From beach time to wine time, Prince Edward County (“The County”) offers a perfect weekend getaway for everyone!
3. Taste Trail
1. Sandy Beaches
If you’re looking to sit back and soak up the summer sun, The County has beautiful sandy beaches. Sandbanks Provincial Park With clear waves and white sand dunes, this is the most popular beach in Prince Edward County. Sandbanks is made up of three breaches – Outlet Beach, Sandbanks day use area, and Dunes Beach. Thousands of people retreat to this provincial park every year and during the summer months it often reaches capacity by mid-day; so, make sure to get there early. If you enjoy life in the great outdoors, Sandbanks Provincial Park offers hundreds of campsites for you to book. There are also many hiking and cycling trails in the park for you to explore. North Beach Provincial Park North Beach is very similar to Sandbanks and just as beautiful, however, it is smaller in size. This park is not as well known as Sandbanks, making it a great alternative when Sandbanks has reached capacity. Especially now, during COVID-19, I personally enjoyed this beach because it is a much quieter spot to relax. This park is for day use only which mean that there are no campsites for overnight stay.
Wellington Rotary Public Beach Wellington Rotary is a pebble beach with a nice boardwalk. A small lighthouse sits on the shore adding charm to the landscape of the area. Parking and entrance to this beach is free, unlike Sandbanks and North Beach Provincial Parks which have a day use fee.
2. Wine and Beer Tasting
Sip Sip Hooray! With about 40 wineries and new ones popping up each year, you can sip your way through The County's wide variety of award-winning wines. I still have many wineries to explore in this region, however, a few of my favourites so far have been Sandbanks Estate Winery, Black Prince Winery & Canadian Cellars (side note: try the wood-fire pizza!), and By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery and Vineyard. For those who prefer a good brew instead of wine, don’t worry be hoppy! Prince Edward County also has a growing craft-beer and cider scene for you to enjoy. The wineries and breweries around The County are quite spread out so you will want to drive or ride your bicycle. Please remember to be safe and never drink and drive. If you don’t have a designated driver, The Country offers many tours with a driver which you can take advantage of.
3. Taste the Bounty of The County
Farm-to-table is a way of life in Prince Edward County. Look to the Taste Trail blue road signs, created by the tourism board, which will take you on a self-guided route to find the best eats and treats in The County. Menus are always changing at restaurants and are often inspired by the season!
4. The Art Experience
Similar to the Taste Trail, the tourism board has also created an Arts Trail to showcase the amazing works of talented local artists. Look for the blue Arts Trail sign along the roads for a self-guided tour to find The County’s artistic treasures.
5. Lavender Fields
If you’re a lavender lover, then Prince Edward County Lavender farm or Millefleurs farm are a dream come true! The plants are typically in bloom during the first few weeks of July. Treat yourself with some delicious lavender gelato as you walk through acres of stunning beauty and the heavenly lavender scent.
6. Lake on the Mountain
Lake on the Mountain is a natural wonder of Prince Edward County. This scenic lake sits 60 metres above Lake Ontario. It has a constant flow of fresh clean water, but the source is unknown. This area makes for a great picnic spot. There are also a couple of cute restaurants that you can check out here including Inn and The Miller House Café.
7. Millennium Trail
Former railway tracks have been transformed into a great walking and cycling trail for the public to enjoy. The trail begins in Carrying Place and winds through the county ending in Picton. However, there are several access points that you can enter and exit from along the route. Here is a trail map.
8. Mustang Drive-in Theatre
Catch a flick under the stars at The Mustang drive-in movie theatre. The theatre is open Wednesday to Sunday and ticket prices are per vehicle. Check out this link for movies currently playing and to buy tickets.
July and August are the top months in Ontario for growing fresh produce. There are many farms in Prince Edward County which offer pick your own fresh and juicy fruit and vegetables. The Campbell's Orchards is a popular farm to visit with many berries and peas available in the Summer and apples and tomatoes in the Fall months.
10 . Watch the Birds Flock
Its position near Lake Ontario makes Prince Edward County a natural high-density area for migratory birds during the spring and autumn seasons. Visit Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area to try and spot some of these approximately 350 species of birds. The main entrance to the designated trails for hiking and wildlife viewing is from Long Point Road.