To plan the perfect Anne of Green Gables vacation, you’ll want to know:
- What books should I read?
- What sites can I visit?
- And how do I get to each site?
I have compiled the answers to these questions below and linked to the websites you will need.
Books by Lucy Maud Montgomery to Read Beforehand:
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Sites to Visit:
Green Gables Heritage Place, Lovers Lane, and the Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home
Green Gables Heritage Place looks just like you’d expect Anne’s Green Gables to look. The outside of the house is painted white with green trim and inside the rooms have been fixed up to look like Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert’s home. In “Matthew’s room” off the kitchen his suit is laid out on the bed as if he’s just stepped out. Upstairs in “Anne’s room” a dress with puffed sleeves hangs on the closet door. If you’ve seen the 1985 Megan Follows TV mini-series adaptation, you’ll feel like you’re walking through the film set. This house was actually the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s cousins, her mother’s family, the MacNeills.
Montgomery’s childhood home no longer exists, however if you take the short “Lover’s Lane” trail behind Green Gables you’ll end up at the former site of the home where Montgomery lived with her grandparents. An excavated outline of the foundations indicates where the house once stood. Nearby stands a small bookshop maintained by descendants of Montgomery. Family members stop by on occasion to tell visitors about their ancestor, the famous author. The site is also a short walk from the post office where Montgomery worked and the church where she met her husband. Montgomery’s grave is also near this property.
Avonlea Village is not the historic village I had assumed it was. Instead it is a small park with tourists shops and five different restaurant options each in a building meant to replicate the style of shops and houses from the era of the Anne books. The only two original buildings in Avonlea Village are the schoolhouse Montgomery taught at and a small church which is still used today. Avonlea Village is next door to Green Gables Heritage Place, making it a great place to stop for lunch after a morning spent touring Green Gables.
Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace
Lucy Maud Montgomery didn’t spend much time in the house in which she was born. With her mother ill and her father unable to care for her she was soon taken in by her grandparents. Her birthplace, however, is still a museum dedicated to the life of the author. On display is a replica of Montgomery’s wedding dress, scrapbook pages from different periods of the author’s life, and rooms with period furniture like they might have held during the family’s lifetime.
Anne of Green Gables Museum, the Lake of Shining Waters, & Matthew’s Carriage Rides
The Anne of Green Gables Museum was the former home of Montgomery’s aunt and uncle, the Campbells, and the house is still owned by the Campbell family. Montgomery spent a lot of time here and many elements on the property appear in her books. Inside the house is the blue chest which shows up in The Story Girl and in another room is the cabinet with glass doors in which Anne saw her reflection and created an imaginary friend. In front of the house is the lake that inspired Anne’s “Lake of Shining Waters” and group carriage rides with drivers that don’t exactly look like Matthew run around the property at intervals.
Orwell Corner Historic Village
Orwell Corner Historic Village is exactly what I thought Avolnea Village was going to be. Some scenes in film adaptations of Montgomery’s books have even been filmed here. Old original buildings have been moved here to recreate the former Orwell village. The buildings include a school house, a general store, a church, farm buildings, and even a blacksmith shop. Historically dressed reenactors are available inside each building to teach you about each space and will break character to answer questions.
Anne occasionally makes trips into Charlottetown in the books, so although there are no specific locations related to Anne in the city there are a couple places you might visit. The first is the Anne shop filled with souvenirs similar to those you will find in the gift shops at all the other Anne museums listed above. If you are flying out of Charlottetown you may want to make this your last stop to pick up any last minute gifts. You can also attend Anne of Green Gables-The Musical in Charlottetown.
Where to Stay & How Long:
When planning your visit to PEI, I would suggest a stay of 3 to 5 days. If you just want to see the Anne sites, 3 days is plenty. The Prince Edward Island Tourism even has a 3-day Anne of Green Gables itinerary on their website. I would recommend staying a few days more to experience the island beyond the touristy Cavendish area. The island is small enough that you can stay in one place and take day trips by car to other parts of the island. We moved accommodations a few times due to availability, but I’m glad we did because each place had its perks. While touring the Anne sites in Cavendish, spend at least a couple nights at the Kindred Spirits Inn & Cottages. And if you’re going to do things right, get the Anne of Green Gables Package. For adults, I recommend the Meadows Memory Romance package instead.
How to Get Around Prince Edward Island:
The easiest way to get to the various sites you’ll want to visit, as well as experience PEI in general is to rent a car.