One of the Maritime Provinces, Prince Edward Island lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is separated on the S from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the Northumberland Strait, which is crossed by the Confederation Bridge (1997). It is Canada's smallest province but also has Canada's highest population density. The generally low, level island is c.140 mi (225 km) long and 5 to 35 mi (8–56 km) wide. Sandy beaches line the deeply indented north shore, and much of this popular resort spot is now Prince Edward Island National Park (est. 1937). Low red sandstone cliffs rim the south shores, and the tides reach to the headwaters of the island's short rivers.
With its fertile and distinctive red soil and its agreeable climate, the island has become known as the Garden of the Gulf. About 90% of the land is arable. The capital is Charlottetown.