Prince Edward County Travel Guide
Borders are closed. Airplane travel is scary. For the past 7 months we’ve had to stay close to home. It’s made us re-think our travel destinations and discover new getaways that are closer to home. On the bright side, it led my family to discovering Wellington, Ontario (and the surrounding towns) and enjoying a wondrous vacation this summer. About a 4-hour drive from Montreal, this Prince Edward County Travel Guide should give you all the tips you need for a safe, scenic and savoury getaway.
Where to Stay in Prince Edward County
When researching a family vacation in Prince Edward County (PEC), there are a number of different towns to consider. Wellington, Picton and Bloomfield are just a few of the places to consider that are in close proximity to the beach.
We opted for an Airbnb called the Wellington House which couldn’t have been more perfect. The house featured 3 bedrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, a huge yard and the perfect location across from a park with a playground and tennis courts. It was also a very short walk to the main street of Wellington with ice cream shops, a grocery, store restaurants and the local beach.
A house was hard to come by during Covid-19 but if you book early enough you can likely find a waterfront property or one with a pool. There are also hotel options include the Drake Motor Inn, the June Motel or the Newsroom Suites.
Where to Eat in Prince Edward County
We went to our first restaurant in over 5 months in Prince Edward County. Luckily, many of the dining options are outdoors with safety protocols in place. A month before our trip, I made a reservation at the Drake Devonshire Hotel. Picnic tables lined the rocky beach with items like lobster rolls and a falafel salad on the menu. There is a kids menu too.
While my family isn’t the biggest burger fans, we made a stop at the Vic Café mainly for its cute decor and drive-in ordering system. The tater tots were totally worth the stop!
Our other alfresco eating spot was Flossie’s for their infamous sandwiches. This road-side stop is located next to a lovely garden store with goats, which are the perfect entertainment for the kids.
Other must-stop spots include coffee at Enid Grace Culinary, lemonade next store at Lemons, old-fashioned donuts at Lakeshore Farms and ice cream at the Old Greenhouse Ice Cream Shop. Everyone raves about the ice cream at Slickers, so we did sample the Campfire special but it wasn’t my thing.
Where to Drink in Prince Edward County
No Prince Edward County travel guide would be complete without a few of the local wineries and breweries. While we couldn’t see them all, with kids in tow we did make a few stops at those that seemed the most family-friendly.
The Waupoos Estates Winery features huge grounds with a tasting bar, restaurant, gelato shop and petting zoo on-site. It is pristinely located at the water’s edge providing beautiful views while you sip on a glass of red or white.
While we arrived at Huff Estates before the winery actually opened, we enjoyed the sculpture garden. I had sampled a can of their All Day Rosé at a local restaurant a few days earlier and this is certainly one to bring home.
My husband is a huge cider fan so the Crimson Cider Company was a must-stop. The frozen cider lived up to its reviews, especially the virgin version for the kids.
Finally, on our way out of PEC we stopped at Parsons Brewing Company where we enjoyed a light lunch too. Leo loved the old tractor in the field and there were some outdoor games to keep the kids busy too.
What to Do in Prince Edward County
Aside from the plethora of wineries, most people come to PEC for Sandbanks Provincial Park. Best known for its white sandy beaches, this park definitely seems out of place in the middle of Ontario. We stuck to the dog-friendly beaches including Outlet beach and Lakeshore beach. The water is crystal clear and the beaches are wide with plenty of space to setup for a day of surf and sand. Facilities are limited so make sure to go before you go and pack ample snacks and lunch.
We made a trip to Dunes beach one evening (without our dog) and while the sand dunes were impressive the beach is quite small and probably wouldn’t have been a good choice for our family for an entire day.
Wellington features a great park right in the heart of downtown with a boat themed playground. Next door, on Saturdays is the Farmer’s Market where we picked up fresh bread, local veggies and tie dye made from teenage entrepreneurs.
While PEC might be best known for its beaches I think the fall would be a lovely time to visit. And it’s never too early to book for next summer!