So what is the best and cheapest way for 2 30 yrs old to visit a winery and stay and go tto the beach...Any ideas? Thanks
Welcome to the PICTON ("The County") TRAVEL FORUM
Cheapest way would of course be to camp... there are several campgrounds in "The County"... including Sandbanks Provincial Park (although depending on when you plan to visit... how soon... things could be already booked up).
If you take a look at an On-Line Map (I like GOOGLE MAPS) I can tell you there aren't many accommodation options on the Picton side of the Peninsula... mostly Country Inns (like The Waringhouse, The Claramount) a few B&Bs and some cottagey spots etc.
Most of the wineries though tend to be on the West side of the Peninsula not far from Sandbanks Provincial Park (Bloomfield area)... so staying in Trenton or Belleville could be more convenient... and those places have some brand-name chain hotels as well as some smaller Mom & Pop operations... you can probably find a deal if you (a) have a good amount of lead time (b) join their Loyalty Programs BEFORE Booking, and (c) are flexible with your plans / dates.
Hope this is somewhat helpful,
For starters, I'd recommend you take a look at "The County's" website which will give you an idea of the various areas on the island, as well as maps and descriptions of the winery & food routes - Taste Trail, etc.
How are you planning to get here - car, train, bus? Car is the easiest and most convenient method of traveling around the area, and gives you the freedom to visit wineries, etc. and then make a break for the beach! As noted, camping is the least expensive, but there are lots of accomodation choices, including B&B's that are cost effective. To really experience the area, it's best to stay on the island, as opposed to Trenton or Belleville, which although charming in their own way, are a distance from the beaches and Picton itself.
Hopefully they`ve done their research when it comes to Accommodations… including taking a look at the REVIEWS here on TripAdvisor.
As of today (Wednesday ~ July 6, 2011) at just after 4 PM EDT the places so far in this post rank as follows…
From Resorts Ontario…
THE WARING HOUSE – Ranked at # 9 out of 23 B&Bs listed for Picton. It is a 3 Star location (based on facilities, and Stars awarded by those in the Hotel Industry). It has 3-1/2 HOOTS for TA Member Satisfaction here on TripAdvisor, given by those TA Members who have taken the time to write a REVIEW… and as a 52% Thumbs Up Recommendation (calculated based on the number of TA Members who gave it an Excellent of Very Good Rating)
CLARAMOUNT INN & SPA – Ranked at # 10 out of 23 B&Bs listed for Picton. It is an unstarred property (just means that no Hotel Association is probably affiliated with it). And has 3-1/2 HOOTS for TA Member Satisfaction here on TA… and a 75% Thumbs Up Recommendation.
ISAIAH TUBBS RESORT – Ranked at # 4 out of 5 Hotels listed for Picton (although technically it isn`t in Picton… but rather on the otherside of the Peninsula, near Bloomfield). It is an unstarred property, with 2-1/2 HOOTS for TA Member Satisfaction here on TA… and a 66% THUMBS DOWN Recommendation… (calculated based on the number of TA Members who gave it either a Poor or Terrible Rating).
And the one your friends have chosen…
PICTON HARBOUR INN – Ranked at # 3 out of 5 Hotels listed for Picton. It is an unstarred property… with 3 HOOTS for TA Member Satisfaction here on TA… and a 58% Thumbs Up Recommendation.
Personally, I am somewhat familiar with all of these properties… Have stayed at The Waring House many times (loved it)… Have toured Claramount and had a meal there (also loved it).
Isaiah Tubbs has by all accounts seen much better days (it was a HUGE Resort back in the 70s and 80s)… REVIEWS seem to show that it desperately needs a facelift, and has gone down hill drastically… and yet they still seem to command top dollar.
Picton Harbour Inn is a place I drive by often… it looks nice enough from the outside… but in that its stats show it as a 3 HOOTS Property here on TA with just a 58% Thumbs Up Recommendation… I`d certainly spend some time reading thru the various REVIEWS to find out what the issues are with the property… and if there are any TRAVELLER TIPS on how to get the best accommodations possible from them.
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As for Winery Touring…
There are over 25 Wineries in the Prince Edward County Appellation of Ontario… so lots to see, taste and enjoy. They are spread out across the Peninsula… and a drive seeking them out, will take thru some gorgeous farmland as well… and introduce you to The County`s Taste Trail as well (you might want to bring along a cooler, so you can collect some of the fabulous food products that available at road-side stands, farmer`s gates and local outlets).
You might to take time to look at the Official Guide to Ontario Wineries… a great resource for anyone wanting to explore Ontario`s Wineries on their own. The Guide lists all the VQA Wineries in Ontario (those that choose to sell some of their product thru the LCBO… however there are many not listed, usually smaller family run operations, that choose ONLY to sell at their Wineries). Those not listed in the Guide, still produce excellent wines… just that they don’t make enough volume to market thru the LCBO (the world’s largest buyer of Wine, Beer & Spirits in the world)… so the rule of thumb is with Ontario Wineries… If you taste something you like… BUY IT from the Winery… as you might not find it again!!
The Official Guide will give a good feel for the Prince Edward County Wine Region… with lots of great info on each individual winery. And a fabulous pull-out centrefold map for anyone wanting to tour on their own. The on-line version of the Guide is a good way to start your Wine Touring Plans, but I strongly suggest that you pick up a hard copy once you are here (available from Ontario Wineries – local LCBOs – and some Tourist Info Centres… believe the one on Picton`s main street has it).
Official Guide to Ontario Wineries = www.winesofontario.ca
Hope this is helpful,