Experience Maple and More in Prince Edward County this March
Emerge from winter with us this March in Prince Edward County. From maple harvest celebrations to a new Winter Wine Festival, there is plenty to enjoy with the whole family. Read on to get all the details and plan your March getaway today!
PEC Maple Madness
PEC Maple Madness is back again to help celebrate the sweetest time of year in The County. Visit a sugarbush, taste delicious maple delights, and stay over in some sweet accommodations to make for a maple-y getaway every weekend in March. With more than 60 participating businesses, there will be opportunities to experience maple at every turn!
Participating sugarbushes include Waupoos Estates Winery, Walt’s Sugar Shack, Three Dog Winery, County Shores Farms, Sugarbush Vineyards, Justin’s Maple Syrup, Campbell’s Orchards, and Nyman Farms. In addition to learning about the maple harvest and sampling straight from the source, you can expect pancake breakfasts every Saturday and Sunday at Waupoos Estates, pancake and sausage breakfasts at Walt’s Sugar Shack, self-guided tours through the woods at Justin’s Maple Syrup (hiking boots or rain boots recommended), educational Maple Walk & Talks through Murray’s sugarbush at Campbell’s Orchards, and more!
After visiting a sugar bush, taste the Maple Syrup in action at local establishments. Why not start with a maple-y wine tour at Three Dog Winery, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Lacey Estates Winery, Rosehall Run, Huff Estates, Norman Hardie Winery, Karlo Estates, The Grange, Closson Chase Winery, Broken Stone Winery, Harwood Estate Vineyards, Trail Estate Winery, Hillier Creek Estates Winery, Redtail Vineyards, or Stanners Vineyards. These participating wineries have lots of maple deliciousness on offer to pair with their wines, like maple shortbread and maple cheese from Black River Cheese at Sandbanks Winery, all-you-can-eat vegan pancake brunches at Karlo Estates, and maple salmon gravlax with maple-infused wine cocktails at Rosehall Run.
Distilleries, breweries, and cideries are getting in on the fun as well, with Clafeld Cider House, Barley Days Brewery, Kinsip Distillery, Midtown Brewing Company, Prince Eddy’s Brewing, Matron Fine Beer, Gillingham Brewery, Parsons Brewery, 555 Brewery, All My Friends Beer Co., and Loch Mor Cider serving up tasty maple beverages and accompaniments. Head to Kinsip for Maple Whisky and Whisky Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, to Loch Mor for limited edition Maple-infused Pommeau (aka apple port), or stop at Matron Fine Beer for delectable maple cinnamon buns.
Finally, stop for a bite to eat at participating Maple Madness restaurants and food producers, which include The County Canteen, 7 Numbers Picton, The Waring House, Fifth Town Cheese, The Drake Devonshire, J&W Farms, Stella’s Eatery, Sand & Pearl, Cressy Mustard Co., PECish Baking, The County Chocolatier, The Village Bake Shoppe, and Sprigglen Meat Market. Enjoy maple-y menu items like Polenta Arancini with Maple Cheddar & Prosciutto at 7 Numbers, French Toast served with a caramelized apple + cranberry compote, Perth bacon, Chantilly cream, and hearty dose of Nyman Farms Maple Syrup at Drake Devonshire, or a Maple Salmon BLT on PECish Bread from Sand & Pearl, which you can find at Gillingham Brewing on March 4&5, PECish Baking Co. on March 11, 18 and 25, and Slake Brewing on March 12, 19, and 26.
With so much to experience during Maple Madness in March, make a weekend of it and stay with us here in PEC. Maple Madness is serving up some sweet accommodation offers including The Waring House, Places in PEC, Eliken House (PEC STA License # ST-2019-0256), Everly Inn, Sandbanks Vacations, Indergaard Farm Stay (PEC STA License #: ST-2021-0001.), Twin Birch Suites & Cottages, Pleasant Stays Guest House (PEC STA License #: 2022-0089), The Lakeside Motel, Pettit House, County Charm Vacation Home (PEC STA License #: ST-2022-0132), Picton Bay Hideaway (PEC STA License #: ST – 2021-0168), Lock 6 Lodge, and The Owens House (PEC STA License #: STA-2021-0115).
🛌 Discover Sweet Accommodations Offers for Maple Madness 🛌
Be sure to follow PEC Maple Madness on Instagram and Facebook to learn about all the offerings from participating businesses throughout March and visit their website to plan for your perfect maple getaway in The County.
Elévage: PEC Winter Wine Festival
Raise a glass to winter in wine country with Élevage: PEC Winter Wine Festival from March 11-12, 2023. What is Élevage? Derived from the french meaning “raise up,” Élevage refers to the time in winemaking between fermentation and bottling – typically in winter – when wines begin their maturing process and make their way to being ready to enjoy. This makes it the perfect name for a Winter Wine Festival in PEC, and this is one you won’t want to miss, with more than 21 local producers of wine and cider coming together to create a memorable weekend of wine and culinary experiences.
Élevage will take place at seven local wineries and cideries, each playing host to 2-3 other wineries and one chef who will be cooking up delicious bites inspired by our long history of fermentation and preservation. Tickets are $64 for general admission, which includes 12 drink samples and 3 food samples, with additional sample tickets available for purchase on-site. They also have a zero-proof admission option for $40 which includes 3 food tickets. Get your tickets here.
Spend the weekend working your way through the host locations and tasting food from local chefs, more than half of whom are of Indigenous descent, including 4 Mohawk Chefs from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. These locations include:
- Casa Dea Estates Winery, with Hillier Creek Estates and Three Dog Winery, alongside Chef Rachel Bies
- Closson Chase Vineyards, with Broken Stone Winery and Hubbs Creek Vineyard, alongside Chef Nicole Maracle
- Grange of Prince Edward, with Hinterland Wine Company and Lacey Estates Winery, with Chefs Nathan Thomas and Matt Demille
- Huff Estates Winery, with Lighthall Vineyards and The County Cider Company with Chefs Leah Hannon (Stella’s Eatery) and Lee Arden Lewis
- Karlo Estates Winery, with Keint-he Winery and Vineyards and Gravel Hill Vineyards, featuring food pairing by Karlo Estates Winery
- Loch Mór Cider Company, with Sugarbush Vineyards and Trail Estate Winery, featuring Chef Rebecca Hunt (Picnic PEC)
- Rosehall Run, with Morandin Wines, Sandbanks Winery, and Stanners Vineyard, with Chef Chavis Maracle
Looking for somewhere to stay during Élevage? Drake Devonshire is the official accommodations partner for the festival. Just call 613-399-3338 for bookings and mention Élevage – ticket holders will receive a complimentary bottle of PEC sparkling wine at check-in!
Get your tickets to Élevage today!
Maple in The County
Maple in The County is back and in person for the first time since 2019! Come out for this family-friendly festival and wrap up a month of maple festivities by experiencing the maple harvest at 5 beloved County sugar bushes over the weekend of March 25-26, 2023. Participating sugar bushes include:
- Hubbs Sugarbush/Sweetwater Cabin will be serving up their 45th annual pancake breakfast featuring fresh maple syrup. Lumberjack shows are back this year, and you’ll have a chance to purchase their small-batch, hand-made maple products like stirred sugar, maple butter, soft sugar candy, and more.
- Fosterholm Farms invites you to visit their 7500 tap sugarbush, which has been in operation since 1924! Come see how maple syrup is made and take a walk through the woods and tuck in to a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast with unlimited maple syrup. Meals are just $15 and take place inside their sap house beside the woodfire. There will also be plenty of maple goodies available for you to purchase at their wheelchair accessible facility.
- Vader’s Maple Syrup is exicited for you to visit their 2500 tap maple production – a family tradition since 1910. Tour the Sap House, observe our 3’x14′ evaporator in action, take a scenic walk overlooking East Lake, and learn from informative maple displays, and photos. Maple syrup, hand crafted maple butter, maple sugar and whisky barrel aged maple syrup available for purchase. You can also enjoy freshly made maple taffy on a stick and maple kettle corn!
- Head to Loha Farms for an all-day indoor pancake breakfast, after which you can enjoy a walk in the sugar bush, visit the animals in the barnyard, and watch how maple syrup is made in our sugar shack. A portion of their proceeds will be donated to Picton Memorial Hospital. Be sure to bring your rain boots!
- Come stop by our sap house at Roblin’s Maple Syrup and take in the picturesque views of Long Reach. Observe how they transform raw sap into pure maple syrup with their reverse osmosis and energy efficient combination wood/wood pellet fired evaporator, sample a flight of different maple syrup grades, enjoy maple butter on an english muffin, maple pulled pork on a bun, along with many other mouth-watering maple treats and products for sale.
For more information about Maple in The County, check out the website or follow the festival on Facebook.
Experience arts and culture in PEC this March with some exciting events and exhibits. Swing by Oeno Gallery for their “Conversations” Exhibition, which explores artsworks that “speak to each other,” through multiple panels or pieces. Featuring artists Milly Ristvedt, Shayne Dark, Aron Hill, Benny Katz, Paula Murray, John Paul Robinson, Alice Teichert, Julia Reimer, Derya Ozparlak, Kevin Robb and Peter Hoffer, you won’t want to miss this one! Meanwhile, on Picton Main Street, Arts on Main Gallery opens their Awakening Art Show on March 3, which will feature new works from local artists in celebration of spring.
If you want to try your hand at art, there are a few opportunities coming up this month you’ll want to register for. Every Tuesday night give life drawing a go with Salon Life Drawing at Karlo Estates, or you can sign up for the County Arts Lab’s Art for Equity event on International Women’s Day. Finally, if you want to bring home some handmade maple memorabilia along with some delicious wine, sign up for the Maple Leaf Mosaic Workshop at Broken Stone Winery.
Want to go beyond maple with your culinary adventures in The County? We’ve got you covered. In addition to the regular menus at our numerous restaurant offerings, you also don’t want to miss these special foodie events. Here mid-week? Wednesday Wing Night at Jackson’s Falls featuring Big Mike’s BBQ’s delicious smoked wings is a must try experience. Also at Jackson’s Falls you can enjoy brunch from Chef Chris Wylie every weekend – be sure to call in advance to book a table!
Here for the cheese? Plan to come in early on Friday throughout March to experience Fondue Fridays at The Eddie. This unique experience allows you to nosh on warming cheese and chocolate fondue in the quaint setting of a beautiful barn. If you haven’t gotten enough of molten cheese, be sure to head to Lighthall Vineyards on Sunday March 12 and Sunday March 19 to taste their homemade raclette alonside their stellar wines.
Coming up in April
Planning ahead for a visit in April? Here’s some of what you can look forward to next month:
Countylicious returns for its spring edition from April 12 – May 1! Enjoy 3 weeks of spring-inspired, three-course prix fixe menus at great prices from restaurants you know, love, and have been dying to try! Check out Countylicious.ca for more information in the coming weeks!
Easter at The Eddie
Get in the festive spirit at The Eddie with their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Sunday Brunch on April 9! Book your tickets now!
A Bucket List for Winter in Prince Edward County ❄️☃️
We’re going to let you in on one of our best-kept secrets: winter in Prince Edward County. Sure, it’s colder and quieter, but for us those are just added benefits that make for some unforgettable experiences. For the uninitiated that may need some convincing, so keep reading to discover our bucket list for an incredible winter experience in The County.
Note: this bucket list might not be accomplished in a single weekend getaway, but maybe that calls for making a PEC winter getaway a tradition. Or better yet, book a longer stay to enjoy a whole week of winter fun in The County. Discover unique and luxurious accommodations our website here.
1. Snowshoe at a Winery
There are so many reasons to love The County in winter, and one of them is the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the crisp and refreshing air before tucking into a cozy wine tasting around the fire. This is made possible at Sugarbush Vineyards and Three Dog Winery, where their private trails allow for you to experience a part of PEC not typically open to the public.
At Sugarbush Vineyards, you’ll find a 2.5 km snowshoe trail though their sugarbush and vineyard. You can rent or bring your own snowshoes, and your fee includes a wine tasting, hot chocolate and cookies by the fire. They trails are open most weekends during the winter, but be sure to check in advance before arriving.
At Three Dog Winery they offer a guided hike through their snowshoe trails most weekends throughout the winter. For $30 you will get a snowshoe rental for your guided tour, two glasses of wine, and a light snack. Spots are limited so be sure to book in advance on their website.
As with all winter experiences, snowshoeing is subject to the weather, so keep your fingers crossed for lots of snow! 🤞
2. Hit the Ice at Parsons
One of the great things about Prince Edward County in wintertime is that there is plenty of fun to be had for the whole family, and one of these hubs for winter family fun is Parsons Brewing, where kiddos and kids at heart can take to the covered rink, sip hot chocolate and make s’mores by the fire. Stick around for their delicious Argentinian-inspired food menu (or come early for Sunday brunch!) and of course their extensive list of handcrafted beers.
To have this winter experience, be sure to follow Parsons Brewing on Instagram for updates about the opening of their winter rink. As with snowshoeing, this experience is subject to good winter weather, so hope the cold weather sticks around so we have as many weekends of skating fun as possible.
3. Get Cozy on an Outdoor Patio
Sure, it’s great snuggling up indoors next to a fire, but there’s something equally as great about embracing the chill, bundling up and enjoying some locally-crafted beverages by the fire pit. Gillingham Brewing in particular has a fantastic outdoor patio with fire tables and heaters to ease some of the chill, that goes perfectly with their handcrafted beers, wine from neighbouring Domaine Darius, and frequent oyster pop-ups. But whether at Gillingham or many of Prince Edward County’s wineries, breweries and cideries, this is an essential part of the winter experience in The County. Bonus: it’s family and pup-friendly, with space for kids to enjoy the snow and the ability for pups to join you on your County outings.
🐶 Related: Pet-friendly PEC 🐶
4. Enjoy a Main Street Stroll
Whatever the weather, a stroll along one of The County’s main streets should be on your list. With delightful shops, delicious restaurants and plenty of quaint cafés to satisfy whatever craving you have. Looking for some ideas?
- In Picton, discover contemporary homewares at Kala Home, stop in for a quick lunch at The Royal Hotel‘s Counter Bar (don’t forget to grab a cannoli for dessert), and pick out the perfect winter read for you or the kids at Books & Company.
- In Bloomfield, add a little Scandi to your skincare regime at Scandiskin, discover contemporary Canadian art at Guildworks, and warm up with lunch off the vegan menu at Bermuda.
- Meanwhile, over in Wellington design your own vintage-inspired jewellery piece at Anice Jewellery, stock up on green-living essentials at GOOD Place, and grab a pint and a bite at Midtown Brewing.
5. Take a Coffee (or Cocoa) Break
When you’re spending so much time out in the cold, it’s always a treat to head inside for a bit of a winter warmer. Luckily, The County has lots of options for you and your kiddos to get warm with a coffee or hot chocolate. Speaking of kids, if you have them you definitely want to head to Beacon Bike+Brew in Picton where their kid-friendly play area is perfect to keep them entertained while you relax with a brew. Also in Picton you’ll find Lily’s Café (connected to Books & Company), the Bean Counter Café, and Luso Bites, where you’ll find a whole host of delicious Portugese delights (including pastel de nata!) alongside a large coffee menu. If tea is more your speed, don’t miss Savon Du Bois, whose apothercary is sure to provide the perfect remedy to a chilly day. Other coffee spots include Bloomfield Public House as well as Bloomfield Beauty Co., GOOD Place, Piccolina Mercato and Consecon Honey House Café.
☕ Related: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee☕
6. Visit a Winery
If you want to learn more about winemaking in Prince Edward County straight from the source, a winter visit to some local wineries should definitely be on your list. Not only are the cozy vibes inside the tasting room unmatched, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to chat with tasting room staff – and in many cases the winemakers themselves – about making wine in The County and the terroir that makes it so special. Who knows, you may even get a taste of a new release! For more information about our local wineries be sure to explore the wine section of our website, or check out PEC Wine’s newly updated website and app to help plan your perfect tour.
7. Enjoy a Leisurely Brunch
When you have a day of wintery outdoor adventures planned, there’s no better way to start your day than with hearty brunch. Luckily, winter in Prince Edward County is brunch season, with many spots offering seasonal brunch menus in addition to our already popular brunch offerings. Here are some delicious brunch experiences you will want to have this winter:
- Creekside Café won our hearts with their stunning brunch menu when they opened last summer, and the good news is that they’re still at it this winter, and with new menu items to boot. Brunch starts up again this Saturday, so don’t miss it!
- Come for the weekend and stay for the brunch starting January 15 at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn. Not staying at the inn? That’s okay – you’re invited too! Just be sure to make a reservation in advance.
- Head to Karlo Estates for their bubble brunch every Sunday – all-you-can-eat vegan pancakes, handcrafted sparkling wine, and a cozy barn setting – what more could you want?
- Run to Parsons Brewing to experience their seasonal brunch menu before enjoying a wintery pint by the fire and a skate on their outdoor rink (weather permitting).
- Check out the new breakfast menu at The County Canteen featuring deliciousness such as an epic breakfast burrito and an indulgent breakfast poutine.
- They’re available all year round, but we’d be remiss not to mention the decadent brunches at the Drake Devonshire, The Royal Hotel, and Picton Harbour Inn.
8. Hit the Trails
There’s nothing like a walk in the forest after a snowfall. Luckily, Prince Edward County has lots of options to get you breathing that winter air between brunch, wine tasting, and your next indulgent County meal. Here’s just a few:
- Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area is a great stop for a walk after spending the morning in Picton. With access from Macaulay Heritage Park, this Quinte Conservation area has a large trail network that allows for you to customize your routes. Be sure to download a map and wear appropriate footwear as the path can be wet in places in mild weather, though with a fresh cover of snow it’s a dream! If you’re looking for an easier stroll or if you just want to take a look at one of The County’s loveliest community arts projects, be sure to check out Birdhouse City, which is located on the edge of the conservation area.
- Sandbanks Provincial Park really shows off in winter with six trails to choose from of varying lengths and difficulty. From snow on the beach on Dunes Trail to quiet, riverside moments on Cedar Sands, you’re bound to stumble upon countless magical “are we in Narnia?” moments for your memory bank. Head to the Ontario Parks website to learn more about accessing Sandbanks in Winter, and don’t forget these crucial safety tips:
- Stay off the lake. Shore ice can be very precarious and it’s not worth the risk.
- Start your walk with plenty of time before dark to help ensure you get back to your car safely.
- Dress appropriately. Winter boots. Layers. Gloves and hats. This is no place for sneakers!
- The Millennium Trail runs the length of The County and is just as much a major artery through the area in winter as it is in the warmer months. Cross country skiing, fat biking, walking, and snowmobiling are just a few ways you can enjoy this public linear park.
For even more travel inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram and use #PrinceEdwardCounty to share your PEC winter experiences with us!
Make it a Magical December in PEC with these Events & Festivities 🎄
It’s the final push before the holidays and Prince Edward County is showing no signs of slowing down. With plenty of holiday markets and festivities to attend, keep reading to discover all the ways you can experience a magical December in The County.
Markets & More
Head over to Wellington for the Very Merry Market on December 3 from 9:30am – 2:30pm, inside the Wellinton United Church. Featuring many of your favourite Wellington Community Market vendors, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on goodies for your holiday table and all of your gifting needs.
Busy Hands is back at Highline Hall in Wellington from December 10-11! Come by for handmade goods from dozens of your favourite local artisans such as Honey Pie Hives & Herbals, Vickie’s Veggies, and more, perfect for all of your holiday gifting needs!
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If you’ve ever wanted to check out Wander the Resort, the Winter Wanderland Market is the perfect opportunity! Come by Wander from 11am to 5pm on December 11th for a holiday market full of festive cheer on their stunning property along the shores of Lake Ontario. Complete with artisan vendors, gingerbread house decorating, hot chocolate, and visits from some local celebrities (aka Noble Beast Farms Alpacas), this is a perfect event for the whole family.
In addition, the Ode to Joy Art Show & Sale at Andara Gallery, the Give a Little Bit Holiday Group Show at Melt Studio & Gallery,(join them for a holiday reception on December 17 from 1-4PM) and The Art of Giving show at Arts on Main Gallery continue through December, so be sure to check those out if art is on your shopping list this holiday season.
While Countylicious is over, there are still plenty of reasons to dine out in PEC this December. First of all, several spots have added seasonal specials and updated menus to their roster, making for even more reasons to visit The County during the winter months. For instance, both Stella’s Eatery and Parsons Brewing have added a Sunday brunch service to their weekend programming, which will be available until spring. Additionally, Stella’s has launched Sparking and Seafood Wednesdays, where guests can enjoy a special seafood menu and 1/2 price sparkling wine – talk about a mid-week treat! Midtown Brewing is mixing things up with a menu refresh this month as well, so don’t miss this chance to dine at this Wellington institution.
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If you’re looking for some special dining experiences to add to your December festivities, we’ve got you covered:
- On December 3rd head to The Waring House for a plant-based feast from Chef Chris with Frost: A Plant Based Tasting Menu
- Also at The Waring House, PEC Wine Society and PEC Single Malt Society are each offering a Wassail-themed dinner this month, on the 7th and 15th respectively
- For another vegan dining option, be sure to check out the weekly “Dinner & a Show” event at Karlo Estates. This month you can expect performances from Tony Forbes, Jeremy Kelly. and Elmwood Harmony.
- Sand & Pearl will be popping up in Milford at PECish Baking Co. throughout December. Join them on December 17th, 24th, and 31st for all the usual deliciousness from PECish plus special coffee, campfire grilled oysters, chowder in bread bowls and more. Plus you can pre-order seafood platters to go for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Another spot making Sundays in the County extra special this winter is Lighthall Vineyards, who are introducing Raclette Sundays to their cheesy offerings. Come my the winery on December 11 + 18, January 15 + 29, February 12 + 20 and March 12 + 19 to try their house-made raclette for just $15 per person from 1-3PM while supplies last. Pair with their chardonnay for the ultimate tasting experience!
In addition to all of the holiday markets happening this month, there are also a plethora of festive events taking place throughout The County, and you’re invited to celebrate with us. First up, after you spend some time at the Very Merry Market on December 3rd, stick around Wellington for A Whoville Holiday in Wellington Park. Starting at 4PM this family-friendly events provides an opportunity for the kids to meet Santa, enjoy a bonfire and do some carolling while the town of Wellington lights up for the holiday season.
The County Museums have a number of festive events on this holiday season. Come visit Santa’s Village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village on Friday December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 12-3pm. During these special days you can tour the village and discover Santa’s sleigh, listen to stories and of course take a picture with the big man himself! Then on December 10th and 11th, head to Macaulay Heritage Park for some historical holiday cheer! Come see Macaulay House all decorated for christmas and take a tour inside this beautiful historic home while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider. You can also visit with Santa, shop the Mistletoe Magic Artisan Market, enjoy live music, readings and special holiday displays by Shatterbox Theatre.
Three Dog Winery is under new ownership as of Summer 2022, and if you haven’t stopped by yet, their Holiday Open House is the perfect time! Join them on December 10th from 11-5PM for food from The County Canteen, live music from Jon Jones, wine tastings, hot chocolate by the fire, and a selection of awesome vendors to shop from. Plus, proceeds from wine by the glass sales during the event will go to charity.
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Have an unforgettable experience at the Merrill House with their Experiential Cocktail Night on Tuesday, December 13th. Their decadent mocha martini, Champagne cocktail and gingerbread macarons will be paired with scents, music and visual stimuli, that are sure to make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
The Waring House is getting into the full festive spirit with plethora of holiday events that are sure to leave you happy, full and smiling. On December 15th and 16th, get together with friends for their Christmas Lunch Buffet, or spend Christmas Eve with some festive live music from local band The Reasons. On the big day, The Waring House is also offering a Christmas Dinner Buffet featuring turkey, all the trimmings, and so much more.
Dig out your ugly Christmas sweaters for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Karlo, as part of their Friday Night Wine Lounge series. Enjoy funky Christmas music and great wine related prizes. Come get your groove on, do some last minute shopping and have a blast. Reserve your spot here
Looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve? Look no further than New Year’s Eve at The Royal. Tickets are just $25 and give you a complimentary glass of champagne and access to the hottest party in The County. With a live DJ on hand, be sure to bring your dancing shoes and ring in 2023 in style. Get your tickets here.
Wind Down & Relax
The holiday season can be hectic, so be sure to take some time to relax this holiday season with these day packages from the Lakeside Motel, Wander The Resort and The Royal Hotel. These also make great gift ideas, perfect for a winter escape to The County.
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Head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington for a spa experience featuring a Sauna, Cold Plunge, campfire drinks and charcuterie. Winter pricing is just $30 for 30 minutes or $45 for an hour. Call the Lakeside to book!
On the other side of Wellington is Wander The Resort, where you can book a Wander In Day Pass to access a variety of resort amenities including their pool circuit, hot tub, and sauna, You can also enjoy lounging by their outdoor bonfires and head into the clubhouse for food and drinks. Simply call or email to book.
If you’re looking to relax with spa services like massage, body treatments, and facials, be sure to check out The Spa at The Royal Hotel. Spa guests also receive priority dining reservations, access to The Royal’s dry sauna, and more.
Stock Up on some Holiday Baking
The holiday season is busy enough, so why not leave the baking to PEC’s finest bakeries? Keep reading to discover some of the sweetest spots to visit and order from this holiday season.
PECish Baking Co. has become a Milford institution since opening in 2021, and they have recently moved into a larger space to better serve you this holiday season and beyond. Open Fridays and Saturdays, PECish has incredible breads, delightful croissants, cruffins! and so much more. Order in advance on their website for pickup and stock-up for all of your holiday entertaining needs.
The Royal Hotel has been serving up outstanding baked goods in their restaurant and from their grab & go counter since they opened almost one year ago, and this holiday season they are offering pre-order for anyone in need of sourdough, cookies, croissants, quiches, and fruit tarts for their holiday table. Simply inquire in person at their grab & go counter or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
From bread to sausage rolls and beyond, Agrarian Market has everything you need to prepare for an epic holiday season. Check out their grocery order form on their website to secure your holiday tourtieres (both vegan and non), pastries, quiches, and even a whole assortment of prepared meals to make feeding a crowd that much easier.
The Village Bakeshoppe is a fully-inspected home bake shop in Bloomfield, and they bake up some epic treats on weekly basis that you’re definitely going to want to add to your holiday eats this season. Classic whipped shortbread and rasperry crumble shortbread are new to menu for the holidays, but it’s joined by their famous maple cinnamon “Big Bun” with maple cream cheese icing, which is what we dream about eating on Christmas morning. Follow them on Instagram for updates about weekly orders and order from their website for a delicious weekend.
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The Cookie Mama is another at-home bake shop which specializes in indulgent, skillet cookies that are absolutely to die for. Larissa’s December menu features classic flavours like chocolate chip and peanut butter, but also highlights classic holiday flavours like snickerdoodle, candy cane, gingerbread, Ferrero Rocher, Orange Chocolate and more! These cookies come in two sizes and make great gifts or stocking stuffers, and can be ordered via DM on their Instagram.
Farmhouse Eats is the bakery you know and love located just behind the farm stand at Hagerman Farms, and this year the bakery’s staying open on weekends through December 17th for your holiday baking needs! Stop by for classic baked goods, holiday favourites like fruitcake and christmas cookies, and cookie decorating kits to entertain the kiddos.
As always, come to The County and head to one of our many Main Streets to do your holiday shopping. Many businesses in Picton will be staying open until 7PM on Fridays as well, so be sure to plan to do some shopping before your dinner reservations the next time you’re in town.
Can’t make it to The County? Most retailers as well as wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries offer online shopping and delivery throughout Ontario. So stock-up ahead of the entertaining season from Prince Edward County producers you know and love.
Check out our complete event listing here.
Follow us on Instagram for updates about holiday hours.
Get Cozy in Prince Edward County this November
November has a reputation as a quiet month, somewhat of a lull between the festive months of October and December, but here in The County it’s anything but! We love November for the extended fall vibes, just the right amount of chill in the air, and the darker nights which make it perfect for making the cozy vibes of the holiday season last a little longer. Plus, there’s lots going on to satisfy every County craving, from Countylicious to Wassail and so much more. Read on for a round-up of what to get up to this month all throughout the not-so-little, almost-island that is Prince Edward County.
Dine Local with Countylicious
Countylicious is back through November 22, and it’s the perfect opportunity to try out 15 of The County’s best eateries at great prices. With prix fixe menus to suit every taste, you won’t want to miss this culinary experience. Head to countylicious.ca to browse menus, discover exclusive accommodations offers, and to make your reservations! Want to make the most of your Countylicious experience? Try your hand at Countylicious bingo and complete a row for a perfect foodie experience in The County this November.
Book an Experience
Experience The County like never before with an immersive weekend in PEC curated by Closson Chase Vineyards and Rosehall Run Vineyards: SavourPEC. From November 11-13, enjoy vineyard accommodations at Huff Estates, learn the art of barrel blending at Closson Chase and Rosehall Run, and create a culinary herb garden with Carson Arthur. The highlight of the weekend is a multi-course winemakers’ dinner with Keith Tyers of Closson Chase and Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run. Set in a private venue and catered by Chef Matt DeMille, concluding with an intimate performance from County-based musicians VILLAS.
Winter Solstice Workshop with Anette Larsson
As the days grow shorter, we light fires and bring out blankets in preparation for a long winter ahead. In this workshop we will create a vellum paper star that will bring some much needed light and brightness into our environment. The process to make the star is simple but time consuming, and it is most fun to do in a group of people.
This workshop will take place in the Studio Loft at Chetwyn Farms – their newly converted 1800 barn – where a small, intimate (10 only) group will work in an open, airy space with the instructor Anette Larsson. Watch alpaca in the nearby pastures from the floor to ceiling windows in the studio space, enjoy a light lunch and other refreshments. This 4 hour workshop is followed by a hands-on “Alpaca Encounter” a guided tour of the alpaca farm and the glorious fleece they produce.
The County Picnic Festive Tours
The County Picnic, whom you know from their epic, hand-curated, insta-worthy picnics throughout PEC, is offering festive tours daily throughout November. Enjoy mulled wine, seasonal, beer, holiday photos, and local markets and shopping for just $215 per person, including lunch and tasting fees. For more information contact The County Picnic today!
ANDARA Gallery’s 3rd Annual “HOLIDAY PHOTO IN THE BARN”
From Thursday-Sunday, November 12th to December 19th, singles, couples, family and friends can schedule a FREE “Holiday Photo in the Barn” photo session between 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM at ANDARA Gallery (54 Wilson Road in the heart of Prince Edward County) in exchange for a donation to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s “Back The Build” campaign!
The century-old barn located on site will be decked out for the holidays with a festive portrait seating area featuring a stunning 16-foot Christmas tree from Denmar Farms. Everyone is invited to book a FREE photo session – alone or with a pet, friend or family member … or with a small group of family, friends or work colleagues (max of 8 persons) for a safe, socially distanced holiday photo!
Light Up the Night
The beloved Firelight Lantern Festival is back in full force for its 10th year, November 4-5, 2022. Hosted by The Department of Illumination this festival is a community art event that celebrates finding light in the darkness through handmade lanterns, illuminated art installations, puppetry, performance art, and more. This year’s theme is The Enchanted Forest, and you certainly don’t want to miss it.
This year’s Firelight Lantern Festival kicks off with a 19+ event on Friday, November 4 featuring Kingston’s unique and experimental folkestra, The Gertrudes. You’ll also find food, drink, dancing, art installations and interactive performances at this special 10th anniversary event.
Then on Saturday, November 5 it’s time for the main event. Starting with the magical, all-ages Lantern Parade, which will proceed from Benson Park to Crystal Palace, where Bangerz Brass will take the mainstage while you take in the amazing installations, performances, and food & drink.
So don your fairy lights and get crafty, it’s almost Firelight Lantern Festival Time!
Shop Local for the Holiday Season
As a rural destination, Prince Edward County is home to countless small businesses that deserve your support. You love shopping our Main Street shops in the warmer months, so why not return to The County to do a little holiday shopping and share some of your favourite place with your loved ones this holiday season? Shops in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington will be open through November and into December, so be sure to explore our shop listings and make a plan for a holiday shopping weekend in PEC.
Attend at a Craft Fair or Art Show
Looking for something special for a loved one this holiday season? There is no better time than November to find perfect, unique gifts for the holidays. And with more than X art shows in PEC this month, there’s no better place than Prince Edward County to do it.
The Maker’s Hand
The Maker’s Hand is back! This bustling 3-day event is one of Eastern Ontario’s most well-regarded fine craft shows. Having paused during the height of the pandemic, we are thrilled to see this show returning to Highline Hall at Lehigh Arena from November 11th-13th, 2022.
This year’s show will feature many new artisans, as well as returning favourites from across Eastern Ontario. Find uniquely beautiful and functional items perfect for gift giving, or to keep for yourself. All items are handmade in Canada. Admission is $5 for unlimited access all weekend. Children under 12 enter for free. Lehigh Arena is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. For complete details head to themakershand.com.
Holly Jolly Market at Base31
Head up the hill to Base31 November 18th-20th for the Holly Jolly Market to shop from local vendors and enjoy festive experiences like shopping for holiday florals and wreaths, meetings with Santa, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to @hollyjollypec on Instagram for more information as the market approaches!
The Local Store’s Annual 12 Days of Christmas Market & Sale
Don’t miss the largest collection of work from over 120 Prince Edward County artists, artisans and local food producers at The Local Store. On through November 6th, discover specially produced seasonal gifts, decorations and food before The Local Store closes for the season (though they are open online all year round!).
Good Things in Small Packages Art Show
Mad Dog Gallery is proud to present their 21st annual “Good Things in Small Packages” show opening on Saturday November 19th at 10am. Good Things in Small Packages show is a diverse show of miniatures and other smaller affordable works by Mad Dog Gallery artists. Come by for Acrylic work by Brian Clark and Andrew King, Colloidal by Julie Duff, Oil work by Doris Richardson, Celia Sage and Susan Straiton, Pastel by Rosemary Brown, Pottery by Bill Reddick, Textiles by Anne House and Marianne Sanders, and Watercolour by Andrew Innes. This year they are excited to announce painter Alison Fowler as their guest artist.
Show continues until January 2023. Mad Dog Gallery is open most days 10-5 and they ask that you please wear masks while accessing their space.
30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show
Jump start your Christmas shopping with the 30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show on November 5th at Lehigh Area, which features 2 rooms full with over 55 local vendors showcasing their Handmade unique works of art. Hungry? Stay for lunch and enjoy Barn and Country Catering’s mouth-watering menu.
“Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving” Holiday Show and Sale
Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the Prince Edward County Arts Trail is a self-drive tour of professional, year-round artist studios and galleries, and is a signature experience for thousands of art lovers, buyers and collectors who come to the County each year. The Arts Trail’s professional artists and curators create and present unforgettable works in sculpture, paintings, glass, ceramics, silk, photography, jewellery and more.
To compliment this festive season, the PEC Arts Trail is pleased to announce the launch of their “LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING” promotional campaign. From November 14th to December 23rd, 2022, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to shop online or visit member studios and galleries in person to meet the professional artists and curators and see great art in a range of media.
To plan your visit, go to their website at artstrail.ca, download the bilingual Arts Trail Guide and Map and watch for the distinctive blue Arts Trail signs out front of member studios and galleries. Prior to visiting, everyone is encouraged to check individual Arts Trail member websites for hours of operation and COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks and social distancing continue to be mandatory at all Arts Trail locations.
“From unique and welcoming artist studios to contemporary, rustic and historic galleries, this self-guided tour is always an inspirational adventure,” says Arts Trail Co-Chair, Jim Turner, curator and co-owner of 2Gallery. “The Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving holiday promotion allows Arts Trail members to showcase all they have to offer this festive season while providing visitors with the opportunity to support the arts, shop local and give the gift of art this holiday season,” he adds.
Arts Trail maps are also available at our Visitor Information locations, open year-round.
ANDARA Gallery Presents: ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale
ANDARA Gallery presents its 3rd Annual ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale of paintings and photography.
“ODE to JOY” runs from November 12th to December 23rd, 2021 at ANDARA Gallery 54 Wilson Road, Bloomfield in the heart of Prince Edward County. The Gallery is open 11 AM to 5 PM daily, year-round.
In addition to offering contemporary impressionist paintings in a range of sizes, encaustic painter, Andrew Csafordi will also offer a collection of small works that make perfect gifts for any art lover or collector this holiday season. His paintings are a fusion of layers of colourful beeswax and mixed media on wood panels combined with energy and imagination. Working back and forth across the board, he sculpts the wax with brushes and carves into the wax with various tools to create unique and beautiful works of art.
Tara Wilkinson will showcase fine art photographs in a variety of sizes and price points from her global travels.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
The annual Holiday show at Melt Gallery is returning this year from November 18- December 23rd. This show will feature work by a number of Canadian artists and artisans, with the priority of highlighting small works that are perfect for gift giving. Join them in celebrating the festive season with a curated selection of unique, one of a kind pieces.
Decay: Group Show
In autumn, the beauty of decay reveals itself. Leaves and petals wilt and fall, green fades, and as a final goodbye trees become a fiery display of gold and red.
Also at Melt Gallery, Decay celebrates the poignant beauty found within the process of decomposition, rot, deterioration, and decline. This show reframes the loss of summer and of life and invites you to find the beauty in Decay.
Come see an exciting array of new work by over 30 Canadian artists, through November 13th. This exhibit will feature the work of encaustic artist Susan Wallis along with new and returning members of our Melt Gallery family of artists. The show will focus on the theme of Decay and how these various artists have chosen to interpret it. The show features works in glass, metal, ceramics, painting, photography and more.
BILL STEARMAN // The Quilt as Art. I will be silent no more.
The perfect exhibition as the weather begins to change. 2gallery is thrilled to announce a Solo Exhibition by Prince Edward County’s master quiltmaker Bill Stearman, on now through November 21st. Entitled The Quilt as Art \ I will be silent no more, this exhibition demonstrates why Stearman is not content simply creating beautiful fabric works that provide warmth. His pieces are political and cultural statements that challenge preconceived notions, highlight inequalities in our society, and champion voices that need to be heard.
Before discovering quilt-making, Stearman struggled with storytelling as a path for making sense of his life. “I’m just a guy who likes to make quilts … and tell stories. Like the rest of life, it seems what can be accomplished in quilt-making is limited only by my imagination.”
In Stearman’s creations, fabrics and carefully placed stitches express joy, anguish, hope, gratitude, and love. They provide glimpses into deeply personal and important stories – stories that matter. Bold statements that provoke thoughtful consideration.
“I know I have something to say – and I want to speak my truth. Even if my voice shakes. I doubt these quilts, and their stories, will remind you of your grandmother’s quilts.”
‘Curator’s Choice’ at Oeno Gallery
Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates presents Curator’s Choice—a rare, eclectic offering of significant 20th and 21st-century fine artists.
For this exhibit, Oeno Gallery has assembled an impressive list of sculptors and painters including Joe Fafard, Joseph Drapell, Harold Feist, Paul Fournier, Gershon Iskowitz, Harold Town, Graham Coughtry, Nazy Sakhavarz, Milly Ristvedt, Otto Rogers, K. M. Graham, and David Bolduc.
This special collection will be on exhibit through November 6th, 2022.
Eddie Christmas Market in the Red Barn
Head to the Eddie Hotel & Farm for their Christmas Market on from November 25-27. You won’t want to miss this festive market featuring dozens of vendors and festive activities for the whole family. Learn more here.
Annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl
Just like the old Christmas pub crawls only this crawl includes wine, cider, beer, food and artisan Chistmas Shopping on the weekend of November 25-27. Enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your Christmas Shopping. In addition to supporting local businesses you also have a chance to win several gift baskets filled with 100% local items.
Sunflowers for Ukraine – A Silent Art Auction Fundraiser
This hybrid (in person and online) auction features over 25 sunflower-themed artworks donated by local artists in a wide range of artistic mediums: from painting and textile arts to mixed media, ceramics, wearable art, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
The artworks can be viewed in person at Macaulay Church Museum (35 Church Street, Picton) starting November 2nd, and during opening hours for the entire month of November (11-4, Wednesday-Saturday). Or you can view online here.
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is a long-standing community fundraising event here in PEC and it’s back and in person this year at Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre. There will be a silent auction, live entertainment, and a bucket draw raffle, all in support of The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Admission is free. Looking for other ways to support? Check out the Christmas Boutique at the Second Time Around Shop and you can pre-order preserves and baking from Perfectly Preserved.
The Art of Giving
Arts on Main Gallery is home to The Art of Giving show from November 18 – January 25. Swing by this gallery on Picton Main Street to explore a special showing of 12×12 artworks designed for gifting. There will also be a special opening reception on Saturday November 19 from 2-4 PM.
Catch a Performance
There is always a chance to find some live performance here in The County, even in November! In addition to regular music at venues like The County Canteen, The Acoustic Grill and The Waring House, these special events are sure to get your toes tapping.
Dinner & a Show at Karlo Estates
Tantalize your senses with a three-flight wine tasting, perfectly paired to delicious handcrafted cuisine while listening to live music in the opulent speakeasy at Karlo Estates. Their “Dinner and a Show” Tasting is your chance to sample wines led by vintner Sherry Karlo paired with a handcrafted one-plate meal. Each week will feature a rotating menu and musician. An intimate evening of wine, food, and music. Join them on November 5th for Tony Forbes, November 12th for Victor Cooper, November 19th with Brian McMillan, and November 26th with Elmwood Harmony.
THE BOWIE LIVES: A Bowie Spectacular at The Regent Theatre
The Bowie Lives performs Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 8 pm at The Regent Theatre, Picton. Michael Bell is an award-winning vocalist who channels the sound and styles of David Bowie, and with the help of an all-star band, theatre and costumes capture the imagination of fans young and old. Michael’s first theatrical production “ChangesAllBowie” toured the “A circuit” in the late ’80s. He hung up his “Ziggy” in the early ’90s and never imagined professionally performing Bowie again. After David’s untimely death on January 10, 2016, his calling returned, as did the industry interest. Contacting long-time musical director Michael Beauclerc, they began auditioning players to fill out a band capable of performing some of Rock’s most challenging material. The Bowie Lives brings all the sounds and visions to the stage, from Space Oddity to Lazarus.
Get your tickets here.
David James Allen Live at Mount Tabor Theatre
David James Allen is bringing songs from The Architect, new songs and curated collection from previous releases to the historic Mount Tabor Theatre in a solo, one man band configuration complete with drum machine, harmonicas, loops and organs. Featuring Evan Redsky and local artist KASHKA, you won’t want to miss this cozy performance on November 26 in Milford. Get your tickets here.
Toast to the Vines
Wassail is back this year from November 18 – December 4. This year you can expect a self-guided tour, but wineries throughout The County will be putting on a festive show for this annual County tradition. From pancake breakfasts paired with bubbly to musical performances and more, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to toast to the vines as they are put to rest for the winter and stock up on bottles for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Wassail, including participating wineries and activities.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to for more November inspiration.
Experience Local Cuisine in PEC with Countylicious this November 🍽
Countylicious is back and bigger than ever! We’re excited to see this beloved County tradition return for another fall season. Featuring 15 Prince Edward County restaurants you know, love, and have been dying to try, Countylicious is an opportunity to get out and dine local with special prix fixe menus at great prices.
This year, Countylicious features both lunch and dinner menus at two price points reflecting the range of dining options available in The County. Diners can enjoy $20 or $30 lunches and $45 or $60 dinners from November 2-22, 2022, whenever participating restaurants are open. Menus feature more than 55 local producers and include dishes for omnivores and vegetarians alike.
Participating restaurants include Countylicious veterans Bloomfield Public House, Drake Devonshire, Flame + Smith, Hartleys Tavern, Merrill House, 7 Numbers, The Waring House and Waupoos Estates Winery, as well as eateries new to Countylicious such as Bocado, Creekside Cafe, Matron Fine Beer, Onesta, Parsons Brewing, Stella’s Eatery, and The Royal Hotel. Read on to discover what they have planned for their exclusive Countylicious menus and head to countylicious.ca to make reservations and learn more.
Bloomfield Public House
After pivoting in 2020 to become a market featuring local and house-made goods, Bloomfield Public House has returned to its roots as a sit-down restaurant for lunch this summer, with dinner returning to the menu this fall. During Countylicious they’re offering a $60 dinner menu created by Chef Elliot Reynolds featuring product from nearby Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, Van Groothest Farm and Struisvogel Ranch. Standout dishes include locally reared ostrich tartar with corn nuts, biquinho peppers, capers, and olive oil; hand cut pappardelle with honeynut squash sugo, walnuts, buffalo cheddar, and sage; and warm apple cake with dulce whip and cheddar streusel.
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Bocado Restaurant opened on Picton Main Street in August 2021 and has been a bustling, reservations-required hot spot ever since. If you haven’t tried Bocado yet, Countylicious is the perfect time to experience this locally-inspired spanish fare from Chef Stuart Cameron. Chef Stuart has worked up two $60 dinner menus for Countylicious, one for the omnivores among us, and one vegetarian. The menus feature local product from Vicki’s Veggies, Cloven Farm, and more. Must-try dishes include croquetas de champinones with Fifth Town truffle gouda and black garlic aioli; papas con queso with ed’s potatoes, iberico nduja, manchego cheese, egg yolk and chives; and helado de pan with sourdough bread ice cream, Morrison Point honey nougat, carmel and coconib crunch.
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Creekside Cafe opened in Wellington in summer of 2022, offering a delightful all-day brunch and lunch menu. This fall they have expanded their offering to dinner service, and Countylicious is a great way to give this new spot a try. Chef Remi Parron has worked up a $20 lunch menu and a $45 dinner menu that’s sure to satisfy. With dishes like maple roasted rutabaga and apple soup with Springings Farms maple, Hagerman Farms rutabaga and Cressy apple soup topped with olive oil, parsley and house granola; roasted cauliflower with squash puree, toasted breadcrumbs, and warm caper vinaigrette; and desserts by Royal Sugar Baking, you’re sure to have found a new favourite spot in Wellington.
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Chef Amanda Ray at Drake Devonshire has put together a $60 dinner menu for Countylicious this year that features some of the best seasonal produce from suppliers such as Honey Wagon Farms, Prinzen Poultry, and Belleville’s Reid’s Dairy. Dishes you won’t want to miss from this Wellington staple include beet salad featuring pear, kohl rabi, maple candied seeds and dill crème fraiche dressing; Prinzen roasted chicken with carrot puree, Edwin County wheatberries and apple jus; and a classic dessert of sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream.
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Flame + Smith
Flame + Smith continues to wow diners all year long Chef Hidde Zomer’s wood smoke-infused menu, and their $60 dinner menu for Countylicious this year is sure to continue that trend. Featuring dishes like Millpond Gardens leek soup with creme fraiche, rosemary & thyme oil, and chive; moroccan chicken supreme with lentil du puy, dried cherries & apricot, salted pork, raz el hanout, green olives, almonds, and coriander; and creme brulee with millpond gardens lemon verbena, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience at this Bloomfield-based restaurant.
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Picton institution Hartleys Tavern is serving up yet another fantastic $60 dinner menu this year, featuring Shades of Gray rabbit from Campbellford, Rorafresh Farms, Ivy Dell Farms, and more. With dishes like twice-baked leek souffle with smoked gouda, Rora Fresh radish and fall greens, mustard vinaigrette, and parmigiano reggiano tuiles; duo of duck with seared duck breast, eclair stuffed with roasted duck leg, honey soy glaze, Honeywagon multicoloured chard, carrot puree, and duck jus; and sweet corn panna cotta with Laundry Farms corn, plum consomme, and sponge toffee, you won’t want to miss this decadent experience from Chef Jared Hartley.
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Matron Fine Beer
Matron Fine Beer, located just off the Millennium Trail in Bloomfield has been serving up their signature floofy pours of handcrafted beers since 2019, and this is their first year participating in Countylicious. Matron’s in-house chef Neale Aziz will be serving up a $20 lunch menu that’s perfect for getting cozy with a beer from their broad lineup (or choose from one of their recommended pairings). Featuring roasted tomato soup with coconut milk, warm spices and pumpkin seeds; a mouthwatering reuben with house-made pastrami, turmeric sauerkraut, thousand island and aged cheddar; and a vegan winter veg tartine with maple roasted root vegetables, lemon tahini, fermented chilis, and kale, this menu is sure to warm you up on a November day. Matron’s Countylicious menu uses local suppliers such as Enright Cattle Co., Walt’s Sugar Shack, and Pleasant Valley Hops.
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This year for Countylicious the Merrill House is serving up a $60 dinner menu you won’t want to miss. Chef Michael Sullivan was inspired by classic British fare when preparing this year’s menu, so expect dishes like stilton and stout soup featuring Parsons Brewing stout; a Sunday roast with Enright Farms roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, and Honey Wagon Farms carrots, & jus; and trifle with Black Prince sherry-soaked sponge with house-made red curant jelly, strawberries, custard and blackcurrant swirled cream. Merrill House’s menu also features a number of optional add-ons to enhance your feasting experience.
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Onesta made its mark in Prince Edward County in 2020, by offering home-delivery of freshly made pasta, sauce, focaccia and other delights, as well as doing pop-ups and selling product at local farmers markets. Two years later, Onesta has its own spot in the historic Masterfeeds Building, just off Picton Main Street. During Countylicious, Chef Martin Brzozowski will be serving up a $60 dinner menu that is a perfect showcase of everything we love about Onesta, which is quality, handmade Italian food that is unfussy and simply delicious. Be sure to try the burrata with root vegetable agrodolce, almonds, and focaccia; tagliatelle alla bolognese featuring beef & pork ragu, fresh egg pasta, and padano; and tiramisu featuring Vortex coffee, lady fingers, and mascarpone.
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Parsons Brewing has become a favourite destination of many when visiting Prince Edward County thanks to their incredible beer, inviting space, and delicious Argentinian-inspired menu available throughout the warmer months. But Chef Sean Finnerty has provided us with yet another reason to visit Parsons this November with their $30 lunch and $60 dinner menus. Featuring items such as roasted root vegetable salad with Edwin Farms maple roasted carrots & parsnips, chicory, parsons malt vinegar, crème fraiche, and pumpkin seed brittle; compressed watermelon “tuna” tostada with Paper Kite Farms coriander pesto, avocado, cucumber shallot, spicy vegan mayo, and crispy bits; and grilled stone fruit with Edwin Farms maple crème fraiche and Parsons brewing spent grain crumble among many others, you’re sure to want to come back for a second round.
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If you hail from Toronto you will be familiar with 7 Numbers, a Southern-Italian restaurants founded by Chef Rosa Marinuzzi. Prince Edward County is home to the only 7 Numbers outside the big city, and we’re very glad for it! Led by Jay McColl, the Picton restaurant has put together a $20 lunch menu and a $45 dinner menu for this year’s Countylicious. Dishes featured on the menu include, house-made mortadella with cider-pickled pears and toasted ciabatta; an unrivalled chicken parmesan sandwich; and trifle with butternut squash, rum caramel and crispy pecans. 7 Numbers works with producers from Laundry Farms, Campbell’s Orchards and Kinsip House of Fine Spirits to produce this menu, among many more.
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Stella’s Eatery got its start in 2019 with Stella’s Wine Bar in Picton, then in 2021 they opened a second location in Waupoos called Stella’s Eatery. Now Stella’s Eatery is their focus, but Chef Leah Marshal Hannon continues to serve up inventive dishes featuring locally-sourced and foraged product. Their $45 dinner menu for Countylcious is no different, featuring produce from Mirepoix Farm, Fiddlehead Farm, and the Blueberry Patch just down the road in Waupoos, among many more. Make the drive to experience dishes like crispy Hagerman’s brussel sprouts with Lighthall cheddar mornay, raisins, and toasted pecans; wild rice risotto with Blue Wheelbarrow kale, Edwin County Farms squash, and Cloven Farms mushrooms; and Waupoos poached pear with Koopmans maple anglaise, and granola crumble.
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The Royal Hotel
After more than 10 years of planning and major renovations, The Royal Hotel reopened on Picton Main Street in late 2021 and has been welcomed by the community and visitors alike with open arms. Their dining room, led by Chef Albert Ponzo, is well worth the wait for a reservation, and their $60 dinner menu is a great way to experience the flavours of The Royal at a lower price point. With dishes like ribolita with white beans, braised greens, and sourdough; mussels with autumn ale, bacon, and grilled bread; and apple crumble with roasted apples and calvados, you won’t want to miss this menu. Featuring produce from Edwin County Farms and Ponzo Family Farms, the phrase “home grown” means so much more.
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The Waring House
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Waupoos Estates Restaurant
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So what are you waiting for? Reserve a table for Countylicious today!
Head to Countylicious.ca for more information including a complete list of featured producers, giveaways, accommodations offers and more!
Countylicious is brought to you by Visit The County
Stay & Dine Promotion made possible by
Capture that Fall Feeling this October in The County 🎃
Sure, October is when we can officially say that summer is behind us, but there are still tons of exciting, seasonal events and activities to enjoy as the air cools and the leaves fall in The County. From Oktoberfests and Pumpkinfest to haunted walks through corn fields and graveyards, there’s plenty to enjoy whether you’re escaping for a romantic weekend or looking for something festive to do with the whole family.
Start with Art
The first weekend of October marks the annual PEC Studio Tour. The Studio Tour features over 50 artists at 36 studio locations throughout The County, making for an epic art-filled weekend. Whether you are looking for art to display, art to wear, or art to use in your home, the Studio Tour is the perfect opportunity to discover new artists, take a peek behind the scenes, and appreciate the work in an intimate manner that is not always afforded in a typical gallery setting.
To plan your Studio Tour route and discover more Studio Tour artists, head to PECStudioTour.com or check out the map below.
For even more art in The County this month check out 2Gallery’s John Visser Exhibit – Days of Light and Shadow – on until October 18th, visit the 6 Artists exhibit and sale from Sept 30 – Oct 2, attend an art workshop at Baxter Arts Centre (this month features sessions on life drawing, weaving, nature journaling, and resin art), or attend a Mixed Media Collage workshop at The County Arts Lab.
You don’t need to attend a special event to experience art in The County either. Galleries in Prince Edward County are open throughout the fall and are a perfect way to spend these chillier and possibly rainy days.
Wholesome Fall Fun
If you’re looking for some wholesome fall activities, we’ve got you covered! The fun kicks off with The Department of Illumination’s annual Scarecrow Festival. A fundraising event for this beloved community arts organization, the Scarecrow Festival invites you to make your very own scarecrow to take home with all supplies provided for $40. With a barn full of clothes and a mountain of straw with which to craft a character, this is a perfect Thanksgiving Weekend activity for the whole family.
We told you about apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards last month, but this classic fall activity continues into October with hot apple cider on tap, caramel apples to enjoy on the weekends, as well as fun wagon rides throughout the farm. You’ll also be entertained by their corn maze, pumpkin patch, and their on-site cidery Apple Falls Cider Co.– a treat for parents too!
If it’s pumpkins you’re after, you don’t want to miss the festive pumpkin and squash displays at Honey Wagon Farms and Langridge’s Fresh Produce. These two farm stands turn Sandy Hook Road just off the Picton roundabout into a festive corridor at this time of year and are truly a sight to be seen if you are inclined to gourds, both decorative and non. While you’re in the area, complete your festive decor by picking up some potted mums at Lockyer’s Country Gardens.
Speaking of pumpkins, you don’t want to miss Pumpkinfest, the annual festival in Wellington which is back this year in full force after two years of modified festivals. The festivities begin at 10:30 with a parade through town, which is followed by music in the park, food truck, and a kids zone where activities like face-painting, a balloon artist, petting zoo, and lawn games will keep kids entertained. The highlight of Pumpkinfest is the giant pumpkin weigh-off, which starts at 12PM at Lehigh Arena. In addition, the Wellington Community Market is back for one more market this season and will be running all morning until 2PM at the Wellington United Church.
Want to take in the changing colours? There are plenty of beautiful ways to do so in The County. Go for a walk through the forested paths of Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area (being sure to check out Birdhouse City while you’re there), cycle along the Millennium Trail and take in the brilliant colours of sumac and goldenrod among other deciduous trees along the route, go for a County drive, or go for an autumn walk on one of the hiking trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park (you can still book your day-use permit in advance here).
Fall is for Foodies
Looking for a delicious getaway? Fall is the perfect time to discover the bounty of The County. In addition to dining out at The County’s many fantastic restaurants, these culinary events and special dinners are sure to satisfy:
- Start the month with Oktoberfest celebrations at Parsons Brewing where you can enjoy a celebration of County beer, Bavarian cuisine and live music from September 30 through October 1. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on their website.
- Slake Brewing opened their doors in October 2020 and they are excited to celebrate their 2nd anniversary October 1-2 with two special food pop-ups. Join them on Saturday October 1 for a pop-up from Bloomfield institution Flame + Smith and on Sunday October 2 for a pop-up from Waupoos’ Stella’s Eatery. In addition you can enjoy 3 new beers from Slake alongside guest taps from Blood Brothers (Toronto), Burdock (Toronto), Counterpart (Niagara), Dominion City (Ottawa), Sonnen Hill (Caledon) and Willibald (Ayr).
- Also at Slake, Sand & Pearl are putting on a Clam Bake and Oyster Bar pop-up that you won’t want to miss. Featuring PECish Baking Co. baguettes alongside clams, shrimp, Fogo Island crab, sausage, County potatoes, corn and herbs as well as freshly shucked oysters, this is bound to be a memorable feast. Pre-order your clam bake by emailing email@example.com.
- The Waring House has several special food events coming up, including their Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet, a PEC Single Malt Society Dinner, and a PEC Wine Society Dinner.
- On October 23 join Sand and Pearl and Flame + Smith for the first PEC Oyster Fest. The festival will feature fire cooking, an oyster bar and a fierce oyster shucking competition. Entry is $25 per person, and if you are an oyster shucking machine you are invited to register to compete for one of two cash prizes! The competition will be judged by local chefs Charlotte Langley and Jamie Kennedy.
- Waupoos Estates Winery is hosting another Wine After Dark event, this time celebrating the flavours of fall. Enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars at this waterside winery (don’t forget to bring a blanket!).
October, of course, is spooky season, and Prince Edward County is getting into the spirit! The spooky fun begins on Thanksgiving weekend with the Haunted Corn Maze at Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe, where you can expect to wander the maze in the dark while ghosts and ghouls haunt the path. If you can’t make it on October 8th, the Haunted Corn Maze is also open on October 15.
On October 14th marks the opening of the travelling Creepy Doll Museum, which takes over the Wellington Heritage Museum through October 15th. This is the perfect way to add a spooky flair to your day at Pumpkinfest!
The County Museums continues to bring the Halloween spirit with special, candlelit editions of their popular Graveyard & Gallows tour. Join them on October 14, October 21, and October 28. for a candlelit walk around the graveyard at the former St. Mary Magdalene’s church and the exercise yards, jail cells and gallows of Picton Courthouse. Book your tickets here.
Last year’s popular Terror at Macaulay haunted walk-thru is back for a sequel, ominously called The Summoning. Experience ghosts that walk through the cemetery at night, vampires that feed on unsuspecting villagers, and witches that can be heard casting strange spells in the woods. This year, you can also experience a haunted corn maze and explore inside Macaulay’s House, while avoiding ghosts and ghouls. Get your spook on with Terror at Macaulay 2: The Summoning from October 28 – 31.
Fall for Music & Theatre
Live performances continue into through October with everything from drag performances to live theatre and barn dances. Check out the details below or review our full event listing for more.
- Head to Karlo Estates for Karlo “À La Carte” with Melodi Ryan on October 1st. Also at Karlo Estates, join them for Karaoke in the Wine Lounge on October 14th, Life Drawing on October 21, Jazz Thursdays on October 27 and Bitchin’ Bingo on October 28.
- Enjoy some live comedy with the final Comedy Country performance of the year, Girls Nite Out at The Regent Theatre on October 15. Or settle in for some belly laughs and good beer at Gillingham Brewing’s County Craft Comedy Night on October 21.
- Looking for live theatre? Catch the final performances of Collected Stories at the Mount Tabor playhouse on October 1-2, or enjoy Shatterbox Theatre’s performances of Drowning Girls at Macaulay Heritage Park from October 20-23.
Reconnect with Yourself
In the fall we begin to turn inward, getting cozy and embracing the hygge of it all, and in keeping with that mindset it makes fall a great time to take care of our inner selves too. Popular outdoor yoga classes like Goat Yoga with Mikenze continue through October and you can also learn how to nourish your body with foraged plants during Hawthorn Herbals’ Herb Walk at New Moon Farm. If you’re after a full weekend escape complete with plant-based meals and sound bath meditations on a stunning property in Waupoos, register for a Embodying Self-Compassion Retreat with Jenny Tryansky and Amy Faba at Harmony PEC.
Plan Your Next PEC Getaway
You know what October is also a good time for? Planning your next getaway in PEC! Now is a great time to start putting together all of the pieces for a great November getaway. Here’s some of what you can look forward to next month:
- Countylicious is back this year from November 2-22! Join us for three weeks of prix fixe menus at great prices from local restaurants you know, love, and are dying to try! We’ll be sharing more information soon about this year’s programming, so keep your eyes on our Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter, and here on our blog for more info.
- As a part of Countylicious there will be a series of exclusive accommodations offers available thanks to our friends at StayPEC. This information will be released soon, so stay tuned!
- When you book for two nights this November at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn, you’ll receive 20% off and a complimentary bottle of County wine waiting for them on check in.
- SavourPEC is a “Wine & Culinary Adventure” taking place from November 11-13 with Closson Chase & Rosehall Run. This immersive weekend will allow you to experience The County like never before, with exclusive access to award-winning cellars, vineyard accommodations, and an exceptional private venue for a chef-prepared winemakers dinner. Learn more about this exclusive experience and purchase tickets here.
- The incredibly charming Firelight Lantern Festival is back and bigger than ever for its 10th Anniversary this November 4-5.
- The Maker’s Hand – one of Eastern Ontario’s best fine craft shows – is back at Highline Hall in Wellington November 11-13
- Have a charming holiday photo taken at Andara Gallery and visit their Ode to Joy Art Show and Sale from November 12.
Kick Start Your Fall in Prince Edward County this September 🌾🍎
September is one of our favourite months in Prince Edward County: the weather’s still wonderful enough for days spent on the vineyard patios or at the beach, but there’s a lovely chill that bookends the day and reminds us of the cozier months to come. This “best of both worlds” month brings with it plenty of exciting activities for everyone, from the family looking for a perfect fall weekend to art lovers looking to discover what a summer of inspiration has produced. Read on for a round-up of must-experience events and activities to kick-start fall this September in PEC.
Labour Day Weekend
Spending the last long weekend of summer in The County? Here’s how to squeeze the most of this sweet season before getting back into the swing of things:
- Dance your way into the weekend with a Barn Dance at Karlo Estates Winery. Reserve your spot in advance here (cover goes toward your first glass of wine). Or on Saturday night, take in
- Catch a flick at The Mustang Drive-In on their final weekend of the season. They’re showing Minions: The Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, The Invitation and Fall. Get your tickets on their website.
- Catch some laughs at the We’re Funny That Way Queer Cabaret Comedy Festival at Base31. With performances by Heather Bambrick & Diane Leah, Brandon Ash-Mohammed & Alec Mapa, Karen Williams, James Tison & Martha Chaves, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and The B-Girlz, you’re guaranteed a belly-laugh or fifteen.
- Start your Saturday in the right headspace with the final Alpaca Yoga session of summer at The SHED at Chetwyn Farms.
- Have a WILD forage to table experience with Chef Chris and Hawthorne Herbals on September 2 & September 3. Be sure to contact Chef Chris in advance to be a part of this plant-based feast.
- Bring home the best of the summer’s harvest from a farmer’s market. The Wellington Farmers’ Market, the Wellington Community Market and the Picton Town Hall Farmers Market are all on this Labour Day weekend and will continue through October.
- Enjoy the final Festival Players performances of the season with Beyond The Sea.
- Enjoy the final weekend of Music in the Aviator’s Garden at Base31.
- Take in some PEC history with the final weekend of weekly historical walking tours. There are four to choose from: Graveyard & Gallows, the Base31 Site Walking Tour, the Picton Heritage Conservation District Walking Tour, the Glenwood Cemetery Walking Tour.
- Experience the magic of Canada’s only travelling theatre on wheels with The Roamin’ Roulant’s performance of The Boxcar Cowboy at Huff Estates.
- Attend a drag show at The Hayloft Dance Hall and follow it up with an epic Barn Party.
- Looking for live music? Find it with performances by Tony Forbes at Karlo Estates, Canadian rock icons Lowest of the Low at The Hayloft featuring local openers Norris & Jones, and a Sunday night barn party also at The Hayloft featuring The Lonely Hearts. Additionally, Grammy and Juno nominee Geordie Johnson from Big Sugar takes the stage in the Red Barn at The Eddie this weekend for two shows – don’t miss it!
Like many communities in rural Ontario, September in The County is a time for celebrating all things agricultural. Here’s how to partake in the festivities:
The Picton Fair is one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs, presented by the Prince Edward Agricultural Society (established 1831) and held annually at the Picton Fairgrounds. At this year’s 185th annual fair, September 9 – 11, 2022, come by to enjoy classic fair faire, first class exhibits of everything from arts & crafts to livestock, midway rides and more. Some highlights include the Baby Show (Friday, September 9 at 12PM), the Arm Wrestling Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 1PM), the Dog Show (Saturday, September 10 at 12PM) and the Skate Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 3PM). All weekend long be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the County’s own Isabella Hoops and her Hula Hoop show.
Another highlight is The County Bake Off and Sale in support of the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation in which local paramedics and firefighters go head-to-head to be voted the best bakers in The County (and to raise the most money, of course!). This event takes place on Saturday, September 10 at 9AM.
There’s also a plenty of live music to be had at the fair, with performances by The Reasons on Friday night, a Bob Seger tribute band on Saturday, and a Gospel Review on Sunday morning.
For a full list of programming, be sure to check out this year’s fair book.
Ameliasburgh Fall Fair
For all the fun of an agricultural fair but with a small village vibe, be sure to check out the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair on September 24, 2022. The Ameliasburgh Fall Fair kicks off with a parade through the village and includes a full day of craft shows and bake sales, exhibits, horse & cattle shows, food vendors, and entertainment for all ages. Entry to the fair is just $5 per adult (kids under 12 are free), which includes entry to Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.
There’s no fruit more emblematic of this time of year. Typically associated with the start of the school year, the apple is one of the first sure signs of fall, and we’re thrilled to say that pick-your-own season has started at Campbell’s Orchards and will continue into early October. At Campbell’s it’s just $25 for a 10lb bag of apples, which includes admission for up to 4 people. Have a larger group? It’s just $5 for each individual member of your party. Campbell’s is open 7 days a week from 10AM – 4PM, and you can either drop by for a day of apple harvest fun or pre-book to save time.
Related Blog: The Apple of our Eye
Don’t want to pick-your-own? In addition to Campbell’s you can also get your Prince Edward County apples from Maw’s Lakeview Orchard or Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm, both located in Waupoos. While you’re in the area be sure to sample the cider at The County Cider Company and Cape Vineyards.
Farm Stands Galore
While it’s also apple season, it’s also peak harvest season at the local farm stands. Be sure to add a stop or two (or five!) to your itinerary and bring home the best of The County. From tomatoes, peppers and corn to the first of the season’s squash harvest, you are sure to find some beautiful produce to stock your fridge and pantry.
Related Blog: Feast Your Way Through the Best Farm Stands
Arts & Culture
Tour Local Studios
In its 29th year, the PEC Studio Tour features over 50 talented artists who open their studio doors to welcome you. Whether you’re in the market or just want to tour around to appreciate some great art, the Studio Tour welcomes you to join their completely free tour. Check out the map of participating studios and plan your route!
Take in an Exhibition or Fair
The County is always a great spot for art, but there are a handful of exciting exhibits happening this month that you’ll want to check out. First up is Tapering Perspectives: Scenes from Canadian by Edd Battista at 2Gallery. This exhibition runs through September 12th and explores the Canadian landscape when explored through the shape of a pennant.
Just across the street in The Royal Hotel’s Annex space you’ll find a pop-up exhibition by Oeno Gallery. Running from September 3 – 26, Neon Bouquet features new work by Heidi Conrod, Chung Im Kim, Susan Collett & StackLab.
On September 10, take a stroll through the gardens at Macaulay Heritage Park while discovering the works of local and regional handcrafting creatives. Tickets for Artisans at the Museum are $5 and include entry to the museum.
The monthly County Craft Market is back on Saturday, September 17 for their final market of the season. Taking place at the Elks Hall in Wellington, this craft market is the perfect opportunity to support local creatives.
6 Artists is an outdoor exhibition and fair taking place September 30 – October 2 featuring three painters, one woodworker, one quilter, and one woodland artist.
Experience a Memorable Performance
Comedy on the River is back for their second and final event of the summer season. Hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy a guided paddle to a water-access-only live comedy show at a secret location on the shores of the Black River. Get your tickets now: you don’t want to miss this distinctly County experience!
Prefer your comedy on dry land? The folks who brought you Comedy on the River invite you to a special Comedy Picnic at Jackson’s Falls. Pull up your picnic blanket on September 24th and enjoy a comedy show on the lawn at this newly restored inn in Milford.
Want some beer with your comedy? Gillingham Brewing’s monthly County Comedy Series continues on September 16th with a performance by PEC local and touring Yuk Yuk headliner Jeff Elliott.
Fancy an evening of theatre? County Roads Theatre Company presents Collected Stories, a play that explores the power dynamics between teacher and student through the lens of a graduate student and aspiring writer. This show featuring County residents Joan McBride and Melissa Paulson, directed by Fred Robinson is on from September 22 through October 2 at the Mount Tabor Playhouse in Milford.
Immerse Yourself in History & Heritage
Come & see one of the County’s most important historic sites in person – the legendary A-Frame cabin of the poet Al Purdy! The Al Purdy A-Frame Association (registered charity) is hosting a one-day open house on Saturday, September 24 and you are invited to pack a lunch and enjoy it by the lake, take pictures in Al’s writing shed, and browse a collection of books and other items available for purchase (proceeds benefit the host association).
Want to learn more about indigenous history and culture? The County Museums are host to an educational session with Jamie Maracle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the topic of Wampum belts, traditional teaching tools that record Rotinonshon:ni history and knowledge. Register for this session by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch some Live Music
There’s no shortage of live music in The County! Check out one of these performances to enhance your County experience:
- The Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival takes place from September 9 – 18 and features 7 performances from world-class chamber music musicians: Music of the Americas, Basta Parlare, Mozart Rearranged, Myriade Quartet, Karina Gauvin and Michael McMahon, Piano for Four Hands, and In the End it all Comes Down to Dvořák.
- Check out the final night of Music in the Park in Wellington featuring a performance by The Reasons.
- The Sandbanks Music Festival is back in person this year at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This live-music, family, and food event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 2-8 pm featuring headliner Born Ruffians with performances by Laurence-Anne, Matt Barber, CATL, Craig Foster and Huaraches. Get your tickets here. Please note that attendees must also secure a Daily Vehicle Permit to enter the park up to 5 days in advance of the festival. That permit can be purchased here.
- Canadian indie rock and reggae royalty Bedouin Soundclash take to the Drill Hall stage at Base31 on September 17. Get your tickets here.
- Canadian songwriter and folk musician Jaeda Kelly hits the The Red Barn stage at The Eddie on September 23. Get your tickets here.
- Join Base31 on September 23 for an incredible and meaningful night in honour of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na tyonkwehtáhkwen Mohawk Language and Culture Centre, and a celebration of Indigenous artists. Featuring headliner and JUNO award-winning husband and wife duo, Digging Roots and supported by David R. Maracle and friends, this is sure to be a memorable concert experience. Tickets are just $25 and can be purchased here.
- Looking for some jazz in The County? Join Karlo Estates for Jazz Thursdays with the Howard Rees Duo on September 29. Check out our full event listings for even more regular live music events from Karlo Estates.
- Join The Regent Theatre for an incredible night of life music and celebration of Indigenous culture with their 2nd Annual Truth and Reconciliation Concert. This year’s concert features multi-award wining artist, iskwē who will grace the Regent stage with her incredible presence and artistry, accompanied by a string quartet in what promises to be a stunning night. Get your tickets here.
This September there are several can’t-miss pairing dinners happening in The County. First up on September 9th is a Beer Pairing Dinner at Slake Brewing with Chef Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen in Eugenia as well as Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington market in downtown Toronto. A member of Lac des Milles Lac First Nation,Shawn focuses on promoting contemporary Indigenous cuisine. This 5-course meal in the spectacular setting that is Slake Brewing is $100 including beer pairings and tickets can be purchased here.
On September 14 you can enjoy a Whiskey of the World Tasting Dinner at The Waring House. This three-course dinner is paired perfectly with three 1oz whiskey pours, guided by a whiskey expert.
Also at The Waring House, on September 28 you can enjoy four-course meal alongside a wine tasting of Volcanic Wines sourced by Sommelier Astrid Young. To book tickets to this PEC Wine Society Dinner and the Whiskey of the World tasting dinner call (613) 476-7492 ext 1 or email email@example.com
Finally, on September 30 head to Karlo Estates for a plant-based Fall Harvest Dinner with Chef Chris Byrne. This 5-course feast is expertly paired with Karlo Estates wines by Vintner, Sherry Karlo. Reserve your spot here.
For even more County events be sure to check out our complete event listing.
What’s New in The County in 2022 🌟
Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re coming back for more, it’s always fun to add something new and fresh to your itinerary. Like every year, 2022 has graced The County with so many new and exciting ventures, alongside old favourites which have returned after a two-year hiatus. Some familiar spots have also switched things up a bit this year, so read on to get the lowdown on what you can discover this year in PEC.
Related: 2022 Visitor Checklist
Stella’s has been a fixture in The County since 2019 with their wine bar in Picton, but now you can experience the taste of Stella’s at their new location in Waupoos: Stella’s Eatery. At the former location of Stella’s Wine Bar you will soon be able to find Onesta, a new italian restaurant that will soon be serving up fresh pasta and sauce as they have been at their pop-ups at this location on Wednesdays this past Fall & Winter.
Bantam PEC – sister restaurant to The Marans Dinebar – has been serving up delightful lunches in Picton since last year. This summer, however, they have moved on from their Picton location to provide food at Closson Chase Vineyards. Follow them on social for updates about their opening.
Luckily, a new lunch spot has moved into town in Picton. Located in the lower level of the Picton Armory, Luso Bites is a luncheonette, snack bar and cafe, that will be serving up Portuguese-inspired dishes for your enjoyment. Follow them on Instagram for updates about their opening later this spring.
Speaking of lunch, Creekside Cafe is a new addition to Wellington Main Street that serves up Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch in Wellington from Thursday – Monday. Think big breakfast plates, beautiful benny’s, waffles and more.
Bloomfield Public House transformed into a market for the last two years, but we’re excited to say that kitchen service has returned, Wednesday – Sunday from 11AM – sellout. You’ll find favourites like their fried chicken sandwich, smash burger and shrimp roll on their menu, alongside goodies from their market and grab & go favourites.
After a successful summer of 2021 as a food truck pop-up in Waupoos, Harry’s Charbroiled is opening a physical location in PEC in 2022 to continue slinging smash burgers all year long. Find them sooooonish right next to Waring’s Corner (aka the roundabout) toward Bloomfield.
If you fancy eating in on one of your nights in The County, make sure you download the RAD Services app (available on Apple and Android) to have delicious eats from local spots delivered right to you.
Related: Reserve Now, Relax Later
Arts & Culture
The Festival Players of Prince Edward County 2022 Season just launched and it’s filled with a host of unforgettable theatre, comedy, dance and music, all taking place at The Eddie Hotel & Farm. Explore their offerings and book your tickets on their website and check out their season launch video below.
Arts on Main Gallery is back at their original location on Picton Main Street after two years of operating as an online gallery (which you can still enjoy here). Be sure to check out their refreshed shop and discover original works of art and unique fine crafts created by a cooperative of local artists
The Prince Edward County Arts Trail is celebrating its 15th year this year, and alongside the celebrations they are welcoming four new members to the trail: Art Wagon, GRACE Studio, Hatch Gallery, and Bark Woodshop. Explore these and the other nine stops on the Arts Trail by downloading their 2022 bilingual Arts Trail Guide here.
If you’re looking to laugh, Roper & Roper are the comedy duo you don’t want to miss. This pair is will be popping up throughout The County this summer in their “Roper Force One” – a solar-powered mobile stage-in-a-sprinter-van. They’re also available for bookings for your private events!
Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, anniversary, or engagement, or you just want to capture a memorable family holiday, Wee Three Sparrows Photography and J Briginshaw Photography are available to help you make memories.
Did you know that an AGO-commissioned piece of art also graces the streets of Picton? Wisdom of the Universe by award-winning Metis artist Christi Belcourt appears, with permission, in mural form behind St. Andrew’s Church. This is a first in a series of steps towards reconciliation, on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, but its presence here offers all of us the opportunity to engage in conversation and contemplation around the crucial conversations of our relationship to the Indigenous stewards of this land, and our relationship with the environment.
Discover a new Garden County of Canada Exhibit, featuring the Doug Crawford Canning Collection, which finds its new permanent home up at the Ameilasburgh Heritage Museum.
Live Music is back in full force in The County after two challenging years. Get your fix with weekly Dinner and Show events at Karlo Estates, or with shows like Martha Wainwright and Justin Rutledege at the Eddie. Combine those with regular live music at The County Canteen, The Acoustic Grill, The Waring House, the Drake Devonshire and more, there’s more than enough entertainment to choose from. Don’t forget to check out the Hayloft for live music, dancing and drag!
The County Arts Lab is a community arts hub in the heart of Picton offering a wide range of arts workshops open to residents and visitors alike – from visual arts to music, theatre, writing and more! Check out their website for more details about upcoming programming.
Leslie Fruman of Clayshapes Pottery is a local ceramic artist, creating especially colourful works, both functional and decorative. Her work is available at The Local Store on County Rd 12 near Bloomfield, and at her studio, by appointment. She is also participating in the Prince Edward County Studio Tour, Sept. 30 – Oct 2, 2022
For more arts, music and entertainment, be sure to check out (and keep checking out) our events listing. New events are being added every day!
Related: How to Curate a County Art Collection
If you didn’t book one of our curated experiences last year, we’re thrilled to say they are all around for another season of frolicking-in-the-fields fun. Get up close and personal with alpacas during a Bloomin’ Welly Trekk at Noble Beast Farms, learn about the life cycle of bees with Bees & Blooms at Curious Goat General Store, connect with nature at Pause at Melt Studio & Gallery, and make a soul connection during an Equine Soul Session at Heal with Horses Theraputic Centre. Be sure to check out their respective pages (or click “Experience” in the main menu of VisitPEC.ca) for updated hours and a deeper look at these special County experiences.
Don’t have time for the full experience but still want to visit these spots? MELT Studio Gallery is open Thursday – Sunday or by appointment for gallery viewings and Curious Goat General Store has a farm stand on site with plenty of bee-utiful goods for sale (1.492% of all sales go to Kenhteke Seed Sanctuary & Learning Centre in neighbouring Tyendinaga).
So you have experiences for you sorted, what about an experience for your furry friend? There’s no better place than The Sniffery. Located just outside of Bloomfield, The Sniffery is an immersive sensory experience designed to stimulate your dog’s natural instincts to forage and to follow its nose. These sniff sessions are perfect for all dogs, but especially dogs who prefer to not have the company of other canine pals. We can’t think of a better morning activity for your pup before an afternoon of seeing the sites. Sniff sessions are by appointment only, so be sure to book in advance!
Looking for a unique, Instagram-worthy, al fresco dining experience? Look no further than a Glass Cabin Picnic at The Edward House and Loft. Each guest receives a personal graze box curated by The County Picnic and the opportunity to connect with their group in an intimate and special setting like no other.
Want to get on the water? Picton Harbour Pontoon Boat Tours offers 1.5 hour tours for up to 6 people, allowing you to discover natural history, habitats and sights you can’t enjoy from land. They also offer Sunset cruises and VIP tours if you’re looking for an extra special experience.
The Cutting Factory is a micro flower farm in Waupoos which grows and sells specialty cut flowers via their farm stand. Purchase gorgeous flower arrangements or make your own with their Flower Farm Experience (coming this spring). Or check out the Clayshapes & The Cutting Factory Tour, an a three-hour experience in partnership with Clayshapes Pottery, that takes you along beautiful PEC country roads to visit a pottery studio to pick out a handmade vase, and a visit to a nearby flower farm where you will pick out blooms and create a unique bouquet.
Bent Barn PEC is a charming home decor & gift shop with something for everyone. Discover farmhouse-style decor and gifts, artisan candles, purses and so much more, all in a relaxed comfortable setting of an old carriage house built in the 1800’s.
Locally owned and operated, The Community Store is Wellington’s first authorized cannabis retail store. Visit them for expert service and Health Canada approved product.
Menswear store Jeffrey Scott was a new fixture on Main Street Picton just a couple of years ago, but now you’ll find them in the same location but under a new name: The Merchant. As always you can enjoy their eclectic selection alongside their vintage barber shop, licensed bar, and special events.
free folk events has become studio free folk, a creative studio with a focus on hand poured candles and handmade paper. Their goods are made in small batches and sold exclusively to our mailing list, and is occasionally open to the public. They are also now offering candle making classes from their small studio on weekday evenings and weekends from May – September.
If you’re looking for antiques, curiosities and lovingly restored pieces, be sure to check out County Rust. Located in Wellington on Noxon Avenue this quaint shop is sure to leave you charmed.
[ah-bodh] Home Store is located just to your right as you cross the bridge from Belleville and is a home decor-lover’s dream. They offer a vast selection of home decor, lighting, furnishings and rugs, as well as a specially curated selection of local products.
Anice Jewellery is a new addition to Wellington Main Street offering a multi-faceted jewellery experience with a variety of different services including Old Treasures New Love, Custom on the Spot, custom Wedding and Engagement and Jewellery-Making Workshops.
We love cheese in The County, and so of course we love the addition of Nellie’s Cheese and Party Shop to the scene. Located at The Eddie Hotel & Farm, Nellie’s provides a wide selection of local cheese (shoutout to Fifth Town and Lighthall) and international cheeses provided by the Cheese Boutique in Toronto, alongside all of the accompaniments you need for the perfect party cheese board.
Remember antique fairs? Well we’re excited to see that the Spring Antique Show at Crystal Palace organized by A Tick in Tyme is back again for the first time since 2019. Get your antique fix on May 21-22 this year.
Evergreen Kids Thrift got its start as an Instagram thrift shop but they are soon opening a physical shop for their second-hand kids clothes. Follow them on Instagram for updates about their opening.
Stella’s Collection is a new addition to the Picton Armoury serving up excellent service and French fashions.
Stella’s occupies the space previously occupied by Lustre & Tarnish, whose store is now located inside the Armoury behind Savon du Bois. This new location is also home to Brocade, which previously operated out of Bloomfield.
The Royal Hotel in Picton opened earlier this year after much anticipation and everyone is excited for its first summer season. Stay in one of their 33, thoughtfully detailed rooms and suites (cleverly named after locally grown apple and pear varieties). Visit their spa for massage, facial and skin treatments, and more (their spa is now open to non-hotel guests). Or experience Chef Albert Ponzo’s culinary mastery in The Dining Room, or visit The Counter Bar for your morning coffee, grab & go lunch, and evening cocktails. The Royal also boasts a stylish gym and outdoor pool for hotel guests and a full conference centre for meetings and retreats.
If you’re looking for a extraordinary getaway, look no further than Mirazule. This boutique inn with strikingly modern architecture and a commanding lakeside positionwill transport you to a private world of peaceful relaxation.
You have likely said “hi” to the alpacas and shopped for delightfully soft knitted goods at SHED Chetwyn Farm on Closson Road already, or perhaps you’ve attended an alpaca yoga session. But this year you can even add a farm stay to your Chetwyn Farms experience, complete with a stay in a century farm-cottage and the option to participate in morning farm chores like feeding the alpaca and setting them out to pasture.
Lakecroft offers glamping getaways, cottage stays, and special event hosting, creating opportunities for new experiences and lifelong memories. Enjoy camping under the stars in their spacious 5 metre bell tents in boho luxury and soothing vibes under the stars and by the lake or stay in the spacious chalet with lake views, with mid-modern century decor and surrounded by tree canopies, butterfly bushes, and blooming dahlias.
There are also several new spots to stay, such as Picton’s Brass Foundry, the Schoolhouse Loft, The Owens House, Old Milford House, Everly Inn B&B, and Summerland Summerland.
Farms & Markets
The Wellington Farmers’ Market is kicking off the market season with a special market on Saturday from May 14th at The Eddie Hotel and Farm, just a short drive outside of Wellington toward Bloomfield. The market is also easily accessed from the Millennium Trail, making for the perfect Saturday outing!
At Wellington United Church – the former location of the aforementioned market – a new market will be taking over the parking lot every Saturday morning. The Wellington Community Market The new Wellington Community Market is a not-for profit-market featuring a wide variety of food and artisan products.
If you didn’t get enough of the Saturday markets and want to discover even more local vendors, the Picton Town Hall Farmers Market is back for another season, rain or shine.
If you’re looking to get your hands on some local honey while you’re here, be sure to check out the newest farm stands stocking local, small batch honey: Here and There Apiary and 127 Bees at Loha Farms.
Health and Wellness
NuLife Skin and Spa offers offers medi-spa and health and beauty treatments from their central Picton location. With an extensive menu featuring lash extensions, waxing, brow and lash tinting, lash lifting, facials, flotation therapy, mani-pedis, massages, and more, you’ll find just what you need at NuLife.
County Fields and Forest is a natural wellness education centre welcome all those who love nature to bask in its glory through sustainable, off-grid living and wellness practices from yoga and meditation, to reiki, animal therapy and beyond.
Serendipity Yoga has been offering pop-up yoga events throughout The County for many years and will continue to do so this summer, but this year they are opening an in-town studio location this year in Bloomfield right behind Green Gables. Follow them on Instagram for updates about their opening.
Also new to the spa scene in The County is DeeVa Spa at The Waring House. DeeVa Spa offers an extensive menu of many esthetic and spa services including everything from manicures and pedicures to massages and facials.
Second Wind Forest Therapy offers guided forest therapy walks through local parks and greenspaces. These walks are slow, rarely longer than two kilometers and have limited elevation change. The standard walk is 2.5 hours long and finishes with a communal tea experience. Visit their website to book a scheduled walk or arrange a walk on your time.
Body Matrix offers Pilates Mat, Pilates Reformer, Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis classes from their small Main Street studio in Picton. Want to add an hour of movement and mindfulness to your stay in The County? Body Matrix will also bring their pilates classes to you at your vacation rental.
Free Spirit – The Holistic Way offers private and semi-private sessions, group lessons and experiences allowing you to make a deep and healing connection with horses on their South Shore farm.
Stop and smell the lilacs – or rather ride past and smell the lilacs – with this year’s Rotary Lilac Ride. This popular ride through some of The County’s best “lilac lanes” is finally back for the first time since 2019 and will take place on May 29 this year. Sign up before May 1st for early bird pricing.
If you prefer to hit the pavement with your feet, the Terroir Run is back for their 10th year, and it’s bound to be as epic as ever. The run itself takes you on a 10K route throughout Hillier, culminating in a fresh, local lunch at The Old Third. There are also special events in the days before and after the run that you won’t want to miss!
While you have been enjoying Slake Brewing‘s beers and views since 2019, there’s a lot to look forward to this year. Look forward to guided tastings of barrel-aged beers, perfect for small groups looking for a more personalized tasting experience. Booking is not available yet, but you can keep an eye out on their website for more details. Also, in terms of food you can expect a host of food pop-ups from fun local chefs as well as chefs from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, alongside a fresh new food menu when there are no pop-ups. On top of all of that, Slake is now open for private and semi-private event bookings for everything from weddings to casual gatherings. It’s the stuff of dreams!
The Cellar Sisters are busy working to bring you a beautiful new wine bar in Wellington called Decanter. Be sure to follow along on Instagram for updates as to the opening of this new sipping salon.
Amanda’s Vineyards is a family owned winery located in beautiful Prince Edward County, just five minutes away from Lake on the Mountain. its founder, Mihai Geangalau, invites you to sample its carefully crafted wines, which are the expression of the terroir of the region and his passion for wine.
Stillus Craft Spirits is a family-owned artisan distillery where they handcraft fine spirits in small batches in their custom-designed copper still made in Tuscany, Italy. Visit for a great neat spirit or a craft cocktail, complemented by savory appetizers (can you say pierogies?!) and sweet treats from their Stillus bistro while overlooking a vineyard (that of TerraCello) and a grain field. Stillus is expected to open to the public this May.
PEC Cannabis and Wine Tours offers an infused start to your day of wine touring around The County with one of their tour partners. Your tour will then end where it started – back at The Community Store in Wellington – where you can shop their selection.
Wine O’Clock Tours is a boutique touring service in the County offering private tours for groups up to 7 people. Want to check out The County’s breweries, cideries and distilleries? No problem! Jeff will work with you to build the perfect tour for you.
Prince Edward County Custom Wine Tours offers tours for 2-6 people that are just over 5 hours in length, and you get to pick the start time and what wineries, breweries or cideries you visit.
Whether you’re planning an intimate boutique wedding, a memorable farm-to-table dining experience, or a larger event or wedding, Lilac & Vine can help you create a celebration that exudes an upscale, rustic-meets-magical feel while highlighting the very best of The County.
Prelude Events is a local rental boutique, dedicated to helping elevate your event to be exactly as you’ve envisioned. They offer a large selection of quality décor that will fit into any theme or budget.
What to get up to this February in The County ❄🍷
After a long January, restrictions are gradually easing and The County is reopening, ready for plenty of winter fun. If you have a visit planned this month, if you live in the area and are looking for a fun weekend activity, or if you just want to experience the joys of February in The County second hand, read on.
This information is accurate as of February 1st, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Reminder: as of January 4th 2022, enhanced vaccine passports with a scannable QR code are required for indoor dining and locations such as recreational facilities. Further to that, some businesses are going above and beyond to keep the community safe, so we ask that individual requirements are respected at all times.
A Vintner Winter
The vines may be resting under a comfortable blanket of snow and earth, but many wineries will be serving up pours in their tasting rooms this February. Be sure to download the PEC Wine Explorer App before you visit to plan your trip and explore Prince Edward County Wineries (and Cideries!) by region, style and more. As always, check in with wineries before visiting via the app or Instagram to confirm operations and open hours, and be sure to make a reservation where necessary. You can also start your planning right here on VisitPEC.ca by checking out the wine section of our website for inspiration.
Hit the Trail
If you’re looking to get outside while you’re here, there are plenty of ways you can do so. Fancy giving snowshoeing a try? Head to Sugarbush Vineyards where you can rent snowshoes for $20, which includes a wine tasting and hot chocolate (weekends only). Or you can participate in a guided 3km snowshoeing walk at Three Dog Winery on weekends throughout February, which includes snowshoes and a glass of wine. Also keep an eye out for foodie pop-ups at Three Dog to complete your experience.
Snowshoeing not your thing? There are plenty of other ways to get outdoors. Why not bring your cross country skis and plan a trip down the Millennium Trail? Or how about pack your best snow boots and go for a winter hike at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area or at the Sandbanks Dunes Trail (the parking lot at Dunes is now maintained in the winter). If you plan to head out in winter, though, be sure to plan your route ahead of time, make sure your phone is charged, dress warmly and ensure you head out with plenty of daylight left – it’s easy to get turned around on trails, especially after fresh snowfall.
Related: What to do in Winter in Prince Edward County
Plan an Escape
Escape Camp Picton is reopening for the 2022 season with a special Family Day Weekend event! Join them for an escape between February 11 and 14 and enjoy an extra special post-game celebration with a hot chocolate buffet and a make-your-own puzzle kit to take home with you.
Want to escape Camp Picton from the comfort of home? They also have a handcrafted at-home puzzle box available for purchase – perfect for cozy snow day weekends or evenings spent back at your accommodations.
Hit the Ice
If you haven’t heard, Parsons Brewing Company‘s covered ice rink is open daily for the season and it’s more epic than ever! Whether you want to play some shinny or you just want to skate, this family-friendly activity makes for a perfect winter outing, especially when paired with their rink-side snacks – we’re talking emanadas, grilled cheese and roast tomato soup, served alongside their wide selection of beers and coffee (with Bailey’s!) if you’re feeling the chill. They even have hot chocolate and s’mores kits for the kids (and big kids) who want to have some fun by the fire pit after a good skate. Be sure to follow them on Instagram for daily updates on rink conditions as well as for rink rules.
Speaking of ice, if you are visiting a beach during winter be sure to stay off the shore ice as this is known to be dangerous, even in the coldest weather. Also, unless you are with a guide or familiar with ice conditions in the area, any lake ice should be considered unsafe. Stick to shore and stay safe.
If skating’s not your thing but you’re still chasing classic “apres” vibes and craft beer, there’s plenty of options for you! Gillingham Brewing has a fabulous winter patio setup (complete with Oysters!), Prince Eddy’s will be serving up pours both in and outdoors, Matron Fine Beer has a sweet sheltered back patio, and Slake comes complete with many fire pits to share the warmth alongside their gorgeous views – but don’t worry, their indoor seating is also open if you want the views without the windchill.
Go Back in Time
It’s Flashback February at The County Museums, which means we have plenty opportunities to engage with the history and heritage of Prince Edward County through talks, performances and more. The 2022 event (February 19-27) will include a combination of in-person and virtual offerings including a historic barn tour at Karlo Estates Winery (multiple in-person dates), a Photos and Follies exhibit at North Marysburgh Town Hall, an exhibit on the “social media” of early Prince Edward County, a virtual historic cooking presentation, and more. Check out the Flashback February website for more details.
Related: 10 Places to Get a Taste of County History
Indoor dining is back, and your favourite County restaurants are ready to welcome you (at limited capacity for now). Not only are the all-season restaurants open again, but so are the restaurants that typically close in January like La Condesa, Flame + Smith and The Marans Dinebar. (note: some restaurants operate seasonally and will open again in the spring, so we still recommend confirming operations before setting your heart on a particular spot!) If you’re planning a foodie trip be sure to make a reservation where possible or plan in advance to potentially wait a for a table (though wait times in February are typically much less than in summer, reduced capacity make affect wait times). Looking for a unique Friday night dining experience? Book a Fondue Friday at The Eddie. Wanting to experience the newest of the new? be sure to book a spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner at The Royal Hotel, the reimagined historical gem of Picton Main Street.
Here for Valentine’s Day? Many spots are offering special pre-fixe menus for your romantic celebrations. So be sure to check out the restaurants on your wish list on social media to see what feasts they have dreamed up for the day of love.
Winter with Lakeside
If you’re looking for a family and pet-friendly winter outing, why not head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington? They have a few epic weekends planned on their property. Swing by to enjoy live music, their new food truck and their cozy heated enclosure alongside their epic lake views. Check out our event listings for more information.
Visit a Gallery
February is a great time to visit a Prince Edward County art gallery. Most galleries and studios are open weekends or by appointment, so we highly recommend discovering local artists through the County Arts Council and the Arts Trail before you visit. Once you’ve built your wish list, be sure to check in directly to confirm hours of operation or book an appointment before visiting.
If you want to take your appreciation of art outdoors, be sure to check out the sculpture garden at Oeno Gallery (yes, it’s open in winter, and yes it is magical – see the video from last year below!) or take a stroll just off Picton Main Street to Benson Park to enjoy fun installations by The Department of Illumination.
Take in a Concert
We’re excited for February to bring a return to in-person performance. If you’re a fan of Jazz, Big Lake Concerts has just the think for you. Be sure to get tickets to one of two seatings of SOA and Friends at The CAPE on February 24th. SOA covers a wide stylistic terrain from jazz, consistently enveloped by the warm and soulful voice of Chrystelle Maechler. Thompson Egbo-Egbo joins her on the piano and together they will deliver a rich evening of musical sounds and stories. Rooted in jazz, SOA features a mix of originals and fresh interpretations of outside material, in French, English, and sometimes German. “SOA” means “precious” in the language of Madagascar.
Plan Your 2022 Visit
If you don’t have a February visit planned but are feeling a little bit envious after reading about all of these amazing happenings in The County this month, let the inspiration strike! Now is the perfect time to start planning your 2022 visit. Take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and book somewhere to stay, discover more things to do, taste and experience and start building the a picture perfect PEC itinerary. Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to check out our blog.
How to Keep it in The County this January during Ontario’s Return to Step Two
We didn’t expect this to be our first blog post of 2022, but here we are. Ontario has temporarily returned to a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, and we’re sharing some of the ways you can continue to support your favourite County spots amidst the latest restrictions.
This information is accurate as of January 10th, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Another great way to support County businesses at this time is to shop locally from your favourite main street and back road shops. Luckily, retail stores are allowed to remain open at 50% capacity for whatever you need (or want) to bring a little County into your lockdown experience. Most stores are remaining open, however, we recommend that you check in with them on Instagram or their website for details about their operations at this time, as some businesses have chosen to remain open for online shopping, curbside pickup, or delivery only.
Art at Home
While some local galleries in The County operate seasonally, some remain open year-round. Those galleries have also had to close as part of the return to Step Two. If you want to show support for local artists and galleries, be sure to check out the Arts Trail and Prince Edward County Arts Council websites to discover local artists, galleries, and their online collections.
Take out to Dine In (at home)
Indoor dining is closed again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still support some of your favourite County eateries during this time. While some have chosen to take this time off to recuperate after a challenging 2021, many are offering their menu for take-out or are cooking up lockdown specials to help spice up your at-home meals. Need something delivered? Contact County Carry Out here.
The newly reopened The Royal Hotel is now open to guests, but everyone can enjoy their selection of breads, pastries, sandwiches, salad bowls and coffee from their Counter Bar. Also, starting January 7th they’ll be offering a limited menu for takeout.
Picnic‘s Picton cafe is closed, but Picnic’s catering arm is offering special weekend menus for pre-order that can be picked up from their Wellington kitchen.
Local chef Matthew Demille is offering up his popular winter feasts for pre-order and delivery in The County and surrounding area.
Lily’s Cafe next to Books & Company is open for takeout only.
Flame + Smith in Bloomfield is closed until January 21st for Winter break. Be sure to stay tuned to Instagram for information about operations after that date.
Also in Bloomfield, Bermuda is open for takeout from Friday – Sunday with a limited menu of new items and old favourites. Limited time slots are available so call ahead to book.
The Vic Drive-In is open for takeout (walk-in, call ahead, or order online) with a smaller menu full of diner favourites, as well as daily dinner specials like Wacky Wednesday.
Don’t worry, you can still get your Acoustic Grill fix! They’ll be open for takeout Thursday – Monday.
555 Brewing is holding down the fort and will be open daily for retail beer sales, takeaway pizza, and outdoor dining on their covered and heated patio. They also have a 2 for $25 pizza offer from Sunday – Thursday every week.
The Bean Counter is temporarily closed for maintenance until mid-January. They’ll be open for takeout once that’s complete.
Over in Wellington, Midtown Brewing is offering takeout only, 7 days a week. You can order their full menu alongside delicious craft beer. They also have make-your-own pizza kits, great for a fun meal with the kids.
Piccolina Mercato is open Wednesday – Sunday for takeout and retail, serving up fresh pastry and bread, prepared meals to reheat at home.
Idle Wild is open Thursday – Sunday 4-7 PM for takeout. Visit their Instagram to see their Main and Vegan menus and order ahead for pick-up.
7 Numbers Picton is open after January 6th for takeout and delivery of their regular menu, weekly specials, $60 “Dinner for Two” menu, and Winter Market items (fresh/frozen take-home trays, and fresh foccacia with 24hr notice).
Over in Consecon, Strato’s Pizzeria will be open after January 6th for takeout after completing some maintenance.
Blue Sail Seafood Company‘s seafood market will be open from Thursday – Sunday, and they are also offering DIY Seafood Dinner Starter Kits that you can order online from their website. They won’t be offering takeout right away, but keep checking their Instagram for updates.
GOOD Place in Wellington is open daily for grocery or takeout.
Stella’s Wine Bar will be serving up takeout for pick-up Friday through Tuesday from 5-8 PM.
Consecon’s Adega Wine Bar is closed, but keep an eye out on their Instagram for at-home wine club offerings.
Bocado will be offering up a different prix fixe takeout menu each weekend from Thursday through Sunday. Check their Instagram for the current menu.
The Lunch Box is open for take-out during their regular hours from January 10th.
Bantam will be closed until January 19th but will reopen with a takeout menu and modified hours. Check Instagram for details in the coming weeks.
Suejo Korean Restaurant, Beacon Bike + Brew, and Angry Birdz are all open for takeout with their regular menu.
Butter Dream Cakes is closed until February 11th except for custom order pick-up or deliveries. Check out their new online shop complete with new cake trays, cake tasting boxes, and cookie boxes.
The Marans is closed for holiday until January 12th – be sure to follow them on Instagram for news about operations after that date.
Stella’s Eatery in Waupoos is temporarily closed, but they’re serving takeout at Stella’s Wine Bar in Picton.
The County Canteen‘s full menu is available for takeout, or you can brave the weather on their heated and covered outdoor patio. Also be sure to check out their Sunday Family Dinner Series in which they serve up a different themed feast for four each Sunday.
Bloomfield Public House Market, Merrill House, East & Main Bistro, Koenji Whisky, Hello Bonjour, and La Condesa are closed for holiday throughout January.
The Waring House and Drake Devonshire are open for room bookings, but their restaurants are closed except for providing take-out to guests.
Lighthouse Restaurant is temporarily closed, but be sure to keep an eye out on their social media for details about reopening.
Blumen Garden Bistro is closed for the season and looks forward to welcoming you back in the Spring.
Saigon Restuarant is closed until late January before resuming takeout.
Flossie’s Sandwiches is closed for the season and is due to reopen at Carson’s Garden Market in April.
Bring the Source to You
If you’re looking to enjoy some County libations during your lockdown, most of the region’s craft beverage makers offer online shopping options or curbside pickup. Some are safely offering distanced outdoor tastings with a limited capacity if you are up braving the weather.
Rosehall Run is closed until January 28th but they are open online 24/7.
Huff Estates is closed for tastings, but their bottle shop is open for retail and they are open online 24/7.
The tasting room and bottle shop at The Grange of Prince Edward is closed, but they are open online 24/7.
At Trail Estate you can visit their retail shop after January 19th, but they are open online 24/7 in the meantime.
Casa Dea‘s tasting room and bottle shop are temporarily closed, but you can shop online 24/7
Sandbanks Estates Winery‘s retail store open is open at 50% capacity for shopping or curbside pickup, or you can shop online. As with other wineries they are not offering tastings at this time.
Broken Stone Winery’s tasting room and bottle shop is closed until spring, but they are open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
Traynor Family Vineyard’s bottle shop is open at 50% capacity and you can safely enjoy a pour on their heated patio. You can also shop online for contactless curbside pickup or delivery.
Outdoor tastings at Three Dog Winery are closed until February, but they are online open for curbside pickup or delivery (free shipping when you order 6 bottles or more).
Harwood Estate Vineyard is closed, but you can shop online 24/7, along with Stanners Vineyards, Cape Vineyards, and Terra Estate Winery.
Lighthall Vineyards is closed for tastings, but their retail store is open for wine and cheese purchases. You can also shop online for delivery or call for curbside pickup
Waupoos Estates Winery‘s tasting room and restaurant are temporarily closed, but they are open online for curbside pickup or delivery.
Hinterland Wine Company, Karlo Estates, Lacey Estates, Hillier Creek, and Gravel Hill Vineyard have all closed their tasting rooms, but you can shop their selection online.
At Redtail Vineyards you can visit their bottle shop and enjoy a pour safely outdoors on their covered patio. Contactless pickup is available for online orders, as well as delivery.
Exultet Estates is closed for tastings until April, but their Bottle shop is open by chance or appointment, or you can online for delivery.
Del-Gatto Estates is closed for winter, but they are open online for delivery.
Sugarbush Vineyards is closed until February but open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
The Old Third is closed for Winter.
Closson Chase is closed for the season, reopening for tastings on February 5, 2022
Parsons Brewing’s bottle shop is open daily and from January 14th onward their skating rink is open daily for your enjoyment on a pay-what-you-can basis. Check out the “Rink” highlight on their Instagram for more details. You can also order online 24/7 for brewery pickup or delivery.
At Prince Eddy’s Brewing, you can visit their bottle shop in person and enjoy their outdoor patio (the après vibes are strong), but they are also open online for curbside pickup or contactless delivery.
You can cozy up at the outdoor fire pits and visit the retail shop at Slake Brewing when they reopen after the holidays on January 8th. With the freezing rain lately, be sure to check their Instagram for updates about brewery road safety!
Gillingham Brewing‘s bottle shop and covered, the heated beer garden is open for pours, lunch, and weekend oysters. Follow them on Instagram for updates about kitchen collaborations with other local faves.
Matron Fine Beer‘s bottle shop, outdoor patio is open for floofy pours and tasty bites from their kitchen. They also have General Assembly pizzas available for purchase along other great take-home snacks.
Mead & Spirits
Kinsip is not offering tastings at this time, but they are open online for local pickup or delivery.
Millefleurs is closed for tastings in January & February, but you can shop their mead as well as their honey and lavender products in their online shop.
Honey Pie Hives & Herbals is closed for the season until May 1, but you can shop their mead, honey and herbal products on their website.
Loch Mor‘s tasting room is closed but you can order online for delivery or local pickup.
Clafeld Cider‘s market and tasting room are closed, but you can order online for pickup (pickup across the road at Waupoos Estates Winery) or delivery.
Stock & Row is open Saturdays for pick-up or online 24/7 for delivery.
Crimson Cider‘s bottle shop is open or you can shop online 24/7 for curbside pickup or delivery.
The County Cider Company is closed until March, but you can order their cider online for delivery.
See something missing or need something updated? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
11+ Activities to Experience this Holiday Season in The County 🎅🎁
November’s here and that means it’s time to start planning your holiday experiences and shopping excursions. Luckily The County has plenty to offer to help you get ready for the holidays.
Holiday Photo in the Barn & Art Sale
Stop by ANDARA Gallery to take a festive family holiday photo in their barn and while you’re there take in their ODE to JOY Art Show & Sale. On now through December 23, 2021.
For more information and to learn how to book your seating in advance go here.
Main Street Magic
Explore the Main Streets of Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield and discover the many independent, local shops that make our Main Streets so vibrant.
Check out our shops listing and plan your gift giving adventure today.
Experience Christmas Past
Step back in time with Ol’ Tyme Christmas in the Cabin at Ameliasburg Heritage Village every Friday through December 10, and come out for one final day of merriment on December 20th. Santa will be on site for free family photos when you bring a donation to the Storehouse Food Bank.
Click here for more information.
Go on a Christmas Crawl
The annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl takes place from from November 26-28. Discover artisan gifts and enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your holiday shopping on one of The County’s most hopping wine country roads.
Christmas at The Eddie
Stop by The Eddie for their first Christmas Market. Here you’ll find artisan vendors, a glühwein lounge and more in their heated barn from November 26 – 28. Or from December 10-12 join Festival Players for a weekend of holiday concerts featuring The Bookends & Seventh Town.
Get details about the Christmas Market here and book tickets for Celtic Yuletide here.
Join Midtown Brewing in Wellington to check our their 5th annual Christmas Market on November 27 from 11-3. Here you’ll find 12 amazing local vendors with everything from sweets to homewares and art – and of course great beer!
For more details click here.
Busy Hands is Back
Busy Hands is back and in person! This year they’ll be set up at The Armoury on Picton Main Street on December 4 and 5. Their annual craft fair is the perfect place to pick up handmade gifts like honey, mustard, preserves and maple syrup as well as woodwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles and more.
For more details click here.
Give the Gift of Art
This holiday season you are invited to LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING with the Prince Edward County Arts Trail. Plan your visit or shop online and give the gift of County art this holiday season.
For more information click here.
Christmas in Wellington
Celebrate Christmas in Wellington with a 2-day gift giving pop-up at Wellington Heritage Museum.
Learn more here.
Family Fun at Macaulay House
Celebrate the holiday season at Macaulay House with the whole family on December 11th and 12th. Enjoy a festive tour, caroling on the lawn, holiday readings for kids presented by Shatterbox Theatre, hot chocolate, apple cider and more.
Find out more here.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
Melt Studio + Gallery will be celebrating the holiday season this year with Give a Little Bit, a group show in our Main Gallery from November 26 to December 26. Give a Little Bit will showcase the talent of local artists and artisans while offering one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. The show will feature small works of art, perfect for gift giving, from various disciplines ranging from handcrafted tables and 3D paper-dioramas, to landscape photography and encaustic paintings. In the spirit of gift giving, Melt Studio + Gallery will be hosting a raffle for one of Susan Wallis’s encaustic paintings, with all the proceeds being donated to Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre in Tyendinaga.
Experience Christmas at the Harbour
Come by Picton Harbour to experience a 2-day Christmas Festival along the boardwalk. Complete with lights, music, art installations, games and Santa visits, this is a magical festive event you won’t want to miss.
Learn more here.
Add Art to your Christmas List
On December 11-12, visit The Waring House for a special Christmas show featuring 12 local artists. Shop for paintings, jewelry, pottery, wire creations, wood work, painted silks, art cards, Christmas decor & more.
Learn more here.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
Head to Karlo Estates for a bit of Christmas cheer in the form of Carolling Karaoke. And if you pluck up the courage to take the mic to sing at least two carols and earn yourself a wee nip of their VanAlstine White port-style fortified wine.
Learn more about their December 10th event here and their December 17th event here.
Visit a Winter Wanderland
Bundle up in your coziest knits and mittens and head to Wander the Resort at their first-ever Winter Wanderland Market – a dreamy outdoor market featuring a curated selection of products from County artisans and Wander partners.
Learn more here.
Pop-up and Shop
Head to Main Street Picton on December 17th to celebrate the season with a series of craft pop-ups. For one day only local craft vendors and shops are joining forces to bring you the ultimate Christmas shopping experience. You’ll even have a chance to win by completing a Main Street Christmas Craft Crawl passport by visiting each vendor and collecting stamps on your passport for your chance to win a grand prize filled with items from each vendor and shop!
Learn more here.
Experience a Christmas Classic
Head to the The Regent Theatre to experience acclaimed Canadian actor RH Thompson in a solo touring rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Learn more here.
Check out our Dine Here campaign and discover 50+ County restaurants, cafes and eateries and plan a culinary adventure in the lead up to the holidays. Many spots have special offers, seasonal menus and festive experiences on the docket, so be sure not to miss out on dining in The County this season.
Learn more here.
Fall for Arts & Culture in The County 🎨🎭🖼🎙
Whether you want to add to your art collection. immerse yourself in a exhibition, witness public art, attend a performance or go behind the scenes at an artist’s studio, Fall is an incredible time to visit The County. Here’s just some of what you can experience throughout the region this season.
Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
Go on a PEC Studio Tour
From September 24-26, 2021 follow the PEC Studio Tour throughout The County for a chance to go behind the scenes, meet the artists and observe their creative processes. If you’re in the market, this is a great opportunity to start or add to your collection, or if you’re just looking for inspiration, this is a fantastic activity that will take you off the beaten path.
Hit the PEC Arts Trail
The Arts Trail is a year-round, self-guided ‘choose your own adventure’ tour of artist studios and galleries, featuring sculpture, visual arts, photography and more. It’s a great chance to meet some of the artists who give The County its flare.
Related: How to Curate a County Art Collection 🎨
Experience Ontario Culture Days with Alchemy Artists Residency
Temporary public art installations will be on display from September 25 – October 24, 2021 at wineries throughout Hillier as a part of FIELD NOTES by Alchemy Artists Residency, part of Ontario Culture Days 2021 Creatives in Residence. Alchemy’s Table Settings is a powerful project bringing together artists, vintners and vineyard workers together, with the artists bringing healthy and delicious dinners to farm and vineyard workers. The exhibition features sculpture, collage, tactile objects, poetry and painted works inspired by these dinners and collaborations. Find exhibitions at Broken Stone Winery, Stanners Vineyards, Closson Chase Vineyards, Hinterland Wine Company, Casa Dea Estates Winery, Cold Creek Vineyards and Redtail Vineyards. Experience these installations in person, free of charge. Be sure to pre-register here to receive background content on the installation to enhance your self-guided tour (this will be released September 30th).
Browse a Gallery or Two (or Ten!)
The County is fill to bursting with amazing art galleries to suit every style, and many galleries are hosting special exhibitions and sales this fall, like the 7 Artists Outdoor Exhibition and Sale and Treetopia at ANDARA Gallery, which is a bright spot on any art tour in The County with its Crayola-coloured façade and knit-bombed trees.
Related: 25+ Places for Art in Prince Edward County 🖌
Discover the Barn Quilt Trail
Many visitors notice them, but few really know what they’re looking at. We’re talking about barn quilts, one of the most common (and eye-catching) forms of public art in the area. Barn quilts are eight-foot square (and smaller) painted replicas of actual fabric quilt blocks, painted on wooden or MDO boards, then mounted on a barn or other buildings. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is a single pattern square. Barn quilts become rural eye candy glimpsed as we roll down our rural highways, drawing attention to Ontario’s disappearing rural landscapes, timber frame barns, and the family farm. They can also be seen on homes of all kinds in The County.
While you’re more than likely to happen across a barn quilt or two during your visit, if you want to seek them out, be sure to follow the PEC Barn Quilt Trail and discover this unique part of County art and heritage.
Become the Artist
Don’t just come to The County to see art, come here to make it! The Department of Illumination – a local organization dedicated to creating magical arts experiences for everyone – is hosting their annual Scarecrow Festival this October over Thanksgiving weekend, which is a perfect opportunity to make some fall art with the kiddos. In November their Firelight Lantern Festival takes to the streets, bringing light and life to the colder and longer night that settle in at this time of year (stay tuned for details about the 2021 event).
Want to try your hand at encaustic painting? Don’t miss Pause, a special County experience which connects visitors to the healing powers of nature through a meditative forest walk, followed by a studio session at Melt Studio Gallery where encaustic artist Susan Wallis guides guests in creating an original encaustic painting using natural items collected during the walk.
Related: Plan Your Fall 2021 Visit to Prince Edward County
Let us Entertain You
Fancy art of of the auditory sort? Have a laugh with Martha Chaves at the Regent Theatre (presented by Comedy Country), take in the final Saturdays of live music at Karlo Estates (with Alison Joan Borgin Burke(Borgin), Trevor Norris, and the summer performers at their annual Thanksgiving Jam), or attend the annual Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival. Celebrate self-expression by taking in a drag show at The Hayloft or The Grist Mill, or enjoy a film or live performance at The Regent Theatre which has joyfully reopened after being closed since March 2020.
So plan to put a little art into your Prince Edward County visit this Fall. We know you’ll be inspired.
Plan Your Fall 2021 Visit to Prince Edward County 🍁🍂🎃🍎🍻🚲
Prince Edward County may be known for its summers, but Fall in The County has so much to offer travelers of all kinds. Whether you want to get outdoors, reap the benefits of harvest season or simply get into the spirit of the Fall season, we’ve got something for you.
As with every trip to The County, your experience will benefit from a little bit of forward planning. While the Fall is definitely quieter, after a busy summer Prince Edward County businesses change up their hours of operation, so as always we recommend calling ahead or checking social media for the most up to date information.
Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
Book Your Accommodation
While there is more availability to plan a last-minute trip in the Fall, we still recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Explore some of The County’s rental accommodations or if you prefer to camp when it’s quieter (and free of mosquitos!) Sandbanks Provincial Park is open for camping through to the end of October. Whatever you decide, book now so you have the perfect home base for your Fall adventure. Want to visit Sandbanks for a Fall walk? Day-use Vehicle Permit pre-booking continues until the end of the season, so be sure to book up to five days in advance of your planned visit here.
Experience Arts and Culture
Craving a little culture? The County has it in droves. Take a tour of the Arts Trail, a self-guided driving tour and signature experience of professional year-round artist studios and galleries. If you love a peek behind the scenes the annual PEC Studio Tour is on from September 24 – 26 this year, which will take you into the studios of more than 40 artists in the region. Also, Ontario Culture Days Creatives in Residence Alchemy – a Hillier-based artists’ residency – will be taking guests on guided tours of their Table Settings installations and community initiative. Check out the event listing on the Culture Days website for more information and to register for this free event.
Fall is also a great time to immerse yourself in the storied history of The County and there’s no better way to do that than at our museums and historically significant sites. Step back in time with a visit to Macaulay Heritage Park, take in the pioneer village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, or go for an autumnal stroll through the beautiful Glenwood Cemetery – your options are endless!
RELATED: History Takes Flight: A Walking Tour of Macaulay Mountain Heritage Park & Birdhouse City
Savour Fall Flavours
Fall is harvest time, and there’s no better time to sample locally grown flavours at Prince Edward County’s local restaurants and farm stands. Be sure to plan a visit to a farm or two before heading home to take home a County bounty to enjoy, store or preserve. Want a farm-to-table dining experience where the distanced travelled is–quite literally–nil? Book a harvest supper at a local farm, like this harvest tasting experience at Quinta Do Conde or the Harvest Dinner Under the Stars at Vicki’s Veggies.
It’s the thick of harvest season at local wineries, but you can still visit their tasting rooms and bottle shops. Be sure to book your wine tours in advance to avoid disappointment. While you will have to wait a while to sample this year’s grape harvest, expect to see some breweries like featuring beers using this summer’s local hop harvest. Not that into hops? Cozy up with a dark beer in front of a fire pit at one of the region’s many breweries. Parsons Brewing Company is even bringing their own take on Oktoberfest to The County on October 2nd, with specialty brews available for the occasion. If the taste of Fall you crave is more apple-forward, go on a self-guided cider tour or hit up Campbell’s Orchards for some pick-your-own fun.
Hit the Trail
While cycling is an activity enjoyed all year round in The County, the Fall offers the perfect conditions for experienced and recreational cyclists alike. With the roads being quieter than they are at the height of summer and the temperatures cooler, it’s the perfect time to hop on your bike and explore.
The Millennium Trail is one of the best ways to get across The County by bike. Connecting Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Hiller and Consecon, this 46 km, mostly flat trail can get you pretty much anywhere you want to go with just some minor diversions on County roads. Check out this helpful Google Map complete with trailhead and intersection information, and a blog with all of the insider details to help you plan your journey.
RELATED: How to do a Prince Edward County Wine Tour Without Driving
Take in the Views
Want to take in the Fall colours on your trip? Be sure to add Slake Brewing to your itinerary. With their hilltop location, sprawling outdoor space and many fire pits – not to mention their great beer – it’s one of the best places in The County to take in the view.
Another great way to take in The County’s Fall colours is to go for a drive (or a cycle!) down some quieter County roads. The “back forty” of many rural and agricultural areas are forested with maple trees and the roads are lined in Staghorn Sumac, whose leaves turns a brilliant red in early Fall, giving you stunning autumnal colours throughout the season that are a feast for the eyes when on a scenic drive. We’ve mapped out a few popular scenic routes here.
Prepare for the Chill
As we all know, Fall is sweater weather. But when preparing for a tour around The County we recommend that you bring more than just a sweater. While indoor dining will be possible with your Proof of Vaccination, many establishments will be keeping their patios open throughout the Fall for those who prefer to dine outside to enjoy the weather and to maximize capacity for diners and visitors to craft beverage establishments. Come prepared with extra layers and maybe even a blanket or two so you can stay comfortable outside as the weather gets cooler.
So what are you waiting for? Book your Fall trip today and discover the joys and gems of Fall in The County.
See something missing? Have ideas for our blog writers? Contact us at email@example.com
Can’t get to the beach? Here’s what to do instead
- Beyond the Beach. Sandwiched between Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, with many rivers and lakes running through it, Prince Edward County is all about water, with more than 800 km of shoreline and tons of H20-based ways to enjoy it. Here are a few beyond-the-beach ideas for water-playing your way around The County. Here’s how.
- Disponible en français.
- Family friendly activities. The County is kid paradise. In addition to beaches and baseball fields, alpaca farms and apple orchards, there are a wealth of year-round outdoor activities to keep your half-pint County-ites busy. Let’s go!
- Book a tour. Discover lovingly handcrafted wines, inventively brewed beers, deliciously dry ciders, sweet and surprising mead, not to mention the crafty spirits on offer at the distilleries, with a driving, cycling or horse-drawn tour. Find a tour option here.
- Keep the kiddos busy from your own car with our local BINGO card – can you spy all these items in The County?
- Disponible en français
- Restaurant listings. The County’s lucky to have a wide range of options from farm fresh, globally-inspired, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Japanese, Caribbean and more. Looking for a quick bite? A taste of The County’s best culinary? Maybe a few ingredients for a picnic, or a meal to make at home? We’ve got you covered.
- Picnic areas. With physical distancing in effect, if you’re finding it a challenge to snag a patio spot or you just love a summer picnic, here’s where to grab a meal to-go for an al fresco feast.
- Rainy day activities. Into every life, a little rain must fall. Even – gasp! – during a Prince Edward County getaway. If it’s raining in The County, here are some suggestions for where to find the silver lining in those unwelcome grey clouds.
- Millennium Trail. The Millennium Trail is a 46-km multi-use trail perfect for hiking, biking or even horseback riding. Stretching from Carrying Place to Picton, backing onto farmers’ fields and vineyards, it’s a great way to experience the tranquility of The County.
- Public washrooms. Where to pee in PEC. Or use this handy Google map.
Insider’s guide to summer holidays in Prince Edward County
Updated May 12, 2022
The summer of 2020 had its moments, and in 2021 we changed things up a bit to make for a better experience for everyone, through 2022 and well beyond. Here are some insider tips to make your summer experience in PEC a great one.
Not visiting in Summer? That’s okay – in fact, it’s great! Many of these tips still apply and the knowledge will still be helpful as you plan your trip.
Wellington Rotary Beach
Visitors using Wellington Rotary Beach will be charged $10 per person on weekends and holidays starting Saturday May 21, and seven days a week in July in August. to enter up until September 19th. Access is free as of September 20th. You are welcome to bring your own food, but cooking devices must be left at home. There will also be two food vendors on site. There is no reservation system, so it’s first come / first served.
Want to avoid all that? If your swimming skills are decent, consider hiring a charter and use it to get on the water. You can find charter companies and more ways to get on the water here: https://www.visitthecounty.com/do/boating-fishing/
RELATED: Reserve Now, Relax Later
Wellington Rotary Beach Boat Launch
The ramp at Wellington Rotary Beach will have limited access on weekends and holidays. The ramp will be unavailable for launch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boats returning to shore during those hours will still be able to leave the water using the ramp. These limits on ramp hours are to help manage parking, visitor volumes and safety at the beach.
Parking fees at Boat Launches
Like last year, there is a $20 parking fee for vehicles with trailers, and a $10 fee for vehicles alone, at all municipal boat launches. That means kayakers, canoeists and SUPpers will need to pay $10 to park at a municipal launch. Single-day parking permits can be purchased through the Mackay Pay app. The list of pay zone numbers for the boat launches can be found online, or posted at the launch. Single-day permits are also available for in-person purchase at the Edward Building or any library branch.
Hot tip: Download the app from MacKay Pay. It’s the paid parking system used across The County. Pay by app in rural or remote areas; pay by machine in Picton. Find it at Google Play or the Apple Store.
If you’re intending to make frequent use of municipal launches, you may consider purchasing a season’s pass, good for the entire 2022 calendar year, for $100+HST. Permits can be purchased online on The County’s website, or in-person at the municipal customer service desk at The Edward Building (280 Picton Main Street, Suite 103), or at any Prince Edward County Library Branch. Permits will be mailed to the buyer, or can held for pick up at the Edward Building or any PEC Library Branch by request. Permits can also be purchased in person at the Edward Building or any library branch. Please have your name, number, address and email at the ready, as well as the licence plate for the vehicle you’ll connect to the pass.
RELATED: Summer 2022 Visitor Checklist
New No Parking Zones
Fines of $400 are now being applied to several areas where parked vehicles presented challenges to the flow of traffic and/or access for emergency vehicles. See the maps, below, for more detail. Please adhere to posted instructions on signs. These No Parking zones are active seasonally, from May 1 – October 31.
Disobeyed parking signs and got a ticket? Pay via https://www.thecounty.ca/residents/make-a-payment/parking-tickets/.
Unless you’re booked into a campground, skip setting up a sneaky tent or stealing down a sideroad with the RV. Fines have increased to $500, and additional bylaw officers will be out enforcing these rules. Book ahead, or look north to our friends in Bay of Quinte. They’re a nature enthusiast’s paradise, and they’ve got lots of ideas for where to camp here.
Little Bluff Conservation Area has re-opened, with an improved parking area, signage, dedicated staff, washrooms and an entrance gate. Fees to enter Little Bluff are $15 per vehicle during the summer months and return to normal rates after Labour Day. However, the conservation area will close once at capacity and the parking lot holds just 30 vehicles.
Daily Vehicle Permits are back at Sandbanks and North Beach Provincial Parks for 2022. If you visited last year you will be familiar with this process, but if you’re visiting for the first time or need a refresher, read on.
Daily Vehicle Permits must be booked in advance for day-use access to The County’s Provincial Parks and can be booked up to 5-days in advance of your visit. Guests will be turned away at the gate if sold out, so we highly encourage you to take advantage of this service to avoid disappointment.
Fun Fact: Sandbanks was sold out approximately 60 days between mid-June and August last year. North Beach was sold out 30 days.
If you are a season’s pass holder you still need to book a Daily Vehicle Permit in advance, but this will be free of charge. For non-season’s pass holders regular rates apply daily. They are available for booking at North Beach 5 days in advance of its opening on June 11. Daily Vehicle Permits are already available for booking at Sandbanks. So…
✅ Book up to 5 days in advance online at reservations.ontarioparks.com
✅ Secure a permit for each vehicle that will be visiting the park.
✅ Reserve whether you plan on visiting the beach or walking the trails.
✅ Book a Daily Vehicle Permit even if you are a season’s pass holder.
✅ Explore beyond the beach. Browse things to do in PEC here.
❌ Visit the park without booking a Daily Vehicle Permit in advance, especially on weekends from mid-June through August.
❌ Choose to come to Sandbanks or North Beach for a spontaneous day trip.
❌ Get turned away. Book in advance.
To reserve your Daily Vehicle permit head to reservations.ontarioparks.com and click the Day Use tab.
Like last summer, Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park will have dedicated staff on site to enforce parking. To park for up to two hours, the fee is $3. To park up from two to four hours, the fee is $6.50.
For info on beach closures and other updates, follow Sandbanks, North Beach, Quinte Conservation, Wellington Rotary Beach and Glenora Ferry.
Maps for Public Washrooms, Picnic Areas, Information Spots
Wanna know where to go when you gotta go? We’ve got a map for that. Find more info here: visitpec.ca/washrooms/
Wanna feast al fresco? We’ve got a map for that too. Find more info here: visitpec.ca/2020/06/24/where-to-picnic-in-prince-edward-county/
Ready for a ride but not ready for the road? We’ve got a trail for that. The Millennium Trail goes clear across The County, a total of 46 km. It’s a former rail bed, so it’s mostly flat, and has been rehabilitated by a remarkable team of volunteers to fairly smooth too. Find a map of its highlights here, and a blog with everything you need to know here.
Try The County way of life
Last summer was hard on everybody. A few visitors got fed up and frustrated and did things we wished they hadn’t. As a host community fearful of the COVID virus, sometimes we weren’t as welcoming as we’d normally be. The pandemic got to all of us. This summer, our goal is to “Be More County,” and we hope you’ll try it too.
What’s that mean?
Be more County by:
• Slowing down. On roads, through a meal or through the day
• Spreading friendly vibes by doing the neighbourly thing: wave in traffic, give tractors and cyclists space on the roads, share the sidewalks
• Leaving park paths, shorelines, forest floors and waterways better than you found them
• Remembering that farms, parks and beaches are carefully managed eco-systems, not just awesome Instagram backdrops
• Remembering that sound travels beyond tables and fences, across tasting rooms, landscapes and bodies of water… and even in the dark
• Being patient, flexible and kind
And hey, if you can wait to visit, you WILL be rewarded. Fall is when The County truly shines. Consider a mid-September or October visit, when the humidity drops, the bugs go away and the crowds thin. Trust us: it’s magic.