Prince Edward County sees a myriad of summer visitors escaping the city to tour our fine wineries and sun tan on the sandy beaches. While our bustling summer is indeed unforgettable, there is an even greater enchantment to our fall season that is not to be missed. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should plan your visit to The County and see the magic and festivities for yourself.
1. Take the weather, forgo the crowd
Summer has a lot to offer but everyone will be fighting you for it. If you want to forgo the need to circle parking lots for over half an hour, scouring the beach for a spot to claim as your own, or having to make taxi arrangements hours in advance, here is a solution for you. Come visit during the fall and stroll through the cute towns of The County or hit up a few tasting rooms without having to sacrifice the peace! The temperature in September and October is a breezy 20°C to 15°C, which is extremely pleasant compared to the more humid and scorching summer months, and beach days are plenty in September!
2. Vibrant changing scenery
Fall is easily one of the most exquisite and elegant season when it comes to nature’s visual changes alone. In The County, you will witness the transitioning of each leaf into vivid shades of amber and bronze as they start falling into soft piles on the ground. The harsh summer sun transitions into a softer glow that blankets the earth, creating a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature, be it on a bike ride or on a hike. The wineries and barns can also be captured in even richer hues and will make for an extremely scenic visit. Expert tip: Take out the adorable teal blue bikes from The June and go exploring! Bike are first come first serve, head into the lobby when you’re ready to venture out!
3. Hello harvest!
This island community used to be known as the Garden County of Canada and at one point was responsible for canning one-third of Canada’s tomatoes and pumpkins, until competition and new regulations in the 70s decelerated our agricultural industry. Harvest season in the fall is incredible to behold, with farms and vineyards buzzing with activities that visitors can join in on. You will want to browse the Farmers’ Markets as they certainly will be filled with selections of fresh produce; You can also get some hands-on experience assisting at a winery picking party! If you’re interested in taking part, reach out to some of the local wineries to find out about how you can participate in their Harvest festivities.
4. Good food
It can be an impossible pain to make reservations at some of the top-notch restaurants in The County but with the thinning crowds in the fall, you’ll finally have a chance to enjoy the delectable eats. What’s more? Fall Countylicious, a twice-annual event when fine dining is offered at an affordable price, is set from November 3rd to 26th, 2018. Participating restaurants often seek to showcase local flavours when cooking up a delicious three-course meal which is a gastronomic experience you will be sure to enjoy! As an added bonus, when you finish dinner you can snuggle up around our campfire at The June while you enjoy a nightcap – a little thing we like to call a big glass of red wine.
5. Fall festivals and events
If you are looking for more than wine tours, consider adding one of the many fall events to your itinerary. These fairs and festivals always bring the community together for a fun time and showcase the unique culture and offerings of The County. Here is just a short list of what’s in store:
The Picton Fair (Sept 7, 8, 9) – Since 1831, this annual fair has provided merriment to The County through its bustling midway, cattle shows, local woods craft, demolition derby, live music, professional wrestling, and agricultural exhibits.
PEC Chamber Music Festival (Sept 7 - 16) – Come listen to some of Canada’s most well-known performers and ensembles gather in playing an assortment of classical music. If you’re a fan of quartets and choirs, you are in for a treat!
Sandbanks Music Festival (Sept 15) - Featuring a great line-up of Canadian performers this year, this festival on the beach is a must-see. Food and wine sampling will be made available as well. You can even prolong the fun by camping overnight!
PEC Studio Tour (Sept 21 - 23) – There is a selection of professional art studios and galleries in The County that you should not miss. The artists will be discussing their pieces with you in one of the longest-running studio tours in Ontario.
TASTE Community Grown (Sept 22) – Join in on this highly anticipated event that showcases The County’s most celebrated artisanal wines, beers, ciders, cheese, and preserves. You will find local products of high quality, get to sample food and beverages uniquely from The County, and enjoy live entertainment.
Pumpkin Fest (Oct 13) – There is no other place to see a parade of giant pumpkins (some weighing thousands of pounds) than the Pumpkin Fest. Growers will compete in a weigh-off and food booths (don’t forget about pumpkin pie) and entertainment will also be present.
Wassail (Nov 17, 18, 24, 25 and Dec 1, 2) – Hailed as “Ontario’s most unique wine celebration,” Wassail honours the old tradition of celebrating a bountiful harvest by offering self-guided or bus tour of some of The County’s most famous wineries.