From the busy streets of New York to Ontario wine country – part 3 of my trip was spent in Prince Edward County.
If you follow my Facebook page, you already know how obsessed I am. I heard PEC was becoming the new Niagara-on-the-Lake and that it was a cute place to visit, but that’s it. Having zero expectations made the experience that much sweeter. It was funny timing because Toronto Life came out with a Guide to Prince Edward County the day we got there. We followed a bit of it, but discovered a lot of other great stuff too…
This trip solidified my obsession with barns
A lot of people don’t know about Prince Edward County, and have no idea that it’s in Ontario, but that’s fitting because it’s a magical place and feels SO far away from home. The closest big city is Bellville but the little towns you want to go to are Picton, Bloomfield, and Wellington.
In a nutshell, PEC used to be all dairy farms but in 1999 they discovered the land was excellent for growing grapes – fast forward a decade and the county now has 32 wineries! Driving down the country roads to the wineries felt like the Great Ocean Road in Australia (no exaggeration). We went to Closson Chase, Rosehall Run, The Grange, Norman Hardie, Waupoos Estates, and the Cider Company. Each place was awesome and some had beautiful views of the lake.
Old converted church at Closson Chase
County Cider Company – sipping delicious peach cider
Waupoos Estates Winery – unreal views and unbelievable food (explosion of flavours).
In addition to the wineries, and perhaps the best part (in my opinion) is the countless outposts of antique and vintage shopping. We’d be driving along the road and see a barn with an ‘antiques’ sign and I’d yell “pull over!” The most exciting shop was City Revival in Picton – a vintage shop with great designer finds. I bought an evening dress and I can’t wait to share with you *eeeeee*
Dead Peoples Stuff – that really was the name
A major highlight is the spectacular Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park. Here we spent the day floating on rafts in the water. It was so peaceful we fell asleep and drifted away.
Slickers Ice Cream – listen to Toronto Life and get the apple pie ice cream. They mix 2 freshly baked apple pies into the ice cream and oh man it’s delicious.
Angeline’s Hub & Inn – great place for tapas and cocktails, and an awesome place to stay.
The towns have so much character and the houses have an undeniable charm. The locals are extremely nice and you can tell they’re excited and proud of their sleepy-turned-cool-destination town. I would be too. The drive is 3 hours from Toronto and it’s definitely worth a weekend trip – even for one night. I am one thousand percent going back, it’s the best. JD