What to Do in Prince Edward County

Enjoy great food, excellent wine and sandy beaches

Beautiful beaches in Prince Edward County
Beautiful beaches in Prince Edward County

You’ll find Prince Edward County halfway between Ottawa and Toronto, and just south of Belleville. The county borders Lake Ontario’s north shore and the Bay of Quinte. If you’re driving on the Highway 401 and blink, you’ll miss the exit. This is farm country with a difference.

Here’s what you can do in Prince Edward County if you have a long weekend or more.

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Location map for Prince Edward County
Location map of Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County summary

Best time to visit: Check out Prince Edward County in late spring and early summer when the blooms are out and the crowds haven’t arrived and in fall for the colours and fewer people. Summer is wonderful for biking and beaches but it’s a busy part of Ontario.

Transportation: The best way to explore the county is on a bike or via a car. For the ultimate in flexibility, choose to drive. There is a taxi service called The Taxi Guy in the county which would be good to use if you’d done a lot of wine tasting.

Must do’s in the county: The two not to be missed things to do in Prince Edward County are wine tasting (there is seriously good wine here) and exploring the beautiful trails and white sand beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Go wine tasting

As Beppi Crosariol of the Globe and Mail pointed out some years ago – Prince Edward County has come of age and by this he is referring to the quality of the wines.

With about 40 wineries there is plenty to taste, each with its own character and charm. The bulk of the wineries are in in the western corner of the county by Loyalist Parkway (RR#33) and Belleville Street (RR#2). Buyer beware – some wines are made from grapes grown in the Niagara area.

Lots of wineries to break up the drive in Prince Edward County
Lots of wineries to break up the drive in Prince Edward County
I love the chardonnay from this winery
I love the chardonnay from Closson Chase Vineyards

Take a cooking class at The Waring House

The Waring House in Prince Edward County offer cooking classes on Sundays that focus on lighter offerings. On Wednesday and Thursdays they have classes that feature a sit down dinner along with wine. Try Indian Cuisine, the Mexican Taco Stand or Sushi Basics. Check out their online schedule for lots more offerings.

Go birding in Prince Edward County

Birding is excellent especially during the spring migration. In the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area there are many species to discover in the 518 hectare park. You’ll see lots of waterfowl, raptors and song birds there.

Be sure to visit the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, a migration research station open to the public. There are opportunities for bird banding and even monarch butterfly tagging in the fall.

"Bird houses in a park near Picton"
Bird houses in a park near Picton

Follow the Arts Trail in Prince Edward County

Stop at one of the 29 galleries or studios on The Arts Trail. You’ll find everything from pottery to blown glass, jewelers, blacksmiths, photographers, hand made furniture, and lots of painters.

It’s a great way to meet the artist and throw your support behind the local community.

Visit La De Dah Sculpture Studio, the Mad Dog Gallery and the Oeno Gallery. Don’t forget your credit card!

 Be sure to include a stop at the Oeno Gallery
Be sure to include a stop at the Oeno Gallery
Stop in at numerous artist's homes around the county
Stop in at numerous artist’s homes around the county

Visit Sandbanks Provincial Park

Head for Sandbanks Provincial Park with some towels and a picnic basket. It’s one of the top things you’ll want to do in Prince Edward County.

The park is home to the worlds largest baymouth barrier dune formation, three large sandy beaches, and lovely warm swimming water that is perfect for families. It’s also got a good number of walking trails. Try some windsurfing or sailing too.

There is camping in Sandbanks Provincial Park from late April until late October every year. There are also daily interpretive programs in the summer months that will appeal to families.

Sandbanks location map
Sandbanks location map
Beautiful beaches in Prince Edward County
Beautiful beaches in Prince Edward County
Visit Prince Edward County in the off-season for quiet beaches
Visit Prince Edward County in the off-season for quiet beaches
These beaches are crowded on a summer weekend
These beaches are crowded on a summer weekend

Explore Prince Edward County by bike

Rent a bike in Picton or Bloomfield and head off with one of their bike maps to explore the quiet back roads of Prince Edward County.

With short distances between towns and attractions, it’s easy to cover a lot of Prince Edward County in a day. Strong cyclists could easily bike 100 kilometres and include all the highlights. But this part of the world deserves to be explored at a slower pace – especially with all the diversions possible.

There are only a few roads you need to avoid in Prince Edward County. Highway 33 and Highway 62 can get busy with traffic so they aren’t a lot of fun to cycle.

Every other road is fair game. There may be a few others with no shoulder but chances are they’re quiet and won’t present a problem.

Don’t miss a loop ride from Picton past Lake of the Mountain Provincial Park. The views across Adolphus Reach, a part of Lake Ontario, are extremely pretty.

Carry on via very quiet side roads to Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. for cheese and picnic supplies. Before returning to Picton stop at Waupoos Winery and be wowed by their maple infused icewine.

Also look for the Waterfront Trail which will keep you close to – you guessed it, the waterfront.

Cycle in pastoral countryside past well-tended acreages
Cycle in pastoral countryside past well-tended acreages

Eat your way through the stops on the Prince Edward County Taste Trail

Check out the TasteTrail. Road signs guide you to the 40 plus locations across Prince Edward County.

With a growing craft-beer scene, along with spirits, mead, cider, craft beer and kombucha – you’ll find something locally made to quaff and eat in Prince Edward County. Check out cheese makers, coffee shops and many fine dining restaurants. 

There are weekly farmers markets and places where you can pick your own strawberries and raspberries.

Cheeses from the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co
Cheeses from the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co
Canada's greenest dairy is in Prince Edward County
Canada’s greenest dairy is in Prince Edward County

How about some me time at a spa?

There are now numerous spas in Prince Edward County that have opened in the last few years. Check out The English Rose Spa & Holistic Healing Centre in a historic building overlooking Picton Harbour.

The Manse Boutique Inn and Spa in Picton offers a number of packages along with a hot tub and a saltwater pool.  

Where to stay in Prince Edward County

There are no big brand chain hotels in Prince Edward County, one of the great attributes of the area. You’ll find a full range of accommodation options from camping to glamping to boutique inns along with loads of bed and breakfast suites. Try one of the following.

TheJune Motelis rated as superb. It’s got a cool, retro kind of vibe to it.

TheWaring Housein Picton offers lovely rooms along with a cooking school.

TheDrake Devonshirein Wellington, rated superb, offers free bikes, garden views and a private beach. The rooms are lovely according to my sister-in-law who visited in 2022.

You'll find loads of B&B's in beautifully restored homes
You’ll find loads of B&B’s in beautifully restored homes in Prince Edward County

Further reading on things to do in southern Ontario

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Things to do in Ontario's Prince Edward County in summer

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