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If there's a prettier provincial capital in Canada than Charlottetown, we're yet to find it (even its name sounds quaint). Eschewing the headlong rush for concrete and glass that characterizes many big Canadian cities, Charlottetown has stayed true to its small-town roots, with a low-rise downtown that retains many of the redbrick facades and Victorian buildings of its late-19th-century heyday. Covering just a few blocks inland from the harbor, the old part of town was designed to be walkable, and it pays to wander and soak up the sights – including its impressive mock-Gothic cathedral and a surfeit of heritage homes, browsable shops and colorful clapboard buildings. The town's fast-growing food and craft-beer scene is boosted by the presence of the Culinary Institute of Canada downtown.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Charlottetown.