Exploring Prince Edward County, Ontario
Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches
For many years, New England was my playground to explore, and, in much the same way, I am now discovering the province of Ontario. Recently, I was off to Prince Edward County, about 2 ½ hours northeast of Toronto, "an island on the northern shore of Lake Ontario where you go to fall in love with food, nature, art and community all over again," says the official tourism site. I stayed with an artist friend in Demorestville, and visited Picton, Wellington, Lake on the Mountain, and Bloomfield. I loved the small towns, field upon field of agricultural use, numerous options for water activity, wineries (there are 30!), artists’ studios, antique stores, old stone buildings, and excellent farm-to-table food.
For wineries, I can recommend Karlo Estates, with its wonderful tasting room inside an historic barn, and Waupoos Estates Winery, overlooking the waters of Prince Edward Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed the local food at the Drake Devonshire Hotel sitting outside on the beach. Also good was The Miller House Cafe, located in a 1796 former residence in Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park, 62 meters above Lake Ontario, with views of the Bay of Quinte below. I found antiquing success at the humorously-named Dead People’s Stuff, where I purchased a set of lovely highball glasses and a set of deep blue snifter glasses for my son (who recently moved into his first apartment in Boston). Lastly, it was off to Sandbanks Provincial Park, with "the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation," and long sandy beaches. I wish I had had more time to walk on the trails and swim in the surf.
Also in Prince Edward County: theater, music, birding, as well as a renowned "Great Canadian Cheese Festival" every June, and a famous August Jazz Festival. The Globe and Mail ran an article recently entitled "Ten new things to see, do, eat and drink in Prince Edward County." It’s definitely a weekend destination I’ll return to.