Get Schooled on PEI's Red Sands Shore
Home Sweet Schoolhouse
On the Red Sands Shore of Prince Edward Island sits the cutest little Airbnb you ever will see! I know this sounds like the beginning of a song, but this place is a ‘cutie patootie’ and definitely one of the most charming Airbnb’s I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. The Schoolhouse at Rocky Point is a delightful ‘Home Sweet Schoolhouse’ situated in a tranquil setting allowing you to stay & play on the lesser known side of PEI, tucked away from all the crowds. Red Sands shore is much quieter than the bustling Green Gable’s Shore (aka Anne’s Land) but it has a ton to offer and exploring it all from The Schoolhouse is ideal. Its location makes it easy to visit anywhere on this shore and beyond. Victoria By-the-Sea & Charlottetown are both less than a half hour away. Cornwall is less than 15 minutes away (with all you need in terms of grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) and if you cannot resist the attractions on the busier side of PEI, Cavendish is less than an hour away. All in all, The Schoolhouse in Rocky Point is a pretty sweet spot to take in a lot of what Central PEI offers.
Ringwood Rocky Point Schoolhouse
The Schoolhouse , first known as Ringwood Rocky Point Schoolhouse, was built in 1884 as a one-room schoolhouse and it is thought to have been originally located in Ringwood, (up and over the hill from where it is now located). Locals recall it having been a community gathering place over the years and a voting station too. In 2017, the current owner Anniken, purchased it from an Ontario couple (who had renovated it into a three-season cottage in the 12 years they owned it). Anniken thought it the perfect spot to enjoy her summer visits to the island, as it is just four miles down the road from her parents home. Run as a Airbnb when Anniken does not require it for herself, her mom Snow, ensures guests have everything they need and she goes the extra mile (or 4) to make sure you want for nothing.
Charm & Character Galore
The Schoolhouse is a sweet mother-daughter endeavour. It had been a dream project of theirs creating a special place to rent and share their ‘darling island’ with others since Anniken was a teenager. Mission accomplished, I say! This two-bedroom schoolhouse is just precious. The welcoming atmosphere is evident the minute you walk in and if Julie & I said “This is so sweet!" once, we said it a hundred times! The comfortable furnishings and charming decor certainly compliment the warm ambiance. The open concept living area is spacious and the light that pours in the original schoolhouse windows bathes the room in natural light all day long. Bright & cheerful, you cannot help but be in a good mood here. Being that Julie & I are both retired teachers & Literacy Leads, gave The Schoolhouse a head start in winning us over on its historical significance. However, it was the charm & character that made it a home run.
Lilacs to greet us in every room and a beautiful light summer breeze flowing through The Schoolhouse made a great first impression. Everything was so neat & tidy and as they say, ‘it was as cute as a button’. Anniken & Snow thought of everything that anyone might ever need or want when staying here. Coffee, tea & hot chocolate in the cupboards, a well equipped kitchen, a barbecue on the back deck, a fire pit, plenty of chairs to lounge outside or gather in the great room inside, extra blankets to snuggle with in the evenings, fans and a spare heater available when/if you ever might need them (we didn’t) and a bowl full of extra lantern candles for creating further atmosphere were available. The two bedrooms upstairs have a place for hanging your clothes and the master has a large dresser, as does the bathroom (which is on the main floor). Luscious thick white towels are abundant and there is a washer & dryer on site.
Snuggle In or Venture Out
Tourism information is on hand, as well as shelves of various novels to read, boardgames are plentiful and there is a bowl of chalk to enjoy some chalkboard art fun. You can venture out or snuggle in at The Schoolhouse. The choice is yours. We did a bit of both; venturing out during the day, after a leisurely coffee or two in the morning, and later on we snuggled in for the evenings.
School is In
The second evening, after Julie went to bed, I sipped my second glass of wine and bravely decided to erase the whole chalkbaord’s Anne of Green Gables themed quotes & drawings (pausing momentarily after wondering what on earth I had just done when I saw a massive blank slate in front of me). Then after another sip of liquid courage, I pushed on and had a great time creating my own chalkboard art designs. I love that the original large school chalkboard was kept and that guests are encouraged to enjoy it. You will find many throwback school items if you look around closely. It’s all in the details here. Snow shared that the French doors that lead into the current dining/sunroom, was the original ‘back door’ where children once ran outside to play. I love imagining these visions when enjoying the space.
It’s Perfect for a Retreat, a Family, Friends or a Romantic Escape
The beds are extremely comfy with beautiful bed linens. It is so quiet & peaceful here that getting a good night’s sleep is child’s play. There is a bunkhouse out back that has a double bed on the main floor and a single up in the loft making The Schoolhouse a perfect place for a retreat, a family stay, a group of friends getaway or a romantic escape. We didn’t use the bunkhouse but thought it would have lots of potential for larger groups. PEI has blessed Anniken & Snow’s family with decades of memories and they only hope that everyone that stays here, enjoys PEI as much as they do. The Schoolhouse is truly a Home Sweet Schoolhouse to stay and anyone coming to the island would enjoy it immensely.
Red Sands Shore Rewards
Sparkling waters, red sand cliffs, rolling farmland, lovely lupines, pretty churches & architecture, art galleries, giftshops and roadside stands are just some of the hidden gems that will have you stopping again and again as you drive along Red Sands Shore. Enjoy the stops we enjoyed below then jump into my Enchanting Victoria By the Sea story to discover the crowning jewel on the quieter side of PEI.
There is one hidden gem after another all along Red Sands Shore starting with the famous 13 km Confederation Bridge mainlanders cross to get to the island. Do take a few minutes to stop and marvel at this absolute engineering feat. This is one of the longest bridges in the world.
The Information Centre at Gateway Village is a good stop for gathering brochures or asking about anything you need or want to know about PEI. Cows Ice Cream is an absolute must stop for my family here too as my daughter says “it just isn’t a trip to the island without it”. There are several more Cows stores on the island but this is the first taste and for that reason, we always indulge here. Gateway Village is also a great place to pick up anything you might have forgotten to bring along with you or to nab an island souvenir at one of the many gift shops here.
After our Gateway Village pit stop, we only drove a couple of minutes along Route 10 to Cape Traverse when Ice Boat Rarities & Antiques caught our attention. A few houses down, its sister store Island Uniquities & Antiques begged a visit. These two are definitely worth spending some time at with their eclectic selection of antiques, furniture, oddities and collectibles. There is an impressive collection of Kerras Jeffrey Folk Art here that shouldn’t be missed. Check out the special folk art goose seen below. Honks hitched a ride home with us and he is going to live with Julie maybe at her Lake House, if he is lucky.
Named after Natives who made their way across Northumberland, Strait, Canoe Cove is a beauty. Natives navigated the headwaters from both the West & Hillsborough Rivers to make their way to the Island`s North Shore from this cove. Nearby Glen Afton Golf Course, offers more of these lovely seascape views. I especially loved watching the nesting birds flying in and out of their cliff top homes. Hey, when in Canoe Cove... try your hand at canoeing or kayaking and take in the natural wonder. Beachcombing at low tide is also very popular here.
Honey For Sale
Roadside stands like this Honey Stand are spotted all along the Red Sands Shore. I have a video clip on my Maritimes Maven Instagram page that you should check out. Local farmers just ask that you select which item(s) you want and simply slide your money into the Honesty Box. Yummy looking jars of honey as well as honey-themed natural products are displayed in hexagonal honeycomb-shaped shelves on the walls. Buy local and enjoy knowing people still trust in the good in everyone. This is PEI at its best!
Blockhouse Point Lighthouse
In 1846, the second lighthouse on PEI was built. The Blockhouse Point Lighthouse served as a Harbour Light for Charlottetown. The present lighthouse was built in 1876 and it is a standout for the large flat-roofed attached dwelling, making it the most spacious of all lighthouses on the Island. Come enjoy this historically significant lighthouse and follow all the various footpaths in different directions to take in all the amazing cliff views.
Matos Winery & Distillery
This 50-acre family-run business has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years making quite a name for itself with its award winning wines and spirits. Julie and I decided a rainy day called for an excursion to a fun indoor experience and Matos Winery was calling our names. As we entered the tasting room, a large stagette party of very happy young women ensured us we made a good decision and we would love our tasting here. That we did! Do try the Strawberry Chardonnay - our fav. of the day.
Select from six kilometres of various length informative interpretive walking trails through an 18th century Acadian settlement, 19th century British farmlands, the remains of Fort Amherst and Michel Haché-Gallant’s homestead or the rugged coastline paths overlooking Charlottetown. Picturesque picnic spots, benches and Adirondack chairs are scattered throughout encouraging you to sit a spell and take in the scenery. Mi'kmaq Elders are on site throughout the summer to share their ancestors stories, history and language. This is a gorgeous place to take in what is iconic Red Sands Shore.
Country View Golf Course
Located in the rolling hills of Fairview with views of the West River, Countryview Golf Club is a pretty site. It claims true greens, lush fairways with a challenging course layout and what is said to be PEI’s most up and coming 18 hole golf course.
My experience is my own and not at all meant to be an extensive or all-inclusive exploration of the Red Sands Shore. I only had a few short days to take in a sampling of what is available to you to explore and experience over a longer stay. Click on the link below for more information. I hope this taste has inspired you to discover the quieter side of Prince Edward Island on Red Sands Shore.
This post was sponsored by The Schoolhouse; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Follow me - the Maritimes Maven on FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter. Also be the first to receive my latest stories by subscribing to my blog by simply clicking on the link at the top of this story.