A weekend getaway in Prince Edward County

 

Stefano and I recently decided to escape the city for a weekend and explore the wineries of Prince Edward County. We’ve both been obsessed with the county since we stumbled upon it a few years ago on a camping trip, and have always wanted to go back and spend some time really seeing all it has to offer. So when I came across a Toronto Life article raving about The June Motel, I knew this was our opportunity to go. I quickly booked whatever weekend they had available first, and vaguely planned around it.

Prior to the trip, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do there, just that I wanted to ride bikes from winery to winery and eat some really good local food. Below is a summary of our itinerary and what I suggest checking out if you plan to visit in the near future.

Where to Stay: The June Motel

The county has an expanding list of places to stay that I can only imagine will grow as it becomes more of a wine destination. We stayed at The June – it’s just outside of Picton, and caters to the winery hopping crowd. Not only is the décor super insta-worthy, but they offer wine glasses in every room, a wine bar in the lobby stocked with local favourites, yoga on Saturday mornings, and an intimate campfire at night. This place is all about the details! The only downside I could find was that it was about a 25 minute drive from the main winery routes. Other notable places to stay include the Drake Devonshire and The Ferg – two places I really want to stay at in the future!

  

What to Do: Rosé, all day please!

The main purpose of our trip was to check out all of the different wineries the county had to offer. We rented bikes from Closson Road Cycles and put together a rough route that would take us to all of the wineries we wanted to see. The ones we checked out include:

  • Closson Chase Vineyards
  • Hinterland / County Road Beer
  • Traynor Family Vineyard
  • Norman Hardie
  • Rosehall Run
  • Karlo Estates

The county has over 30 wineries in the region so it was hard to narrow down a few to check out. But these ones made the most sense for our bike route and we enjoyed them all – we even picked up a few bottles along the way!

Where to Eat: Support Local

The county is full of farmland and vineyards, so there is no shortage of fresh, local, and in season fruits and vegetables everywhere you go. The cute cafes and restaurants we went to embraced this philosophy and we were not disappointed! Here’s a quick summary of where we ate and recommend:

  • The June: fresh chacuterie board on arrival, complete with cheese and cured meats from the area. They also had some really good breakfast cookies and scones.
  • Hinterland / County Road Beer: We enjoyed a beautiful lunch in their beer garden that I highly recommend!! The menu was small, but embraced fresh ingredients from their farm. It gets busy, so get there early!
  • The Courage: This was a great little restaurant in Wellington that reminded me of something you would find in downtown Toronto. We enjoyed the pasta special, risotto, some flavourful chicken wings, and a great tomato salad.
  • Drake Devonshire: We capped off our trip with brunch at the Drake Devonshire in Wellington, with gorgeous views of Lake Ontario.
  • Perfect Lil’Bakeshop: Probably our most favourite discovery on the trip – a cute little self-serve bakeshop on the side of the road! You literally walk in, help yourself to some freshly baked goods, and put some money in a jar. They have calculators to help you calculate your total, and cameras to ensure no one is stealing. It was the coolest thing and the tarts and cheesecake we picked up were delicious!

The only place we didn’t eat at was Norman Hardie. They have great wood-fired pizzas that people we met raved about. We’ll just have to check it out next time 🙂

What Else To Do: So much county, so little time

Prince Edward County is also home to Sandbanks Provincial Park. The park is known for its great beaches and sunsets, and is actually where we went camping a few years ago. It gets quite busy in the summer, but there are lots of other small beaches in the area that you can check out. We also visited Lake on The Mountain, a small conservation area just down the street from The June. The area is also known for its great antique shops and farmer’s markets, and there are a ton of cute boutiques and cafes in both Picton and Wellington.

After we came home from our weekend away, we naturally turned to MLS and were curious to see how much it was to buy property there. We love the county a lot and can’t wait to return!

~ Chantelle