ShantyStay: Seafarers’ Cottages on Canada’s Prince Edward Island

ShantyStay, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

ShantyStay, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island has some of Canada’s most beautiful beaches. A road trip along PEI’s Points East Coastal Drive takes you past more than 50 of these sandy shores, offering both dramatic landscapes and ready access to oceangoing adventures.

Souris Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Souris Beach and boardwalk

As you’re traveling PEI’s east end, a good base for your explorations is the town of Souris, where you can channel a seafaring vibe at ShantyStay, a collection of ten rustic yet comfortable cottages.

Here’s the scoop:

ShantyStay interior1, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Inside a “shanty” at ShantyStay

The Sea Shanties at ShantyStay

Hand built from PEI white cedar, with rough-hewn wood walls and floors, the tiny sea shanties at ShantyStay were constructed in a U-shape around a central courtyard. They’re not directly by the sea — they’re located behind Souris’ Main Street — but it’s a short walk to the shore.

ShantyStay interior2, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Where to sit or shower in your shanty

The furnishings are basic — a double bed with a reading lamp, two wooden chairs, a mini-fridge, and a Breville one-cup coffeemaker. Although the 12-foot-square cottages have no closets, they do have a small space to hang up your belongings.

Tiny wood-walled compartments house a toilet on one side of the shanty and stand-up shower on the other, with a sink, also made of wood, in between.

ShantyStay interior3, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Although the cottages aren’t winterized, an electric heater keeps things cozy during the season they’re open, from May until October.

Basin Head Fisheries Museum, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Basin Head Fisheries Museum, PEI

What’s Nearby?

Souris has a lovely town beach, a crescent of red sand backed by a long boardwalk. You can stop at the Poke Shack for lobster, crab, or tuna poke by the beach. The town is also the departure point for ferries to Quebec’s Iles de la Madeleine.

A short drive to the east, another beach at Basin Head is known for its “singing sands” that make an almost singing sound as you walk. The Basin Head Fisheries Museum above the beach has exhibits about lobster fishing, lighthouses, and other seagoing occupations.

Oh Fudge, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Yes, you can buy potato fudge on PEI

On Souris’ main street is a shop selling a unique to PEI treat: potato fudge. Souris-based Oh Fudge! makes these treats in 20 different flavors from PEI-grown potatoes. Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s largest producer of potatoes — and fudge made from potatoes is one more reason to explore the island’s eastern regions. 


A stay at ShantyStay is somewhat like glamping, with cozy cottages that offer simple, no-frills lodging. It’s an excellent value, too. Nightly double rates for a cottage start at just CAD$110-120.

Looking for more lodging options on PEI? Check out our post, Where to Stay on Prince Edward Island, for accommodations in different parts of the island.

Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. I booked my own accommodations on Prince Edward Island, while doing research for several assignments.

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