From exploring award-winning wineries and vineyards to basking on the sun-kissed beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park, this region promises an unforgettable summer adventure.
Immerse yourself in the county’s vibrant arts and culture scene, meander through picturesque towns like Picton and Bloomfield and savour the farm-to-table culinary delights that have put this area on the map.
No matter how long you’re visiting, with its diverse range of activities, festivals and outdoor pursuits, Prince Edward County in August is a haven for wine enthusiasts, nature lovers, art aficionados and anyone seeking a memorable vacation in a picturesque setting this month.
Here are just a few of our top picks worth checking out while you’re here.
Some ideas for things to do in Prince Edward County in August:
Visit Prince Edward County Wineries
With close to 40 wineries and counting, PEC is on its way to establishing itself as one of the top wine regions in Ontario.
Just 175 km from Toronto, you’ll find a broad range of grape varieties growing in the sprawling cool-climate vineyards here, including Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Although it’s a fairly new region (the first grapes were planted at Waupoos in 1993), many of the area’s wineries have become award winners on the international stage, making it clear that this area is one to contend with.
While you’re here, it’s certainly worth going on a Prince Edward County wine tour to see for yourself why so many people are drawn to the region.
Not only will you get the chance to learn about the winemaking process from the producers themselves, you’ll get to tour the vineyards for yourself and sip the fruits of their labour amidst breathtaking scenery and serene landscapes.
But if you’re unfamiliar with the area as a visitor, the task of selecting where to begin may seem daunting. Each winery in this enchanting region possesses its own unique specialties, distinctive character, and irresistible charm, presenting a tapestry of choices for exploration. It can be a tough choice!
Our wine tours take out all the guesswork – and the driving – so all you need to do is sip, sip, and sip some more.
|The County Wine Essentials Tour|
|The County Unveiled Tour|
|The Bachelorette Tour|
|The County Trio Tour|
A new addition to our roster is the Sip and Cycle Bike Tour, which allows you to experience the excitement of a guided wine tour by bike in Prince Edward County.
Don’t worry if you’re not a pro cyclist. As long as you have a love for wine, you’re ready to roll. Our experienced local guide and cyclist will lead the way as you pedal your way along the serene Millennium Trail and picturesque country roads. You’ll also visit the Chetwyn (Welsh for “little cottage on twisted road”) Alpaca Farm.
Altogether, it’s just a leisurely 18-20 km ride, spread out over six hours.
We like to take our time, especially when wine is involved.
Explore Sandbanks Provincial Park
Known for its picturesque dunes and soft, white sand, Sandbanks Provincial Park has become known as one of Canada’s top beaches.
In fact, thousands flock here each summer (over 800,000 made their way here in 2020 alone), so when you see numbers like that, you know you’re in for something special.
The park has three beaches for visitors to choose from:
- Outlet Beach, located in the East Lake sector of the park
- Sandbanks beach, located in the Sandbanks day use area off Lake Ontario
- Dunes Beach, located in the Dunes day use area off West Lake
Outlet and Sandbanks beaches are popular among families with their gradual drop-offs, so if you’re traveling with wee ones in tow, this is where you’ll want to head. If you’re a more experienced swimmer (who also appreciates some spectacular scenery) head to Dunes Beach, which has a steep drop off. Just make sure you use extra caution.
Traveling with a pet? There are two pet-friendly areas, one at Sandbanks and one at Outlet Beach, where the Outlet River meets Lake Ontario. Just keep your pet on a maximum two-metre leash at all times and away from designated swimming areas.
Now, while admittedly most people come for the beaches, there are plenty of other activities to check out while you’re here that don’t involve sand and swimsuits. And we highly recommend trying out one or two of them.
While you won’t find any dedicated bicycle trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time on two wheels. Cyclists are able to freely explore the park along the campground’s roads. And with the park covering a little over 15 km, there’s ample exploring to do.
Beyond the borders of the park, Prince Edward County is a favourite among cyclists. With its scenic beauty, bike-friendly infrastructure, and gently rolling hills, cyclists of all skill levels love it here.
Our advice? Use the opportunity to venture between the area’s many wineries, breweries, and cideries.
Watch the Birds
Sandbanks offers great birding opportunities, especially during the spring and fall migration. Here, you can find everything from the Canada Goose, to Ruffed Grouse, Killdeer and Turkey Vultures. Grab a bird checklist at the Visitor Centre to see what you can spot.
While you can’t bring a powerboat near the swimming areas or the beach, boats are allowed on Lake Ontario and East and West Lake. You’ll find a boat launch located in the Outlet River A Campground. (Just note it’s only suitable for boats less than 18 feet.)
You’ll love the pristine waters and beautiful scenery and the ample opportunities to drop anchor and enjoy some swimming.
If you’re after a connection with nature, strap on some hiking boots and prepare to explore the park’s six trails, each varying in length and difficulty. Head to Sandbanks Provincial Park’s website for a list of all the trails and what you can spot along the way.
Hoping to land a lunker? East and West Lake are both popular fishing spots for Yellow Pickerel, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and various pan fish. Drop your line and test your luck.
Discover Arts and Culture
Prince Edward County boasts a vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene that captivates locals and visitors alike.
The county’s picturesque landscapes and charming small towns serve as inspiration for a diverse range of artistic expressions, and so you’ll find everything from galleries showcasing contemporary art to artisan studios displaying exquisite craftsmanship. Trust us, there’s an abundance of talent to explore.
Check Out the Prince Edward County Arts Trail
The Prince Edward County Arts Trail is the perfect starting point.
Since its inception in 2008, the Trail has evolved into an essential year-round, self-guided experience that attracts countless visitors.
Serving as a bridge connecting art enthusiasts, collectors and buyers, the Trail gives you the opportunity to discover a diverse array of professional creators and curators.
To plan your visit, simply download the Arts Trail Guide and Map or grab a copy from various locations across the county, and keep an eye out for the distinctive blue PEC Arts Trail signs that mark member locations.
Prepare to be captivated by an impressive range of artworks spanning different mediums and price points, including sculpture, paintings, photography, woodwork, prints, mixed media, furniture, glass, fabric, ceramics and more.
There are also plentiful exciting openings, lectures, demonstrations, workshops and events offered by individual members, so be sure to check their websites for details before your trip.
Visit the Regent Theatre
The arts scene goes much beyond the Trail.
If you’re feeling like a movie or live performance, head to the historic Regent Theatre, which is a hub of entertainment in downtown Picton. Here, you’ll find live music and dramatic events that will transport you to another world.
The theatre, with its rich history and charming ambiance, will offer you a captivating escape from reality.
This month, here’s a round up of what’s on:
- Friday, August 11: Brothers Gibb: The Bee Gee’s Story. Tickets are $45.
- Tuesday, August 22: Biglake 2023: Yiddish Soul. Tickets start at $47.
- Saturday, August 26: The Bowie Lives. Tickets are $50.
You can check out the full events calendar here.
Tour Prince Edward County Art Galleries
If you’ve never visited Prince Edward County before, or are just unfamiliar with the region, here’s something good to know: this area is home to a thriving community of art galleries that invite you to discover your next favourite piece.
In fact, if you head to the Prince Edward County Arts Council website, you’ll find more than 70 galleries listed!
While we certainly can’t list them all, here are a few that are taking TripAdvisor by storm:
Established in 2003, this gallery has become known as a distinguished purveyor of contemporary and fine art.
Situated within the enchanting surroundings of Huff Estates Winery, Oeno and its expansive sculpture garden have become a true Prince Edward County destination.
This is a haven for lovers of intricate glass creations.
Resident artist, Mark Armstrong, has always been drawn to glass and its fragile strength. He says that knowing what he makes will endure for generations is what inspires him to create his best work.
“Glassblowing has its own rhythm, the fire, the smoke, and the sweat are almost magical,” he says.
Here, you’ll find everything from large bowls to paperweights, so you can take home something functional that also serves as a piece of art.
Mad Dog Gallery
In a renovated, timber-framed barn, you’ll find traditional and contemporary fine art created by some of The County’s most talented artists here at Mad Dog Gallery. Each brushstroke and sculptural masterpiece tells a story you won’t want to end. When you’re done taking in the art, explore the ground’s 25 acres, complete with beautiful gardens and paths that wind through meadows down to the lake.
Explore Picton’s Main Street
The Main Street of Picton is a charming and bustling thoroughfare (especially in the summer!), that exudes a captivating blend of history, community and vibrant energy.
As you stroll along the street, you’ll find yourself immersed in the heart of the town’s cultural and commercial hub. Lined with an array of well-preserved heritage buildings, you’ll find a collection of quaint shops and boutiques that welcome you to explore the treasures held within.
Here are a few places worth checking out during your August visit:
Slickers Ice Cream
Let’s be real: what’s summer without the simple pleasure of ice cream?
Each rich, creamy scoop at Slickers Ice Cream, made fresh daily in small batches in its licensed dairy, will do the trick when it comes to cooling you off on a hot summer’s day.
Whether you’re in the mood for a velvety vanilla, a decadent chocolate, or something in between, you’ll find it here. In fact, there are more than 100 flavours to choose from.
Word to the wise: If you’re in the mood for a certain flavour, consider calling ahead – they vary day to day.
PEC T-Shirt Company
When the sun is sizzling in Prince Edward County, slipping on a cool and comfortable t-shirt becomes a necessity.
Crafted with care and infused with the essence of this region, each t-shirt from the PEC T-Shirt Company is way more than just clothing…it’s an expression of your love for this beautiful part of Ontario!
555 Brewing Co.
There’s just something about a cold, refreshing beer on a hot summer day. And the brews at 555 Brewing Co. more than deliver.
A craft brewery in the heart of downtown Picton, this popular summer go-to will transport you to a world of flavour.
Pair your sip (doesn’t matter if it’s an IPA, pale ale, or a stout!), with one of the brewery’s famous wood-fired pizzas while you sit on their patio for a truly unforgettable summertime experience in Picton.
Check Out Bloomfield and Wellington
With warm weather, vibrant landscapes and a bustling local scene, they come alive with a host of attractions and events during this summer month.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, culinary delights, cultural encounters, or simply a tranquil getaway, these delightful communities have something for everyone.
Here are a few ideas to kickstart your planning.
Shop Local at The Wellington Farmers’ Market
Located at its new home at The Eddie, The Wellington Farmers’ Market offers a delightful and enriching experience for visitors every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. With a diverse selection of more than 35 vendors, this market is a treasure trove of fresh, locally-sourced produce, artisanal products and delectable treats.
We think you’ll love the chance to chat with friendly vendors, discover new flavours and embrace the vibrant community spirit that thrives in Wellington.
Take a Dip at Wellington Rotary Beach
Escape to the picturesque Wellington Rotary Beach and discover a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Ontario.
This family-friendly and pet-friendly stony beach offers a scenic boardwalk that’s perfect for leisurely strolls.
Complete with convenient amenities such as washrooms, picnic tables, benches, a pavilion, and a boat launch, this beach has everything you need for a day of relaxation and adventure. Grab a picnic from any one of the area’s local restaurants to enjoy a delectable meal while taking in the breathtaking views, or bring your own basket of treats!
While an entrance fee of $10 per person applies on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from the May long weekend until Labour Day, as well as seven days a week in July and August, these fees ensure the upkeep of the beach and facilities, guaranteeing you a pristine and enjoyable experience.
Wander the Main Street
Bloomfield’s Main Street plays host to a collection of unique boutiques and shops that beckon visitors with their irresistible charm and enticing treasures.
From quaint antique stores brimming with vintage gems to trendy fashion boutiques showcasing the latest styles, there is something for every shopper’s taste.
Delight in the pleasure of browsing through one-of-a-kind handmade crafts, locally-sourced products and delightful curiosities that reflect the character and creativity of the community. Whether you’re seeking a special gift, a fashionable statement piece, or simply a memorable shopping experience, Bloomfield’s Main Street promises to captivate your senses and leave you with cherished finds and delightful memories.
See a Movie Under the Stars
On the warm, steamy nights of August, there’s something magical about the combination of a bygone era and modern-day entertainment. Whether you’re cuddled up with a loved one, or reclining in the comfort of your car, The Mustang Drive-In PEC offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and relish the nostalgic charm of outdoor cinema.
August in Prince Edward County: Where Fun, Sun, and Wine Unite for an Epic Summer Escape
As the summer sun shines brightly, August in Prince Edward County beckons with an irresistible array of experiences that promise to create lasting memories. From the picturesque vineyards and wineries of Bloomfield to the sandy beaches and stunning dunes of Wellington, this captivating region offers a wealth of adventures for all.
With its warm hospitality, breathtaking landscapes, and a calendar brimming with festivals and events, now is the perfect time to discover the allure of this hidden gem.
So, pack your bags, embrace the charm of Prince Edward County, and let August be the month you create unforgettable moments in this captivating destination.