Head to ‘The County’
Photo courtesy of PEC/ Marc Polidoro
There are so many reasons to go visit Prince Edward County
It is close enough to get to for the weekend and yet it is a whole other world away. Prince Edward County is becoming a well-respected wine-making area, culinary destination and a place to escape to recharge the battery. Here are a few ideas for a fantastic getaway.
Start your visit right. Instead of taking the 401 the whole way, get off the highway and take the Glenora Ferry. This free ferry ride lasts less than 10 minutes (check the departure schedule) and is the perfect way to reset your pace to 'County time'. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy being surrounded by water and get the welcoming two- fingered wave from the ferry driver as you arrive.
Once you disembark, be baffled by the geography of Lake on the Mountain. This unique body of water is one of Ontario's natural wonders defying geographical and geological theories. Ponder its mystery over a drink at the Miller House Café and Brasserie. You can stay overnight here too if you ponder too long.
Prince Edward County is well known for its beaches. Sandbanks Provincial Park is the most popular but there are many more beaches to discover, such as the Wellington Beach and Park, North Beach Provincial Park and Westlake Beach. Switch from white sand to smooth pebbles and wander along Little Bluff Beach.
Check out some great old barns at The Old Third, Closson Chase, Karlo Estates (with their stone bridge), The Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.
The County has developed a great reputation with its varied accommodation options. There is the Claramont Inn & Spa, Merrill Inn, The Drake Devonshire, Waring House, Angeline's Inn, The Manse Boutique Inn and all of these places have gourmet restaurants to go with them.
For an incredible breakfast, stop in at the Lighthouse Restaurant in the Picton Harbour Inn -a popular local hot spot for breakfast. It has delectable sausages and eggs, mile high pancakes and some of the best French toast around.
Lose yourself flipping through fascinating books at Books & Company or the intriguing consignment shop — City Revival — on Main Street in Picton.
A few doors down, you will find The Regent Theatre. Check out the list of movies, live musical performances and special talks as well as the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival.
Sample County wines and again, enjoy outstanding cuisine at East & Main Bistro, Blumen Garden Bistro and the Agrarian Bistro.
Love museums? Mariner's Park Museum in South Bay, Rose House Museum in Waupoos, Wellington Historical Museum, Macaulay Heritage Park and Ameliasburgh Pioneer Village will give you your fix.
Cycling is a big thing in the County. A local favourite ride is along Big Island Road, following the beach on the northeast shore of Prince Edward County, as well as along the Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33).
Drive or bike along the Barn Quilt Trail. There are over 100 barns with painted quilts.
The locals rave about Birdhouse City. There are over 100 birdhouse reproductions of historic buildings, whimsical designs and other recognizable structures. Love Nest Studios is a must too.
A sign that will make you laugh as you drive by is Dead People's Stuff Antiques.You might even stop in and check out their stuff.
Upcoming festivals that will give you a taste of The County include The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June is a weekend of 100 per cent Canadian artisan cheese (and wine and beer too). TASTE – Community Grown in September celebrates the harvest with local wines, ciders and farm fresh goodies. Join the fun at Wassail — a pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Check visitthecounty.ca for a comprehensive calendar.
Hands down the best old-fashioned doughnuts are at Schroedter's Farm Market Bakery & Cafe. If you don't have a sweet tooth, a bowl of homemade soup & and a sandwich will hit the spot. There are great gluten-free goodies too.
See a sea of purple at the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm. Tip: plan to visit the Lavender Festival or stop in when the plants are in bloom in mid to late June. Take photos in the gardens, learn how lavender is harvested and how the oil is made.
Play life size chess in the vineyard at Casa Dea Estates Winery.
And if tea and treats are part of the plan, theVic Café, the Pink Lunch Pail Bakery, Tall Poppy Café or Miss Lily's will not let you down.
If you think there is no night life in The County, clearly you haven't been to the movies at Mustang Drive-In on County Road 1. Or pop into The County Canteen — Picton's first brew pub for a flight of craft beers. The Acoustic Grill is a great place to see local bands.
Visit the Sunday Market at 106 Bridge for brunch made by Chef Michael Hoy. In the afternoon, enjoy live jazz on the patio at Huff Estates Winery.
Collect a couple or all eight of the cool County Posters with neat illustrations of all corners of Prince Edward County to remind you of the fun discoveries you had on your County getaway.
Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery.
The brand new the Local Store has all kinds of County treasures, artists and food all under one roof, in a heritage Loyalist barn of course.
This is just a taste of what awaits you. Book a getaway today.You won't regret it, and your inner foodie will love it.