Welcome to Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is a hidden gem of Ontario, offering a splendid, picturesque getaway for those looking to escape city life and immerse themselves in the county’s rural charm.

Known for its vibrant arts scene, award-winning wineries, and beautiful landscapes, there’s no shortage of options for lodging and relaxation. If you’re planning a trip to this lovely region, consider renting a vacation home – the perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle.

Vacation rentals in Prince Edward County range from cozy cabins and family-friendly homes to luxury retreats. These properties offer all the comforts of home but with the bonus of being surrounded by the incredible beauty of the county.


Top 3 Facts About Prince Edward County in Ontario


Garden County Glory

Once dubbed the “Garden County of Canada,” Prince Edward County was the king of canned goods, with a third of Canada’s fruits and veggies canned right here!


Vino Vacationland

With over 40 wineries, this is your go-to spot for a sip-and-swirl adventure in Ontario’s own wine wonderland.


Island Illusion

Surprise! This charming county is an actual island, hugged by Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte. Bridge-hopping is the only way in or out!


Must-See Attractions

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Downtown Picton

Historic Town

Strolling through the enchanting streets of downtown, Picton offers a unique blend of old and new, with quaint shops, art galleries, and unique museums. This historic town is perfect for leisurely walks and the chance to savor the local flavors at farm-to-table restaurants.

Sandbanks Beach

Natural Attraction

Sandbanks Beach, with its inviting soft sands and crystal-clear waters, is an ideal spot for a day of relaxation or playful activities under the sun. Here, you can enjoy leisurely swims and sandcastle building or lose yourself in a book by the seaside. For the more adventurous, nearby West Lake Watersports offers a range of activities like jet skiing, kayaking, and pontoon boating.

Black Prince Winery


Black Prince Winery, a pioneer in utilizing local County oak barrels, stands as a testament to over two decades of fine wine production. This winery, nestled in a beautifully restored century barn, offers a unique experience with its Barrel House, Make-Your-Own-Wine facility, and a gourmet Wood Fired Pizza Bistro. Visitors can indulge in daily tastings of award-winning wines and explore the estate vineyard.

Annual Events and Festivals

November 8 & 9, 2024

Firelight Lantern Festival

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the Firelight Lantern Festival, held on November 8 & 9, 2024, in the picturesque Crystal Palace in Picton. From its start in 2013, this event has become a beloved tradition, featuring two nights brimming with arts, music, and stunning illuminated art installations. On November 9, the highlight is the Lantern Parade, starting in Benson Park, where participants can showcase their creativity with handmade lanterns before wrapping up with a vibrant celebration at the Crystal Palace.

September 2024

Picton Fair

Step back in time at the Picton Fair in September 2024, one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs with a rich history dating back to 1836. Celebrate rural heritage with horse races, livestock shows, and the historical Crystal Palace, featuring exhibits of homecrafts, woodcrafts, and more. Experience the charm of a traditional country fair with tractor pulls, demolition derbies, live music, and plenty more.

September 2024

Prince Edward County Craft Beer Festival

Each September, the Prince Edward County Craft Beer Festival brings a unique blend of community spirit and craft beer appreciation to the stunning Drill Hall at Base31. Since its start in 2018, this festival has fostered a strong bond between craft beer aficionados and local breweries. Enjoy a curated selection of Ontario’s finest craft beers, ciders, and artisanal beverages, along with educational sessions, tastings, and lively entertainment.

Top Hiking Trails

Lakeshore Trail

Lake Shore Lodge Rd, Prince Edward, ON K0K 3L0

For a delightful blend of forest and shoreline, the Lakeshore Trail in Sandbanks Park offers a 13-kilometre journey that’s perfect for hikers of all levels. This scenic path winds through lush woodland before reaching the rugged shores of Lake Ontario, where you can enjoy the stunning vistas and descend to the water’s edge. While Lake Ontario’s waters can be rough, the trail’s accessibility and serene spots make it perfect for a peaceful reading break amidst nature.

Dunes Nature Trail

Dunes Trail Access Path, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0

Venture onto the Dunes Nature Trail, a hidden gem behind the quieter Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Park, and experience the unique dune landscape. This relatively easy hike includes gentle elevations and meanders over sometimes-rickety boardwalks, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the area’s distinctive sandy terrain. After exploring the dunes, why not cool off with a swim in the shallower waters of nearby West Lake?

Cedar Sands Trail

Provincial Pk Rd, Picton, Prince Edward, ON K0K 1P0

The Cedar Sands Trail, situated near Sandbanks Outlet Beach, is an ideal choice for bird watchers and nature lovers looking for an easy, accessible walk. Crossing diverse landscapes from forest to swamp, this short trail is perfect for spotting various bird species and is friendly for all hiking abilities. Keep in mind that while dogs are welcome on a leash, the presence of ticks and bugs in this region calls for careful preparation, especially during the warmer months.

Best Golf Courses

Picton Golf & Country Club

734 County Rd 49, Prince Edward, ON K0K 2T0, Canada

Picton Golf & Country Club offers an engaging 18-hole, par 72 Championship Course that caters to golfers of every skill level. This course, known for its dramatic elevations and immaculately maintained bentgrass greens, challenges players with its diverse fairways. After your round, unwind at “The View,” the club’s acclaimed waterfront restaurant, and browse the well-stocked Pro Shop for the latest in golf gear.

Wellington on the Lake Golf Course

157 Prince Edward Dr, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0

Wellington on the Lake Golf Course, set near the breezy shores of Lake Ontario, offers an excellent blend of parkland style and mature, tree-lined fairways. This Azinger-designed course appeals to golfers of all abilities, featuring large bent grass tees and a welcoming atmosphere. Don’t have time for a full round? Enhance your skills at the expansive practice area, complete with a driving range, putting green, chipping areas, and a practice bunker.

Barcovan Golf Club

1412 County Rd 64, Carrying Place, ON K0K 1L0

Barcovan Golf Club, a family-owned local favorite since 1973, is set on 150 acres of picturesque woodland just north of Lake Ontario and Weller’s Bay inlet. This meticulously manicured course, designed in 1964, challenges players with water hazards on more than ten holes and offers fast but true greens. The club also features a Tudor-style Clubhouse where players can savor the famous “Barcovan Burger” and enjoy events, leagues, and professional instruction from PGA of Canada Professionals.

Water Sports

Fish Finding Charters

Fishing Charter

Discover the joys of charter fishing with Fish Finding Charters, which has offered top-notch service for both novice and experienced anglers since 1980. Set sail on the Bay of Quinte or Lake Ontario aboard a fully equipped Osprey pilot house fishing vessel, under the expert guidance of Captain Dave, who brings both fun and safety to the experience. Whether targeting walleye, trout, or salmon, guests can rely on Captain Dave’s knowledge and impeccable gear to ensure a fruitful and enjoyable fishing adventure.

County Sailing Adventures

Sailing Excursion

Set sail with County Sailing Adventures and experience the beauty of Prince Edward County from a unique perspective. Whether opting for a 2-hour cruise from Waupoos Marina, a 3-hour private sailing experience with opportunities to swim and paddleboard, or an immersive half-day adventure tailored to your preferences, each charter promises breathtaking views and a chance to learn local history. Captains Brent and Moira, lifelong sailors, ensure a safe and enriching journey, complete with quality photos and drone footage.

Westlake Wakeboard School

Water Sports

At Westlake Wakeboard School, Central Ontario’s only dedicated wakeboard school, experience the excitement of wakeboarding backed by the world’s largest water sand dune system. This school offers private and professional lessons, group parties, beach transfers, and tube rides. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced boarder, the school’s professional wakeboards and knowledgeable staff ensure you have a brilliant time while learning.

Winter Activities

Winter Winery Hopping

Winter in Prince Edward County is not complete without a visit to the local wineries, where the intimate and cozy atmosphere offers a unique wine-tasting experience. At these wineries, you can chat directly with the staff and winemakers, gaining insights into the region’s winemaking process and the distinct terroir. For a more adventurous twist, head to Sugarbush Vineyards, where a 2.5 km snowshoe trail through the vineyard awaits, complete with wine tasting, hot chocolate, and cookies by the fire!

Fat Biking

Embrace the snowy landscapes of Prince Edward County on a fat bike, an exciting way to explore winter trails with the added thrill of massive tires that smoothly navigate through snow, ice, and uneven terrain. The Millennium Trail offers an ideal setting to get acquainted with the unique handling of a fat bike, transforming your favorite paths into a winter cycling wonderland.

Ice Skating

The joy of ice skating comes alive in Prince Edward County, with options at both the Wellington and Picton Arenas, where you can glide across the ice with family and friends. After showing off your skating skills, indulge in a warm treat from the canteen, like hot chocolate and fries, or for a unique twist, enjoy a post-skate beer at the nearby Drake Motor Inn or Midtown Brewery.

Where to Eat

Norway Restaurant

$ – $$ • Home Cooking

Chilangos Mexican Restaurant

$ – $$ • Mexican

Lone Star Texas Grill

$ – $$ • Southern Food

Where to Shop

Rose Cottage Studio & Gifts

Gift Shop

The Merchant’s Mill

Boutique Shop

Green Gables Gifts & Greetings

Gift Shop

Where to Sleep

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Tips on Renting a Vacation Home in Prince Edward County

Location and Accessibility

Prince Edward County boasts a variety of landscapes, from serene beaches to bustling town centers, so choose a location that suits your vacation style—whether it’s a quiet retreat near Sandbanks Provincial Park or a rental in the heart of Picton for easier access to local shops and restaurants.

Seasonal Activities

Align your visit with the activities you enjoy. Summer is perfect for beachgoers and wine enthusiasts, while fall offers stunning foliage and harvest festivals. If you’re interested in quieter, off-season visits, winters in the County are peaceful and offer unique experiences like ice fishing and winter wine tours, but remember that some businesses may have limited hours or be closed.

Travel Insurance and Cancellation Policies

Given the uncertainties of travel, it’s wise to understand the cancellation policy of your rental and consider purchasing travel insurance. This is particularly important for Prince Edward County, which can experience varying weather conditions that might affect travel plans, especially during winter months.

Budget Considerations

Prices can vary significantly based on the season, with summer being the peak; consider booking during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) for more affordable rates. Also, look for rentals that offer inclusive pricing to avoid additional fees for cleaning, parking, or extra guests, which can add up quickly.

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Going Deeper on Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County’s history is deeply rooted in its early settlement by Indigenous peoples, notably evidenced by the LeVescounte Mounds, which date back approximately 2000 years. Fast forward, and European history began to unfold in the late 18th century, transforming it into a thriving hub of activity.

Prince Edward County was officially established on July 16, 1792, by John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada’s founding lieutenant governor. Following the American Revolution, the Crown granted lands in the county to United Empire Loyalists as compensation for their losses in the Thirteen Colonies. This influx of settlers led to the formation of townships, each named in honor of one of George III’s daughters, laying the foundation for the county’s growth and development.

Prince Edward County changed and grew over time, leading to the merging of different townships and villages on January 1, 1998. This merger, which included the Town of Picton and other areas, created the single municipality we now call Prince Edward County. This change marked a new phase in the county’s history, combining its varied past with hopes and plans for its future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Prince Edward County

Sandbanks Provincial Park is home to some of the most popular beaches in the county, including Outlet Beach and Sandbanks Beach, known for their fine sand and clear waters.

Yes, many wineries in Prince Edward County are open year-round, but it’s best to check individual winery hours as some may have reduced winter schedules.

The County offers a range of accommodations, including bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.

Yes, visitors can explore historical sites such as the Wellington Heritage Museum, Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, and the Regent Theatre.

The County boasts a variety of dining options, from farm-to-table restaurants and seafood eateries to casual cafes and fine dining establishments.

Public transportation is limited, so having a car for ease of travel around the County is recommended. However, there are taxi services and some shuttle services offered by tour companies.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

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