Beaches, food, and wine. Everybody knows Prince Edward County is the go-to destination for an unforgettable day of wine tasting and vineyard tours, but that only scratches the surface of what the PEC has to offer. Summertime in the county presents endless opportunities for adventures the whole family can enjoy and cherish forever. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day on Lake Ontario or lying on the beaches basking in the sun, amazing food, golf, chartered fishing, vacation rentals, cider, or breath-taking sunsets, PEC is the destination you’re looking for.
Long before Prince Edward County was designated as THE spot for a relaxing retreat and wine, the county was known for its military base, agriculture, and architectural development. Instead of growing grapes, the gravelly limestone soil assisted PEC farmers to grow carrots, peas, and peaches which in the 1800s led PEC to be known as the “Canning Capital of Canada”, supplying one-third of all canned goods in North America and the United Kingdom.
Fast forward a couple hundred years, Prince Edward County planted its first grape seeds in 1993 in an experimental trial to see what could be grown in the area, and in 2001 with having officially opened its first vineyard; Waupoos Estate Winery and Restaurant. Today PEC is home to many around 40 privately owned vineyards and is growing year by year.
Let’s take a tour of some of our favourite places to go and things to do in the County:
Starting the list with the first Vineyard of the County Waupoos Estates in Cressy. Waupoos Estates’ showroom was built from the ground up in 2001 with many large windows to show off the spectacular views overlooking the Prince Edward Bay that you can enjoy on their alfresco patio from May-October. Waupoos Estates is situated on a 100-acre plot of land that thrives on the concept of “farm to table” that produces most of their own produce and protein to offer restaurant guests the freshest ingredients whenever possible. Waupoos is the go-to for award-winning wines, delicious fine food, and so much more.
Next on your PEC tour, sure to encourage many laughs smiles and splashes is West Lake Watersports. This place seriously has it all. Located at 191 Winns Dr, on West Lake, you will find a massive mirage on the water of blue and yellow inflatable obstacle courses, as well as jet ski, pontoon, fishing boat, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals. WLW has been creating fun on the water since 1988. A perfect day trip to take with the whole family, proximity to many popular vacation rentals in PEC.
Looking to play a round of golf during your PEC stay? Look no further. Picton Golf and Country Club features bent grass greens, dwarf bluegrass fairways and beautiful views of the bluffs looking over Prince Edward Bay on the 1st and 18th holes with water features on another 8 holes. Each hole features 4 sets of tees ranging from 4470 yds to 6129 yds, offering a challenging round for all new and seasoned golfers. Once you finish the round, you’re going to want to check out the golf course’s very own restaurant and event space to grab a bite to eat at The View Restaurant, Bar, and Patio which offers clubhouse favourites and daily specials.
Finally, and this one is one you definitely don’t want to miss, The County Cider Company. This unique business has been specializing in hard cider since 1995. Award-winning apple ciders are crafted with 100% pure juice from apples grown on the family farm and nearby orchards, where they grow 16 different varieties of apples. Their Orchards sit on 40 acres producing roughly 1,600 tonnes of apples each season so they can produce 350,000 litres of cider each year. Stop by throughout the year to sample seasonal offerings and flavours, as well as to try some of the permanent cider staples. The best part though might be the views. Nestled on the top of a hill overlooking Lake Ontario, the County Cider Company has some of the best landscape views in all of PEC.
If you haven’t been yet and are planning on booking an Ontario staycation this summer Prince Edward County is an excellent choice. Consider this your sign to take advantage of the Ontario tax credit and browse away as the County shifts out of hibernation!