We absolutely love springtime here in our quiet little part of southeastern Ontario. Being a rich agricultural and viticultural region, spring in Prince Edward County is when a new season of growth begins. Our local farmers prepare their fields for this year’s crops. Wineries will be busy in their vineyards unburying the canes, pruning, and getting ready for another season.
Local businesses involved in hospitality and tourism are busily preparing for the upcoming season. Outdoor patios at restaurants begin to re-open and tasting sessions at local wineries, breweries and cideries move outdoors.
We would love to help you plan your spring getaway to Prince Edward County with these five “must-do” activities.
#1 – Experience The County’s Viticultural Region
Learn a little bit about our local winemaking and grape-growing. Prince Edward County’s cool climate, limestone-rich soils, and unique terroir make The County a perfect location to grow varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
Many of the County’s wineries and vineyards are small, family-run operations that take a hands-on approach to winemaking. Visitors can sample a wide variety of County wines, take cellar tours at some wineries, and attend special events and festivals hosted by various wineries throughout the spring season.
Please view this map of County wineries to plan your next adventure. Remember, do not drink and drive. If you are doing a self-guided wine tour, ensure you have a dedicated driver or enjoy your winery visits by going on a guided wine tour with us. Use promo code BLOG10 to save $10/per person on your next wine tour!
If you prefer to experience a guided wine tour on a bicycle, try The County Wine Tours’ Sip & Cycle Tour. It is the perfect way to enjoy a sunny spring afternoon while sipping some fine County wines.
Hot Tip # 1 – Visit Decanter PEC, at 260 Main Street, Wellington. This cute little wine bar is in the heart of town and features many great local wines. Never know, you might bump into a local winemaker. Decanter is one of their favourite hangouts.
#2 – Try Some of The County’s Other Tasty Beverages
Check out this list of the top breweries in Prince Edward County to visit. If beer tasting is not your thing, perhaps you might want to try some hard cider. Here is a complete list of local cideries that would love to have you drop by for a visit.
Prince Edward County is home to two of Southeastern Ontario’s three distilleries. Both are conveniently located just north of Bloomfield. Kinsip House of Fine Spirits sits on a farm at 66 Gilead Road, is the perfect place for tastings. Everyone, especially the kids, will love their funky peacocks, hens, roosters, and chickens. Not far is Prince Edward County’s second distillery, Stillus Craft Spirits. Not only does Stillus distil great spirits, but guests can also enjoy Ukrainian-styled pierogies and other tasty treats.
Hot Tip # 2 – Not into tasting anything alcoholic? Try tasting vinegar. No kidding. It’s fantastic. Located behind Black Prince Winery, 13370 Loyalist Parkway, Picton, you will find Canadian Vinegar Cellars. Their barrel-aged vinegars are quite pleasant to taste, and their uniquely flavoured vinegars allow food lovers to kick up the tastes of their favourite culinary dishes.
#3 – Visit the Beaches and Hiking Trails at the Sandbanks Provincial Park
We have some beautiful scenery and awesome beaches here in The County too. For generations, visitors have been flocking to this area to visit one of Ontario’s favourite provincial parks, the Sandbanks Provincial Park. Who can blame them? It is a beautiful place to visit.
Sandbanks is home to some of the nicest white sandy beach shorelines you will find anywhere. The main beach, the Outlet Beach, features endless sand and a very gradual drop-off into Lake Ontario. Perfect for the kids. The other beach, the Sand Dunes beach, divides Lake Ontario and West Lake and is the largest freshwater bay mouth sand barrier in the world.
The West Lake side of the Sand Dunes is your perfect outdoor playground at all times of the year. From cross-country skiing in the winter to bird watching, trail hiking, and nature walks with family, nature lovers and friends throughout the year, Sandbanks Provincial Park is the perfect day place for nature lovers of all ages.
If you want to learn more about the Sandbanks Provincial Park, check out our article entitled Everything You Need to Know About Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Sandbanks is not the only provincial park with hiking trails in the area. North Beach Provincial Park west of Wellington and Presqu’ile Provincial Park close to the nearby town of Brighton are two stunning parks offering opportunities for great walks along their woodland hiking trails.
Hot Tip # 3: If you are staying at one of Sandbanks Vacations’ short-term rental properties, entrance to all Ontario Provincial Parks is free of charge if you use one of the complimentary Park Passes that our property owners have purchased for you to use during your stay. You will be happy to see that all rentals offer discounted rates during the spring season as well. Some Sandbanks Vacations’ short-term rentals are even offering a spring “Rent for two Nights and Get the Third Night for Free” special. Better hurry, this special only lasts until April 30.
#4 – Do The Wilson Road Power Tour
From the pier in Wellington, head north on Belleville Road for a short drive or a 20–30-minute bicycle ride to Wilson Road. Turn right and head east for about 1 km. You are now ready to commence the Wilson Road Power Tour.
Gillingham Brewing Company – 1316 Wilson Road. Excellent beer, a great patio, and a selection of delicious appetizers, including fresh oysters. The good folks at Gillingham are always celebrating something. Spring in Ontario, March break, spring break, Easter weekend, Victoria Day weekend, you name it, Christine and Andrew Gillingham will celebrate it with their great beer and delicious foods. Bring your dog too. Gillingham Brewery is pet friendly.
Sugarbush Vineyard & Winery – Just down the road from Gillingham at 1286 Wilson Road is Sugarbush Vineyard & Winery, a boutique-style artisanal winery that produces 2,200-2,700 cases per year of a variety of wines grown exclusively on their 13-acre vineyard. Their superior hand-crafted wines include Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Viognier.
Sugarbush is also a producer of pure Ontario maple syrup each spring. Enjoy great hiking trails through a 7-acre sugarbush at the north end of their 48-acre property. Perfect for the whole family, including the family dog.
Carson’s Garden + Market – 1317 Wilson Road, right across the road from Sugarbush Vineyard & Winery. If you are a plant-lover, you are going to want to drop in for a visit at Carson’s Garden + Market. Carson’s specialty is giving families the skills to grow, harvest and enjoy their very own plant-based foods. Consider it a “Farm-to-Table” experiences right from your own backyard, courtesy of Carson Arthur and his dedicated team.
No trip to Carson’s would be complete without a stop at Flossie’s. Located on-site, enjoy one of Flossie’s hand-crafted specialty sandwiches on their open patio.
The kids will love their visit too. Carson’s is also home to some cool goats.
Hit Tip # 4 – If you go to Flossie’s, get the Gillingham “Buff” Burger, ranked # 2 Sandwich in the County.
#5 – Enjoy a Countylicious Meal at One of Our Fantastic Restaurants
For those of you who are not familiar with Prince Edward County, when you visit, you will be blown away by the variety and quality of the food offered by our restaurants.
If your visit is between April 12 and May 01, take advantage of the exclusive Spring Countylicious menu offerings at participating restaurants. Enjoy three-course pre-fixe menus at some of the region’s top restaurants at a special Countylicious price.
Hit Tip # 5 – If you can, enjoy Countylicious meals multiple times this spring. With so many choices of places to eat and exciting new foods to try. Call it your “culinary research project”. And don’t worry, we heard a rumour saying that all Countylicious meals are calorie-free. How special is that?
We hope that our list of the Top Five “Must-Do” Activities During Your Spring Trip to Prince Edward County has helped you plan your next visit. We want it to be your best visit ever!
If you would like assistance planning your next getaway to Prince Edward County or would like assistance finding your own private place to relax and unwind in The County, please contact a Sandbanks Vacations’ guest services specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.