I always see posts about Toronto out there in the travel blogging world, but rarely see the hidden gems just outside of Toronto written about. Not to say there is nothing written about them, but definitely not enough. One of those place is Wellington, in Prince Edward County. Have you heard of it? If you have, I assume you are from the Toronto area, or are at least Canadian… but I could be wrong. If you haven’t, you are missing out!
I grew up just outside of Toronto and I had never been up to Prince Edward County until this past summer when I was home for a visit. Since I am not home in Canada that often, I wanted to plan a small girls’ weekend with a few friends and Wellington was the perfect spot to do so . The best part is, after a couple of nights they left, and my parents, my sister and her partner and their kids, came up and my girls’ weekend changed to family time. Wellington was the perfect spot for both.
Prince Edward County has been gaining popularity ever since the opening of the Drake Devonshire off the main strip in Wellington. And with good reason, the atmosphere, along with the food and drinks, at the Drake are definitely worth checking out. They also have a few rooms, but since I am more of an Airbnb girl, I spent my couple nights there at Rouge – The Urban Cottage. A beautifully decorated spot right on the main street, not far from all the hot spots. The thing I loved most about this ‘urban cottage’, is that they provided bikes!
WINE TASTING IN WELLINGTON
Why would I care about bikes? Well did I mention all the wineries in and around this area? Best thing to do is hop on a bicycle with your girlfriends and ride from winery to winery. Thankfully our Airbnb provided bikes, there was about 6 bikes and only 4 of us, which suited us perfectly. There are a bunch of them to choose from, so it may be best to look at a map and make a route… we did not and still managed to drink a bunch of different wines, eat some delicious foods and find our way back to Rouge.
A few of the stops on our own winery tour included Norman Hardie, Rosehall Run, and Hinterland Wine Company, the last one being attached to County Road Beer Co. which I suggest trying a flight of beer from, as well as some of their delicious foods. It will help fuel the bike riding and stop the wine from hitting you too hard.
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN WELLINGTON
If you aren’t into wine or beer, there are other places that will suit your needs. There is a quaint beach in town, as Wellington is situated on the water. And a short drive will take you to Sandbanks Provincial Park. I preferred the little beach in town, which had less people and was more serene. I had wished I brought my stand-up paddle board with me as the water was perfect for it. You could also visit Lake on the Mountain.
Or if you love art, you will notice many locals are artists and have attached to their home little studios. You can wander around town and check out all the cool art they have. I even did a nice stroll through the paths behind our Airbnb with my sister and her family, just to enjoy the fresh air. Or just hang out in the yard of the Airbnb which was super relaxing.
FOOD & DRINK
I personally just loved the food and drink scene. As I mentioned, all the wineries, but also there are a few local breweries in town too. My two favourite was the one I mentioned, County Road and another right on the main street, Midtown Brewing. Both offer a good selection, and food. As for restaurants, everyone goes to the Drake. I think it’s great but Wellington has so much more to offer.
The Courage Bar was probably my favourite. At first only stopping for coffee (when they weren’t technically open yet, but served us coffee to go anyways) and then going back with my parents for a meal, and enjoying every single bite. We shared everything and wanted to order it all, but settled on the oxtail arancini, the heart of darkness, crispy cauliflower (may have had a few orders of that) and for the traveling soul, chicken wings in the theme of geography. Couldn’t recommend the place more.
If you are looking for a spot for coffee and baked goods, I am a fan of Enid Grace Café (). Delicious treats. Or a pop-up spot near the end of the busy part of Main Street was a storage container called Pilot Coffee, a Toronto company. Great coffee, and cooler vibe. But my favourite was walking through the Saturday market, as one booth had these amazing scones. The cinnamon scone was my favourite, but can’t go wrong with cheese ones either. We may have picked up large bottles of maple syrup there too, and some delicious fresh bread.
So whether you are looking for a break from the city, with friends or family, Wellington is a home away from home. It’s got all the feels of the country-side with the added bonus of trendy and delicious restaurants to go with it. Definitely a must-stop when visiting the Toronto area, or even more so living in the Toronto area.
Have you visited Wellington, Canada? We would love you to share your own tips and favourite spots with our readers in the comments below. Read Next > 8 Things You Can’t Miss In Toronto