By far the most convenient way to get around in The County, cars can be rented in the nearby city of Belleville Ontario. You can access The County from three main points off of Hwy 401 or Hwy 2. Coming from the West (Toronto)you exit the 401 at Exit #522 Wooler Road and travel south to Picton. Coming from the East (Ottawa)you exit the 401 at Exit #566 and travel south into Picton on Hwy 49. The third access point is Hwy 62 through Belleville. An alternative to Hwy 401 is to take Highway 33 from Kingston, Ontario and take the free Glenora Ferry and follow Hwy 33 to Picton.
By bus or Train
Accessing The County by bus or train can be difficult. The nearest bus terminal serviced by major bus lines is in Belleville as is the nearest train station and the cost for a taxi from Bellville to Picton could be anywhere from $25-$40.
Accessing The County by boat is a possible alternative to driving, as it is technically an island and a popular stop for boaters touring Lake Ontario. There are harbours in Waupoos and Picton where you may rent a slip overnight.
The easiest and most popular way to travel around The County is by car, as many points of interest are separated by fair distances. It is possible to hire a taxi to drive you between points but this can be costly. While driving be alert and courteous of slow moving tractors on County roads, as they often use main roads to travel between farms. Usually the driver will wait until it is safe and move to the side, allowing you to pass. Signs posted in rural areas remind drivers "Slow Moving Vehicles- Farmers producing YOUR food." Please respect these hardworking people and realize that honking and/or tailgating will not get you very far. Also, be mindful of the many cyclists that travel County roads as there are no bicycle lanes on most roads.
Cycling is an environmentally friendly and increasingly popular way to see the area, and aside from the unfortunate lack of cycling lanes is fairly safe. To avoid busier main roads The County has many side roads that are well worn and paved in many cases. They offer fantastic views and a taste of the area that many visitors miss out on. Visit the Bloomfield Bicycle Company in Bloomfield for advice on routes, rentals and repairs. Open April through October yearly.
While there is no public transit system in The County, the newly founded Double Deck Bus Company
offers tours and daily scheduled transport between many popular spots. As the name suggests the mode of transport is a bright red double decker bus. Rates range from $10-$45 for an individual but group rates and special bookings are also available. 1-877-932-5332
Little Bluff, County road 13 past South Bay (Head east out of Picton, through Milford). Staggering views from towering limestone cliffs overlooking Lake Ontario. Rock beach for swimming, picnic areas and firepits. Usually quiet and private.
Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park, (Leave Picton on Hwy 33, turn right onto County Road 7), ☎ 613-393-3319 for information, . While technically a provincial park, LotM is basically a nice picnic stop with great views of the bay and Glenora ferries. There is no admission charge. Aptly named, the park features a natural wonder: a freshwater lake high above nearby Lake Ontario that has a flow of clean water from no known source.
Ameliasburgh Museum, 517 County Road 19, Ameliasburgh, ON, ☎ 613-476-1159 ext. 24, . From mid-May to early Oct.. A museum that has become a kind of pioneer village, tour the many buildings and gardens. A popular choice for those passing through from Belleville, Ameliasburgh is off the beaten path (about 30 minutes from Picton). Adults $4 Children $2.
Mariner's Park Museum, 2065 County Rd. 13, South Bay (Head East out of Picton through Milford or Black Creek), ☎ 613-476-1159 x 24, . Located on South Bay, this museum is a nice stop if you are visiting the Black River Cheese Factory or Little Bluff Conservation Area. It features various artifacts relating to the areas deep roots in maritime culture. Check out the lighthouse, huge row boat and relocated fort in the picnic area.Donation only.
Macaulay Heritage Park, 35 Church St. Picton ON (Take Union Street out of Picton and turn right onto Church), ☎ 613-476-1159 x 24, . Includes a beautifully restored home, gardens, a cemetary and a museum (located in a converted church). Tour the house around Christmas time to see the house decorated with antique ornaments, listen to carols and try some hot apple cider from the large stone fireplace. $4 Adults, $2 children.
Wellington Heritage Museum, 290 Main Street Wellington ON (Take Hwy 33 out of Picton to the West and follow it into Wellington), ☎ 613-476-1159 x24, . 10-4:30PM. Pays tribute to the Quakers that helped develop the area through displays and artifacts. Also includes an exhibit which outlines the importance of the canning industry to the development of the County. Donation only..
Rose House Museum, 3333 County Rd. 8 Waupoos ON (Take Union Street out of Picton and Follow County Rd 8 to Waupoos), ☎ 613-476-1159 x 24, . 10-4:30PM. A traditional farm house in newly posh wine region Waupoos. If you are touring wineries you will surely pass by The Rose House. Stop in for a tour of the quaint home and barns.Donation only.
The Regent Theatre, 224 Main Street Picton, ☎ (613) 476-8416, . This (almost) 90 year old theatre plays full length films as well as hosting local theatre and musical performances. The building itself is a historical landmark of the area and in recent years has been restored as close as possible to its former glory. Usually offers a family-friendly matinee through the summer, a great way to escape a rainy day on the beach!Fees vary depending on performance.
Armoury Park, Hill Street Picton (Turn left off of Main street onto Hwy 49, turn right onto Hill Street). To escape the hustle and bustle of Picton on a busy summer day, take your lunch to the park overlooking the Picton harbour. Sometimes known as "Yacht Club Park" or "Armoury Park" it is only about two minutes from Main Street.
Prince Edward County is a very interesting place at the moment. The local rural culture is blending with the newer additions of artisans, wineries, spas and high end cuisine. As a result there is a wide range of activities, festivals and attractions available, far too many to list here. These are some highlights;
Sandbanks Provincial Park, Picton, (South from Picton on County Road 10, turn right onto County Road 11 which leads to the park entrance.), ☎ (613) 393-3319, . Day Use is from 8AM-10PM daily. One of the most popular parks in Ontario, Sandbanks offers three white sand beaches and breathtaking views. The park also boasts staggering sand dunes, limestone cliffs, canoeing, kayaking, picnic areas and five campgrounds. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent on the Outlet river. For a special view paddle up the Outlet into East lake, take a right and you may see some of the swans that live in a quiet marshy corner of the lake. Sunrise or sunset are best. The park also has evening entertainment in the form of music, trivia challenges and plays. Also ask about the Mother's Day Easter Egg Hunt, Lakeshore Lodge Day and the Fall Getaway Fun Run. Winter is a nice time to visit the park, admission is free and Cross-country skiing is the main attraction.Day use fees are 13.85 per vehicle at peak season (May-Oct). Discounts for Ontario Seniors or Dislabled persons..
Picton Golf and Country Club, 734 Hwy #49, Picton (Just five minutes North of Picton, past the hospital.), ☎ (613) 476-1485, . 18 hole course with stunning views of the Picton Bay and surrounding area. Clubs and carts available for rent. Newly renovated club house has a lounge section with a television or a dining room section with towering windows and beautiful views of the Picton bay.Green fees are around $30.
Wellington on the Lake Golf Course, 157 Prince Edward Dr., Wellington (Follow Hwy 33 out of Picton and into Wellington), ☎ 1-866-549-2357 or 613-399-2357, . A 9 hole course in beautiful Wellington, this course is popular among tourists and locals alike. The course is adjacent to a retirement style housing development.
Bird Watching, . Prince Edward County is a popular destination for bird watching because it is a high traffic migration point for many species. Many birding enthusiasts come for the annual birding festival in May.
Yoga Retreats, . Yoga retreats are popping up all over Prince Edward County. Many offer group packages and most are located in the most lovely, peaceful areas. Link is to Saha Yoga but many others are available.
Macaulay Mountain, 224 County road 8, Picton (outskirts of Picton, take Bridge Street to Union Street which turns into county road 8), . A nice place to picnic, hike, mountain bike or bird watch. "Birdhouse City" is located here; a grouping of many birdhouses constructed to resemble century homes. During the summer children's camps are run here so it may not always be a quiet retreat. In the winter be sure to try your hand at toboganning the daunting hill! The Bloomfield Bicycle Company leads three club rides on the mountain bike trails, and that can be a good way to find one's way around the labirynth of singletrack.
Art and Music Festivals, . The Prince Edward County Arts Council runs a juried Art Show, Jazz Festival, a Music festival, Studio and Gallery Tours and Photography shows. The studio tour is free and self-guided but there are excellent brochures to guide you available for free around the County (try the centrally located Chamber of Commerce in Picton). All events are very popular and have affordable or sometimes free admission.
County Youth Park, (Head North on Hwy 49, just outside Picton at the County fairgrounds), . For something to do while Mom and Dad tour wineries, try the County Youth Park which comes complete with a playground and brand new skate park! Sorry, construction won't be complete until 2009.
County Fair, (County Fairgrounds just outside Picton on Hwy 49). Held annually in early September this is a traditional county fair complete with livestock shows, baking competitions, midway rides, demolition derby, tractor pull and lots of food! Best taffy and mini-donuts, well worth the price of admission.
Claramount Inn and Spa, 97 Bridge Street, Picton ON (Head down the townhill and stay on Bridge street), ☎ 1-800-679-7756 or 613-476-2709, . Spas are becoming more popular in the County and the Claramount is known for being very posh. If you're willing to splurge you can spend the day enjoying amazing treatments in the renovated colonial mansion. You can also opt to stay overnight.
Music on the Mountain, Lake on the Mountain (follow Hwy 33 out of Picton, towards Glenora). Great music, beautiful scenery. Held in early September. An annual free, all-day music festival that draws lots of local talent. BBQ and kid's stuff too! Check events calendar for exact dates.
Farm Vacations, . A new way to see the County! Hands-on experience at a local farm, accommodations and meals provided in some cases.
County Quest, . For the history buff! On this website you can download audio files, maps and everything else you need to go on a self-guided historical tour of the area. You choose the time period you are interested in from a list of several. Tours can be done by car, bicycle or foot.
Arts Trail, ☎ 1-866-845-6644, . A self guided tour of the local studios and art galleries. You can visit as many or as few as you wish and watch artists work to create beautiful pieces. Includes metal smiths, glass blowers, painters, photographers, potters, jewellery-creators and more! For a hands-on experience visit the Red Barns where you can try your hand at woodworking, glass blowing, stained glass or pottery!
Bloomfield, (Leave Picton on Hwy 33 heading East), . This quaint village is a favourite stop for boutique shoppers. Full of little shops offering everything from clothing to antiques to sweet treats, it is a great place to spend an afternoon. Be sure to check out Green Gables, a local favourite for gifts. Bloomfield is also a haven for artists, hosting many of the stops on the Arts Trail (above). Bloomfield is also home to perhaps the world's funkiest bike shop; the Bloomfield Bicycle Company.
Picton, . Picton is the largest town in the County and offers many stores and boutiques. For a minor clothing plurge try Jimodi or Beach Bum. Popular boutiques include Gilbert & Lighthall (housewares, art, jewellery), Allison's (bed and bath, art, stationary) and Kelly's (amazing jewellery, funky knick-knacks, clothing). Picton also has grocery stores, pet stores, pharmacies, a guitar shop (Strum), a Canadian Tire for camping needs and much more. Your best bet for doing some basic needs shopping. Free parking available on Mary St (turn right at Bean Counter).
Giant Tiger, 20 Elizabeth St Picton (Turn left at Bean Counter and you'll see the huge tiger mural), . For the bargain shopper, GT has everything! Clothing, food, camping goods. Popular with folks headed to the beach because it has everything you need for the day- water toys, sunscreen, snacks, towels- you name it!
Books and Company, 289 Main Street Picton ON (Follow Main Street until you reach the town hill, it's right there!), . The two bookstores of Picton (Books on the Bay and Olivia & Co.) have joined to become Books and Co. offering new and used books in a great atmosphere. Located on the top of the town hill in the newly renovated Lipson building it has free WIFI and lots of cozy places to sit and enjoy a book. Also has music and some stationary. Frequently hosts readings and other events. Head to the adjacent Miss Lily's cafe for a delicious treat (try the almond croissant!). If you prefer reading outdoors, head out the back door, turn left and find yourself a two minute walk from quiet, shady Benson Park.
Antiques, . The County offers dozens of antiques shops. Antiques shopping could very well lead you on an accidental tour of the area as shops are located in many nooks and crannies. A good starting point may be Bloomfield as many shops are located there. Website has complete listing.
Ideal Bike, 172 Main Street (Picton), ☎ 613.476.1913, . 10AM-6PM. The County's Bike Shop. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Sales, rentals, repairs, accessories. Road, mountain, BMX.
Wineries, . Wine grapes have been planted in Prince Edward County over the course of the past decade and a vibrant wine industry has developed. In the summer of 2007 the official designation of DVA Prince Edward County was announced and there are over 20 wineries open and ready to serve you.
Prince Edward County's food scene is famous in culinary travel circles for making huge leaps and bounds in the past ten years. It is an interesting mix of urban flair and rural simplicity.
Taste Trail, ☎ 1-866-845-6644, . If you are interested in tasting all the County has to offer, try the Taste Trail, a self-guided tour of culinary hot-spots in the area. You will be guided through restaurants, ice cream shops, wineries and cheese factories. Download a brochure including a map and site descriptions or pick up a paper copy when you get into town!
Grocery Chains, Picton. Metro, No Frills and Sobey's are all located in Picton. They are standard grocery stores offering pre-prepared meals as well as typical basic goods.
Farmer's Stands. Throughout the County there are "Vegetable Stands" offering local produce. Some also offer firewood, baked goods and sometimes maple syrup. Perfect for campers looking for a dozen ears of corn to take back to the site or for day trippers looking for a snack on the go. You can't help but notice them from spring until late fall. These stands will give you an untainted taste of the County, both in the atmosphere and food. Do yourself a favour, stop by and enjoy some local flavour!
For familiar food in a hurry Picton has a McDonald's, KFC, Subway and Tim Horton's. All located on Main St. Subway has a patio that is popular in the summer.
The Regent Cafe, 222 Main Street Picton (Right beside the library in central downtown Picton), . 10AM-5PM. Adjacent to The Regent Theatre is The Regent Cafe offering sumptuous cakes, cookies and treats as well as amazing breads, soups and sandwiches. Reasonably priced, beautiful atmosphere and a couple of bistro tables outside. Try the sundried tomato bread and a chocolate shortbread!
The Bean Counter, 172 Main Street Picton, ☎ 613-476-1718, . 8AM-8PM. A stop on the taste trail thanks to the dozens of flavours of amazing gelatto (which is handmade onsite!) the Bean Counter also has great drinks and snacks. Cozy atmosphere with couches and comfy chairs as well as tables, a great place to meet friends!
Miss Lily's, 289 Main Street Picton (Head towards the town hill, it's right there!). Newly opened in Spring 2008, Miss Lily's is adjacent to Books and Company, a fantastic book store. The decor is chic but accessible and the prices are reasonable. Free WIFI is a bonus! Get there early or all the good sandwiches might be gone as they are premade onsite.
Pubs and Lounges
The Barley Room Pub, Picton, ON (Head out of Picton on Hwy 33 towards Bloomfield. Turn left on Cty Rd 1), ☎ 613-476-7492, . Located at "Warings Corners" and part of the hotel/restaraunt/special events mecca known collectively as "The Waring House," The Barley Room is a fantastic pub. A favourite among locals it has great food that is sophisticated but simple and affordable. Great specials and usually some live music on the weekends. They feature local ingredients in the food and offer many local wines, ciders and beers. Patio is great in the summer (screened in to prevent bugs)and can be used into the fall when the heaters are on. Prices are very reasonable.
Coaches Pub and Grill, 297 Main Street Picton, ON. Offers typical pub grub at good prices. Has three dining areas- the back patio, the bar and the front dining room. The patio is nice but overlooks a parking lot. Always busy on a Friday night, a popular local hang out.
The Acoustic Grill, 172 Main Street Picton (Right behind the Subway on Main Street), ☎ 613-476-2887, . Offers pub grub with an upscale twist. Prices are affordable and there is almost always live music showcasing local talent. Small place but very popular and usually busy.
Currah's Lounge, 252 Main Street Picton (Located in the Bristol Building beside the Post Office), ☎ 613-476-6374, . Currah's Cafe is a very popular restaraunt and is typically busy on a weekend evening. For something slightly less formal try "The Lounge" located just behind the actual restaraunt. Comfy chairs and couches, a pool table and dart board make it a mellow hang out. Offers food from the restaraunt menu. Try the Olivini Tapenade! Prices are mid-range, fairly affordable.
CJs, 19 Elizabeth St. Picton, ON (Right across from Giant Tiger. Turn onto Elizabeth from Main St.), ☎ 613-476-8485. CJs pizza is typical County pizza- thick, crusty and really cheesy. They have a great panzerotti too! Prices are okay with a large running between $15-25 depending on toppings. Cash only! For a bargain stop in at lunch time for a slice and a pop for only $3! Delivery is cheap.
Prince Edward Pizza, 130 Main Street Picton (Across from the Sunoco station on a little side street.), ☎ 613-476-4424. Similar to CJs pizza but a bit cheaper. Offers lunch time slices as well (11-2PM) at around $3. Rent a movie at Town and Country right next door and make a night of it!
These places offer casual fare at decent prices;
Schooners Fish and Chips, 72 Main St. Picton (Main street Picton across from A&P), ☎ 613-476-2288. Closed during the winter. Great fish and chips in a casual, homey atmosphere. Eat on the patio overlooking main street when the weather allows. Try the clam chowder!
Angelo's, Adjacent to the A&P parking lot, main street Picton, ☎ 613-476-3289. Also known as "The Thousand Dollar Restaurant" and "Picton Pizzeria" Angelo's makes classic Greek, Italian and Canadian food but is especially known for their pizza. Eat in the casual dining room or call for take out or delivery pizza!
The Club Cafe, 6 Stanley Street, Bloomfield ((down from the County Club Fitness center)), ☎ 613-393-3481. 8-3. The Club Cafe is a must before heading to Sandbanks. Serving home made, healthy breakfast and lunch year round, everything is made from scratch daily, giant muffins, soups and outstanding sandwiches, it will fill you up and give you energy for your tour around the county. Free WiFi available.