Pint-sized P.E.I. offers "spectacular seascapes" defined by iron-red sand dunes that guard meticulously manicured potato fields. A recently completed bridge to the mainland has brought more visitors, but the island has managed to hang on to its charm. Coastal erosion and agricultural runoff pose problems.
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"Beautiful and natural in places, populated by quaint vacation homes and artist retreats in others. Erosion is the main issue, with some beaches receding by a meter per year. Tourism emphasizes cultural and literary heritage, the beaches, and food—all some of the best in Canada."
"P.E.I. is undergoing some change as a result of becoming attached to the mainland of Canada by the bridge. The bridge has changed travel patterns of tourists, with more outside people buying property. The culture is changing as traditional islanders move away."
"The north shore tends to be less developed, with a national park associated with the popular novel Anne of Green Gables. The shore is backed by rolling hills and potato farms. Some mussel farming and a tuna fishery are also present."
"People are friendly, and the towns and villages are quaint and manageable in size. The distinct culture—food, music, kitchen parties—are wonderful. Only drawback is in-season crowding."