Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1814: Forty Two Hours in Prince Edward County or A Wine Tour of Loyalist Ontario
By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2010
Page 3 of 3: If You Go
A selection of cheeses from Prince Edward County
The focus of our time in Prince Edward County was a wine tour. As Canadians living only a short drive away, our wine purchases were not constrained by Canada Customs rules or airline baggage restrictions - a pleasant change from most of our travels.
We visited a fair sampling of the wineries in the area. One that we missed and would be on our list next time will be Waupoos Winery, not so much for the wine as for the beautiful location on the south shore, with great views overlooking Lake Ontario - a very pleasant setting for lunch at the restaurant on the property.
In addition to the wineries in the county, there are a couple of other specialty producers in the area: County Cider Company & Estate Winery, for the well-regarded apple cider and Barley Days Brewery, a microbrewery in Picton.
There is also a well-marked Arts Trail. Biking in small or large groups is an ideal activity. We encountered several cycling excursions enjoying the perfect weather. While a lot of the groups make all the arrangements themselves, the Bloomfield Bicycle Company offers a wide range of services which might be useful for first-time visitors. The county is obviously popular with women for a getaway weekend. There were several groups of women at the Merrill Inn during our time there and we encountered more when we were out and about. And of course we also met some small groups on golf outings in the county, although the number of courses in the county itself is quite limited.
Prince Edward County is also home to a great family resource. Sandbanks Provincial Park features fantastic beaches, over 500 campsites, easy access to canoeing, swimming, hiking, fishing, boating and many other activities.
Prince Edward County is easily accessible from the 401 and the American border crossing at Ivy Lea near Gananoque. It is about equidistant from the major Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal. A car is all but essential for getting to the area.
In addition to the Merrill Inn, there are several other places to stay - inns, resorts, B&B's in Picton and beyond. The Merrill Inn is at or near the top of the rating/price structure in the area. Another highly rated option is the nearby Brown's Manor Bed and Breakfast.
It has been almost a decade since our last visit to Prince Edward County. It won't be nearly as long until we return again.
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