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Once upon a time the Town of Summerside PEI there was a military airport and training facility from 1940 to 1991. Then Government program cuts came and it all disappeared. It destroyed the economy of Summerside and created serious unemployment and business failures. The town of 15K went into a slumber and decay. The town had also suffered great fires in its core which did damage the fabric of the city in 1879 and 1880. Summerside is often described as a city of little interest.

During our staycation we discovered something quite different. Summerside has beautiful neighbourhoods and great homes far more impressive than what you see in Charlottetown. Leafy avenues and imposing brick buildings. We went to Summerside to buy ice cream at Holman’s, a family run business located in the old Holman Family Mansion across the street from City Hall. All the ice cream is freshly made on the premises, all natural ingredients and made in small batches. This is high quality ice cream and in my opinion beats in terms of taste and quality, the more commercial COWs which dominates the market in Charlottetown.

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Holman Family Mansion 1855 in Summerside, PEI and its beautiful garden.

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We did buy 2 litres of ice cream, chocolate and strawberry, creamy and very good.

There is also some very good coffee shops in Summerside, which also serve breakfast and lunch. One is Samuel’s where we had a coffee and a sweet, top quality, all made on premises fresh daily. There is a trend in PEI now for this type of coffee shop which offers someting different from the Corporate brand coffee shops. In Charlottetown we have Receiver Coffee and in Montague The Lucky Bean, all offer their own roasted coffee beans on premises and all food and breads are baked by them, it is a more European approach. Menu is also ever changing and has Vegan options.

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Samuel’s Coffee House at 4 Queen street corner with Water street.

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Summerside is on the sea and here is the famous Indian Head Lighthouse at the entrance to its harbour. I was surprised to see how far out it was in the harbour.

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Summerside City Hall across from Holman’s

Also while we were visiting we stumbled upon the Wyatt House who organized an Art Exhibit of large canvas paintings on one of its residential streets.

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All in all Summerside is well worth a visit, it’s a nice city.

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