A Weekend Guide to Prince Edward County, Canada

September 27, 2017

Places we've been: what we did, 
where we stayed, and what we ate along the way. 

 

Prince Edward County, Canada

 

Hey! My name’s Kristi and I’m the Founder/CEO of Encircled. Over labour day weekend, I escaped the busy city of Toronto for the newest wine and culinary destination in Ontario: Prince Edward County. Here's where I stayed, and what I did in case you find yourself in this part of the world looking for adventure.

This area of Ontario feels like it didn’t really exist until a few years ago when top Toronto chefs started setting up restaurants, and investing in wineries and microbreweries in the area. A small, historical farming region - Prince Edward County is so much more than just that.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

WHERE TO STAY

I was traveling with my 9-month old Goldendoodle Harlow, so we needed a dog-friendly place to stay. My boyfriend and I also wanted a place with a bit more space than just a hotel room, and most importantly, a kitchen to be able to make breakfasts and snacks throughout the day. We found the cutest Airbnb in quaint Picton, Ontario. Picton is on the eastern side of Prince Edward County.

Our Airbnb was called The Ferg, and unbeknownst to us, it was also rated one of the cutest boutique hotels by Toronto Life. Owned by a photographer and an actress, the Ferg was originally built in the 1850s and has been renovated throughout. It feels like, a modern take on a farmhouse.

The Ferg has 3 units and we stayed on the main floor with 1 bedroom. It had a nice kitchen with dining area, living room, bedroom and a porch. It instantly felt like home.

The wide floorboards looked original and all the nice touches you’d expect in a home were all taken care of. My only complaint is the bathroom was tiny! But, that’s Victorian-era houses, right?

The best part of the Ferg was the location. It’s about a block from the main street of Picton, which has cute stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants. There’s two grocery stores within a short walk, and a deluge of local markets. You’ll never go hungry.

I’d definitely stay there again, but if it’s booked - there are many great Airbnb options in PEC. Other popular hotel options in the area include the much Instagrammed June Motel (also near Picton), and the hip Drake Devonshire in Wellington County.


WHERE TO EAT

Prince Edward County is a foodie’s delight. Honestly, it was hard to not eat all the things all the time there and there’s so much good, locally grown produce! My recommendations:

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Best Brunch

THE DRAKE DEVONSHIRE

This boutique hotel is right in the heart of the smaller Wellington County, located on the more western side of Prince Edward County. The Drake Devonshire is right on the water (yes, that’s Lake Ontario) and a seat on the patio gets you a gorgeous lakefront view.

I had one of their famous caesars , and the pancakes. I NEVER eat pancakes at home, but the ones on their menu sounded too good to resist. They were fluffy, light and delicious and came with a local blend of macerated fruit on top.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Best Lunch

NORM HARDIE WINERY

Located on your way into Prince Edward County, the famous Norm Hardie Winery has beenin PEC since 2003. They have a gorgeous patio which faces out onto the vineyards and a wood-fired pizza oven.

We had a local mixed green salad to start and a salami pizza that was to die for. It was so good! The best part is their patio is dog friendly, so Harlow could join us (on the grass) while we noshed on lunch and amazing wine.

The site also boasts some of the nicest (but not the cheapest) wines in the County. I recommend doing a wine tasting at their upstairs bar! There’s a ping-pong table and a playground to entertain the kiddos (and adults) alike.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Best Dinner

BLUMEN GARDEN BISTRO

Located just a few minutes east of Picton, the Blumen Garden Bistro is the number one rated restaurant in PEC - so, we had to try it.

Housed in a cozy renovated one story house, this intimate restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients to create inspired dishes. We started with the soup of the day, a Beet Sweet Potato, and Beef Tartare. For mains, I had the local pan-seared Pickerl, and Bryan had the braised rabbit gnocci. He said it was the best dinner he’s ever had.

Enough said.

I didn’t get any photos inside as they have a no cell-phone policy, but suffice it to say, the food looks as good as it tastes.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Best Night out

THE ACOUSTIC GRILL

Located in downtown Picton, the Acoustic Grill is a patio/bar which features live music three to four nights a week.

I was a little skeptical of this place - I’ll admit I prejudged it (mainly because their sign looks like it from the 1990s, and the decor reminds me of a Kelsey’s). This place though, is awesome!

That night, they had a live acoustic two-person band playing a mix of favourites throughout the night. The burger - one of the best I’ve ever had (which says a lot, as I love burgers).

Definitely worth a visit, but I recommend making a reservation or showing up early to make sure you get a good table.

WHERE TO VISIT

We were only able to carve out 4 days in Prince Edward County, so we could only see a small slice of the county. A few of my must-see places:

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

LAKE ON THE MOUNTAIN

A short 15-minute drive from Picton is a mysterious lake ON a mountain. Okay, it’s more like, on a hill, but it’s weird right to find a big lake, that’s super deep in the middle of farm fields?

The lake has no apparent source of water, and is about 112 ft deep. It’s a nice spot for a picnic, or photos, as the backdrop could not be more stunning. Nature at it’s finest.

SLICKERS ICE CREAM

I don’t love ice cream - it’s too sweet but Slickers, oh man. The coconut ice cream is a fine balance of mild, salty and just delicious. Worth a trip if you’re in Picton.

COUNTY ROAD BREWERY

Located in the middle of farmland, the County Road Brewery is a farmhouse brewery that uses local ingredients to create really tasty beer. The outdoor beer gardens are vibrant and fun, and the menu has lots of tasty options. When we were there, a couple of people rode up on horses to grab a drink. Animals definitely welcome.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

MILLENNIUM TRAIL

Located along an abandoned railway line, the Millennium Trail is 49km multipurpose hiking-biking-running-walking trail that spans across Prince Edward County. We biked it - it’s a little rough at spots (lots of rocks) but I love that it’s totally private and it’s a nice alternative to driving PEC.


Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

THE PRINCE EDWARD DOG PARK

If you’re traveling with your dog, Picton has one of the biggest (and nicest) dog parks I’ve ever seen. It’s located in Delhi Park and is run entirely by volunteers. The Prince Edward Dog Park is grass-covered, and fully fenced with a separate small dog area. It’s about the size of 3-4 football fields and has chairs, fresh water and garbage cans. We went there every day (several times a day) with Harlow, and she always met friendly dogs (plus it was a great way to get insider recommendations  on where to eat and what to see from locals!).

AGRARIAN MARKET

This local market is a foodie’s paradise. The Agrarian Market features organic, local meat, cheese, baked goods, and products - it’s a must visit. They even have picnic baskets that you can pre-order for that dream instagram picnic in a farm field!

WHEN TO GO

Prince Edward County is located in eastern Ontario, Canada. Therefore, I think it’s likely most beautiful in the Spring, Summer and early Fall so you can truly embrace the outdoor experience.

WHAT TO WEAR

Prince Edward County is essentially a conglomerate of farm towns, so high heels make zero sense here. I was able to easily pack a carry-on (with extra clothing) for a 4-day trip.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

DAYTIME


Casual pants - 
Jeans, leggings, or (Hello Dressy Sweatpants!)


Flat soled shoes -
Something comfy like a sneaker, or a sandal with support


Layers -
Cooler in the morning during summer months, but warms up later. I packed our Evolve Top + The Retrograde Kimono Dress which were perfect for the varying weather.


Be prepared for any weather -
Umbrella, rain coat etc.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

EVENINGS

Boots, booties or shoeties -
Leave those pumps and strappy sandals at home.


Jeans -
A must.


A light jacket -
I found the evenings to cool off quite a bit. I do wish I brought a few more warmer weather items like an extra sweatshirt or long sleeve top.


A dressy-casual top -
(Our Revolve Dress is perfect!) or a t-shirt layered with a few necklaces

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Prince Edward County is an easy and fun weekend escape for city dwellers in the Toronto and Ottawa area alike.

Easy to access by car, or VIA rail (a 20-minute drive from Belleville’s station), I recommend booking a trip out there for your next getaway. It’s the perfect destination for a girls/guys trip, or a couple's vacation. You’ll have no shortage of fun (or wine) for the weekend.

 

READ MORE FROM THE PHOTO JOURNAL SERIES

 

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Love travel? Join our League of Travelistas -
A community for women who love to travel. Click here to request access to our private facebook group.

All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images. 





Also in The Journal

How 8 Fashion Bloggers Styled the Dressy Sweatpants

October 18, 2017 0 Comments

Here’s 8 ways to style the Dressy Sweatpants, courtesy of a few of our favourite influencers. Scroll through for some inspiration from work to weekend and everything in between.

Continue Reading

Wearing a Long Sleeve Top, 4 Ways

October 11, 2017 0 Comments

The long sleeve top is a quintessential staple in every wardrobe. You can dress it up, dress it down, drape it loose, or tuck it in. We styled our Essential Long Sleeve Top in 4 different ways to...

Continue Reading

Event Re-Cap: The Encircled In-Studio Social, Fall Edition

October 04, 2017 0 Comments

Last week, we held our very first In-Studio Social! We’d moved from our tiny 600 square-foot studio to a larger space this summer and wanted to celebrate by inviting our customers (you!) to see...

Continue Reading