Looking for a reason to get out of Toronto? Plan a Prince Edward County road trip, and visit a municipality full of natural splendor, history, sightseeing, food, and more.
It may be a rural getaway, but this corner of the world is far from lazy afternoons spent on the porch. On one hand there are the shores of Lake Ontario and rugged forests to explore, with a full gamut of culture, shopping, and leisure on the other.
Why keep the experiences all to yourself? Travel with a group! There’s more than enough to go around, so grab your friends, family, or coworkers together and plot a course for any one of this region’s nine townships: Ameliasburgh, Hillier, Wellington, Sophiasburgh, Bloomfield, Sandbanks, Picton, Waupoos, or South Shore. Make the journey a snap with charter bus company rentals in Toronto.
1. The Fresh Produce
Seasonally speaking, sunnier months in Canada have always provided a wealth of farmer’s markets to visit for some of the freshest produce around. They’re great places to sample local vegetables and fruits, an easy stop ‘n’ shop when outfitting for a picnic or cooking up a storm. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of spots to choose from, but you should focus on the cream of the crop (pun intended).
A 2 hours and 10 minutes bus ride from Toronto, you’ll find The Wellington Farmers’ Market. It’s a gathering place with live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a ton of delicious wares, as well as a lot of handmade craft vendors.
2. The Views
While earthly delights abound out in the country, natural splendor can’t go unaccounted for. Whether it’s inland or out on the shore, Prince Edward County offers a lot in the way of bucolic landscapes. In terms of hiking trails, provincial parks and conservations area such as Sandbanks Provincial Park (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto) and Macaulay Mountain (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto) provide opportunities for off-road experiences in both and summer and winter. As for the scenic stretches, check out spots like the parks around Bellville (2 hours from Toronto) or Lake on the Mountain (2 hours 30 minutes from Toronto) for laid-back camping.
3. The Wining & Dining
Ontario wine has experienced a renaissance in the last two decades, culminating in a wide selection of vineyards to tour and taste. Prince Edward County may be a young gun in terms of winemaking, but there are close to 40 wineries in action with new ones opening each year. Each has its own share of beautiful landscapes and laps of luxury.
A 2 hours 3 minutes bus ride from Toronto you’ll find CASA-DEA Estates Winery. This 65-acre vineyard is planted to Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Their restaurant, La Pergola Restaurant & Patio, serving Italian inspired food made with locally sourced ingredients is located at the winery and overlooks Casa’s wondeful main vineyard.
4. The Art
Everywhere you go in Prince Edward County, there’s art to discover. The disciplines of local artists here range from painters to glassblowers, sculptors to photographers. The best way to see them all is to organize a tour that follows the Arts Trail, which combines a selection of 20 different galleries, and a Taste Trail to compliment. Together, this makes for both food for thought and food for the soul. There’s such a wide variety of options that this kind of trip is more of the choose-your-own-adventure variety. Travel times will vary, but the level of intrigue won’t.
5. The Brews
What’s more Canadian than beer, eh? Seriously though, Ontario’s got a brazenly large selection of both craft and not-so-craft beers to sip and suck back, and Prince Edward County’s got breweries upon breweries to pick from ever since it experienced its beer boom several years back from the time of writing this.
A 2 hours 10 minutes from Toronto, you’ll discover Barley Days Brewery. More than a decade in action, they produce a wide portfolio of beers with particulars that are highlighted like a Sugar Shack Ale made with syrup from Waupoos. A good spot to stay too with their rentable farmhouse.
6. The Finds
Ever wonder where some folks in Toronto manage to find old country antiques? To avoid the markups found in the city, trips out to counties have the best the province has to offer. That includes furniture, trinkets, clothes, historical emphemera; you name it! For more of a mid-20th century vintage feel to your finds, you might want to try MacCool’s Re-Use (2 hours 15 minutes from Toronto); for furniture and relics of a bygone cottage country, consider visiting the hilariously named Dead People’s Stuff (2 hours 10 minutes from Toronto); and finally, for the best of both worlds of retro goods and farmhouse finds, take a trip to Frugal & Company (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto).
7. The Tunes
Toronto may be a mecca of music for Canada, but going out to the country provides a lot of soulful material to enjoy as well. Break out your dancing shoes or ease into an Adirondack as you listen in to some of the best in acoustic tunes.
A 2 hours 15 minutes bus ride from Toronto, you’ll be able to enjoy live music at The Acoustic Grill. It’s a top location when it comes to combining food (much-loved burgers), drink (brews galore), and music. Check out their live music calendar for the touring professionals taking to the stage.
8. The T-Time
While there’s lots of tough terrain to explore in Prince Edward County, there is a lot of manicured golf courses to enjoy as well. Whether you’re a duffer or a pro, there’s every option under the sun to enjoy, ranging from easygoing nine-holes to challenging eighteen-holes. Each township has its own perks: There’s the championship course offered by the Picton Golf and Country Club (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto), the well-conditioned but challenging 150 acres of woodland at the Barcovan Golf Course (1 hour 45 minutes from Toronto), and the Wellington on the Lake Golf Course (2 hours 5 minutes from Toronto) which gives an varied mix of styles of links across its whole course in the heart of wine country.
9. The Beach
The best beaches in Canada await by Lake Ontario. Featuring fine golden sandy shores and calm waters, and lined with lucious trees, Sandbanks is perfect for beach bunnies, water-sport addicts, camping enthusiasts, and pretty much everyone who loves nature and sunshine.
10. The Fun
When looking for good reasons to take a group out to the county, festivals are likely the best bet of them all. Not to knock all the other reasons on this list, but seasonal festivities provide a great scattershot of entertainments, good for families and friends alike. There’s always some kind of party to attend, especially when the sun comes out. Every year in late August a Country Jamboree is held in Cherry Valley (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto); mid-August brings the smoother vibes of the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival (2 hours 20 minutes from Toronto); and just all-around fun await at the Annual Elvis Festival at the Waupoos Winery, now in its seventh year (2 hours 30 minutes from Toronto).
Ready, set, road trip!
Whatever your fancy, there’s something for everyone within only a couple hours’ worth of traveling outside of the city. The country gives a certain ambiance that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else, and meant to be collectively enjoyed
Get an estimate on bus rentals from Toronto by requesting a quote here.