Things to do in Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County, otherwise known as PEC, is a wonderful little wine region in Southern Ontario and home of Sandbanks Provincial Park. My mom grew up in this area, and my grandparents still live there. Growing up we traveled there to visit my grandparents and sometimes did some exploring of the area, but It was mostly for family visits and I don't remember a whole lot of the places we did see! So when we were invited for family camping trip with my boyfriend's family- I was super excited! I had never explored the area as an adult and it felt like the first time there. There were so many cute shops, historical homes to dream about and so many wineries. This area definitely has vibes similar to niagara on the lake but more country and quant! In this blog I'll be sharing some things that we did and some suggestions that might inspire your next PEC trip.
Go Camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks Provincial Park is located on Lake Ontario near Picton, Ontario. It is known for having some of the best beaches in ontario, for its impressive sand dunes- some reaching up to 82 feet high! We started our PEC trip with 2 nights of tent camping in Richardson's Campground at Sandbanks Provincial Park, a section of the park that allows dogs. We had to take Navi of course! As seasoned campers, this section was honestly more crowded then what we usually go for. Sites were very close together with no privacy between, and you could definitely hear things like your neighbour snoring in their tent next to yours...lol! HOWEVER- besides that, it was great. The park was beautiful, we enjoyed bonfires, watching the fireflies dance under the full moon and even saw some shooting stars. Talk about magical!
Swim at the Beach
Sandbanks is known for its beautiful beaches and impressive sand dunes. There are three main beaches at Sandbanks- Dunes Beach, Outlet Beach and Lakeshore Beach. Dunes Beach is the main beach with the most impressive dunes, and right beside the location of a great loop hiking trail- the Dunes trail (I'll share more on that next). Outlet and Lakeshore have designated areas for dogs, so we spent lots of our time at Outlet Beach. Navi loves swimming and did really well even though there were lots of other dogs to potentially bark at haha.
Take a Hike
There are a ton of hiking trails within Sandbanks. A list of all the hiking trails in the park can be found on the Ontario Parks website here. We decided to the Sandbanks Dunes Trail as it was right beside Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park. It was a great hike just over 2 km long, runs in a loop through the largest dune system in the world and unique has unique wetlands.
Go Treasure Hunting and Antiquing
We love hunting for treasures especially when we are away from home. On a typical Saturday at home we can usually be found garage saling - and this trip was no different. We went for a little road trip around PEC and hit up some amazing garage sales. We even found one being held in the old barn of a former firefighter chief. He had boxes and boxes of amazing memorabilia to sift through. It's fun to find cool things to purchase, but I also just love looking at peoples old items that hold so many memories, stories and history.
We also went to two antique shops that we couldn't recommend enough. The first one was called Hand Works located in Bloomfield. At first we drove past it, confused about what it was but it definitely sparked our interest because we turned around to check it out. I'm so glad we did! This magical place is run by artist Tammy Love and has so much to offer. Not only is it an antique shop, but also has hand made works, has a beautiful historical home that has been converted into an airbnb called The Outside Inn (that I hope to stay at next time!), and is also the home of Sparkbox Gallery. This shop is open 24 hours a day and self sustaining. The shoppable goods can be found outside the house on the porch, through the magical yard and in these lovely bunkie structures made completely out of reclaimed materials. When you would like to purchase something, there are signs with instructions placed about the property on how to send an e-transfer or paypal for your items. Talk about honor system! Sparkbox gallery is run in a similar fashion- all the art is displayed in a structure, and you simply window shop. If you would like to learn more about an artist on display or purchase a work, you can scan a QR code which brings you to different web pages. How stinkin' cool is that?
The second antique shop is quite the instagram famous spot- known as Dead People's stuff. This eclectic antique shop is also located in Bloomfield and a real must see stop. We loved looking at all their treasures and picked up a cute little ceramic village made in England!
Eat, Drink and be Merry
One of our main priorities when on a trip is finding unique and memorable places to eat. This trip was no different! With so many local restaurants, wineries and breweries in the area, it was so hard to choose where to go! We tried to get a little bit of everything in, and of course have an excuse (and long list in tow) for when we visit again! Here are some places that we visited and loved:
- Have some pizza and beer at 555 Brewing Co! They offer many unique flavours and gluten free options. We highly recommend the pickle pizza, regretfully not pictured.
- Wine tasting at Huff Estates. You can sip wine while you wander through the beautiful sculpture garden, featuring beautiful flowers and vegetation as well! All the best things!
- Try an array of ciders at Crimson Cider Co, located on a beautiful old farm with an old stone house. They even have a cider slushie tasting flight! I opted for the blended one all in one.
- Beer tasting at the highly aesthetic brewery, Matron. Located inside an old glass blowing warehouse nestled in some farmland
- Prince Eddy's is definitely the hip and cool brewery in the area with top notch flavours and vibes
- Eat at the instagram famous, The Vic Drive-In. Come for the pastel retro dreamland, stay for the eggs benny and tater tots
Daydream at all the Historical Homes
I am a true lover of old century homes. I love old farmhouses, and victorian homes the most. They have so much character, charm, and little details that you just don't see in new builds. These places hold stories, memories and history in their walls passed down through generations. Here are a few houses that I was drooling over so you can get lost in a little day dream too:
Here's a Google Map of all my recommendations and stops to help plan your trip to PEC:
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