Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario
Length of Trip: Three days, two nights (June 2014)
Purpose of Trip: To get out of the city and see some sights
Method of Transportation: Henry the Honda
The Acoustic Grill: Eat the nachos and enjoy the music.
East and Main: We just happened to ride by East and Main and decided to stop for lunch and it turned out to be our favourite restaurant of the trip. I had a delicious apple-cheddar grilled cheese and the house salad it came with was fantastic. There was also complimentary bread with soft, salty butter… a sure way to leave a good impression with me. The decor was cute and the service was great. We’d likely go back again for a nice dinner. For my vegetarian compatriots, it was reasonably veg-friendly (as in, I had more than one menu item to pick from).
Agrarian: I had the pasta, Mr. Autopilotstar had the fish and chips. Nice atmosphere and service and the food was pretty decent, but nothing to get too excited about.
Slickers: We waited in the rain for this ice cream and it was pretty good. Not as good as some of the reviews would imply though (best ice cream in Ontario? I don’t know about that).
Accommodations: We stayed at our very first Airbnb for this trip and we were really happy with our experience. The apartment was cozy, comfortable, and clean. It was an easy walk to downtown Picton and pretty central for driving to other parts of Prince Edward County. I think it might have even convinced Mr. Autopilotstar to try Airbnb for some of our future adventures.
Sandbanks Provincial Park: Sandbanks was only a 20 minute drive from where we were staying (in Picton), but there was about a 20-30 minute wait to get in at the entrance to the park, so I’d recommend factoring that into your plans. There are three beach options for day-use: Outlet Beach, Dunes Beach, and Sandbanks Beach. We went to Outlet Beach first and there were about eight million people there. Seriously though, there were so many people that there was a dull roar of people talking/screaming/having fun emanating from the beach. We stayed there for a while, and then decided to grab our bikes off the back of the car and explore the other two beaches. The Dunes Beach area was really neat. Very…dune-y and full of soft, soft sand. The water also seemed to be warmer than Outlet Beach, as it’s in somewhat of a protected cove. Sandbanks Beach was nice too and the water was quite clear, although colder than at Dunes Beach. Overall, skip Outlet Beach and head directly to Dunes Beach and/or Sandbanks Beach.
Visit a winery: We didn’t actually visit any wineries *gasp*, but I’m sure if we did, it would have been one of the highlights.
Cycling: Prince Edward County is known for its cycle routes, so we strapped the bikes to the back of the car (okay, okay, we put them on the bike rack) for this trip. We didn’t do any full-day routes, just two short trips (plus biking around Sandbanks). We bought the cycle map, which I’d recommend, but in case anyone wants to know, here are the details of our two rides:
Ride #1: The first loop we did was from Bloomfield to Wellington and back. It was about 40 km and had a great mix of scenery. It also included a stop at East and Main for lunch (see above). We drove to Bloomfield, parked along Bloomfield Main Street and then:
- Follow Main Street (Route 62) until Gilead Road
- Turn left onto Gilead Road
- Turn right onto Route 2
- Turn left onto Swamp College Road
- Turn left onto Danforth Road
- Turn right onto Greer Road
- Turn left onto Loyalist Parkway and then continue to follow the Parkway all the way back to Bloomfield
Ride #2: The second loop we did was of Big Island and it was about 20 km. We parked in Demorestville (at a church) and then:
- Start at the intersection of Route 15 and Potter Road
- Follow Route 15, and then turn left onto Route 21, which takes you onto the island (you’re going to be doing basically a loop around the island, which you can likely figure out on your own but…)
- Turn right onto South Big Island Road
- Turn left onto Sprague Road
- Turn left onto North Big Island Road
- Turn left onto Caughey Road
- Turn left onto South Big Island Road
- Turn right onto Alliston Road
- Turn left onto South Big Island Road
- Turn right onto Route 21
- Turn right onto Route 15 and head back to where you parked
Little Bluff Conservation Area: A bit off the tourist-track, Little Bluff Conservation Area features a limestone bluff, nice views of Prince Edward Bay, and a swimming area with a rocky beach (and icy water).