A visit to Green Gables on Prince Edward Island
I first came across Anne of Green Gables in the Netflix series “Anne with an e” about two years ago. I remember thinking to myself “what a pretty place! This I should go see!”
Recently I learned that I was not the only one inspired to visit Cavendish by this character. It’s a thing. An entire visitor experience complete with parking lot and gift shop.
What is Green Gables?
Green Gables is a farm house in Cavendish, on Prince Edward Island, the smallest province in Canada. It is now a museum with interpreters dressed in period clothing (around 1900) and surrounding property. It is also a National Historic Site of Canada, as it has made the island famous internationally for over 100 years.
Why is it famous?
In 1907/08 Lucy Montgomery wrote a book called “Anne of Green Gables”. The novel’s protagonist, Anne is an orphan being adopted by a brother and sister living on Green Gables farm. The fictional farm is inspired by a house in Cavendish the author used to visit as a child.
The book became more and more popular. It became part of school curricula, was translated to several languages and turned into movies and series. So more and more people heard about the beauty of Green Gables.
What is there to do at Green Gables?
First, there is the house itself. You can walk through the rooms as described in the book. Even items mentioned in the story you can find inside the house. Costumed interpreters will tell you about Anne, what it really looked like here before and what was imagined by Lucy Montgomery.
Secondly, there is a visitor center. Here you can learn a lot of the author, her life and the times she lived in. Also, about the history of the novels after her death, when they achieved global fame. There are bathrooms, a gift shop, places to buy snacks, picnic tables and an enormous parking lot.
I read a lot about some wonderful short hiking trails on the property, such as the Balsam Hollow trail. However, I came a day after hurricane Dorian had passed over the island and all trails were closed.
Of course they also offer all kinds of events, such as picnics and music on site. Learn about current events on the Green Gables Heritage site website.
It is a little out of the way. On an island. You could fly to Prince Edward Island, domestically. Or you take a ferry from Nova Scotia, or you drive across the loooooong Confederation Bridge. Prince Edward Island is beautiful in its peaceful serenity. Smooth shapes, lots of fields and water, a sandy beach National Park and several National Historic sites.
But I still consider it off the beaten path. If you plan on going here please do your research, because chances are you will be driving. Canadian distances. And it will take you a while 🙂