Destinations / YYZ / Canada • Toronto

10 Delightful Things To Do In Prince Edward County


May 12, 2021

things to do in Prince Edward County - the Grange of Prince Edward County Winery

Spoiler Alert: Of all the things to do in Prince Edward County, the most hardcore activity is undoubtedly playing paintball in a former military base. As if that wasn’t intriguing enough, it’s also rumoured to be haunted, plagued by tales of cold spots and random glowing orbs!

Unfortunately, it didn’t make the cut for this list, partly because I’m too much of a weenie to try it out for myself. But the main reason for its exclusion is that it couldn’t be classified as “delightfully charming.”

I imagine that people retreat to this pastoral utopia to find some calm away from the bustling crowds of the city, NOT to dodge explosive paintball pellets to the face. I could be wrong…

With the weather finally warming up and vaccines finally being administered, there is hope on the horizon. While summer plans are looking more promising than they were a couple of months ago, international travel is still shrouded in uncertainty. Local trips from Toronto are your best bet (for now) and pandemic or not, Prince Edward County is always a great option for a weekend getaway.

If you live it Toronto, you are a mere 2-hour drive away from sunshine, dining al fresco on locally-sourced food, and some of the best wine in Ontario. Also, goat yoga (yes, goat yoga).


RELATED READING:

➳ 8 Idyllic Spots To Go Glamping Near Toronto This Summer
➳ An Epic Guide For Where to Eat in Prince Edward County
➳ Prince Edward County Wineries and Non-Sober Biking


Things To Do In Prince Edward County

go Winery hopping

Despite sweating balls while precariously wobbling  along dusty roads on a rented bike, winery-hopping from vineyard to vineyard was one of my favourite things to do in Prince Edward County.

Thanks to the warm climate and fertile soils, The County is one of the newest and fastest growing wine regions in Ontario. There are over 35 wineries to sip your way through, from aromatic pinots to robust chardonnays.

If you want to blaze your own trail to the Prince Edward County wineries, you can rent a bike from Closson Road Cycles and set your own pace. They even have tandem bikes and tricycles available!

things to do in Prince Edward County - Hinterland Winery

things to do in Prince Edward County

The charming rustic barn at Hinterland Winery + a peach bellini

Want to benefit from the wisdom of my personal experience? Check out my curated route for a biking tour of the wineries in Prince Edward County for tips. Here were some of my favourite wineries:

Best Wineries in Prince Edward County
      • Old Third Vineyard – This estate marks the beginning of Closson Road, commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Mile’ of the Prince Edward County wineries. Their unfiltered chardonnay is DELICIOUS as is the fresh pasta at their on-site pasta pop-up, Quattro Amici.
      • Closson Chase Vineyards – You’ll recognize this winery by its vibrant purple barn (perfect photo op!) set against a thriving field of vines. Take a seat under multi-hued canopies or find some shade in a leafy corner to sip a flight of wines.
      • Lacey Estates Winery – Lounge in low Adirondack chairs and leisurely sample hand-crafted, small batch premium vino borne of the clay-loam soils of the Hillier area.
      • Grange of Prince Edward County Winery – Share a glass of wine and a picnic table with some roaming chickens at the lush estate of this family-owned spot. You also have the option of chowing down on some fancy gourmet hot dogs and cheers-ing with concoctions from Old Salt Cocktails nestled amid the greenery.
      • Hinterland Winery – Cool down with a peach bellini or a tart and fizzy cherry cider on their rustic patio with a sweeping view of their vineyard.
      • Karlo Estates – Save this vegan certified winery for last as they’re open later than most. Park on a picnic blanket under rows of twinkly lights while you sip artisanal wine and nosh on plant-based snacks while a live band performs as the sun sets.
      • Waupoos Estate Winery – While most of the Prince Edward County wineries can be found in the Hillier area, if you find yourself in Picton, head to Waupoos for a chilled glass of chardonnay paired with a view of Lake Ontario.
things to do in Prince Edward County - Waupoos Estate Winery

White tents and perfectly manicured lawns at Waupoos Estate Winery

things to do in Prince Edward County - wine tasting

Wine tasting flight at Closson Chase Vineyard

things to do in Prince Edward Island

Love the super saturated purple of the Closson Chase Vineyards barn

The 200-year old bar at the Grange Winery

If riding solo isn’t your thing, leave the planning to the experts on a guided tour.

Wine Tours In Prince Edward County
      • Private Wine Tour – For a more intimate experience, opt for a Private Wine Tour, ideal for 2-3 people. You’ll be picked up directly from your accommodations and whisked away to some of the best wineries in Prince Edward County.
      • Bike Tour (from $150) – Tag along with The County Wine Tours on their 11am Sip & Cycle Tour for a leisurely ride through the Millennial Trail guided through at least 12 wine tasting by knowledgable local guides.
      • Limousine Tour (price depends on number of guests) – Tour lush vineyards in style by hopping on a luxurious winery tour of Prince Edward County with Limestone Limousine. You can sit back and relax in a massive, air-conditioned SUV limo while someone else takes the wheel.

 

Catch a double-feature

Once the sun disappears from the sky and The County is blanketed in inky darkness, motor over to The Mustang Drive-In, an honest-to-goodness drive-in movie theatre from the 1950s. It’s exactly the kind of late night entertainment I’d expect from such a wholesome community.

Grab a parking spot and settle in with popcorn and chocolate-covered raisins for a double feature or live concert under the stars. Don’t forget to take a photo next to the retro, sky blue ticket bus out front!

Check out the full movie schedule and tickets here. The showtime is around 8:15/9pm.

 

FROLIC ON THE BEACH

A trip out of the city isn’t complete without a designated beach day! If you want to avoid lengthy car lines, especially when the weather is 👌🏼☀️head to Sandbanks Provincial Park early. The beach here boasts the world’s largest sand bar and dune system, making it one of the most popular (see crowded) things to do in Prince Edward County.

things to do in Prince Edward County - Sandbanks Provincial Park Beach

Plan ahead and place an advanced order for a perfectly portioned picnic basket from the Agrarian Market in Picton. When you emerge from a refreshing swim and you’re stomach starts growling, you’ll be grateful to feast on the selection of sandwiches, cookies, charcuterie, cheese, etc…

things to do in Prince Edward County - beach

Me quietly dying after a full, sweltering day of drinking wine and biking

If Sandbanks is too crowded for your tastes, swing by Wellington Beach for more chill vibes. Stroll along the boardwalk, rent a kayak, try standup paddleboarding (unless my experience at the Benagil Cave in Portugal served as a cautionary tale) or just sit and reflect without the hoards of people.

On your way back, stop by La Condesa for some hearty tacos, crispy tostadas, and creamy guac for a dinner bursting with Latin flavour. For a nightcap, saunter up the street to Midtown Brewing Company for some spectacular craft beers.

 

Eat your way through the county

As if I would write a list of things to do in Prince Edward County and not include the best restaurants to eat your way into a locally-sourced food coma. Preposterous!

Delectable plates of pasta at Quattro Amici at the Old Third Winery

Lauded by the Globe and Mail as the ‘Gastronomic Capital of Ontario,’ Prince Edward County is a bountiful agricultural paradise where you’re guaranteed the freshest feasts of your life.

Whether you dine at a farm-to-table eatery, an on-the-move food truck or a transient pop-up, the every-changing menus are sure to be inspired by and bursting with seasonal produce harvested straight from the neighbouring farms.

Where to eat in Prince Edward County
      • Piccolina Mercato – Start your morning with a latte and freshly baked pastry (think fragrant orange olive oil cake and cornettos dusted with icing sugar) at this cozy nook, formerly known as Enid Grace. For heartier fare, dig in to an indulgent croque monsieur or grab a slice of lasagna to go.
      • The Miller House – Come for the food, stay for the most spectacular view of the sparkling Bay of Quinte from their elevated terrace. Munch on delicate tartines and charcuterie boards before taking a stroll at the nearby Lake On The Mountain Provincial Park.
      • Flossie’s Sandwich Parlour –  Peruse the pun-y selection of hefty sandwiches at this Hillier-based food truck parked next to Carson’s Garden Market. ‘The Nicky San-Meat-Toro’ — eggplant parmigiana  in arrabbiata sauce with fresh basil and gooey with mozzarella, parmesan and provolone — changed my life.
      • Quattro Amici – You say “pasta pop-up” and I’m there. Serving fresh AF pasta out of the Old Third Winery, sip on some full-bodied rieslings while digging in to their daily offerings like zesty lemon ricotta ravioli or a meaty tagliatelle bolognese.
      • The Vic Drive-In – Swing through this rainbow-hued venue and grab a parking spot while you wolf down on cheesy burgers and poutine tots smothered in vegan gravy and studded with cheese curds.
      • Flame + Smith – Snag a coveted patio seat to soak up some sun while you dine on refreshing coconut tuna ceviche and/or a juicy cheeseburger, cooked to perfection at this sustainably-minded restaurant in Bloomfield.

Ricotta drizzled in honey and sprinkled with crumbled almonds and orange zest at The Miller House with a view of the Bay of Quinte

OMG…I have dreams about this eggplant parmigiana from Flossie’s Sandwich parlour

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit the highly-rated Sand and Pearl Oyster Bar (for a seafood banquet) and Idle Wild (for Asian flava), but they’re on the to-eat list for my next visit.

For more recommendations, check out my epic guide for where to eat in Prince Edward County.

 

Get pampered

If relaxation and self-care is your main goal for the weekend, put “spa day” at the top of your list of things to do in Prince Edward County.

Take refuge in the bright, spacious interior of Bloomfield Beauty Co., and treat yourself to a classic mani/pedi combo while you gossip with your girlfriends. You can also opt for medical-grade facials, massages, or even a botox touch up if that strikes your fancy.

As the first luxury spa in Prince Edward County, it’s the ideal locale to let your worries melt away and unwind solo of with a friend.

If you want to take some pampering to-go, peruse their shop offering silky robes, CBD bodycare and Turkish towels and linens.

 

Browse the farmers’ markets

You can’t leave without over-ladening your arms with  fresh, wholesome goodies from one of the many farmers’ markets in Prince Edward County. It’s a veritable agrarian nirvana with nature’s bounty stacking the numerous stands with a rainbow of freshly-picked vegetables and fruits.

things to do in Prince Edward County - Farmers' Markets

things to do in Prince Edward County - Farmers' Markets

After a breakfast of eggs benny with an absolutely necessary side of blueberry scones at the Drake Devonshire, saunter up the street to the Wellington Farmers’ Market. Investigate the seasonal wares from local vendors, from flavourful baba ghanoush to fizzy kombucha and pickled goods.

This bustling market runs from every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, from the end of May to the last weekend in October. Otherwise, you’re sure to stumble across errant fruit and vegetable stands along every other road in The County to make quick pitstops at.

 

Stretch it out in Goat Yoga

You haven’t known true joy until you’ve held a baby goat. You just haven’t. If you’re skeptical of my bold (yet accurate) claim, then test it out for yourself at Goat Yoga With Mikenze.

Sharing your 1-hour yoga practice with curious Nigerian dwarf goats may be one of the cutest, most squeal-worthy things to do in Prince Edward County. You may be trading some zen for an extra helping of cuteness, but it’ll be worth it for the quick cuddle between warrior and pigeon pose.

things to do in Prince Edward County - Alpaca yoga

The alpaca approves this the yoga session (Photo via Shed Chetwyn Farms)

If you prefer alpacas to goats, Shed Chetwyn Farm hosts Yoga With Alpaca sessions in the bucolic setting of the riding ring. Stretch out your muscles while these well-coiffed creatures serenely observe nearby. Post-restorative savasana, peruse the soft AF alpaca goods at their shop, from elegant fur-lined mittens to cozy sweaters and socks.

 

Shop For Local Goods

Prince Edward County is the ideal place to find a unique gift or charming handmade goods to decorate your home with. It is a community of passionate artisans crafting one-of-a-kind pieces that you definitely can’t find in the aisles of IKEA.

things to do in Prince Edward County - shopping at Field Goods

The aesthetically-pleasing shelves at Field Made

Where To Shop In Prince Edward County
      • Coriander Girl – Whether you’re searching for a flower crown or browsing for some blooms to brighten your day, this plant lover’s paradise is worth a visit. You’ll also unearth treasures from local artisans like herbal skincare brand, Sunday’s Company.
      • Field Made Goods – Wander this dreamy, light-filled collaborative shop in Picton and browse shelves laden with expertly crafted goods like gorgeous wooden vases and candlesticks from Bethany Kaye, handmade ceramics from Cylinder Studio, and botanical skincare from Sunday’s Company.
      • Dead People’s Stuff Antiques – This Bloomfield shop is worth a visit if only for the hilariously factual name. Browse the eclectic, well-spaced out collection of items ranging from cool to quirky. You never know what what hidden gems you might uncover!
      • Oak Clothing Store – If you’re looking for a caffeine fix and a chic addition to your wardrobe, check out the thoughtfully curated fashion that ranges from edgy dresses to eco-friendly pieces at this Wellington boutique.
      • The Local Store – Pop on over to this spacious shop (more like a mini market) where you’ll find a little bit of everything — locally made jam, honey, hot sauce, trinkets, souvenir, handicrafts, quilts — from small vendors and artisans from across The County.

things to do in Prince Edward County - shopping at Field Goods

things to do in Prince Edward County - antique shopping at Dead People's Stuff

 

Cider and breweries

Prince Edward County may be known for being home to some of the best vineyards in the province, but if you’re looking for a reprieve from guzzling glasses of wine, there are some killer breweries and cider companies in the area as well.

For award-winning drams that are lip-smackingly dry yet hearty, full-bodied and pleasantly fizzy, beeline to the Loch Mór Cider Company in Hillier. After being welcomed to the family-run orchard by a friendly pup, head out back to snag a cheerful yellow picnic table with a majestic view of the expansive grove.

Order a flight for a well-rounded tasting experience of their offerings, including their traditional crisp ciders like the Loyalist Spy (my fav!) and bone-dry ciders aged in rum barrels that add another layer of depth. They even had a lovely apple port, perfectly paired with an indulgent cheese board and/or dessert.

Head to Picton to check out the premium craft cider using quality ingredients at the Crimson Cider Company. They serve up seasonal cider slushies in the summer (ideal to beat the sweltering heat) and hot mulled cider when the weather cools down.

If you’re more of a beer connoisseur on the hunt for a topnotch brewery in Prince Edward County, mosey on over to Parsons Brewery Company in Picton. You’ll know that you’ve arrived when you spot a bright orange, vintage Volkswagen van parked at the entrance.

Grab some shade and guzzle a refreshing fruity ale or a tart mango sour and munch on authentic Mexican eats like fresh empanadas or elote 🌽 an elaborate confection of Ontario sweet corn topped with stout caramelized onions and chorizo, smothered in  BBQ sauce and Cotija cheese.

 

Sail the lake

Take to the lake with Stay and Sail for a different perspective of The County.

As Prince Edward County’s only licensed and insured sailing charter they claim to take guests “safely to the edge of The Marysburgh Vortex.” I have no idea what that means but it sounds impressive!

Climb aboard a chartered sailboat docked at the Waupoos Marina to explore the glittering waters of the South Bay. You’ll spend a glorious day full of sunshine and swimming in picturesque spots with monikers so charming that they sound like they’re straight out of an episode of Gilligan’s Island — Little Bluff, Halfmoon, Love’s Cove, etc…

If you prefer a view of Lake Ontario from dry land, wander the impeccably manicured land at Waupoos Estate Wineries and sip a glass of wine on the waterfront pier.


I had been aching to visit Prince Edward County for years but it took restricting international travel to force me to finally explore this delightfully charming paradise. I’ve already planned a trip back to explore all the places and restaurants I missed out on my first time around so I’ll have plenty of material for a “Things To Do In Prince Edward County: Part 2.” Do you have any recommendations? Comment below!

Looking for more local trips from Toronto? Consider giving glamping a shot!

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