Where are you going this Long Weekend? We are always asked for travel tips. One destination we are frequently asked about is Prince Edward County. Just a short 3 hour drive from Ottawa or 2 hours from Toronto, you can go for the day or a weekend getaway.
This region, surrounded by water, is turning heads as Canada’s fastest growing wine region. And it is not all about the wine either! The County has been named as Maclean’s Magazine’s Canada TOP 10 Places You’ve Got to See in 2014.
To help you discover all the neat things that are going on in The County, we got the Savvy Team together (over a glass of wine of course!) & jotted down 101 of our favorite (and there are still many more) things to do in Prince Edward County.
How far down the list can you get? Do you know about other fun things to see & do in PEC that we can add to our list?
101 Things to Do in Prince Edward County Wine Country
1. Visit North America’s largest dry stone bridge at Karlo Estates.
2. Visit the Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates.
3. Do the Creepy Corn Maze (Oct).
4. Eat some freshly baked pizza at Norman Hardie’s.
5. Check out some great old barns at The Old Third, Closson Chase, Karlo Estates, The Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.
6. Sample amazing aperitif and dessert wines (and ports) – Sandbanks Winery, Hillier Creek, Keint-He Winery, Karlo Estates
7. Taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at Hinterland, Huff Estates, The Grange, By Chadsey’s Cairns & Lighthall Vineyards.
8. Cheese Please! All weekend long at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival (June).
9. Sample County wines at great local restos – East & Main, Blumen Garden & The Hubb.
10. Buy some artisan cheese to go with your wine at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.
11. Toronto’s Drake Hotel now has a County location – Drake Devonshire. Stay over or go for dinner.
12. Indulge in poutine and milkshakes at the Dari Bar in Wellington.
13. Enjoy some great apple cider & lunch of lamb burgers The County County Cider.
14. Need some coffee after sampling wine? Miss Lily’s Café or the Bean Counter in Picton.
15. Find your favorite mantra pinned to the wall in the Cherry Valley General Store (hint: they’re all about slowing down to smell the roses!).
16. Stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry Farms, Hagerman Farms, Cherryvale Organic Farm.
17. Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres.
18. Pop in to the Agrarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy, featuring craft brews on tap, great ciders, wine and killer cocktails with live music on Fridays & Saturdays.
19. Take a cooking class at From the Farm.
20. Dining delight – Countylicious – twice a year, 8 restos offer a prix fixe culinary celebration for $30 or $35 plus grats & tax.
21. Chat with Bryan at Keint-He Winery. He’ll help you pronounce that!
22. Get on your bike & ride the backroads or along the Loyalist Parkway.
23. Take in Terroir Wine Festival at the Crystal Palace (May).
24. Plan for a beach day at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
25. Attend the PEC Jazz Festival (summer).
26. Discover new local music talent at The Acoustic Grill in Picton.
27. Slide down the dunes at West Lake.
28. Harvest grapes with Norman Hardie & celebrate afterwards with a pig roast & bbq (fall).
29. Take a billion pix of the gorgeous gardens at Closson Chase then indulge in their wines.
30. Spend a Sunday afternoon on the patio at Huff Estates Winery listening to live jazz.
31. Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard.
32. Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery.
33. Get lost on the back roads.
34. Hear James call his Chardonnay vines ‘Bella’ at Long Dog Winery.
35. Stock up on your picnic goodies at Chef Michael Hoy’s Weekend Market at 106 Bridge Street in Picton.
36. Best bacon & eggs in town are at Picton Harbour Inn.
37. Harvest parties at Sandbanks Winery, Half Moon Bay Winery & Broken Stone are fun for the entire family. Here I am (photo at right) picking grapes at last year’s harvest – boy that was hard work!
38. Book a room at The Manse, Newsroom Suites, The Inn at Huff Estates, Merrill Inn or the cottage at Angeline’s.
39. Take an early morning walk on the ‘secret’ beach (at the bottom of Cold Creek Road).
40. Ice cream at Slickers.
41. Go apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards.
42. Sparkling wine awaits at Hinterland Vineyards – and peach slushies for the kids.
43. Visit the old-time school house at the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum.
44. Drinks & Dinner at Merrill Inn –guaranteed delicious!
45. What the heck is Wassail? Ask around about this pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Does this photo get you thinking about Christmas?
46. Do a County Chardonnay-a-thon trying every Chard you can find. Be sure not to miss Lighthall, Stanners, Exultet, Rosehall, Karlo….is just a start.
47. Pull a pint of Pumpkin Ale at Barley Days Brewing Co.
48. Maple in the County is a great spring getaway
49. All aboard! Stop in at the red caboose at 33 Vines Winery – it is their tasting room.
50. Visit the Lavender Farm when the lavender is in full bloom (June).
51. Chat with Pat at Del-Gatto Estates…where he lives la dolce vita!
52. Kick back & chillax in a Muskoka chair with a glass of Sandbanks wine…in their vineyard (must trys – Cabernet Franc Reserve, Baco Noir, Marchel Foch).
53. Go antiquing.
54. Follow the Arts Trail & meet incredible artists along the way.
55. In the summer, sip Rose wines around the Wine Trail – see how they all are different – different grapes used, hues of pink…and tastes!
56. Catch a movie at the Regent Theatre.
57. Visit the gallery at Small Pond Arts to see Milé Murtanovski’s paintings made with wine.
58. Unwind one of the few classic drive-in movie theatres in Ontario: Mustang Drive-In
59. Take a break for wine touring & leisurely shop on Bloomfield Main Street.
60. Six Barrels for Six Chefs at Huff Estates Winery (June).
61. Get your heirloom tomatoes and lots of other fresh from the farm veggies at Vicki’s Veggies
62. How about a visit to Dead Peoples Stuff? (antique store).
63. Enjoy heaven in a glass with a sip of VanAlstine White Port at Karlo Estates.
64. Lunch al fresco at Casa Dea Estates Winery, Huff Estates, The Grange or Norman Hardie Winery.
65. Go house hunting – it does not cost anything to dream!
66. It might be a wine region, yet there is a distillery – 66 Gilead – that is a must visit. Especially for their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too.
67. Watch the sunset at North Beach.
68. Enjoy incredible classical music in a small church during the Prince Edward County Music Festival (September)
69. Make annual family traditions by renting one of the many of the Sunrise cottages.
70. Drop by Highline mushrooms to buy fresh gourmet mushrooms.
71. Homemade donuts like my grandfather would make await at Schroedter’s Market on Hwy 62.
72. Spend an hour or two checking out City Revival – a high end consignment shop.
73. Be marvelled by Lake On The Mountain – it’s mystical up there.
74. Stop at Black River Cheese Co in Milford to try…and buy…all kinds of cheese. Savvy Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons recommends: Maple Cheddar & fresh curds (TIP – when you put curds in the fridge, they lose their squeak)
75. Where else can wines be as easy as Not Red, Almost Red and Not White? At Sugarbush Wines.
76. Ride the waves at North Beach Provincial Park.
77. Go strawberry, raspberry or blueberry picking on the roadside – they grow wild!
78. Grab some wine after your round of golf at Picton Golf Course, Barcovan Golf Club or Wellington On The Lake Golf Course.
79. Pop in & out of all of the cool shops along Picton Main Street.
80. Bird-watching!! And don’t miss BirdHouse City.
81. Take the scenic route. Drive along the Loyalist Parkway – Hwy 33. Start in Kingston or Napanee and it will meander all the way to Trenton.
82. Order everything on the chalkboard at The Hubb Restaurant in Bloomfield.
83. TASTE! at the Crystal Palace (late September).
84. Have afternoon tea or a treat at Tall Poppy Café in Wellington.
85. The December Busy Hands Craft Sale at Books and Company & Miss Lily’s Café, hosted by Vicki’s Veggies – great sale for gifts.
86. Pop into Greer Road Grocer at Rosehall Run Winery for neat locally made gourmet goodies.
87. Play life size chess in the vineyard at Casa Dea Estates.
88. Stop for Italian thin crust pizza at Bergeron’s Estate Winery…and have a glass of wine too!
89. Take photos of Lake Ontario with morning fog near Moonlight on the Lake B&B.
90. Buy Ontario wine – and beer! – not available in the LCBO – shop directly at the wineries & brewery in Prince Edward County!
91. Get married!
92. Running and drinking…drinking and running during Terroir Run (June) or county Marathon (Oct).
93. Taste wine in a converted cheese factory that now houses Exultet Estates.
94. Rent a cottage on the water for a week and really live The County life.
95. Stop at a garage sale.
96. Take the free Glenora Ferry.
97. Take a workshop at The Red Barns, an artisan’s playground, featuring blown and stained glass, pottery, and iron art.
98. Visit Canada’s first off-grid winery Redtail Vineyard.
99. Browse the books and say hello to Miss Ella Vader, the new book mascot at Books & Company.
100. Spend a weekend at Claramount Inn & Spa. Heavenly.
101. Stop by Huff Estates and get your picture taken with the giant steel pinecones.
…and the list goes on! Even more tips and calendar of events can be found on Prince Edward County’s tourism web site is prince-edward-county.com
Wherever you decide to go this Long Weekend…or anytime, why not work your way through this long list of things to see and do in Prince Edward County. It’s a beautiful place where you can make great memories of food, wine, great scenery – and more. Call on our Savvy Sommeliers anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for tips of places to visit.
Enjoy Prince Edward County!