I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust. A slight discontent if I am still too long. There is a craving to continually learn something new and explore.
Given this craving, I cannot explain why I have not explored the area around my new home. It is, after all, a tourist destination with plenty of places to explore. I’m finding this trend of travelling outside one’s place of residence (instead of looking within) is quite common amongst my friends. Living in a place does not mean that you know it. It’s one of those things where the “do it later” placidity occurs because there is always more time. Or perhaps the common is less exciting so we chose to go further afield when we have chunk of free time.
As I entered City Hall yesterday to set up my utilities account, I realized that it was my first time I had gone inside the building. After living here for 2 years, I only entered it because I was forced to visit! Kingston City Hall is a designated historical building. Besides the beautiful architecture, I saw that it has a lovely interior and brushed up on my knowledge about Canada’s most prominent Founding Father, Sir John A. MacDonald.
This experience has made me aware of the interesting places right at my doorstep. While big trips outside of Canada will always interest me, I do plan to explore areas within and close to my home. First off, Prince Edward County.
PEC, as it is now called, once a sleepy area is now a hotspot given its location along the water (think Sandbanks Provincial Park), rural beauty (vineyards and flower fields with lilac bushes lining the roads in the spring), cultural capital (antiquing, studies and galleries) and the chance to wander at one’s own pace. It also accommodates various interests for those who wish to do a day trip, a week away or to spend a week or more in nature. On to the nitty gritty…
Rent or borrow a car to give you freedom to stay and wander as long as you please.
If departing from Kingston, Ontario, I suggest taking the 401 series highway to the southernmost point that you wish to visit and then meandering northeast. Take the Glenora Ferry back (the ferry ride is free).
Places to Visit
Food & Drink (there are many places to visit but here are the ones we liked):
Norman Hardy Winery and Vineyard, Wellington
Hinterland Wine Company, Hillier (sparkling wine)
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., Picton
Natural and Outdoors
Sandbanks Provincial Park- swimming, hiking (NOTE: spring/summer 2017 this site is experiencing high water levels).
Prince Edward County Lavender (note, the lavender festival is early July)
Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park- a day use only park
Wellington Adventure Playground (if you have kids!)- See this review. I suggest taking your children to Slickers for an ice cream cone and then planning to spend at least an hour at this park (it is hard to get them to leave!).
Places to Eat
Enid Grace Café, Wellington
Norman Hardy Winery and Vineyard, Wellington (get the thin-crust pizza)
Drake Devonshire, Wellington
The Miller House Café and Brasserie, Picton (beautiful views overlooking Lake Ontario)
Country Road Beer Company, Hillier (a good choice for a casual lunch and a beer)
Slickers County Ice Cream, Bloomfield
Places to Sleep
The June Motel – Admittedly, I didn’t stay here but the place looks so interesting. It’s an updated motel with a trendy design and flow. Here is the inspiration and story behind The June Motel. Also labelled as a chic retreat.
Sandbanks Provincial Park- camping
Bed & Breakfasts: there are loads of B&B’s in PEC but I have not reviewed these here.
A Place I would like to Visit Next Time:
SHED Chetwyn Farms - self-described as "is a modern-day farm shop located in Prince Edward County– specializing in alpaca yarns and related product". See Rural Allure by Nathalie Atkinson for a review.
Have you visited Prince Edward County? What are your favourite places? Comment below!