For several years, my friend Caroline and I have talked about going to Prince Edward Island in search of our favorite author, Lucy Maud Montgomery (known as “Maud” to friends and family).
We’re avid fans, having read all the Anne books several times through, many of her other novels, all five volumes of Maud’s journals, as well as the newest extensive biography released about her life.
Well, sometimes dreams do come true! Back in July we drove for 13 hours from my home in Connecticut to PEI–and spent four magical days drinking in the sights and beauty there.
It seems like as soon as I mention this trip, many readers swoon and say “I want to do that!”
My advice? Do it! Plan your trip with help here, and check out Caroline’s post on the top 10 places for Anne/Maud fans to visit.
But why wait? Gather the Anne fans in your home and come to the Island with us today:
Stop 1. Green Gables Heritage Place
Head to Green Gables on Google Earth. If you check out the satellite view you can zoom in and see both the house and the path Lover’s Lane behind it!
When you visit Green Gables fact and fiction start to blur. I had to keep reminding myself that Anne had not actually lived in this house.
Maud’s cousins, the McNeills, owned this home, which was within walking distance of Maud’s own residence. Situated on the way to her beloved Lover’s Lane, this property inspired her enough to become the setting for her famous novel.
Take a tour of Green Gables (5 min video):
Stop 2. Lake of Shining Waters
Head to the Lake of Shining Waters on Google Earth. I included a screenshot of the actual pond above, as well as a zoomed-out version so you can see how the location relates to Green Gables and the rest of the Island. Zoom in on satellite view to get a great view of the lake–called “Campbells’ Pond on the map.
You’ll find the Lake of Shining Waters on the grounds of Park Corner. This 110 acre farm belonged to more of Maud’s cousins, the Campbells, and Maud had some of her happiest life moments here.
Take a peek at the Lake of Shining Waters (4 minute clip):
During our visit, Caroline and I made a vlog combining passages from Anne of Green Gables with some of the spots featured in the book. The Lake of Shining Waters comes in at the end!
Stop 3. The Red Cliffs of the North Shore, PEI
Head here to view the red cliffs on the North Shore of Google Earth. Nearly the entire North Shore of PEI is part of a national park and beyond stunning! Of course the red cliffs and roads also continue throughout the Island.
As a young teen I fell in love with the red cliffs/dunes of Prince Edward Island most from the Anne of Green Gables mini-series, which brought the Island’s beauty to life in my eyes. Finally seeing them in the flesh, especially at sunset was pure magic!
See for yourself (4 minute video):
Stop 4. Dalvay by the Sea Hotel
Die-hard fans of the mini-series will recognize Dalvay by the Sea from the opening sequence of Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. While Anne daydreams, the loose sheets of her novel blow away. As she goes to collect them, a charming hotel can be seen in the distance (see 2nd pic above) and she first meets the charming Morgan Harris.
If you make it to Prince Edward Island one day, you can stay at Dalvay by the Sea or just go for the incredible food, view, and ambience like Caroline and I did!
Take a tour of Dalvay by the Sea Hotel (3 minute clip):
Stop 5. L.M. Montgomery’s Birthplace
L.M. Montgomery was born in the upstairs bedroom of this home on November 30, 1874 in Clifton, New London. Due to her mother’s illness and death, she grew up with her maternal grandparents in Cavendish.
Check out this lovely story from Maud’s journals about her mother and this home in Clifton:
Take a tour of Maud’s birthplace (1.5 minute video clip):
Stop 6. Cape Tryon Lighthouse
Upon hearing what huge L.M. Montgomery fans Caroline and I are, the lovely folks at PEI Tourism suggested we visit Cape Tryon Road and walk the red road to the lighthouse with its breathtaking views!
This spot inspired Maud when it came time to create the setting for Captain Jim’s lighthouse in Anne’s House of Dreams.
Stop 7. Anne and Gilbert: The Musical
Our second night on the Island, we had the chance to drive to The Guild Theatre in Charlottetown for Anne and Gilbert: The Musical. In all honesty I was a bit skeptical, as I always am about adaptations of favorite books. But this show surpassed all my expectations!
I was completely taken with the music and storyline (based on Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island) and downloaded the album the next morning.
It made me think through scenarios I’d never considered, like how thrilled the girls in Avonlea would have been that the handsome Mr. Blythe was going to be their teacher, and how disappointed they might have felt when hearing he had given up the school for Anne Shirley.
Take a listen to one of the songs:
4-min clip of “Island Through and Through,” performed a few years ago at Green Gables:
Still haven’t had enough?
At 18 minutes long, this bonus video might not hold your kids’ interest, but if you’re an avid Anne/Maud fan, it’s a must-watch when you have the time.
It includes many of the PEI connections mentioned in Maud’s books, all set to the instrumental “Anne’s Theme” fans of the miniseries love:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual field trip! Massive thanks to Prince Edward Island Tourism for helping us navigate our trip, and for giving us all the inside scoop about where to go to experience Maud’s Island for ourselves.
It did not disappoint, and I hope you have the chance to explore it for yourself one day! In the meantime, why not read your way around Canada and beyond?!
You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves.
You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.” ~ L.M. Montgomery
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