Prince Edward County ("the County") is a region of southeastern Ontario that juts out into Lake Ontario. With its abundance of water, fresh air, and wide-open spaces, the area has become increasingly popular with visitors, artists and Toronto residents who are buying up plenty of the property in this trendy region.
Prince Edward County is especially distinguishing itself among foodies, with the introduction of organic farms, wineries, breweries and cheese factories. Top chefs have been drawn to the area for the abundance of local goods.
Prince Edward County sits on the northern shore of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario.
Visitors from the U.S. can drive via the Niagara Falls, Buffalo or Alexandria Bay border crossings (see passport requirements).
The closest major airports are in Toronto - about an hour and a half away, Ottawa - two hour's away, and Montreal, which is at least a two and a half hour by car.
There are four entry points to Prince Edward County, all of them in Ontario, and all of them leading to Picton, the main artery of the county.
Prince Edward County Weather and Climate / When to Visit
Prince Edward County weather is about the same as that of Toronto or Buffalo. Summers are warm and humid, fall is cooler with gorgeous fall colors, winters are snowy and cold and spring is warming up but wet.
Summer is certainly the most popular time to visit, with cottagers arriving on weekends and plenty of other visitors arriving to enjoy water activities, camping, biking, and all the other outdoor fun that the County offers.
- In 2010, many of the County's wineries were still young but look forward to more wineries and more mature wines.
- Arts Trail is a journey of the County's many studios and galleries.
- The Waterfront Trail hugs Lake Ontario, stretching from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border - including through the County - along major roads, off-road dedicated paths, and residential streets.
- Taste Trail comprises more than 20 wineries, restaurants, cheese shops, breweries and apple cider producers.
- Antique shopping is popular in the County, with primitive Canadiana pieces especially prevalent
- The County is a natural spot for bird watching as it's a catch-all for migrating birds during spring and fall
Prince Edward County has many B&Bs and cottages to rent, inns and resorts. As the towns are all quite small, at this time there are no major hotel chains. See the full accommodation lineup.
Campers can set up at Sandbanks Provincial Park, but book early. The dunes and beaches of this park are popular and campsites fill up early.
Treefield is a charming country retreat with lakefront views and a lovely proprietor.
Two other popular places to stay include The Waring House and the Claramount Inn.
Eating in Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County has quickly developed a reputation as a destination for foodies. The region is flush with fine restaurants, having attracted some of the country's best chefs for the abundance of local wines, fresh, seasonal produce and other culinary offerings.
Follow Taste Trail for more than 20 of the County's recommended taste treats or check out the complete list of County restaurants.
Some places to consider:
- Buddha Dog great name and superb hot dogs to match.
- Portabella restaurant is a local favourite.
- Blumen is particularly good for groups and in summer - lovely screened in porch area and private gazebo.
- East and Main in Wellington.
- Lake on the Mountain has a stunning location in a charming, heritage building.
Shopping in Prince Edward County
The best shopping in the County is for antiques, artisans' wares, foods, and wines.
Bloomfield has artist's studios and antique shops, such as Dead People's Stuff.
Picton has a charming main street with all the shops you'd expect of a small Ontario town: for example, a bookstore with a cat named Miss Lily (Great sandwiches next door at Miss Lily's café), coffee shops, knick-knack and found treasures stores.
There are supermarkets, hardware stores but the lack of suburban sprawl is part of the County's charm. Big box shopping can be found in Belleville.
Prince Edward County Festivals & Highlights
Family Activities in Prince Edward County
Toronto families have been scooping up property for cottages in the County for about a decade now, so it follows that there is plenty for children and their parents to do.
Sandbanks Provincial Park is a beach with loads of dunes and sandbars that is a delight for kids. Camping is available but book way in advance.
Maple in the County gives visitors the chance to watch the maple-syrup-making process.
Pumpkinfest is an annual October event.