By John Ployer
PEI in Fall (Photo credit: Kara Cousins/Welcome Prince Edward Island)
It’s September. In between getting established in school and getting established in PEI, you may not be thinking about Fall yet, but it’s practically here.
That brief period between being too hot and too cold that inspires us to buy a pumpkin-spice something from Tims is actually a lot of people’s favourite time of the year, including myself. It wasn’t until I started enjoying the Fall that I realised many people don’t seem to notice how the awesome PEI is in September and October.
The problem is that most people on PEI say that “summer ends after Old Home Week,” meaning: everything fun on PEI ends near the end of August. Many people take it seriously, and assume that all you can do in the Fall is to go back to school and work; no need to go out anymore.
For most students, however, we worked all summer and had no time to explore our Island. When I started going to UPEI and exploring the Island on my own, I learned early Fall is the best time to see what’s going on around here. For those of you who don’t know what to do on PEI this time of year I decided to list a few things I recommend checking out.
This weekend PEI will experience the 22nd annual 70-mile yard sale, a yearly spectacle in Eastern PEI where dozens of people open their doors and businesses to bargain hunters. For many, it’s the be-all and end-all of yard sales on PEI.
Many people wait until this weekend to put out their years of accumulated goods for the public to buy. For businesses, it represents a big blowout sale to end the year. Tourism PEI calls it “internationally known and attracting 40,000 plus bargain hunters.” If you have a car and the time this is by far one of the best things to do this time of year.
Prince Edward Island, also known as “Canada’s food island” to the fine folks at Tourism PEI, really is a great place to find a meal in the Fall. One of the most significant food-related events in the Fall is Fall Flavours, an annual campaign where island restaurants offer special events or items to drum up business near the end of the season. In my opinion Fall Flavour is more of a tourist experience, but that doesn’t mean PEI doesn’t have a lot of great food this time of year.
One of the many problems PEI has being a tourist destination is that many places are seasonal, including many of PEI’s best restaurants. While it isn’t great, Islanders still have time to take advantage as most of these restaurants remain open in September and into mid-October. I recommend you pick a place you’ve never been, one that’s seasonal, and take advantage of the tourist-free setting.
My last suggestion is to get on the Instagram bandwagon and go to an apple orchard. Whether you’ve never been to an apple orchard before or a seasoned apple orchard veteran, you should try to make the time to take in the experience. Apple orchards across PEI are just opening for the season, allowing visitors to buy local produce and take in the quintessential Fall scenery of PEI.
PEI still has a lot to offer as the days get shorter. Besides what I suggested to you I recommend you look on social media and see what else is happening around that interests you. At the very least, take a drive as the leaves begin to change and see the Island. It’s getting colder, but there’s still lots to do before the water freezes.