Summer is almost here which means there are plenty of long weekends ahead. One of the best getaway spots is Prince Edward County.
Less than 2.5 hours from the GTA, this rural community makes for the perfect weekend break, thanks to the multitude of restaurants, wineries, and beaches that the area hosts. Check out my breakdown of how to spend a weekend in Prince Edward County.
Get a jump start on the weekend by leaving home on Friday morning. That way, you’ll arrive in the County by lunchtime and have the whole afternoon and evening to enjoy. My first stop in PEC is always the wineries. I’ve already written an article on the best wineries in Prince Edward County, but I’ll note a few others here. In addition to By Chadsey’s Cairns (the most quaint winery in the area), Karlo Estates (set in a barn with fairy lights and offers food pairings), and Closson Chase (a stunning outdoor patio and one of the best pinot noirs in the region), I also highly recommend Traynor (they have sparkling wine options and a food truck outside), Rosehall Run (delicious rosé!), and Harwood (another great County rosé and excellent food pairings).
After you’ve spent the better part of the afternoon on your winery tour, head to The Drake Devonshire Inn for dinner. Top-notch cuisine and contemporary art, not to mention the waterside locale and private beach, are just a few of the perks that come with The Drake. Warning: Be sure to make a reservation in advance! Cap off your note with some fresh-churned ice cream from Nice Ice Baby, only a short walk from The Drake Devonshire.
Spend a weekend like the locals and stop by Enid Grace Café in the morning. This small eatery has coffee to-go, but as soon as you step in the door, you won’t be leaving that quickly thanks to the multitude of fresh, homemade baked goods and bread, served daily. If you feel like something heartier, they also offer full breakfasts such as smoked salmon bagels and breakfast sandwiches. Once you’ve finished enjoying breakfast on the patio at Enid Grace, walk a few blocks and stroll through the Wellington Farmers’ Market. Here you’ll find street food, locally-made gifts, as well as grocery items like produce and cheese.
Assuming the weather cooperates, Saturday means it’s time to hit the beach! Prince Edward County is home to Sandbanks Provincial Park, a must-visit while in the area. The natural sand dunes make for the perfect location to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sun. There are three beaches in the park and in July and August, the lake will likely even be warm enough for swimming.
Once you’ve had enough sand and sun, head back into town and visit Midtown Brewery. Though PEC is known for its wineries, there are a few notable breweries in the region, one of them being Midtown. With local beer on tap, TV screens playing the latest sports game, and an outdoor patio, Midtown is the ideal spot to relax after a long day at the beach.
On Sunday mornings, I tend to prefer to take things easy, but depending on the weather and what time you’re heading out that day, you may like to get in a few last activities. My recommendations would be checking out the local Wellington Beach (it’s much smaller than Sandbanks but has a nice boardwalk and water access).
Alternatively, if your trip is taking place in late June or July, consider visiting Prince Edward County Lavender, the area’s very own lavender field. It will remind you of the lavender fields of Provence when in bloom, and even hosts its own Lavender Festivals on the July 6-7 and July 13-14 weekends.
To ensure you don’t go hungry on your drive back home, stop in for lunch at Wellington’s newest restaurant, La Condesa. Plenty of Mexican flair awaits in the form of tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tostadas, guacamole, and queso fundido, (and if you’re not the one driving home, be sure to have a glass of the watermelon rosé sangria).