Back by popular demand! Another PEC guide for you guys to scope out. I wrote one in 2019 that you can read here but I’ve decided to make a new one with a ton of updates. From where to stay to what to do – here’s my 2020 guide to PEC
*Note: Due to covid you may want to check the instagram profiles of some of the things listed below to find out what their rules are or if they’ve even open at all. I’ve tried to avoid putting anything in here that will be closed but things change daily so just be aware!
Where To Stay
This is by far my most asked question when people are planning their visit to the county. It’s a tough question to answer because it really depends on what part of the county you want to stay in. So I’ve broken this section down into areas for you guys.
If you have the $$$ the Drake Devonshire and Drake Motor Inn are amazing options. They’re right in ‘downtown’ Wellington and are super insta-pic ready. However, they both definitely come at a cost and are booked up super quickly.
The Lakeside Motel opened last year and is the perfect mix of rustic camping meets modern amenities. Very aesthetically pleasing and in a great location. It’s still a bit pricey (for my budget anyway) but is a great getaway spot.
Now personally I prefer a good airbnb when I’m staying in PEC. I’ve stayed in Wellington the last couple of times so here’s my list of places on airbnb that are perfect if you’re looking to stay in this area:
1800’s Church – SO gorgeous but books up fast
Boho Bungalow – It’s a little bit far out but perfect if you’re looking to just hit up the wineries in that area
The Bluenose – Quaint cottage that’s great for a couples getaway
Fitzroy Fieldhouse – SO beautiful and in one of the best locations in Wellington + perfect for groups
Bliss Bungalow – Dreamy boho vibes right near the Drake Devonshire
Apple Blossom – Checkout ALL the listings that this host has to offer! Her PEC property has a ton of airbnbs on it and it’s centrally located in Wellington. I stayed in the Apple Blossom Lower Level last time I was in PEC and it was perfect!
The Meadow House – SUPER luxe and SUPER boho. Definitely on the pricey side but it is totally worth the $$
Bark Guesthouse (new!) – This is where I’m staying when I visit PEC next and I’m super excited. It’s brand new and located on the same street as a ton of wineries.
Lake On The Mountain Resort is where I stayed the first time I visited PEC. The views are incredible! I recommend checking this place out while you’re there even if you don’t stay here. They offer hotel style accommodations or you can rent your own cottage from the many on the property. It’s super quiet and beautiful.
The Picton Harbour Inn has great views and is within walking distance of downtown Picton, which has a ton of restaurants and shops.
And of course the infamous June Motel has a spunky girly motel vibe that you have to experience at least once when you go visit the county.
There’s a TON of affordable airbnb’s in the Picton area so here are just a few of my recommendations:
The Carriage House – This place was featured on HGTV!
The Loft – Perfect for a couple! Steps from everything in downtown Picton
Exposed Beam Apartment – GORGEOUS!!! Newly renovated and just off the Main Street so it will be quiet
Century Home – Super stylish and great location
Union House – It has a pool. Need I say more?
Hill Street Hangout – The cutest rustic chic apartment perfect for a couple
I realize that these two are on opposite sides of PEC but I only have a few recommendations for these areas so I’m going to group them together! Also these are all airbnb’s:
The Wilk – If you’re going with a larger group this place is perfect. Also it’s so cute I wish I was staying there just for the insta content I could get haha
Cow Belle House – The name alone made me click on this listing and trust me you’re gonna wanna check it out. It’s the rustic apartment of my dreams
Royal Road Retreat – This is on a beautiful farm with a vineyard and a winery. You could honestly just spend your entire time here if you’re looking for a more chill vibe
Cottage #9 – Right near sandbanks if you’re looking for a beach weekend
Bay Dream – I dream of spending a weekend here with all my friends
Where you stay is really more about what you wanna do while you’re there! I would suggest the Wellington area if you’re looking to do wine tours. Picton is great too for wine tours but note that it is about 15-30 minutes away from all the wineries located in Wellington!
What To Eat
A lot of the wineries offer food selection and takeout so keep that mind too!
Drake Devonshire has the best brunch!
Enid Grace Cafe is great for an easy lunch or breakfast spot. The food is incredible.
Midtown Brewing has the BEST hot dogs and cheeseburgers and they are offering takeout right now while they sort out their patio situation
The Vic Cafe is offering a drive-in style dining experience
Flossies Sandwiches are THE BEST for a lunch pit stop before heading to the wineries
County Cider has the BEST patio and their menu is so delicious. Highly recommend the wood fire pizza
Waupoos Winery also has an incredible patio and great menu selection
The Lunch Box is a great take away sandwich shop in Picton
The Miller House has amazing views of lake on the mountain and their charcuterie boards are fantastic
Beacon Bike+Brew is great for a takeout coffee and snack
Lemons just opened and does fresh lemonade, snacks + sandwiches!
Bloomfield Public House has amazing fresh takeaway meals (their menu changes frequently so there’s always something new)
Judy’s BBQ does southern cooking and is completely outdoors
Of course there are PLENTY more places to eat in the county, which I encourage you to explore. These are just some of the places I’ve been too/are on my radar that I know you’ll enjoy too 🙂
And now for the fun part: where to drink 😉
If you’re going to book a tour book with https://www.instagram.com/wineoclocktourspec/ because he is truly the best in the county. Jeff has a relationship with all the wineries and really puts extra attention and detail into your tour. He’s super knowledgable and friendly and will do a tour with just you and your partner or a bigger group. We loved him! His prices are pretty much on par with all the other tour companies in the area. I highly highly recommend you book with him – you’ll learn so much and have a great time.
So, here’s my recommendations that I’ve categorized for ya
Closson Chase is a must visit. Their chardonnay is my favourite chardonnay ever. They have a beautiful purple barn and tons of room for you to wander.
Huff Estates is a little more modern than most of the wineries out in PEC. Their rose is delicious though! It comes in cute beach-ready cans that are perfect for day drinking. You can also pick up a bottle for post-touring drinks.
Karlo Estates has the most beautiful barn and you can take your wine and wander the property!
Grange Winery is probably one of my favourites after Closson. They have a cute cocktail truck that sets up shop on their property so you can have a boozy picnic.
Traynor Family Vineyard has the most delicious selection of wine
Sandbanks Winery is a classic county winery but I think they require reservations for tastings at this time
Nordman Hardie Winery has really beautiful grounds and delicious pizza
Strange Brew Studio is currently just offering pick up. They make the most interesting flavours of beer I’ve ever tried.
Gillingham Brewing Company is one of my favourite breweries in the county. Their beer garden opens on June 27th!
Matron Fine Beer is currently only offering pick up as they are building their beer garden but I highly recommend you stop buy and pick some of their beer up! They have super creative names and are delicious.
Barley Days Brewery has an incredible patio and their beachin’ wheat beer is one of my favourites.
555 Brewing Co is another brewery with a great patio and beer selection
Prince Eddy’s Brewing has such a fun vibe and let’s you picnic on their property. Try their dawn patrol beer (mango and lime YUM)
Parsons Brewing Company is the spot to be in the county if you’re looking for a day drinking hot spot with unreal food and beer
County Cider is hands down my favourite cider in the county. Their blackberry peach flavour is INCREDIBLE. This place is a must visit while you’re in the county.
Fieldbird Cider is unfortunately not doing tastings this summer but you can still go do a pick up!
Loch Mor Cider Co does really really yummy sparkling cider and has a beautiful barn
Crimson Cider Company has the cutest set up with food options and picnic tables
Waupoos Winery has the most beautiful grounds and also has beer+wine so if you’re looking for a one stop shop this is your place!
Clafeld Fruit Winery & Market has delicious sandwiches and their cranberry cider is incredible
Kinsips Spirits does tons of different spirits. Their vodka is one of my favourites.
There are a ton of wineries/breweries/cider houses in the county so I encourage you to checkout google maps. These are just the ones I’ve been to that I love and recommend!
Other “To Do” Things
Okay I’m going to leave you with one more tip when visiting the county. If drinking isn’t your thing then here’s some other places I recommend checking out while you’re visiting.
Sandbanks provincial park is the perfect beach day destination.
Shed Chetwyn Farms has the cutest alpaca friends that you can go see and they have a shop as well
PEC Lavender is a beautiful lavender farm + shop
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese is a must visit because who can say no to homemade cheese
Dead People’s Stuff has the best antiques
There’s tons to do and see in the county so I’m sure you can fill your visit easily. If you have any questions please reach out to me on Insta and I’ll be happy to help you with anything PEC related. Cheers friends!