Skip to content

the allons.y


Prince Edward County Travel Guide – What to Do During Off Season

Prince Edward County Travel Guide – What to Do During Off Season

Prince Edward County (PEC) is a picturesque island community on the shores of Southern Ontario and is located about a two hour drive from Toronto. With it’s sprawling wineries, lavender fields, and proximity to the water this is place to get away from it all with very little commute if you live in the city. Peak season of course is summer when everything is in full bloom and the temperature rises to flip flop attire. I’ve heard so much about this magical place but hadn’t really experienced it until recently when I managed to snag a reservation at The Drake Devonshire which I had been dying to stay at ever since it opened three years ago. Of course, the only reason why I was able to get a reservation here is because it was spring time, which is off season in (PEC) as the lush greenery of the wineries and lavender fields are not in full bloom well into warmer summer months.

Being off season it might seem challenging to enjoy all the things PEC has become known for, but after spending some time here myself during off-peak time I can say that there’s still plenty to do that will make you fall in love with this charming locale.

Where to Stay

As I mentioned the reason why I made the trek out to PEC during off-season was because I was absolutely dying to stay at The Drake Devonshire which is consistently booked solid. If you look during off season in spring though you can actually manage to book a room here and trust me when I say you will want to experience this property at least once (hopefully multiple times!) in your life adventures. It has all the comforts that a city dweller would need while still fitting in with it’s serene surroundings. Read about my full stay here, and believe me when I say that this place alone will give you enough entertainment and reasons to visit the County during off season. The beauty about this place too is that it’s open all year round – even in the winter when you can stay cozy by their outdoor fire pit while enjoying a winter wonderland with a front row view of the lake.

Drake Devonshire: Owner's Suite Lounge Area
Drake Devonshire: Owner’s Suite Lounge Area

The Vic Café

The Vic Café is actually located in Picton, Ontario which is just a short 20 minute car ride from Prince Edward County. It’s a great little stop to grab a coffee, pastry, or a light lunch after touring the charming shops of locally made goods that surround it.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Vic Café Interior
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Vic Café Interior

 

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Vic Café Coffee
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Vic Café Coffee

The Courage Bar

The Courage Bar is located right in PEC just a 2 minute walk from The Drake Devonshire. It’s not just a bar though, they also offer up espresso based beverages, pastries, full service brunch on weekends, and lunch and dinner daily. Like everything else in PEC it absolutely oozes with charm and beauty and is also the perfect spot for an evening cocktail.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Courage Bar Seating
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Courage Bar Seating
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Courage Bar Interior
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: The Courage Bar Interior

Norman Hardie Winery

Ok, while I know that winery fields are bare during off season that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the best part of the winery – the wine! While the fields aren’t exactly green during off-peak the wineries themselves are still open and definitely still a must visit as PEC has some of the finest wines Canada has to offer. PEC has some of the most fertile and rich soils in the nation and you can definitely taste it in it’s local vino. During the summer Norman Hardie also offers wood-oven cooked pizza that you can enjoy with a glass or two and you’ll definitely want to come back to try it. While the pizza isn’t available during off-season their wine tastings still are and that is a very very very good thing. For only $1-$2 each you can sample a wide range of 1oz samples from their tasting bar.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Norman Hardie Winery
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Norman Hardie Winery

Slicker’s Ice Cream

Now Slicker’s Ice Cream has two locations, one in Bloomfield on Main Street and one in Picton just a 20 minute drive away. During off-season the PEC Bloomfield location has reduced hours and is open only during certain days of the week, so depending on when exactly you’re in PEC it may not be open. The Picton location though is open seven days a week so if you can’t get to the Bloomfield location you absolutely must visit the Picton location. You need to taste this ice cream. No exceptions. You basically didn’t even go to PEC unless you try out some Slicker’s. It’s THAT GOOD.

Everything is made in-house and churned locally right in PEC. I can honestly say it’s some of the best ice cream I’ve had and I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my life. Some personal favorites are the Apple Pie and the Campfire (which tastes exactly like a roasted marshmallow). The Chocolate Whisky is also good for those looking for a little something extra in this classic treat.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Slicker's Ice cream
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Slicker’s Ice cream

Visit a Farmer’s Market

Like everything else in PEC the farmer’s markets are at their peak during summer when the full range that PEC has to offer is available. That being said the farmer’s markets are still open in spring (although with reduced hours). The same rich, fertile soil that makes PEC the land of wine also makes it prime for some of the finest produce that Ontario has to offer. You’ll never look at a tomato the same again unless you’ve had one straight from the farms that are just steps away.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Farmer's Markets
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Farmer’s Markets

Go Antiquing

Again, hours at reduced at antique shops in PEC during off season but if you plan ahead and give them a call a lot of them are super friendly and willing to open up for you even during closing hours. PEC has some great antiquing opportunities so if you’re looking for some unique pieces with old-school charm then you’ve come to the right place. My personal favorites include Dead People’s Stuff Antiques and MacCool’s Re-Use, which is great for furniture in particular. It’s also on the way to the next must-visit spot in PEC.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: MacCool's Antiques
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: MacCool’s Antiques

Sandbanks Provincial Parks

PEC’s proximity to the water makes it a haven for those wanting to be one with nature and Sandbanks Provincial Park is paradise in Ontario. With it’s nature trails, white sandy beaches, and waters that look downright tropical on a sunny day you’ll swear you’ve been transported to an exotic location outside of Canada.

Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Sandbank's Provincial Park
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Sandbank’s Provincial Park
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Sandbank's Provincial Park
Prince Edward County: Travel Guide: Sandbank’s Provincial Park Beach Area

 

Disclaimer: This post was NOT sponsored. All opinions expressed are my own. All offerings, prices, and information are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to directly to restaurant/shop/location websites for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

 

3 comments

  • Sabrina

    May 13, 2017

    OMG Isabelle! You photos are stunning and you make me want to go back! Especially to stay at the Devonshire but ALSO Vic’s cafe is ADORABLE!!!! Let’s do a girls trip!

    x
    Sabrina
    http://mymiaou.com

    • allons.y

      May 15, 2017

      Yes please!

  • cours de theatre

    June 1, 2017

    I truly appreciate this blog article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

Leave a Reply