Prince Edward County is a perfect getaway destination for people looking to escape city life in the GTA. When the pandemic hit, we knew we wouldn’t be travelling for a while. But as soon as restrictions started to lift, we looked up some local Airbnbs in one of our favourite spots in Ontario.
PEC is a short two-hour drive from Toronto and has lots to do and see for any occasion, whether a romantic getaway, a girls or guys trip, or a family weekend adventure. It is an especially favourable destination for the food and drink lover, with 30 wineries, several breweries and cideries, farm fresh fruits and veggies, artisanal cheese and charcuterie, and top quality restaurants.
I have been to the County twice, and both trips were quite different. Our first trip was a romantic getaway in late fall. This time, we travelled with friends and our kids because we noticed that most places in the County are family- friendly. The restaurants and wineries are welcoming and accommodating to young families (think: high chairs, change tables, kids menus, play structures, crafts for kids, petting zoos). The wide open spaces are perfect for letting your little ones run around and explore while you sip your wine.
The highlights of this trip for me were the stunning white sandy beaches and blue clear water at the (less crowded) North Beach Provincial Park; the cute rock beach at Little Bluffs; the delicious food from Parsons Brewery, Norman Hardie Winery, and Flame + Smith; the beautiful vineyards at Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estates Winery and Waupoos Estates Winery. Camden really enjoyed the beach and petting zoos 🙂
PEC is in Stage 3 of reopening after the pandemic and many places are resuming normal operation as long as people wear a mask. That being said I would definitely call or check websites beforehand just to be sure you are aware of any restrictions.
Here are my top recommendations for a lovely summer weekend getaway to PEC:
TO STAY: We stayed in this Airbnb because it was reasonably priced, and close to North Beach and several wineries. I also recommend Merrill House. Of course, if you can get a reservation, try the Drake Devonshire – their lakeview is incredible.
TO EAT: Flame and Smith; farm to table harvest dinners at Quinto do Condo; Enid Grace Cafe; Norman Hardie for wood fired pizza; Milford Bistro for delicious burgers; Flossies Sandwich Parlour; Brunch at the Drake Devonshire; Bloomfield Public Market; Vic Cafe (vegetarian/vegan); Koenji Whiskey Bar; Jerkebago Charcoal Grill on your way into the County; Slickers Ice Cream.
TO DRINK: Grange Winery, Karlo Estates (Vegan), Hinterland, Traynor Family Vineyard (check if it’s open); Waupoos Winery; County Cider Co., Kinsip Distillery, Midtown Brewery.
TO DO: Sandbanks Provincial Park (you need to go right at 9am!); sunset views from Miller House Patio; Lavender Fields at Millefleur; less crowded beach at North Beach Provincial Park; cute local rock beach at Little Bluff Provincial Park; Waupoos petting zoo; antique shopping at Dead People Stuff.
TO BRING BACK: Be sure to pick up some local cheese from Black River Cheese Company and Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, and fresh fruits and veggies from Hagerman Farms. I also love making a stop at Carsons Market for some candles, plants, and other country goodies.