My family and I just took an epic road trip to Prince Edward Island. Having three young children, I was really worried about them making the 10 hour journey in one stop. I started researching places to stay along the route, but with so much wilderness there are not many options. I found a really helpful Facebook group dedicated to PEI and asked where people like to stop along the way. St. Andrews by-the-Sea was hands down the winner, so I began to sort through our hotel options. That is when I found the Algonquin Resort and fell in love.
This historic hotel is up on a hillside overlooking the sea. It’s tudor- style siding gives it an air of grandeur. It’s the type of place that you can just picture women in Victorian dresses playing croquet on the front lawn back in the day. A wide veranda wraps around the front with rocking chairs perfectly positioned to relax with a cold drink in hand.
I walked into the lobby and was greeted by their sweet Labrador Retriever, Sydney. He was the cutest canine concierge I have ever met. Although our dog was not with us, the Algonquin Resort is pet-friendly. There is a fee of $35 CAD (about $25 USD) and pets are welcomed with a walking map, pet bowls, a souvenir collar tag and pet bed to use while they are at the resort.
The staff was very attentive and took the time to tell us about the resort and the different attractions in town that we should check out.
Our room was spacious and well-appointed. We were in a studio room with two queen-sized beds and a kitchenette, which is great to have when traveling with kids. Although we had a full-sized fridge and oven, most studio rooms have a mini fridge and microwave. If you require the full setup, be sure to voice your preference when making a reservation.
It was a five hour drive from the Boston area to the Canadian boarder and then a half hour to St. Andrew’s, so the kids were a bit stir crazy when we arrived. We dropped our bags in the room and went straight to the indoor pool. It was a beautiful day outside, but the boys were obsessed with the water slide and did it over and over again.
We finally convinced them to shift to the outdoor pool, so we could order some lunch and get some sun. The food was delivered straight to the pool and it was excellent. It is such a family-friendly place and they had a great kids menu.
We headed back up to the room, so I could put the baby down for a nap and there was a welcome gift waiting for us. If there is an easy way to my kid’s hearts, it is with chocolate chip cookies. My daughter loved the little lab stuffie and snuggled down with it for her nap. I love when hotels go that extra mile for the kids to make them feel special.
Tip: If you are stopping for one night on the way to a longer trip, pack a small bag with pajamas, a change of clothes and any essentials you need. That way you don’t have to take out all of your luggage.
For dinner, we took the free shuttle down to the Main Street. They will pick you up and drop you off anywhere in the downtown area. The resort is so well known that we just had to ask the restaurant to call them for a ride back.
We walked along the Main Street which is right on the water. It is such a nice place to wander. We found my sister and her family who were joining us on our trip and headed to dinner. The hotel had recommended we eat at the Harbour Front and it was great. We sat outside by the water and watched the sun set.
We meandered down the wharf at the end of King Street. The tide was out, so the kids climbed down to look for crabs and play in the sand. The shops close quite early so we had to return in the morning to check them out.
In the morning, we ventured down to Katy’s Cove which was a beautiful picnic area and beach. It is only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The kids loved seeing the deer everywhere which are not the least bit afraid of people.
Honeybeans is a great coffee shop downtown where we met for breakfast. I would highly recommend it. We popped into a few shops on Main Street and I was so excited to find one of my favorite stores, Lolë. There was a candy store called Kandy Land right beside it, so we let the kids pick out a treat. The girls found treasures at Jewelz by Angie.
We really meant to just get on the road first thing in the morning, but there was so much to do in St. Andrews that we just had a leisurely day. The boys loved the canons at the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site as well at the Pendlebury Lighthouse at the end of Patrick Street. If you have time to spare in St. Andrews, the resort has put together a great list of area attractions you can view by clicking: Algonquin Experiences.
At first we were on the fence about staying at such a nice place. Was it worth it? Would we have time to even enjoy it? After staying here, I can say it was absolutely worth it. It was nice to have something to look forward to during the long drive and it was the best reward to arrive at such a special place. The kids loved the pool and the water slide, so it was great to let them get all their energy out.
I would highly recommend staying at The Algonquin Resort, as either a stop over on your way north or even a stand alone trip on it’s own. It was just that nice. Prince Edward Island was another 4 hours from St. Andrews and it was nice to have the bulk of the driving done on the first day. It allowed us to enjoy the area and make a few stops along the way.
Disclosure: We were given a free night stay in return for a review. All opinions are my own.