Reserve, Enjoy, Repeat
Hot tip: Call ahead.
Hottest tip: Book in advance.
Physical distancing has reduced the capacity of indoor spaces and events, and many County gems have had to change up how they offer their food, drink, art and experiences.
To help you make your perfect County itinerary – and avoid disappointment – we’ve put together a list of awesome County experiences that you can book in advance. A little research and prep work will guarantee your days are filled with great experiences, and your visit is truly stress-free.
And to state the obvious: We remind you to always book your accommodations well in advance!
Book your Bevvies
Reservations are required at some County wineries and craft beverage makers, but not all. Our advice to you is to go to the source: call ahead, check social media or websites, or send them a DM to get the low-down on when reservations are required or available.
You could let a professional do the work for you: book a tour with one of The County’s many tour providers. They will create an itinerary, make your reservations, and play the important role of designated driver.
Looking to go beyond the tasting room? Book a private vineyard tour or estate experience with dinner at Waupoos Estate Winery, available by reservation only. The Merril House’s resident sommelier Astrid Young offers private wine tasting experiences in the inn’s stately cellar. Trail Estates is also offering pre-booked small-group Cellar Tastings, featuring six wines that showcase winemaking style and techniques. Loch Mór Cider is offering reservation-based guided orchard tours with one of Canada’s only Pommeliers (cider sommelier!) during harvest season.
Reservations Please! Food and Culinary Experiences
Some restaurants are accepting reservations for dine-in, while others are walk-in only. You’ll want to check in with your favourites to find out how they are running things these days.
For a unique farm to table experience, check out Quinta do Conde‘s dinner events: all food is sourced from their organic farm, and dinner includes a guided farm tour. The County Picnic will put together a 100% County picnic experience for you – book in advance and your basket will be waiting for you at your ideal picnic location.
Sign up for a cooking class and learn new skills. Littlejohn Farms teaches traditional sourdough making, pickling, charcuterie and cheese making. Enid Grace‘s Teaching Kitchen focuses on carbolicious Italian pastry, bread and pasta with culinary classes for kiddos too. Cynthia Peters’ From the Farm cooking school offers small group and private cooking classes on world cuisines and traditional farm country meals. The Waring House cooking classes take you on a world trip from Old Montreal to India to Estonia and back to The County. Angelo Bean offers private, hands-on Italian cooking classes: pasta, salumi and sausage, oh my!
Admit One: Live Performance, Art and Film
As arts events return to the calendar, the need to book in advance will be stronger than ever. Limited capacity at events makes advance reservations essential.
Check in with The Regent Theatre to book seats for socially distanced performances or to watch the high-quality livestreams at home or at The Mustang Drive-In. Hop on over to Visit The County’s Events Listing page to stay up to date on The County’s music, art, theatre and comedy events that offer advance ticket sales.
The Mustang Drive-In is a popular sun-down destination for residents and visitors alike. Book your carload in advance to ensure a space at your preferred screening.
While many of The County’s fine art galleries are open to walk-in visitors, some galleries are by appointment only which adds a VIP touch. Contact the galleries directly for private viewing opportunities.
Make a Date with History
Two of The County’s museums have re-opened their doors to visitors looking to dive into local history. While the Wellington Museum is open for drop in visits, The Macaulay Heritage Park is offering pre-booked tours Wednesday through Sunday, every hour on the hour. This museum site offers so much to see, including an 1800s heritage house, a historic church, cemetery, heritage gardens and carriage house.
Spend some time researching your family tree. Book a research session with The Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre (7th Town Historical Society) to explore important collections with genealogical and historical significance.
Bee One with Nature
The County is buzzing with farm experiences that you can book in advance. The Curious Goat “Bee Curious” workshops give you an hour with the beekeeper to learn all about bees, plus you get to taste the sweet stuff and make a salve to take home.
Want to raise your own colony? Millefleurs Lavender and Honey Farms offers Backyard Beekeeping workshops as well as hands-on Lavender Gardening workshops at their Wellington area farm.
Farm and Garden Fun
In the Black River area, you can visit Quinta do Conde for a variety of farm-based experiences like their Backyard Chicken and Natural Winemaking workshops.
Make an appointment to bring the kids to the farm. Book a safari in deepest Greater Bloomfield and spend some time mucking around with the Hops & Heifers water buffalo. Create connection between farm, food and health with Littlejohn Farms Family Experience. Guests will learn about sustainable farming, spend time with the animals, and work together to prepare a farm-to-table meal.
Carson’s Garden Market is taking bookings for their fall gardening classes: learn how to put your gardens to bed properly and how to properly prune your bushes and trees.
What’s that plant? Who needs an app when Herbalist Tamara Segal of Hawthorn Herbals offers plant identification walks on demand and by reservation at any location in The County.
Tackle the Millennium Trail on a pair of rented wheels. The County’s bicycle rental companies take bike reservations in advance and some offer guided tours like The County Wine Tours Sip and Cycle, and Closson Road Cycles Pour and Explore.
Pre-register for a one-of-a-kind, made in the County yoga class including Yoga in Lavender Fields at Millefleurs, Goat Yoga with Mikenze, Alpaca Yoga at SHED Chetwyn Farms or yoga by a dry mason bridge at Karlo Estates.
Schedule Some “Me Time“
Best to book in advance when it comes to pampering: scheduling some “me time” into your vacation is essential. The I-Float Spa, Bloomfield Beauty Co, Spa at The Manse and Natural Beauty Mini Spa offer day spa experiences, while a variety of wellness practitioners offer appointments for yoga, massage, reflexology and more.
Down for some divination? Make a date for a by-appointment-only Tarot Reading at Nourish the Soul in Picton.
Get on the Water
Book some paddling time with a kayak, canoe or SUP from Cabin Fever Kayaks or PEC Kayaks, or sit back and relax while the captain does the work with a sailing charter from County Sailing Adventures. Soak up some sun on a pontoon boat, bookable through Westlake Water Sports or arranged as a guided tour through Picton Harbour Pontoon Tours who take you to the shallow coves, waterfalls and historic sights of Picton Bay.
Reservations are available for a variety of fishing charters on water or on ice so you can chase the famed Bay of Quinte Walleye.
Something Completely Different
And finally, we present a series of bookable County experiences that defy categorization but deliver on sure-fire fun.
Make a reservation and try your hand solving Escape Camp Picton’s history-infused escape rooms.
Book an appointment with The McLuhan Institute for a bespoke media-studies lecture delivered by Marshall McLuhan’s own grandson.
Spend a little time staring up at the night sky with Look Up Way Up Observatory.
Or surprise your friends and family by booking a secret wedding with Carriage Lane Elopements. Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan.
Last edited: August 6, 2020.
Are you a County business offering a bookable experience? Let us know by email so we can add you.