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As I say, North Rustico is a nice little harbor village abeam Prince Edward Island National Park. If you want to feel the magic of this area, then you need to find a place to PARK THE CAR. Park and get out and have yourself a nice, long walk. Check out the lighthouse, walk the village. Look over the houses and harbor itself, and chat with the locals.
As you wander a little outside the village, enjoy the beach. Stand on the ramparts and look over the ocean. Look up and down the coast and enjoy the "chamber of commerce" visual perfection in both ways. Maybe walk on down to the water's edge. Be aware of the tides and timing.
You will also get to see more wildlife than you'd maybe expect with being so close to civilization. Much of it is friendly, due to the proximity to man. In spite of their "smiles", don't approach or feed them, it's not a good plan and could be dangerous.
Please take a moment to visit my North Rustico Harbor travelogue to see a few more photos.
Updated Nov 1, 2009
Cymbria is in the same area as Rustico, and there are campgrounds there that are open in summer. I graduated from university recently, and one of our grad week activities was a night of camping in Cymbria. People brought their tents and overnight-camping gear, we lit up a bonfire (actually two, the grad committee ended up having to pay to build a second fire pit) and those of us who were hard-core stayed up all night, roasting marshmallows, smores and hotdogs, drinking, and chatting by the fire. It was cold that night, so the fire was the only place where we could stay warm.
There was also a stage where one of my fellow grads played music all night (I don't know how he managed to play his guitar for hours in the cold night without breaking off his fingers...), and we also played some cds.
Written May 31, 2005
St. Augustine's is the local Parish in South Rustico. It's beautiful and on bright summer mornings the sunlight shines into the windows and lights up the whole place. If you're there in mid-August, you might see my friends and I there for Sunday Mass after our Friends in Faith retreat.
Written Nov 8, 2004
The area is small and quiet, and there is no nightlife. Unless you count my friends and I pulling all-nighters and playing silly games at Belcourt Centre during our famous retreats!
However, if you're camping in Cymbria or another campground in the area, the nightlife you'll get is going to be in the campground. Typical camp stuff - staying up till dawn (if you're really hard-core), drinking beer, and singing around the bonfire.
Dress Code: If you're camping, wear what's comfortable. Nobody is going to care about what you're wearing, this is not a big-city trendy nightclub!
Updated May 31, 2005
It's easy to bike around the Rustico area, since there isn't usually much traffic, and walking is great too. The scenery is beautiful, so it's worth it.
However, you can't walk to Rustico from other places on the Island because it will take forever. But it is possible to bike there. I know someone who biked from Charlottetown to Belcourt Centre in South Rustico in the rain (God bless you Bonito Joe!), but unless you're in super-good shape, I don't really recommend it...
Written Nov 9, 2004
You have to drive, there is no bus that goes to the Rustico area. Though I know someone who biked there from Charlottetown in the rain, that was an exception rather than the rule. It usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour to drive from Charlottetown to South Rustico.
Once you're there, you can either drive, bike, or walk in the area.
Written Nov 8, 2004
Rumour has it, that there is a ghost at Belcourt Centre. The ghost of Father Belcourt (priest who owned the first car ever in PEI) wanders the second floor at night. That old rumour gets brought up at every retreat that my friends and I attend at Belcourt Centre, but the nun who used to run the place denies it fervently (God bless you Sister Rose!).
The whole ghost thing is just a joke, but it's fun to talk about. Once when I brought it up, Sister Rose said "If you see the ghost, tell him I say hello". Well, if there is a ghost, no one I know has ever seen it, and since it supposedly wanders the second floor, which is where the guys sleep, the chances of me seeing it are quite slim.
Updated Nov 8, 2004
If you're going camping in the area, be sure you follow basic camping safety rules.
Don't let the bonfire go out of control. And if you want to build your own campfire pit, be aware that you'll have to pay for it.
Be careful walking at night. In some of these campgrounds, it's pitch dark outside the area where people keep their tents and stuff, so if you need to go to the woods for a pee break, bring a flashlight if you're afraid of the dark.
Bring comfortable clothes. As hot as it can get during the day, it can get cold at night. When I went camping in Cymbria for grad week, I was glad I brought a pair of wool socks even if I looked goofy wearing them with sandals. Layers are best when camping.
Be sure to book your place for the campground in advance. Many people just show up and expect to be allowed to camp, but in summer there isn't always enough room for everyone. Be sure to make your reservation well in advance to be guaranteed a spot.
Updated May 31, 2005