Tweet
things to do in Charlottetown the receiver
Latte and Croissant at The Receiver – Credit Kate Robertson

1. Drink Conscious Coffee

Start with a visit to The Receiver coffee shop. The first location opened in 2013, and the business took off so quickly that the owners, childhood friends Chris Francis and Sean Bruinooge, realized working locals weren’t able to get quick service during the busy tourist season.

To accommodate, they recently opened a second location closer to the tourist area, near the wharf where cruise ships dock. With ceiling to floor windows and plenty of seating, you can enjoy your organic baked goods while watching them roast coffee on-site or relax outside at one of the picnic tables on their park-like lawn.

things to do in Charlottetown the receiver
Owner Sean Bruinooge roasting coffee on-site – credit Kate Robertson

According to Francis, they focus on purchasing fair-trade coffee beans, rather than certified organic.

“The price that the farmers have to pay to get that certification stamp on their product makes it inaccessible to a lot of small coffee farms,” he says. “Instead, we prefer to work with reputable green coffee brokers who know their farmers by name and trust their growing practices.”

Cool Sustainability Initiative: When it comes to recycling and re-using, The Receiver is working on partnering with the local farming community to provide them with their coffee grinds and chafe (the shell that comes off in the roasting process). Due to its high acidity, the latter is a natural organic pesticide.

This #cafe in #Charlottetown is working to provide organic pesticides to local #farm Click To Tweet
things to do in Charlottetown farmer's market
Charlottetown Farmer’s Market – credit Kate Robertson

2. Shop Farm Fresh

Prince Edward Island is cottage country, so staying at an Airbnb like Cottage on Kent is a great vacation idea. Bonus: You can get $40 off your first Airbnb with this link, so it’s budget-friendly too!

To fill your refrigerator, make your way to the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market. It’s Saturdays year-round and Wednesdays from the end of June until Thanksgiving.

According to market manager Bernie Plourde, in 1984 a few community members and farmers wanted to see more local produce available. They decided to take matters into their own hands.

The market has been going strong ever since. A Saturday market sees 2,000-3,000 shoppers through its doors, so aim to get there early for prime pickings of shellfish and seafood, fresh cuts of meat from a fourth-generation abattoir, organic breads, endless stands of seasonal fruits and veggies, and treats like organic chocolates.

things to do in Charlottetown taco farmers
The Taco Farmers food booth at Charlottetown Farmer’s Market – credit Kate Robertson

If you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll still want to visit the market to browse the arts and crafts and eat lunch. Recommendation: Taco Farmers, serving up tasty “field-to-plate” Mexican food. All of their ingredients are from their farm, including the corn for their tortillas, meat and the pinto beans.

Cool Sustainability Initiative: Taco Farmers’ veggies are grown from open-pollinated seeds, meaning they can save the seed each year for re-planting.

things to do in Charlottetown up street brewery
Up Street Brewery – credit Kate Robertson

3. Sip At A Socially Conscious Brewery

Next, stop at Upstreet Brewery.  Despite just opening in 2015, they have already won Startup Canada’s Social Enterprise Award and become a Certified B Corp.

Owners Mike Hogan and Mitch Cobb are all about sustainability, sourcing local ingredients as much as possible. Sixty percent of their hops come from the Atlantic Canada region and they source local fruits and spruce tips to flavor their beer.

things to do in Charlottetown brewery
The brewmaster, co-owner Mike Hogan – credit Kate Robertson

Attached to the microbrewery is the pub, the perfect place to grab an afternoon snack and a fresh brew. Try the “Do Gooder” and feel philanthropic knowing a percentage of proceeds go towards a “Do-Good” Fund to support local artists and community groups.

Cool Sustainability Initiative: Upstreet is starting a partnership with a local orchard, The Grove, to tailor their beers to some of the orchard’s specialty fruits, like the yellow-egg plum.

Check out this brewery in Charlottetown #Canada that supports local #artists! #travel Click To Tweet
things to do in Charlottetown my plum my duck
Chef Sarah Forrester Wendt – credit Kate Robertson

4. Eat Vegan/Macrobiotic

The recently opened My Plum, My Duck, where ingredients are local and organic and everything is made in-house, is a must-go for dinner.

Chef Sarah Forrester Wendt grew up in a family that followed a macrobiotic diet. Even though she worked at prestigious restaurants and taught whole food courses at Yale, she always knew opening a vegan restaurant was her dream.

things to do in Charlottetown my plum my duck
Macrobiotic Platter – credit Kate Robertson

The menu is seasonal and they buy “under-appreciated” produce — the fruit or veggies that don’t look perfect —from farmers and foragers.

“PEI can feed you,” says Chef Wendt, “and it’s easy to get organic meats, dairy, eggs and produce here.”

Tip:  try the macrobiotic platter, a perfectly balanced meal with grains, beans, sea veggies, pickles and miso soup. It is paired with the house cocktail special, the “Kimchi Caesar.” The libation features house-made kimchi and tomato juice, served with PEI vodka and garnished with a house-pickled fiddle head and asparagus.

Cool Sustainability Initiative: Even the PEI canola oil used for deep-frying at My Plum, My Duck is recycled to a motor vehicle bio diesel program.

Where to Stay

Both Dundee Arms, an inn in a historical 1903 Queen Anne revival mansion and the modern Hotel on Pownal are located in Old Charlottetown. This is the perfect area to make as a base for walking or cycling to explore the best things to do in Charlottetown.

Heading to Prince Edward Island #Canada? Don't skip Charlottetown! #pei #sustainabletravel Click To Tweet

Have any conscious things to do in Charlottetown to add to this list? We’d love to hear in the comments below! 

Sustainable and fun things to do in Charlottetown

Further Exploration:

How To Help The Planet By Drinking Icewine [Blog Inspiration]

Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments [Travel Safety]

Speakeasy Hidden-Pocket Scarves [Practical Style]

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Kate Robertson

Kate Robertson is a Canadian freelance writer and a regular contributor to a variety of magazines. She is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. Kate has a passion for active solo travel, and her writing interests include active/adventure travel, culture, food & drink, spas, health & wellness, responsible tourism, and epic offbeat adventures. Follow her travels on social media.

Kate Robertson

Kate Robertson is a Canadian freelance writer and a regular contributor to a variety of magazines. She is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. Kate has a passion for active solo travel, and her writing interests include active/adventure travel, culture, food & drink, spas, health & wellness, responsible tourism, and epic offbeat adventures. Follow her travels on social media.

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8 Comments

  1. hi,

    here is very informative posting for me ,

    regards,

    mansi desai

    1. Glad to hear it Mansi!

  2. Hi, we visit Charlettetown last September, we just fall in love with the city and the Island / people included.

    1. I agree, Pierre. Great place!

  3. Would like information on renting for a period in August – trailer parks, cottages, etc. would you give me information on how to proceed?

    1. Hi Daisy, for more info, please contact (see top of the page): https://www.tourismpei.com/

  4. After your trip to Canada, you should try out sustainable coffee shops in NYC! My Brother’s Coffee is the go-to blog for info and reviews on this. Check it out!

    https://mybrotherscoffee.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/bluestone-lane/

    1. Great, thanks Natalie!

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